The Fourth of July is an incredibly festive time. Families across the state celebrate freedom with BBQs, gatherings, parades, festivals, and fireworks. July 4th is also America’s top …
The Fourth of July is an incredibly festive time. Families across the state celebrate freedom with BBQs, gatherings, parades, festivals, and fireworks. July 4th is also America’s top beer-drinking holiday. An estimated one billion dollars is spent on beer nationally over the holiday.
Heavy drinking is a part of the celebrations. At the same time, every American adult is free to make their own choices. Holidays like the Fourth of July can be particularly challenging for someone sober or in early recovery from alcoholism or drug or drug addiction.
Fortunately, there are practical tips that anyone can use to maintain sobriety and enjoy July 4th to the fullest.
“Being sober does mean you stop having fun; you have an amazing new perspective on life. If you are newly sober, it just takes some extra planning when going to these celebrations,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org.
Consider some of the following tips to avoid relapse and stay sober this July Fourth holiday:
• Begin to recognize and identify relapse triggers. This could be a particular situation or environment. It could also be a specific person or a group of individuals. Know these triggers to make it easier to avoid or manage them.
• Bring sober friends or relatives to July Fourth celebrations or attend sober gatherings. Consider also bringing non-alcoholic drinks or mocktails. This can help avoid those pesky relatives who insist you always have an alcoholic beverage in your hand.
• Avoid environments that promote heavy drinking or recreational drug use; this will always lead to disaster.
• Have an exit plan in place if things become too much to manage. If you know you will struggle, arrange support if needed. Finally, practice saying no to invitations, drinks, or uncomfortable situations.
Independence Day is about celebrating freedom in all its forms. Being free from the chains of addiction is a fantastic feeling. Celebrate this 4th of July with new traditions and memories and spend quality time with loved ones. Enjoy every moment of freedom.
Michael Leach has spent most of his career as a healthcare professional specializing in Substance Use Disorder and addiction recovery. He is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant and contributor to the healthcare website Recovery Begins.