How You Can Stay Sober On The Fourth Of July
Even for those with no history of alcohol addiction, the Fourth of July is a time when thousands across the nation tend to indulge in alcohol or other substances.
Regardless if you’ve had a number of years without a drink or if this your first sober holiday, a national celebration can be triggering. However, there are numerous ways to stay sober.
Below we’ll explore some tips on how to stay sober through the weekend, and how you can still have fun without substances.
6 Ways To Stay Sober Through The Fourth Of July
The Fourth of July is a time for remembering our independence and spending time with friends and family. It’s quite common that some will indulge in substances like alcohol.
With all the partying also comes many opportunities for those in alcohol addiction recovery to relapse. If you’re sober and enter a drinking environment, it can be hard to resist the urge to join in.
But there are ways to conquer the fear of being sober around substances, and ways to better equip yourself to avoid a relapse. Here are six.
1. Contact Someone With More Sober Time Than You
If you’ve attended a residential inpatient program or a 12-step group meeting, then you most likely have met someone with a few years of sobriety, or may have acquired a sponsor.
A sponsor is someone who has several years of sobriety and has a working knowledge of the spiritual practices and fundamentals of a 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Sponsors are there to lend a non-judgmental ear, while also giving out suggestions on how to deal with stressful situations. In most cases, they’ve experienced what you’re feeling.
You don’t have to have a sponsor to still gain guidance. If you have the number of someone with more or even similar sober times as you, try giving them a call.
This can ground you before a heavy social weekend. By connecting to someone who has gone through what you’re about to endure, you can feel more assured going in.
2. Host A Sober Party
Holiday gatherings have become synonymous with drinking, but this doesn’t mean there can’t be sober parties!
Reach out to your group of sober acquaintances and plan a substance-free get-together. Being in an environment without any substances vastly reduces the risk of relapse.
You can use a get-together as a time to be grateful for where you are today. It’s also an opportunity to try out fun activities you might’ve never tried while in active addiction.
This Fourth of July, try out sober activities such as:
- group sports, such as basketball or football
- holding a cook-off
- dance competitions
- sharing art
- board games
3. Attend A 12-Step Meeting
12-step meetings are well-known for always being open, even during the holidays. In fact, big clubs will sometimes run what are known as “marathons.”
During marathons, sober groups host a series of meetings running back-to-back. Some halls will even have a meeting at every hour, supplied with food, desserts, and speakers.
If you find yourself alone on the Fourth of July or wish to avoid an alcohol-heavy gathering, attending a meeting is a great way to meet other sober people and occupy your time.
4. Practice Wellness Techniques
One of the biggest reasons for relapse is stress, which can be prompted by anxiety and nervousness being in an uncomfortable setting. For some, this is what any holiday brings.
Along with meditation, there are other techniques to center your mind, spread positive energy throughout your body, and make you feel ready for the holiday.
Wellness techniques include:
- reading recovery-based literature
Before you attend a social gathering on the Fourth of July, take some time to focus on quieting the mind and body.
5. Remember The Risks Of Drinking
It’s easy to forget what alcohol and drugs can do to not just the body, but also to those around you. Sometimes, we only see the “fun” associated with using, and not the harsh realities.
One of these realities is how the holidays often bring about motor accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 1,390 drivers killed on the Fourth of July between 2016 and 2020, 41% of whom were under the influence of alcohol.
Aside from motor vehicle accidents, excessive drinking can cause blackouts, unprotected sex, and violent behavior. By staying sober, you can better avoid these dangerous outcomes.
6. Keep A Celebration Small
Staying in with immediate family, a few close friends, or a partner may be a more comfortable and manageable decision for people in recovery, especially if they’re newly sober.
Holidays don’t have to involve a big gathering — in fact, sometimes the most cherished and meaningful times come from sharing simple moments with those closest to you.
Some ideas for a night in are:
- watching fireworks on TV
- cooking a new recipe
- watching a marathon of a favorite TV show or movie franchise
- painting, scrapbooking, or figuring out a large puzzle
- playing a video game
Treatment For Substance Abuse In Massachusetts
Reach out to a specialist today to learn more about how you can find long-lasting sobriety in recovery.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — Celebrate America Safely This Fourth Of July https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTHLIBRARY/tools/reducing-relapse-risk.asp
- National Library Of Medicine — Mindfulness Meditation In The Treatment Of Substance Use Disorders And Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms And Clinical Implications https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247953/
- U.S Department Of Veteran Affairs — Reducing Relapse Risk https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTHLIBRARY/tools/reducing-relapse-risk.asp