Be Independent from Your Addiction this Independence Day

Independence Day is said to be the fourth most celebrated holiday in the United States. 4th of July is synonymous with parties, fireworks, socializing, eating, and drinking. Individuals who are in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction encounter special challenges during this time, especially early on. Relapse rates increase around the holidays, therefore being prepared for the triggers is one way to reduce chances of threats to recovery.

1. Prioritize your recovery routine. During the holidays we often have “cheat days” whether it refers to eating unhealthy food, not exercising, or avoiding responsibilities. Cheat days don’t work the same when recovering from addiction. Continue with your recovery lifestyle. If your routine includes a morning meditation session, a 30-minute walk, and a morning meeting, make sure you continue with your routine. You will enter into the holiday with a recovery mindset which will help to continue the commitment throughout the day.

2. Choose your celebration wisely. If you have options for how you will celebrate July 4th, choose the one which will involve more sober support and no drinking. Fewer triggers means less stress and decreased chances of relapse.

3. Have a plan. Create a plan of what you will say to turn down a drink. Practice it with yourself, your loved ones, your sponsor, or therapist. Have a plan of how you can leave the party if you begin to have cravings or if you simply do not feel comfortable. Lastly, plan what coping skills you can implement if you are triggered and have people you can reach out to for support.

4. Create new traditions. Break the patterns which trigger drinking or using drugs. July 4th doesn’t have to involve a drunk boat ride or day drinking at the beach. Do something new. Have a sober cookout at your house, volunteer, engage in a hobby, or take time to take care of yourself. If you wish to attend a sober gathering your local AA and NA groups may have celebrations which you can attend and have a fun time.

Mind Matters Therapy Services will remain open on July 4th and will continue to provide treatment to support healthy recovery. Our Addiction Recovery group plans to meet at 9:00am as per usual schedule. If you are looking for support in your journey to recovery, click here to learn more about our addiction treatment. 

Sandra Knapp, LPC
Mind Matters Therapy Services