For those who have finally overcome their addictions, whether it be from heroin, alcohol or other substances, the idea of a vacation may sound less like fun and more like worry. This is not an uncommon way to feel. We have all heard the horror stories of how someone we knew relapsed on the airplane to go visit their family or friends or when headed for their first vacation. The truth is, relapse is possible at any time if we have not put our recovery needs first. When going on a vacation there are several things one can do to ensure that their recovery stays the main priority, and still have a great vacation.
First and foremost, choose a vacation spot that is not based around nightlife or that highlights places or things to do that involve alcohol. Even if you are a recovering heroin addict and alcohol was not your drug of choice, going to cities or locations where the main form of entertainment includes drinking alcohol is extremely dangerous for your recovery. As we all know alcohol and drugs go hand and hand. Therefore, choose a location that promotes daytime activities that focus on the outdoors, fitness and health, or are family-focused, versus nightlife. This way your day can be filled with activities that do not include consuming alcohol. The options for this are endless if you are careful about where you head for a vacation.
Having Fun On Vacation While Sober
Second, make sure that the people you choose to vacation with know you are in recovery and will support you while you are there. Ideally, the people you go with shouldn’t drink while they are with you or do drugs. That way the thought or idea of drinking or doing drugs won’t ever become an issue for you. Additionally, it is a great idea to plan to go to a meeting or church service while on vacation. The internet is the best place to locate where to go, as well as calling the local drug rehab for a list of good meetings in the area.
Going to a meeting while on vacation will give you some time to relate to others in recovery and allow you to talk about any uncomfortable feelings you may be having. Also, arrange ahead of time dates to call your sponsor or recovery friends before you leave. This will not only provide you time to talk about how your vacation is going and your recovery personally, but it will also help you relax. Staying connected to our friends who are also in recovery is how we connect to life and feel better.
Third, prepare yourself mentally before you go. This could mean practicing with a friend in recovery how you will handle situations or feelings that may cause you to want to drink or take drugs. It could also mean that you discuss any issues with your sponsor or counselor before you go. Preparing mentally also means keeping your recovery routine while you are on vacation. If you read the big book, meditate, exercise, or pray regularly, as part of your recovery, do it while on vacation as well. Bring your big book, NA book, and anything else that supports your recovery.
For more information on how to survive a vacation in sobriety, contact Restore Health and Wellness at (818) 408-4942. Visit our addiction treatment center in Calabasas at 6918 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303. 24/7 Admissions (818) 722-9019. On-Site Contact (818) 806-3914.