Independence Day is coming up and you’ve probably got an invitation to a party or BBQ that you haven’t RSVP’d to because you may be concerned about staying sober. The holidays can be tough for someone who is sober, especially the first year.
As many as half of all people in recovery experience at least one relapse, and sometimes those can be triggered by holidays or social events. If you're having relapse issues, call Legacy Freedom. We can help with affordable Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment.
Staying Sober on Independence Day
The July 4th holiday is a celebration of independence, so you should look at it as a chance to celebrate your freedom from addiction. You have probably learned in recovery that you have to see many things differently as a sober person. Holidays aren’t just a chance to drink; social events don’t have to always involve alcohol. In order to continue to stay sober you have to adjust the idea you had about many things that are linked to drinking, which includes parties on holidays.
In order to prepare yourself, take a look at few sobering facts about the consequences of alcohol consumption on the fourth of July from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
• 164 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes during the July 4th holiday in 2014
• More than 29 percent of the people involved had a BAC of .15 or higher
• Over half of the drivers 18-34 years old involved in crashes during that weekend were under the influence of alcohol
Thinking about the consequences of drinking and making bad choices over the holiday weekend may help you deal with the temptation. Even if you would never drink and get in a car, and may have never made that decision in the past when you were drinking, it can be a reminder of the negative effects drinking can have on someone. People make bad choices when they drink. If you don’t go down that road from the start, then you won’t be faced with those possibilities.
If you are in recovery and feel you need additional help, call Legacy Freedom. We offer many different options for Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment. Sometimes we need additional help and there is no reason not to ask for it. Read on to learn more about staying sober on the Fourth of July.
You don’t have to give up celebrating the holiday in order to keep your sobriety in check. Learning better ways to cope with it, or starting new traditions for celebrating can help you in the long run. The better you learn to deal with not drinking on holidays such as Independence Day, the more likely you are to remain sober year-round.
Here are some ideas that can allow you to still celebrate the holiday without running the risk of relapse.
1. Have a sober party.
Who says you have to have a party with alcohol? If you have friends who don’t drink, invite them over for a party with lots of food, sodas and games. If you have children, or have children in your family, this is a great opportunity to show them that you can have fun at social events without drinking.
You can do a throwback to the way you celebrated as a kid. You can roast marshmallows for s’mores, light sparklers and shoot fireworks (if they’re legal in your state).
You could also turn on the water works for your event even if you don’t have a pool. You can find instructions on the Internet on how to make your own slip ‘n slide. You could also make water balloons and buy a few water guns for a splashy showdown.
If your town has a fireworks show, which most do, then you can pile into the car and go see them without having to worry about who is going to be the designated driver.
2. Go out of town
If you don’t want to host a party, then take the party on the road. If it’s a long weekend it’s a great time to take the family to the beach or to another nearby getaway. If you have a group of friends who aren’t interested in the typical parties, find an eclectic place to go and make it a weekend road trip. Look up roadside attractions for places near you.
You could also go on a retreat. There are meditation and yoga retreats as well as packages that involve outdoor activities. Some many even offer learning experiences such as cooking or learning a new hobby.
Giving back is always a great way to spend a holiday, especially the ones no one thinks about such as the Fourth of July. Most people tend to think about volunteering over the winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, but help is always needed. Check with a shelter or food bank to see if they are doing anything special for July 4th and find out how you can help. There are also ongoing activities that you can do any weekend.
If you can’t find an organized event, you could call a local animal shelter and see if you could spend the day walking dogs and playing with the other pets. If you have kids, it’s a great opportunity to teach them the importance of helping others, and they get to play with kittens and puppies. (They may want to take one home, though!)
Another volunteer option is to call a local nursing home to see if you can spend time with residents who may not get visitors. Often you don’t have to do much more than listen to their stories or read them a book.
4. Have a plan.
Ok, if you really want to go to a regular Fourth of July party, you don’t have to give it up. Just make a plan so you won’t feel tempted to drink. Bring along another sober friend. Make “mocktails” to drink so you won’t feel left out. If you start to feel uncomfortable and want to leave, do it. Don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings. Just say your goodbyes and leave. If it wasn’t a great experience, call a supportive friend or mentor to talk it over. Remember, it’s just one day of the year.
Affordable Wilmington NC Alcohol Rehab and Drug Treatment | Legacy Freedom
Don’t put off getting help if you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center to get the help you need. We can help you make a change for the new year by offering alternative Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment programs. We believe that with our customized plans, you can get the best, most personalized help. We take into account your needs because we know that everyone is different and may need a different approach. Call us today to to start working towards that New Year’s resolution so that 2016 can be your best year yet.