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Updated: September 8, 2022

Summer BBQs & Social Outings: 3 Challenges Recovering People May Face

Back to school is around the corner, but there is still one month left of summer. That means one more month of summer parties, weekend barbecues, and trips to the beach. What do all of these social events often have in common? Often, the answer is alcohol.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center cites an article stating that, except for December, drinking peaks during the summer. Those in recovery from alcohol use disorder struggle to resist drinking year-round, but good weather, weddings, parties, etc., can make resisting temptation particularly difficult.

We have a list of challenges recovering alcoholics may face this summer—and how to deal with them.

  1. Vacations and events may interfere with your recovery routine.

Make time for recovery. If you’re planning a week-long trip to Disney, or if a beach visit interferes with a weekly recovery meeting, arrange an alternative. Find a group near you that will allow a drop-in visit, or try an online option. If you have a friend in recovery, stay in touch while you’re away. Having someone available who understands what you’re going through can be invaluable.

  1. You may be thrust into a social event with people who don’t know your situation.

Although we’ve come a long way to ending the stigma around substance use disorder, we still have a long way to go. You may find yourself at a party or event with new people, and you may not feel comfortable explaining your recovery journey. There are a few ways to handle this. For example, make sure you have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand at all times. No one is likely to ask you if you want a drink if you already have one. It also helps to practice saying no before you attend an event. You never have to explain. If someone pressures you, walk away—or leave the event entirely.

As Dr. Keira Chism shares, sobriety is constant work.

  1. You might see people who know your situation too well.

Avoid mixing with an old crowd, at least until you’ve got your sobriety well in hand. If you put yourself in the same situations with the same people you used to get blackout drunk with, you may fall back into an old routine.

Still unsure about your ability to maintain sobriety? Skip the summer gathering altogether.

Although you may be anxious to get back to normal, recovery is a process that cannot be rushed. Gauge your mood and your level of resilience. If you think you could be tempted, stay home. It’s better to miss out on a party than risk a relapse.

However, if you do relapse, keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world. Relapses are common for recovering addicts, but you only fail if you stop trying. Put yourself and your recovery first, try to avoid situations that may affect your sobriety, and enjoy the rest of the summer.

If you need help finding a recovery center that offers telehealth options for addiction recovery, consider Confidential Recovery in San Diego, California. Give Scott a call at 619-993-2738 for more recovery and intervention resources.


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