Long, warm days make the summer months perfect for exciting parties. For people who are in early addiction recovery, this time of the year can be tricky to navigate, as alcohol is the beverage of choice at most parties and celebrations.
Although they may be tempted, people in recovery must always remember to never compromise their sobriety for any event or party — no matter how amazing the event sounds like it’s going to be. If recovering individuals aren’t careful, they can even put themselves at serious risk for relapse by attending a celebration not conducive to a sober lifestyle.
“The first thing a person should always do is ask themselves if going to the party or event will jeopardize their recovery, if they will run into old friends, or if the event is being held at a place they used to hang out at,” says Manager of Alumni Relations Jessica Dolan. “Then, they should create a plan of action.”
Here are Dolan’s tips on how a plan of action can help a person in early recovery still have fun and party safely this summer:
Choose the right party.
If invited to attend a celebration that will involve alcohol, individuals in recovery should kindly decline and look for one that is more supportive of sobriety. They should try reaching out to their sponsor about the latest sober events as well as look for parties centered on healthy, outdoor activities.
Sobriety comes first.
If an event isn’t what was expected, a person in recovery shouldn’t feel ashamed to be the first or only one to leave. A strong sobriety must be their number one priority, always.
Bring a sober friend.
The support of a sober friend can really go a long way as a person in recovery tries to navigate summertime celebrations. They are a great safety net, providing moral support. If a sober friend is unavailable, then the individual in recovery should have a few numbers to call, if they begin to feel uncomfortable at a function.
Join an alumni support group.
A great option that will make partying this summer a lot easier would be to join a treatment center’s alumni support group. They provide individuals who are in recovery with the opportunity to have sober fun. Events and celebrations can range from parties to outdoor national and international retreats all summer long.
“Getting out and being social is central to a person’s recovery,” added Dolan. “But it is critical to surround themselves with people who care about them and their decision to live a sober life. Doing so will enable them to enjoy a fun and safe summer without the stress of risking relapse.”