Summer is here, and it’s only a matter of time until we’re slathering on the sunscreen and packing our suitcases and coolers; but what will be packing them with? If the first (or any) item on your list is booze, pills, weed or anything else designed to take you out of reality, two things: One, you’re missing the point and two, it’s possible to have fun this summer without drugs or alcohol. Here are some ways to do it.
Focus on the food! Do you really want to obscure the taste of perfectly grilled food with cheap beer or overpowering alcohol? Of course not. If you’re planning on throwing a party, you can focus on planning the perfect summer menu and still skip the booze.
While it’s true that the perfect beverage can complement any meal, the bitter taste and frequent drama that comes with alcohol don’t have to be part of this equation. Try using mocktail recipes as pairing options. There are plenty of low-sugar, non-alcoholic, fresh-tasting options to pour into your glass. Have fun with it!
Road trips or vacations are best when you can be present for every moment. This doesn’t really lend itself to alcohol or drug abuse. Go on a trip you’ve always wanted to take, whether for a few weeks or a few days, to feed the soul rather than any temporary cravings for drugs or alcohol. Take a trip you’ll actually remember!
Sober challenges are getting more and more common as people rediscover the benefits of staying away from alcohol for prolonged periods. Dry January is just one of many challenges people are embracing and can easily be turned into Dry June, Dry July or both! Go as long as you can without drinking and keep challenging yourself.
Sober summers are even more important for those who have had issues with alcohol or drug use in the past and are currently in recovery. Keep in close contact with members of your support system if you’re planning on going to gatherings where there will be booze. Bring your own car or, at the very least, have your own way of getting home if you get uncomfortable or feel tempted. Plan “Sober Summer” parties with your advocates and other people who are in recovery.
If you’re planning on going to music festivals where drugs or alcohol will be present, prioritize your recovery by making plans to stay by yourself or with people who support you in your sobriety by not drinking or doing drugs. Most importantly, if you relapse, don’t beat yourself up; pick yourself up. It’s not the end of the world if you experience a setback, and there are ways to get right back into treatment and reclaim your recovery.
Despite what the Corona ads may say, summer is for sober people, too. Use these tips to spend summer free of drugs and alcohol to reap its full benefits.
About the Author
Dominic Nicosia is a New Jersey-based journalist and content writer covering addiction care and mental health. He currently serves as Senior Content Writer for Recovery Unplugged Treatment Centers, a national addiction treatment organization that offers a full continuum of care and uses music to help people more readily embrace the treatment process.