Spring break is an especially challenging time for college students who bravely decide to abstain from substance use. Despite peer pressure and pop culture depictions, you can have just as (if not more) fun as your classmates while staying 100% sober.
8 Tips For A Sober Spring Break
- Set clear goals and intentions for your sobriety before the trip.
- Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging friends who respect your sobriety.
- Avoid high-risk environments, such as parties, nightclubs, or bars, and consider replacing them with family-friendly places like movie theaters and amusement parks.
- Arrange alternative activities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.
- Throw your college party—without the alcohol.
- Plan for social situations, and have an exit strategy if necessary.
- Keep yourself occupied with other interests and hobbies, such as reading, crafting, or exploring new places.
- Stay connected with a support network, such as a therapist, recovery sponsor, or support group.
1) Set Clear Goals & Intentions
First and foremost, set specific goals with a clear outline of how you plan to achieve them. For each week that you meet your goal, consider rewarding yourself with a substance-free treat or activity that you like, such as a bar of chocolate, a trip to a coffee shop, or a local sports event or festival.
2) Choose Who You Surround Yourself With
Unfortunately, peer pressure can make it easy to fall back into the trap of alcoholism—especially in college. You might want to consider staying away from fraternities and other party-loving social groups. Instead, look for different clubs and organizations geared towards like-minded people who share your hobbies and interests.
3) Avoid High-Risk Environments
In the battle against addiction, sheer willpower can only take you so far. No matter how resolute you are, being around triggers increases your chances of relapsing. Thus, it is paramount that you stay away from bars, nightclubs, and other settings that are rife with substance use.
4) Arrange Alternative Activities
Luckily, there’s so much fun to be had at entertainment facilities that prohibit alcohol use. When determining trigger-free places to go, one clue to look out for is whether it’s considered a “family-friendly” establishment, as such places are likely to forbid substance use.
- Movie Theaters
- State Fairs & Amusement Parks
- Botanical Gardens
- Art Galleries
- Science & Natural History Museums
5) Throw A College Party—No Booze
If you happen to enjoy the high-energy atmosphere of parties, consider organizing a substance-free party night for folks to enjoy all the fun of a rave minus the liquor. Plus, if you’re able to host it somewhere on campus, then all guests will automatically be prohibited from bringing drugs and alcohol—lest you report them to the campus police.
As for party activities, there are so many brilliant ideas you can choose from.
- Music & Dancing
- A Potluck
- Standup Comedy
- Poetry Readings
- A Talent Show
- Soda & Ice Cream (Way Better Than Drinks!)
6) Plan Ahead
In preparation for any situation that might arise, it’s wise to have an exit strategy in place. It may be helpful to jot down a few ideas of what you can do when offered alcohol or drugs or when the conversation shifts to substance-related matters. This could include politely excusing yourself to use the restroom, volunteering as the designated driver, being forthright about your decision to stay sober, or leaving the scene altogether.
7) Keep Busy
If you’re a chronic overthinker like many college students, then being idle can be your worst enemy. To keep from slipping back into the habit of substance use and unhealthy rumination, treat yourself to something new or stimulating—whether taking up a new hobby or trying a fun recreational activity.
- Video Games
8) Stay Connected
Lastly, make sure to stay connected with your support network—whether it’s a therapist, recovery sponsor, or support group. This is especially important when feeling lost, discouraged, or depressed. The reassurance and encouragement of others can provide the much-needed motivation to remain on track toward sobriety. With practice, you’ll gradually learn to build better relationships with those around you and get through hard times without relying on alcohol or drugs.
Alcohol Detox For Students In Utah
Remember, staying sober is a personal choice that requires dedication and commitment, but the rewards are well worth the effort. When you find yourself struggling, the best thing you can do is reach out to someone you trust for support. If you’re battling an active addiction, consider reaching out to Nexstep Medical Detox today.