friends at the beach

Staying Sober During Spring Break: Is It Possible?


Sober Recovery Expert Author

friends at the beach

With spring break just around the corner, those that are in recovery might have some different thoughts about whether it can be fun to go off with friends while staying sober. They might wonder if it’s even possible to get through the break sober without it being a complete bore.

These are viable questions for those in recovery. After all, partying and spring break are closely associated all throughout the United States. It’s tough to attend any popular beach during the week of spring break and not observe people lounging, playing and drinking. For many, this can be very tempting to start drinking as well; a trigger that some might not be able to handle.

It's finally time for some fun in the sun, but is there really such a thing as a sober spring break for those in recovery?

All About Perspective

Can you go off on a spring break vacation and not drink? Absolutely. The key is perspective. If you set your intentions on having fun without drinking, you are much more apt to have fun. But if you entertain thoughts in your head that vacation isn’t fun unless you’re drinking, you’re less likely to enjoy your time.

Make a Plan

If you’re going to be around others who are drinking and you are anxious about this, go ahead and make a relapse prevention plan before you go. When you are prepared ahead of time to contend with triggers and cravings, you’re more apt to experience smooth sailing throughout the entire vacation.

Here are some things to consider when making your relapse prevention plan:

Triggers. Know what your triggers are and do what you can to avoid them. If being in a bar is a big trigger, refrain from going into bars. If the smell of alcohol is a trigger, do your best to stay as far away from it as possible. If certain people cause you to become upset or want to drink, stay away from them. Do all you can to avoid your triggers.

Support. Before you get on the plane, be mindful of a few people you can call for support should you struggle with cravings and such. If you’re in a 12 Step group, this can be your sponsor. You can also ask one of your family members or friends to be your support person. Knowing that someone who cares about your recovery is just a phone call or text away will help you feel more at ease about going.

Play the tape through. You might get the thought that one or two drinks during spring break won’t be a big deal and that you can return home and life will be normal. The only problem with this type of thinking is that the disease of alcoholism is cunning and those couple of drinks could potentially be the start of another long drinking season that gets you back into addiction. Play the whole tape through. This means that if you can look at the big picture and mentally see where those couple of drinks could land you in the future, you’re less likely to drink at all.

While keeping these cautionary pointers in mind, go ahead and start making your plans today.

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