Enjoying the Sun Without the Substances
Summer can present unique challenges and temptations for individuals in recovery from substance abuse. To cope with these challenges, it's recommended that individuals in recovery continue to attend support group meetings, lean on their support networks, engage in healthy activities, and develop strategies for dealing with triggers and high-risk situations.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of advice for enjoying the sun without the substances. For more personalized advice, our team is here to help. Give us a call at (800) 353-4673 to schedule a consultation.
Tips for Identifying and Overcoming Triggers this Summer
Relapse prevention strategies are critical tools for those embarking on the journey of recovery from addiction. The sunny season frequently brings with it an increase in social gatherings, vacations, and leisure time - all of which can present a myriad of temptations and potential triggers for those battling substance use disorders.
Parties, BBQs, and other social events often feature alcohol or other substances, creating environments that can be difficult to navigate for those new to sobriety or striving to maintain their recovery. Furthermore, the break from routine that summer often provides can lead to periods of boredom or stress, both of which can be triggering. As such, having a well-equipped toolbox of relapse prevention strategies can provide individuals with the resources they need to effectively combat these challenges, helping them to stay on track with recovery goals throughout the summer season.
Below are some common summertime triggers and how they can be avoided:
- Increased social events involving alcohol: Summer is often filled with social gatherings like barbecues, beach parties, and outdoor concerts, where alcohol is typically present. These situations can pose a significant temptation to those in recovery. While you may not be able to avoid the presence of alcohol or other drugs in such events, you can take action to make sure there will be non-alcoholic drinks provided, or you can bring your own to still be able to enjoy a fun mocktail during festivities.
- More free time: Many people have more free time during the summer, which can lead to boredom and feelings of restlessness. These feelings can be triggers for people in recovery. It is beneficial to fill your time with healthy and fun activities you enjoy, so you won’t be tempted to turn back to harmful habits.
- Travel and unfamiliar environments: Summer is a common time for vacations. Being in new places or around new people can disrupt routines that support recovery and introduce new temptations. If traveling with others, make sure they are people who encourage your recovery and can provide support if needed.
- Pressure from friends and family: As social activities increase, so can the pressure from friends and family to partake in drinking or using substances. This can be particularly challenging if others are not aware of or sensitive to your recovery journey. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who positively impact your decision to get sober, and who you won’t feel pressured around.
- Increased exposure to addictive cravings: Warm weather and longer days can lead to increased exposure to triggers and addictive cravings. For instance, someone who associates drinking with sitting by the pool may find this time of year particularly challenging. Developing new hobbies that don’t involve substances can help you associate this time with healthy new traditions.
Here for You When You Need Us
At Mount Sinai Wellness Center, we are here to help you navigate sobriety and have a fun summer without the substances. If you find yourself in need of professional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our compassionate and caring team. Contact us at (800) 353-4673 for appointment scheduling.