The Fourth of July is a time for fun and relaxation. However, if you have a friend in recovery from substance abuse, this time may become stressful.
Many July Fourth celebrations include alcohol, and some may include other substances. As a result, a person in recovery may face a lot of stress.
As a friend, you can find ways to help. Here are some things you can do to support a friend in recovery during the Fourth of July.
The first step to supporting your friend is understanding that they are facing challenges.
You’ve already taken this step by looking for ways to help. The next step is to maintain open communication.
Some people avoid talking about sobriety with a loved one in recovery. They may not know how to address the topic, or they may want to avoid treating their friend differently because of their illness.
However, this approach often makes people feel unsupported. Instead, as the holiday approaches, let your friend know that you support their recovery.
Tell them that you understand that this holiday may be challenging, and offer to listen to their fears and needs.
Consider Sober Events
Consider planning or attending a sober Fourth of July event with your friend. Sober activity options can help your friend avoid relapse triggers.
If your friend prefers quiet activities, you might have a movie night or something equally relaxed instead.
While people without SUDs can choose to abstain from substances fairly easily, people who do have SUDs have to make a very deliberate effort to do so.
For people with SUDs, resisting drugs and alcohol takes much more conscious effort and willpower, and willpower is a limited resource.
As a result, the longer your friend is exposed to drugs or alcohol, the more difficult it will become for them to resist.
You can help this person by supporting their need for sober spaces. This way, they can use their energy to enjoy the event instead of using it to avoid relapse.
Offer Non-Alcoholic Drinks
There’s no reason why non-alcoholic drinks should be boring, bland, or tasteless.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to drink water, especially at outdoor gatherings during the hot summer months.
Still, if you’re hosting an event, your sober friends can enjoy tasty and colorful drinks, too. And if you’re attending a party with mixed drinks, you can offer to get a mocktail for your friend.
You might learn how to mix non-alcoholic drinks yourself, or if the event has a bartender, you can ask for one.
Bartenders are usually happy to provide this type of drink, and they understand that there are many reasons why a person may want to avoid alcohol.
Look For Potential Triggers
In addiction recovery, a trigger is something that can prompt a relapse. These can include certain environments, people, memories, and scenarios.
Other triggers include physical and mental states such as stress, loneliness, exhaustion, and anger.
A Fourth of July party can create many triggers for your friend. Fireworks, crowds, and memories may evoke temptations.
If your friend shows signs of stress or discomfort, you can offer to listen and suggest taking a break from the party.
Resist Peer Pressure
If you and your friend do go to an event that has substances, understand that your friend will likely face a lot of pressure.
Even well-meaning people can contribute to peer pressure, especially if they do not know about a person’s sobriety.
For example, they may repeatedly offer alcoholic drinks to help an uncomfortable person “loosen up,” or they may mix someone a drink in an attempt to be hospitable.
While it is not your place to tell others about your friend’s recovery, you can help them face peer pressure from people who don’t understand the situation.
One thing you can do is avoid drugs and alcohol yourself. Seeing you under the influence may be a trigger for your friend.
You can also support them and help them stay firm when they turn down substances from others.
Find Addiction Treatment Today
All of these tips can help you support a friend who has already begun their recovery journey, but supporting a loved one with an unmanaged SUD can be more complicated.
Fortunately, addiction is treatable, and your friend has many options. If you or a loved one are dealing with an SUD, contact Detox Rehabs to learn how to begin healing.Article Sources
- American Psychological Association
- National Library Of Medicine