How to Navigate Addiction Triggers During the Summer

Published On: August 18, 20233.7 min read732 wordsCategories: Sober Living

With all of the festivals, vacations, barbecues and other vibrant gatherings that are common during the summer months, many people look forward to summertime from the start of the new year through the spring months.

For those who are in the early stages of recovery, the approach of summer is not always so lighthearted; with the multitude of events and parties, often comes the integration of substances, both legal and illegal.

The various addiction triggers that can surface during these summer months can bring many temptations to those who are still adjusting to their new sober lifestyle. If you’re feeling apprehensive about this sober summer, it’s completely normal — and we’re here to help.

We’re going to walk you through how you can best prepare yourself mentally and physically to navigate and avoid triggers this summer to maintain your sobriety. 

Sobriety and summertime: an overview

Be honest — is there a little voice in the back of your head telling you that summer is going to be boring now that you’re sober? 

If there is, you wouldn’t be the only one. 

It’s true, there is going to be an adjustment period. Attending various events, and celebrating with loved ones, these activities are going to be different sober. At first, you might find the transition difficult, your thoughts may wander to past experiences where you were inebriated during such events, but don’t let the initial challenges pull you backward.

The more you learn to embrace a life unburdened by drugs and alcohol, the clearer your mind will be. A clear mind can make you more present at each moment, leading to fully and vibrantly experiencing conversations, relationships and gatherings. 

What are addiction triggers?

Addiction triggers are specific prompts, situations, experiences or cues that tempt or provoke (otherwise known as “trigger”) an individual to return to drug or alcohol use, or other addictive behaviors. 

Each person’s triggers will vary slightly depending on their unique experiences and history with addiction, and one trigger that might significantly influence one person could barely affect another.

There are, however, specific categories that these triggers fall into:

  • Environmental triggers 
  • Emotional triggers
  • Social triggers
  • Internal triggers (such as cravings)
  • External triggers (such as paraphernalia)
  • Routine triggers (activities once intertwined with substance use)
  • Withdrawal triggers (for those actively in recovery)

Some of these triggers will be more present than usual during the summer months, such as social triggers, which naturally come with the increase in social gatherings and activities. 

That’s why taking a bit of time to prep yourself mentally and physically for these triggers can greatly help you maintain your sobriety.

How to maintain sobriety

In the initial stages of recovery, you might find it easier to avoid triggers altogether, rather than place yourself in situations where you have to navigate those temptations. 

While that can be beneficial to your recovery in the short term, it’s important to learn how to navigate those triggers and temptations in the long term. Without creating a healthy mindset and fostering productive coping mechanisms and strategies for when you do face those triggers, the chances of relapsing can increase.

The best ways to help yourself maintain sobriety this summer include:

  • Having a “sober buddy” to attend gatherings with you
  • Host or co-host your own sober parties
  • Become confident in saying no
  • Actively nurture and live a healthy lifestyle
  • Plug into the local sober community 
  • Forming a personal support system

If you find that it’s increasingly more difficult to combat and overcome triggers when they arise, leaning into a professional support system is one of the best steps you can take.

Build your summer sobriety plan today

Here at Freedom Detox, you don’t have to put the other areas and responsibilities of your life on hold in order to focus on your recovery. Our addiction treatment programs are flexible and customizable to your unique needs and schedule, with your safety and comfort as our main priorities.

We understand that enrolling in a full-time, 24-7 rehabilitation program isn’t practical for everyone, and that’s why we’ve curated a variety of services you can easily fit into your schedule.

To learn more about how we can support you in your recovery, send us a message or give us a call today and we’ll put you in touch with one of our intake specialists.

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