How to maintain sobriety this July 4th weekend

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Fourth of July holiday is an incredibly festive time. Millions of American families come together to celebrate freedom. Across the state are fireworks, parades, concerts, family gatherings and BBQs. July 4 is also America’s top beer-drinking holiday. An estimated $1 billion is spent over the holiday.

Excessive drinking can be problematic. Environments promoting heavy drinking or drug use are particularly troublesome for anyone sober or recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction. Statistically, in Louisiana, 18% of adults over 18 binge drink at least once per month.

Fortunately, there are practical methods that anyone can use to maintain their sobriety and enjoy the Fourth of July.

“It can be tough to maintain sobriety at times. Environments that promote heavy drinking or drug use make it particularly challenging, and it takes planning to avoid relapse,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org.

Consider some of the following tips to help maintain sobriety during the Fourth of July:

Know and identify relapse triggers. This could be things like people, places, situations, or environments. Once you can identify these, managing or avoiding them becomes easier. Having a healthy way to manage negative emotions or feelings attached to these triggers is also a good idea.

Bring sober friends to July Fourth celebrations or attend sober gatherings. Many people choose not to drink alcohol or use recreational drugs. In contrast, you could consider bringing non-alcoholic drinks or mocktails to parties. This can help avoid those pesky relatives who insist you have a drink in your hand.

Avoid drinking games and environments that promote binge drinking. While this seems like common sense, it becomes easy to get sucked into the celebration.

Finally, have an exit plan if things become too much to manage. It’s ok to leave a party early. Moreover, practice saying no and be comfortable with turning down invitations. Sobriety is about setting boundaries.

Being sober does not mean you stop having fun. It’s a second chance at life and being free from the chains of addiction. Celebrate Independence Day to the fullest. Create new traditions and memories. Spend quality time with family and loved ones. Enjoy every moment to its fullest.

 

Michael Leach has spent most of his career as a healthcare professional specializing in Substance Use Disorder and addiction recovery. He is a certified clinical medical assistant and contributor to the healthcare website Recovery Begins.