Tips For Getting Through the Summer Holidays Without Relapsing

Summertime brings picnics, barbeques, and gatherings of family and friends. Getting outside and celebrating the summer holidays feels great, but if you’re a recovering addict, it can be a tricky time to navigate.

Beach vacations are synonymous with pool bars and backyard barbeques are often fully stocked with beer. Being around friends and family might trigger cravings and make you slip back into your old ways, but you can enjoy the summer holidays without relapsing.

Daniel Headrick, MD, and our team at Headrick Medical Center are here to help you succeed in recovery, this summer and beyond. Learn a few of our top tips for getting through the parties and gatherings from the 4th of July through Labor Day.

1. Know your triggers

A trigger is a circumstance or event that makes you feel the urge to abuse a substance. Triggers are different for every individual, but a few common ones are feeling stressed, lonely, tired, or even hungry. During recovery, talk therapy can help you understand what triggers your cravings. Identifying triggers gives you the power to avoid and resist them.

Sometimes, recovering addicts feel like they need to prove themselves by being around a substance without using, but the best way to avoid relapsing is to stay away from triggers completely. It can be helpful to avoid the situations, people, and places that remind you of your addiction. 

2. Plan ahead

Think about your big summer plans and identify those events that could trigger a relapse. If you always attend a big 4th of July party, consider bringing your own non-alcoholic drinks so it’s easier to avoid temptation. Ask a friend who doesn’t drink, smoke, or use drugs to come with you to holiday parties.

Day-to-day planning is just as important as big-picture planning. It’s easy to be motivated to avoid relapse at the beginning of summer, but motivation often decreases over time. When you wake up, think about how you’ll resist temptation and avoid relapsing that day.

3. Practice saying no

Inevitably, someone will offer you an alcoholic drink or other substance when you’re in recovery. Practicing how you’ll respond can give you the confidence you need to say no when that time comes. 

Rehearse scenarios in your mind or practice with someone you trust. If you don’t want to tell everyone at the barbeque that you’re in recovery, come up with another reason to give when you turn down that drink or smoke.

4. Build a supportive network

It’s common for the close friends of an addict to be addicts, too. Being around other addicts is dangerous if you’re in recovery, and an important step to avoiding relapse is finding people who don’t abuse substances and who want you to succeed. Find a friend or family member you can trust and let them know how you’re doing throughout the summer.

Consider joining a recovery support group, where you can talk about the struggles you face with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. Support groups help you build a network of people who want to help you succeed in recovery.

Whether you’re ready to kick your addiction or you’re already on your recovery journey, Dr. Headrick and our team are here for you. We offer a range of addiction treatment services aimed at giving you the knowledge and support you need to achieve recovery for the long term.

Call us at 949-220-2412, send us a message, or book your first appointment online today.

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