Celebrating Independence Day is typically an energetic, red, white, and blue American experience. No matter where you are in the U.S., on July Fourth, the parades, cookouts, and other traditions are events that most people enjoy. The presence of food and alcohol is as familiar as big firework displays. Those in recovery from any substance use disorder face the challenge of participating in the fun while abstaining from alcohol or other addictive substances. Holiday festivities like those on the Fourth of July can threaten sobriety if you’re not prepared.
Northpoint Washington’s highly accredited and qualified clinical team has helped many people on the path to sobriety through evidence-based treatment in a therapeutic environment. Check out our relapse prevention guide to help those in recovery have a successfully sober Fourth of July. For more information about treatment, therapies, and aftercare, contact us at Northpoint Washington at 425.437.3298.
You Need a Plan to Prevent a Relapse
Those in recovery have worked hard to establish a practice of sober living and to avoid relapse. Typically, counseling can help develop tools and coping mechanisms to avoid falling back into old habits. So before you arrive at that backyard barbecue or pool party, practice some key strategies ahead of time. An approach that some people find helpful is HALT, an acronym for hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. This system serves as a warning for when you’re feeling vulnerable. Taking a moment to conduct a quick self-assessment can help you address any of these feelings you’re experiencing before they get out of hand. Pausing to check if you’re hungry or angry, lonely or tired can help you be emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared for the triggers and situations you may face.
Relapse Prevention Guidelines
Although it may not be easy, it is possible to have a great time and work on the plan for your recovery journey. Enjoy a sober Fourth of July by keeping the following in mind:
- Establish ground rules for yourself to celebrate your independence from substance use.
- Attend therapy or support groups before the holiday where you can talk about what avoidance skills might work best for you.
- Recognize triggers that make you want to use substances.
- Avoid events and scenarios where drinking alcohol or using drugs is a focal point.
- Keep busy by helping set up the event, organizing a softball game, or doing other activities.
- Create new traditions like going on a hike, picking up an old hobby, or discovering a new one.
- Communicate to friends and family your need for additional support to remain sober.
Since you can’t always control the circumstances that come your way, the best thing to do is be as prepared as possible. Holiday gatherings and social events often bring out excessive behaviors, so it pays to be on guard. Relapse prevention takes education, effort, and encouragement from those around you who support your goal to remain sober. With some preparation, you can still participate in Independence Day fun with friends and family and continue to live life sober.
Northpoint Washington Is Committed to Helping Our Clients
Sober living and relapse prevention is the goal, but relapse does happen to individuals in recovery. The team of experienced staff at Northpoint Washington takes the time to customize treatment plans to ensure that we can best address your individual needs, particularly when facing a relapse.
If you or a loved one is struggling with the complexities of sobriety, contact us to learn more about our robust alumni program, including online support groups and local events. For more information, don’t hesitate to call our team at Northpoint Washington today at 425.437.3298. We’re also easy to reach through our brief online message form.