How Recovering Addicts Can Stay Sober While Traveling
Staying sober can be a challenging phase for recovering addicts. This is especially the case when you want to take a break and on a trip. Various aspects of traveling, such as stress, can trigger a suppressed desire in addicts, causing a relapse. For example, the disruption of your daily routine or the availability of alcohol in your hotel. Despite these distractions, there are still ways you can enjoy your travel plans and maintain your sobriety. Here are some helpful tips on how recovering addicts can stay sober while traveling.
It is important to talk to your support network back home despite your time away. Let someone in your group know how you're doing daily. If you're anxious or have cravings, make sure you have someone you can call. Doing this helps you remain focused on your goal of remaining sober and keeps you motivated.
Contact fellow alcoholics or addicts in recovery in the area you're visiting before you embark on your trip or immediately after arriving, and carry their phone numbers with you. Call the local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous office for names and phone numbers. Reaching out to other recovering substance abusers might help you feel less lonely, which can lead to relapse, according to Gadhia-Smith. For example, if you live in or around Idaho, you can find various helpful contacts such as a reliable Boise DUI lawyer or a rehab center.
Traveling is often the most stressful part of any vacation, so do everything to reduce travel stress. Buy the direct flight if you can afford it rather than risk missing your flight or having to sprint lengths with your carry-on bags. Allow plenty of time to get where you're going to avoid minor setbacks. Plan your transportation from the airport to your hotel ahead of time. Pack light so you don't end up schlepping two suitcases and a backpack around an unfamiliar city.
Some holiday places are not appropriate for someone in recovery. Avoid visiting tempting areas and events such as Bavaria at Oktoberfest or Cancun during spring break. It's difficult to recover without being in an unfamiliar environment where drinking is expected. Instead, consider a trip to the mountains, a theme park, or a big city with loads of culture, where there's much to do that isn't tied to drugs or alcohol.
Look up the calendar of support group meetings in the town or city you're going to before you go, and attempt to fit them into your schedule. Support group meetings are an important part of an addict's or alcoholic's recovery.
If you're staying in a hotel with minibars, contact ahead and request that the alcohol be removed before you arrive. Getting rid of all the alcohol in your room lowers your chances of drinking impulsively. Bring non-alcoholic beverages if you're staying at a friend's or relative's house who drinks.
When people in recovery are under a lot of stress or haven't been to a meeting in a long time, they may feel compelled to attend one. If you feel the need to attend an AA or NA meeting but cannot do so due to schedule issues, you can still join one by phone from wherever you are. You can look up 12-step support group meetings online and call in to attend them. You can also go online and engage in recovery-related chat groups.
If you're on a business trip, don't feel obligated to stay for a long time at a boozy happy hour, reception, or party. It's fine to arrive early and depart swiftly. Whether you're there for a few minutes or two hours, you get the same credit for attending a social event. Be sure to greet the people you need to welcome before leaving.
While vacation will undoubtedly disturb your daily routine–which is often the point–it's a good idea to keep to your recuperation plan as much as possible. Attend meetings on time, get plenty of rest, write in your journal, and do anything else to keep sober. Maintaining a sense of continuity and staying on track in an unfamiliar environment is easier by sticking to your recovery plan.
Making arrangements ahead of time and having a rough timetable when you arrive is a smart idea. This ensures that you get to what you want to do and don't have too much spare time. You don't want to be bored or aimless, lest you resort to a few drinks to pass the time. Having a schedule keeps you busy. However, you don't want to over-plan by being anxious or rushed. You're there to have a good time, not add to your stress level.
It's crucial to remember the term HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. All of these things are very common when traveling and can cause cravings. If your flight or train is delayed, bring some healthy snacks. When you're lonely, send a text or make a phone call to someone. When you're fatigued, take a break and try to deal with your anger positively.
If at all possible, travel with a sober buddy. The journey will be more enjoyable and less stressful due to this. Problems are transformed into experiences. You both recognize the need to avoid certain places and activities, and you can hold each other accountable. Being sober can be exhausting but not impossible. Taking a vacation is an excellent way to unwind and relax, yet it can serve as a distraction from your efforts. However, with these tips in mind on your next trip, you would be able to maintain your sobriety and have a good time.