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Healing, Strengthening, and Advancing the Lives of LGBTQ People Seeking Recovery

8 Ways to Stay Sober on 4th of July

Sober July 4

The 4th of July brings more than just fireworks and barbecues — it can also spark anxiety for those in recovery. As red, white, and blue decorations fill the streets, many face the challenge of celebrating without alcohol or substances. 

But sobriety doesn’t have to mean missing out on the festivities. With some preparation and creativity, you can embrace the spirit of independence while staying true to your recovery. Here are eight strategies to stay sober on July 4th. 

La Fuente offers LGBTQ-affirmative substance abuse treatment in the heart of Los Angeles. Call us at 888.903.9898 for more details. 

1. Attend a morning meeting

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success on the 4th of July is by starting your day at a morning recovery meeting. Whether you opt for Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, gathering with like-minded people helps reinforce your intentions for the day ahead. 

If you’re still feeling shaky, you can even ask for tips on making it through the day substance-free from people who have been there before. 

Don’t have time for an in-person meeting before your plans start? Consider attending a virtual meeting. Here’s a list of online AA meetings to check out. 

2. Have a sober support person on call 

Starting the day with a meeting is a great way to prepare yourself for the temptations the 4th of July brings, but sometimes you need extra support throughout the day. That’s where having a sober buddy comes in handy.

Your sober buddy could be your sponsor, a fellow recovery group member, or a supportive friend who understands your sobriety journey. As long as they’re reachable, they’ll be able to help you navigate challenging situations. 

How you interact with your sober support person is up to you. You could update them regularly about how you’re doing, ask them to distract you when cravings hit or look to them for support when you’re feeling down. This flexible approach helps you stay connected and get the help you need to keep your sobriety on track. 

3. Take time for self care 

Self care has gotten a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Carving out small moments of the day to relax and recharge pays off big time when managing stress and bouncing back from hard times. 

As the name suggests, self care is inherently personal. While some might enjoy working up 

a sweat at spin class, others might prefer the comfort of a soothing bath. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you do. Rather, the key is  to tune into your needs, choose activities that truly rejuvenate you, and give yourself enough time to enjoy them. 

4. Stay busy

Even if you’ve only been in recovery for a short time, you’ve probably heard the popular AA acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). This handy mnemonic device reminds you to take care of basic needs, as they can often trigger cravings. 

Although boredom isn’t part of the acronym, it should be. Boredom is a powerful relapse trigger, especially during holidays when you might feel like everyone is having more fun than you. 

Combat these feelings by keeping yourself busy on the 4th of July. You could help set up a party, cook something, exercise, or practice hobbies. As a bonus, staying busy will make you tired, which can help you sleep better. 

5. Consider avoiding parties with drinking 

This one is highly personal and depends on where you are in your recovery. If you’ve been sober for years and feel secure around substances, then feel free to attend parties where there will be drinking. 

However, if you have less than a year of sobriety or feel vulnerable to triggers, consider turning down invitations to these gatherings. It’s not easy to say no to friends and family, and it’s even harder to experience the fear of missing out, but ultimately, your recovery has to come first. 

6. Make a party plan

Going to a party with alcohol means you need a plan. Don’t just show up and hope everything will be okay. Instead, prepare yourself for difficult situations.

There are a lot of things you can do to make attending a party easier. One simple yet effective strategy is to bring non-alcoholic beverages and drink them from a plastic cup. This might be enough to discourage people from asking why you’re not drinking. 

Equally important is having a well-defined exit strategy. This could involve driving yourself so you can leave whenever you want or scheduling plans later in the day so you have a reason to leave before the party gets out of hand. 

It takes some extra work, but planning helps you stay safe at parties. By anticipating challenges, you can join the fun without risking your recovery.

7. Host your own party 

Hosting your own alcohol-free event is like leveling up in the party game. It takes more work than just going to someone else’s party, but you get to control everything about it.

For example, you can choose which non-alcoholic drinks to throw into the cooler, expand the menu beyond just burgers and hot dogs, and plan fun activities that don’t require alcohol to be enjoyable.

8. Participate in sober activities

If going to parties with alcohol feels risky, and hosting your own event seems too much, look for alcohol-free activities in your area. Depending on where you live, you might find sober 4th of July picnics, parades, or fireworks shows.

Happy 4th of July from La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center 

Our team at La Fuente is looking forward to summer, just like you. While we’re hoping for plenty of relaxing moments, we know summer comes with lots of parties and events that might challenge your sobriety. We hope this guide helps you enjoy the season while staying on track.

If you need extra support in your recovery or want help quitting alcohol and drugs for good, give La Fuente a call at 888.903.9898. We offer LGBTQ-affirmative substance treatment and are available 24/7.

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