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Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News: Tips to stay sober this July Fourth


July Fourth is an incredibly festive time. Across the country are family gatherings, BBQs, fireworks, parades, and festivals. The 4th of July is also America’s top beer-drinking holiday. An estimated $1 billion is spent nationally on beer.

Environments that promote excessive drinking are part of July Fourth celebrations. In Washington, 15% of adults over 18 binge drink at least once per month, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.

Holidays like July Fourth can be particularly challenging for LGBTQ people who are in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction. Research has shown that individuals in the LGBTQ community are at a higher risk of alcohol misuse and addiction.

“Maintaining sobriety can have challenges as numerous factors can contribute to relapse. When participating in July Fourth celebrations, it takes some extra planning,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org.

Fortunately, there are practical ways to stay sober and avoid relapse this Fourth of July holiday. Consider some of the following tips:

Begin by knowing and identifying relapse triggers. This could be a particular person or group of people. It could also be a specific environment or situation. Once you can identify these triggers, avoiding or managing them becomes much easier.

Have a healthy outlet for negative emotions or feelings. Do not let your well-being fall to the way side; it’s not worth it.

Bring sober friends or relatives to July Fourth parties. In addition, consider bringing non-alcoholic drinks or beverages. This can help avoid those pesky relatives who always insist you have an alcoholic beverage in your hand.

Avoid environments that promote binge drinking or recreational drug use; this will always lead to disaster.

Finally, have an exit plan if things become too much to manage. Set yourself up so you can leave quickly when needed.

Independence Day is about celebrating freedom in all its forms. Being free from addiction and living the life you want is such a wonderful feeling. Spend this Fourth of July with family and loved ones. Create new traditions and memories and celebrate freedom to the fullest.

Michael Leach has spent most of his career as a healthcare professional specializing in Substance Use Disorder and addiction recovery. He is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant and contributor to the healthcare website Recovery Begins.

The post Tips to stay sober this July Fourth first appeared on Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News.

The post Tips to stay sober this July Fourth appeared first on Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News.

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