The short answer is yes it can be difficult to stay sober in the summer. It can be difficult for a recovering alcoholic/addict to stay clean and sober anytime of year but summer has many triggers. Triggers are events that the alcoholic associates with drinking or using and in the summer there are lot of these events, such as weddings, vacations, late night BBQs, poolside patios, lake swims and family reunions. The thing with an alcoholic/addict is anything they did typically revolved around alcohol or drugs. This doesn’t mean they can’t do those fun activities anymore, but they will have to learn how to do activities without substances. It can be extremely difficult for someone new to sobriety, but difficult doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Why do people struggle to stay sober?
First, we need to look at why people struggle to stay sober regardless of time of year, place, event, activity, people etc. Addicts (I will use addicts in the remainder of the text as this encompasses all types of addiction, including alcohol) struggle to stay clean/sober as when you take away the substance, you are left with the mind. Generally what is in our minds is what we have been trying to numb and not think about, be it trauma, shame, guilt, self-worth and complete chaos where our brains won’t shut off. Addicts need to learn coping skills to feel their feelings, process past trauma and heal. It is quite a process. A triggering event can make an addict want to use so they don’t feel the unwanted feelings anymore. Feelings are something we have to go “through” and not “around” to be able to heal effectively.
Why is staying sober in the summer so hard?
Triggers are what can make an addict want to use again and summer has a lot of triggers. The events listed above such as summer BBQs, patios and cocktails, lake dips, weddings and social gatherings, as well as just being able to want to enjoy a drink and be a part of, but addicts have used up their lifetime substance and it is no longer available to them if they want to live a good life.
How can I stop drinking or using in the summer?
If you have a loved one struggling a professional Intervention can help get the addict into treatment where they can learn coping skills and develop a design for living.
Another option is to hire a professional Recovery coach to help with a plan and guide you through the difficult triggering times.
Contact Westcoast Interventions 1-888-438-9991 or email [email protected] for more information.