Woman Celebrating Independence Day-8 Ways To Avoid Relapse On The 4th Of July

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate freedom, but holiday parties often feed dependence on substance abuse. It may seem like all your friends are planning or attending parties that involve alcohol if not drugs. 

The good news is there are plenty of ways to have sober fun on this summer holiday. Here are 8 ways to avoid relapse on the 4th of July.

1. Plan Your Party

You don’t have to go to a 4th of July party where there will be alcohol or drug abuse. If you host a party, you’ll be in control. That could mean having a strict no-drinking policy. Or you might not provide alcohol but allow people to bring their drinks. It’s up to you. 

But be mindful of your triggers when deciding if you want to be around alcohol or not.

If party planning isn’t your thing, find information about activities in your area before you go. Maybe there are sober events you can go to with friends. Some gatherings may focus on barbecues, swimming, boating, or beach volleyball instead of just getting together and drinking.

2. Have A Way Out

If you go to a party or somewhere with alcohol or drugs, make sure you aren’t in a position to get stuck there. You should be able to leave if you start feeling uncomfortable or have alcohol or drug cravings. 

Go somewhere that’s within walking distance, drive yourself, or have a trusted friend take you. Tell your friend your concerns and ensure they’ll leave anytime you need to go. It’s a good idea not to go alone anyway, so you have someone to remind you of your goal to stay sober.

3. Spend The Holiday With Sober Friends

If you’re in a recovery program or support group, you know some people who are also trying to avoid addiction relapse on the 4th of July. Or maybe you have friends who abstain from drug and alcohol abuse simply because they want to. 

Getting together with sober people removes peer pressure and adds the support of like-minded individuals. 

4. Bring Your Own Beverage 

If you’re going to a party where there’s alcohol, bring a non-alcoholic beverage. That way you don’t have to drink water or be tempted to have some alcohol if that’s all there is. A soda, juice, sports drink, or mocktail can help.

A mocktail is a mixed drink with no alcohol. It might be an alcoholic recipe minus the alcohol—like a virgin Mary—or just a combination of juice and tonic water.

5. Consider The Consequences

If you feel tempted to drink or do drugs on Independence Day, stop and think about the consequences. 

Are you likely to be able to limit yourself? Have you gotten into trouble with drinking or doing drugs before? Do you like who you are or how you act when you’re intoxicated?

It’s easy to relapse if you go by your feelings and give in when substance abuse sounds fun. You have to have a relapse prevention plan and a commitment to stay sober.

6. Be Positive

It may be difficult to avoid relapse on the 4th of July, especially if this is your first sober holiday. Focusing on the positive can take some of the pressure off. 

Rather than thinking about what a challenge it will be, think about how grateful you are for your sobriety. Explore new fun things you can do that you’d never have tried if you were focused on drugs and alcohol. And focus on enjoying this holiday in a way you may never have before.

7. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is essential for overall well-being no matter what you’re going through in life. But it’s especially important for people in recovery. 

A popular acronym in the addiction recovery community is HALT—Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. When you aren’t taking care of yourself and meeting your basic needs, you’re much more likely to relapse. 

Resting, spending time with loved ones, and doing things that nurture your mental health reduces the risk of relapse.

8. Ask For Support

Don’t do a sober fourth of July alone. Go to a recovery meeting like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Get in touch with friends and family who support you in recovery. Surround yourself with support and ask for advice on staying sober on this holiday.

If you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction but aren’t enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program, that may be the next step to healing. 

At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we provide comprehensive outpatient treatment programs that give you the freedom to live at home while in recovery. 

We use evidence-based therapies to teach positive coping skills, rebuild relationships with family members, and help you create a personalized relapse prevention plan. 

Speak with one of our addiction treatment specialists today to learn more.


Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine — Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.