Summer is the warmest time of year and as such many people spend time outdoors socializing, partying and going on vacation. However, there is a dark side to this season. Not only do incidences of violent crime tend to increase, but this is also the season when drug abuse and addiction relapse are highest. Here are some tips for preventing this from happening to you.
Watch For Summer Activities Which Could Trigger Drug Usage
Learning how to identify and avoid triggers is one of the most important aspects of addiction recovery. This skill is critically important during summer as this is the time when they’ll most likely appear. The triggers for each person recovering from addiction will differ, but they usually involve places, people or activities which will create the temptation to resume drug usage.
Have A Recovery Plan And Stick To It
Developing a plan to remain addiction free is important, but equally important is sticking to it. This plan, when combined with the ability to identify triggers, will put you in a prime position to recognize threats during the summer months and respond to them appropriately. Your plan could include methods for leaving a place or situation which is uncomfortable, as well as turning down drugs which are offered to you. Peer pressure should be expected and you should know how to deal with it. In fact, anyone pressuring you to use drugs especially if they know you’ve recently completed rehab is not a friend and should be avoided at all costs.
Engage in Activities And Hobbies That Promote Sobriety
Another key to staying away from drugs and alcohol is to pick up new activities and hobbies that don’t require them. For instance, you could host a party during summer, so long as everyone who attends understands that drugs or alcohol is not allowed, and you should have a plan in place if and when someone decides to violate your rule. You could also learn new hobbies such as video games, exercise, hiking, music, dancing or other activities which are fun and do not tempt you to use drugs. Some recovering addicts choose to volunteer or perform charity work.
Staying Drug Free For Life
The only thing harder than entering rehab and becoming sober is remaining that way after you leave. While you’re in rehab you will be in an environment where access to controlled substances is tightly restricted, and depending on the facility you might not even be allowed to leave whenever you want. The real test comes when you enter the real world, and are exposed to the many situations that will tempt you to relapse. This is why it is so important to have a plan in place and to be able to recognize triggers when they appear.
Recovering from substance abuse doesn’t mean that life has to be boring or that you cannot enjoy summer like everyone else. What this does mean is that you must be cautious in who you associate with and where.