Sober Summer Tips
Are you trying to have a sober summer? At The Sands Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale we are dedicated to helping people attain a healthy and satisfying lifestyle focusing on individual recovery. We know that staying clean and sober during the summer months can has some challenges as people like to kick back and relax a little bit, the party mindset and situations often sets the stage for overconsumption of alcohol for non-addicts; but for people in recovery it could jeopardize their sobriety and put them at risk for relapse.
From block parties, graduation, pool parties, weddings, and lazy days at the beach, summer activities can easily become alcohol and drug fueled events. Our mission at The Sands Treatment Center is to help our clients by providing improved life management skills, enhanced interpersonal relationships and involvement in community support groups to help them maintain their recovery. The Sands Treatment Center offers a comprehensive range of services and evidence-based practices for Broward County residents who are suffering from substance abuse and/or co-occurring disorders. We offer detoxification, residential and outpatient rehabilitation for addictions to drugs and alcohol.
We want to support long-term sobriety for our community members and share valuable information about addictions and recovery- especially to our teens and young adult population who are particularly vulnerable during the summer months! With more free time and less adult supervision, the sun, fun, beaches and pools of summertime also mean an increased likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse, including newer and more dangerous drugs. We want to encourage all of our recovery community in Broward County have fun during the school, work and summer break, and to stay sober!
Sober Summer Tips from The Sands
Omg, you’re not drinking?! What are people going to think or say?! How are you going to respond if and when someone asks you “why you’re not drinking”?
With the stigma that is still attached to the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction, how to respond in social situations about not drinking or taking a hit is still a big fear for many people in recovery. However, while you’re standing there worried that people are judging or talking behind your back, the truth is that most people don’t give it that much thought because they’re too wrapped up in their own lives. It’s true! Even when you think people are talking about you or thinking about you…they’re really not. Because everybody has got their own lives going on, everyone has their own problems and insecurities. Most addicts in recovery are in the process of letting go of a mindset that is based in “self-centered fears”. Self-centered means thinking that everything is about you. If there is something- anything- going on, we can always make it about ourselves and get up in our heads about it. It’s more than likely that other people at parties and events during the summer have way more stimulation and aren’t necessarily interested in whether or not you are participating in the over consumption of alcohol or party drugs. It’s more often the case that someone is being polite and offering it and then when you simply say, “no thank you,” then they say “okay, no problem.”
Everyone in recovery knows that the summer months, with more events, holidays and parties provide more pressure to drink and do drugs. For many people in recovery, awkward parties-especially for teens and young adults- are among the biggest threats to their early sobriety. At The Sands Treatment Center, we believe that it’s important to talk about it, to think before you drink and do a run through ahead of time. Some of our clients find that part of their new sober life management skills is to have prepared ways to respond when people ask them why they’re not drinking, as this is what comes up more frequently at parties and events.
There is no one correct answer for how to handle this situation–it is up to every individual as to what they want to say and what’s appropriate for the situation. It’s really important for recovering addicts to remember that people who ask you this question ARE NOT entitled to an answer. If you don’t want to talk about your addiction, you do not have to. This is an opportunity for you to set a boundary, and keep your personal information to yourself if you so choose. You can do a few things to satisfy the other person’s curiosity, however. You could simply and firmly just say, “I don’t want to,” or “I’m not in the mood.” Both answers would be the truth and that’s usually where the questioning stops.
Should you find yourself in a situation this summer that puts your recovery to the test, it’s way easier to survive the summer with your sobriety intact if you have a few set responses for when someone offers you a drink. So, how do you tell people that you are sober, without telling them about your addictions and recovery? Here are some The Sands Treatment Center tips:
- You can say, “I’m on medication.” This is a classic stand-by to give when you’re not drinking. They really can’t argue with that one, and who wants to hear about your medical issues at a party?
- You can say, “I’m the DD, or the designated driver.” If you showed up in a limo this time, this may not be the best answer, but if you are actually driving, it’s really the perfect solution. Nobody likes drunk drivers–not even drunk drivers!
- You can say, “I don’t like it.” Just as you learned in treatment that “no” is a complete sentence, this is a stand-alone, good enough reason for not drinking. There really are some people who just simply don’t like alcohol.
- You can say, “I can’t for medical reasons.” This is not the same as being on medication. There are a plethora of medical reasons why some people cannot drink, especially when so many people have toxic liver problems. If you are a woman, you could be pregnant. What do they know?
- You can say, “I don’t need it tonight.” Even though this could tempt more questions, it’s likely to be off-putting and maybe even taken as a criticism. It should shut things down pretty quickly.
- You can say, “I’m trying to drink more water.” A very popular trendy thing to do, which ends inquiries AND probably gets you a bottle of water!
- You can say, “Not right now, thanks.” This actually is truthful and hard to argue with.
(The last three responses go under the category of “keeping it light and funny.”)
- You can say, “It’s not on my ‘To-Do’ List.”
- You can say, “I’m watching my girlish figure (it’s even funnier when you’re a guy).”
- You can say, “I’m allergic to alcohol; every time I drink, I break out in handcuffs.”
The truth is that, as we mentioned earlier, you never owe anyone any information, about your past, present or future personal health issues–unless you want to discuss it. No matter what, the truth is that your health, wellness and sobriety are what matter the most. Finding the right friends and support system after treatment is key to helping avoid situations where there are people who want to encourage you to participate in behaviors that you need to avoid.
If you or anyone you know would like more information or tips on sober living and healthy recovery choices do not hesitate to contact The Sands Treatment Center today! We recently celebrated our 46th successful anniversary for providing addiction recovery services for the residents of Broward County. Strengthening our social safety net, providing integrated substance abuse and mental health care services and promoting successful recovery is part of our mission.
The Sands continues to triage clients 24/7 for medical detoxification. Our admissions for outpatient and residential programs have been expanded and are available for walk-ins and appointments from 7AM to 11:30PM, 7 days a week. To schedule an appointment, call (954) 357-4880 or for general information (954) 357-4880.Learn More