Most people know that the Christmas and New Years holidays are some of the most difficult times for recovering addicts to face. However, the Fourth of July holiday is one of the leading holidays contributing to relapse for individuals battling addiction – largely due to its association with parties and drinking. The large family gatherings and countless cookouts – with open coolers often filled to the brim – can be quite challenging for recovering drug and alcohol addicts alike. As any holiday or potential threat to sobriety approaches, it’s important to have a plan prepared. Whether you are still in early recovery, or you have been recovering for some time, protecting yourself will make maintaining sobriety while facing these challenges more attainable. Avoid Trigger Situations This is especially important for addicts who are just beginning their recovery journey. If you know particular family members or social situations cause you stress, or you feel nervous about your ability to remain sober when in this environment, consider avoiding the situation altogether. Instead, have an alternative plan such as attending a community event where no alcohol is served or permitted, or hosting sober activities with sober friends. Plan Your Visit Planning a schedule for your holiday affairs can help to keep you on track. If you can predict situations that might cause you to stumble, do your best to prepare for them. Be sure to have a way to remove yourself from a situation whether that is a devised exit plan or a set time you intend to head home – with your own way to get there. Relapse is much less likely to occur if you go into the holiday with a firm plan in mind and you stick to it. Maintain a Support System If you can, bring a sober friend or a trusted individual who understands and supports your sobriety. Having a support system can help you find strength during your weaker moments. If you are attending a gathering alone, be sure to have a way to contact this individual should you need the support. Be Specific When Offered a Drink It’s almost inevitable that you will be faced with temptation directly. The next time someone asks you if you’d like a drink, prepare to be specific with your response. State clearly and firmly what type of non-alcoholic drink you would like. Doing so leaves no room for anyone to persuade you to drink, and typically helps to avoid uncomfortable situations where you must explain that you are in recovery. If you have recently relapsed, and you are looking to get yourself back on the road to recovery, contact Gallus Detox to learn how we can help.