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How to Prevent Excessive Drinking & Stay Sober This Fourth of July


Fourth of July celebrations can sometimes be especially triggering for a sober person who is in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. Staying sober on the fourth of July takes planning, conscientiousness, and a strong sober support network. The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, celebrates our nationhood in the United States. This day commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, and is celebrated every fourth day in July each year. 

For people in recovery, staying sober during holidays like the Fourth of July can be quite a test. Traditionally, though solely meant to celebrate the independence of the United States, this federal holiday is sometimes a day of barbeques, drinking, and jovial celebrations. For someone early in recovery, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time for such celebratory occurrences, or risk relapsing. 

By placing certain barriers and boundaries around yourself, and by taking precautionary measures to help protect yourself from feeling triggered to drink or use, you will be ready to stay sober during this federal holiday. Though celebration may be tempting, relapse is never worth it, and Hotel California by the Sea is here to help you or your loved one stay on track in their recovery from a substance use disorder during stressful or triggering moments. Read on to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself from relapse during post-COVID July 4th celebrations. 

4th of july drinking

Call Your Sponsor

First and foremost, before making any fourth of July plans, be sure to call your sponsor to chat about your goals this holiday. Your 12-step sponsor will help you plan accordingly to your current comfort levels and particular needs.

By calling your sponsor, you can chat about your concerns regarding the Fourth of July, any cravings you’re having for your drug of choice, and more. Substance abuse issues require a village of support groups, friends, and family, and calling your sponsor will help you.

Remember the Consequences of Excessive Drinking

Excessive drinking on the Fourth of July can be extremely detrimental to your health – especially when continued over time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking refers to a level of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 or above. When alcohol is consumed, binge drinking and excessive drinking refers to more than one drink per occasion or day for women, and more than two drinks per day or occasion for men.

Remember that binge drinking has serious consequences for your health and many other areas of your life. For example, according again to the CDC, binge drinking (even on a singular occasion) can contribute to:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Cancer.
  • Memory and learning problems.
  • Increased likelihood for car crashes and other incidents. 
  • Alcohol use disorders.
  • More.

Believe it or not, binge drinking is also more common in those with relatively higher income levels. 

Throw Your Own Sober Party

Another way to avoid relapse this Independence Day is to spend it with all of your like-minded friends and family members. By throwing a party solely devoted to a fun and sober Fourth of July, you won’t have to refuse offers for drinks or drugs, and you’ll be surrounded by a large support network of like-minded peers. 

By throwing a sober party, you’ll be around a variety of sober friends who are also in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse, and people who understand that the Fourth of July doesn’t need to include drugs or drinking to be a fun celebration. In fact, by celebrating the Fourth of July as a sober person, with other sober people, you’ll be able to enjoy this holiday and celebrate its true meaning without constant triggers and concerns over wanting to use drugs or alcohol. Additionally, if you are with a group of people who are also in recovery from drug and alcohol use, you can easily talk to the people around you if you start to have any cravings for your drug of choice this holiday. 

Reach out to Hotel California by the Sea

We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.

Try a Peer Support Group (or Online Support Group)

If you don’t have plans this Fourth of July and are worried you may end up getting triggered to drink or use drugs, try going to a 12-step meeting, support group, or online support group this holiday. 12-step meetings and all forms of support groups are the perfect place to vent about your feelings, learn more coping skills, and gain social support. 

12-step communities, in particular, can offer a great and safe space for you to talk about your feelings and triggers and get advice from your peers. There are thousands of peer support groups, and thousands of 12-step groups, throughout the entire country. Additionally, there are also peer support groups that take place on holidays and the Fourth of July. 

4th of july party

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Make Sure You’re Spiritually Fit

Being spiritually fit means something different to everyone. However, spirituality is a large part of getting sober for many people and can be an extremely useful tool or practice both on a daily basis and on holidays like the Fourth of July.

Before this Fourth of July, invest your time in making sure that you feel spiritually fit to face anything you will end up facing this holiday. For example, if you find prayer helpful, be sure to pray before the Fourth of July and communicate (however you do) with your higher power. Perhaps, you can ask your higher power for guidance and strength to overcome cravings or other struggles during this time.  

Or, perhaps being spiritually fit to you means going to a 12-step meeting, calling a friend, phoning your sponsor, or a variety of actions. Either way, making sure that you are spiritually fit to face the challenges and triggers that may arise on the Fourth of July is a surefire way to remain prepared for this holiday. 

Seek Help

If you are concerned that you have an alcohol use disorder, are going to relapse, or simply have another substance abuse-related concern, call Hotel California by the Sea today. We can help you understand what your best steps forward could be, can help you find professional help with us or another treatment provider, and point you to free or local resources in your area for those suffering from substance abuse issues. Remember: substance abuse problems are nothing to be ashamed of and are extremely common – the same goes for relapse! Hotel California by the Sea is here to help if you need it.