- Staying sober on holidays like the Fourth of July can be a challenge, so preparing in advance is recommended.
- When you are proactive, you can have a good time on the Fourth without compromising your sobriety.
- If you see any signs of relapse in yourself or a loved one, seeking professional help is recommended.
The Fourth of July is an exciting holiday, but it can also present risks for people in recovery from addiction. For this reason, it is important to take steps to protect your sobriety over the Fourth of July weekend. It is also a good idea to brush up on the signs of relapse so you can act quickly if needed.
Below are nine tips to help you stay sober over the Fourth of July.
1. Avoid events that put you at risk
If possible, attend a Fourth of July event that does not involve alcohol or drugs. If you cannot find an event that doesn’t involve these substances at all, choose the least risky option. You can also choose to host your own sober event instead.
2. Take some time to think about the consequences
Before the holiday arrives, take some time to think about the consequences you will face if you relapse. Remember all the time and effort you have spent working toward sobriety, and keep all of this information fresh in your mind. If you remember how high the stakes are, you will be less likely to succumb to any temptations you face.
3. Seek support
One of the best ways to lower your risk of relapse over the holiday weekend is through accountability. Talk to one or more people who will agree to hold you accountable for your actions and help you avoid any risky behaviors.
4. Focus on the positives
Fourth of July isn’t just about drinking or using other substances. There are plenty of other reasons to enjoy this holiday, from good food to company. Focus your attention on these positive aspects of the holiday instead of thinking about the activities you must avoid.
5. Make a plan
Even when you are proactive, you may still face unexpected triggers over the Fourth of July weekend. Make a clear plan in advance for dealing with triggers or stressors that put your sobriety at risk. For example, you may decide that you will call a specific friend if you are feeling tempted.
6. Retain your autonomy
In order to be able to leave a stressful or triggering situation, you must have an effective exit strategy. For this reason, it is important to have your own transportation available so you can leave whenever you want without involving other people. If possible, drive yourself to any events you attend and make sure your car doesn’t get blocked in.
7. Connect with the addiction recovery community in the morning
Before you begin the day’s festivities, attend a support group meeting, or find some other way to connect with other members of the addiction recovery community. This will give you the stamina and confidence you need to make it through the day without compromising your sobriety.
8. Practice gratitude
Every holiday is another opportunity to be grateful for your life and your sobriety. On the Fourth of July, set some time aside to focus on the blessings in your life. When you remember how far you’ve come and you focus on being thankful, you won’t be as tempted to engage in activities that put your future at risk.
9. Seek help if you need it
If you feel yourself slipping or you are getting too overwhelmed, reach out for professional help as soon as possible.
Identifying Signs of Relapse
Every person in recovery is at risk of relapse. On holidays like the Fourth of July, this risk is often greater. Signs of relapse may include:
- Impulsive behavior
- Change in appearance
- Sudden mood changes
- Asking to borrow money
If any of these signs appear, the individual may need professional help and support.
Stay Committed To Recovery at Riverside Recovery of Tampa
Seeking professional treatment is one of the best assets available to anyone who is struggling with addiction or trying to maintain recovery from a substance use disorder. At Riverside Recovery of Tampa, we offer a range of addiction treatment options to help you achieve sobriety and build a better future.
Contact our admissions team today at 800-871-5440 to learn more.
National Center for Biotechnology Information– Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
National Institute on Drug Abuse –The Science of Drug Use: Discussion Points
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
UC Santa Cruz – Relapse Prevention
Yale School of Medicine – Preventing Relapse to Risky Behavior: Recovery as a Journey