National holidays are one of the toughest times for maintaining sobriety— drinking seems to be a central part of celebrating in the US and the temptations are always surrounding us. Drug and alcohol rehab is becoming ever more essential, not just for emergency addiction care, but for teaching the fundamental skills for maintaining sobriety in a culture where drug and alcohol use is often revered. Drug rehab for women and mothers is especially important during these times when mothers feel responsible for both their safety and their children’s.
Over half of adults in the US drink at least one alcoholic drink in a month, and a quarter of American adults admitted to binge drinking in that same timeframe (NIH). The fact is that alcohol consumption has been so normalized in our society and trying to maintain sobriety during a celebration can sometimes feel stigmatizing or isolating, if not nerve-wracking.
Just like maintaining a healthy diet, staying sober is all about creating goals and committing to them. We all know that wonderful feeling of hitting a benchmark in health: jogging for a full mile, a weekend without fast food, or a full night’s sleep without the crutch of alcohol.
You just have to commit to it and understand that the potential jealousy, stigmatization, and mockery from others are just part of the journey to self-improvement. When others see us improve ourselves, it can make them feel insecure about their own habits. It’s a natural self-defense for people to downplay other’s achievements rather than change their own behaviors, so expect others who feel insecure to try to downplay your achievements when they see you bettering yourself. Don’t be upset—realize that it’s part of the human condition and take it to mean you’re making visible progress. You have to remember that what you’re doing is smart, healthy and positive, for you and those around you. Your “friends” might crack jokes about it, but at the end of the day you’re making the right decision to stay sober and real friends will understand and respect that.
Binge drinking and drug use is a leading cause of death in the United States. Excessive alcohol use has led to 88,000 deaths annually (CDC) over the past decade. So the importance of staying sober during national holidays can’t be overstated. You have to make your own commitment to recovery, no matter what. Once you fight the initial cravings and withdrawal symptoms to enter into recovery, you’ll realize that drinking is just an excuse for a lot of people. You can have more fun, with less stress, sickness, and risk by being sober.
Orange County is also home to a variety of amazing fireworks demonstrations for Independence Day. Brea, Dana Point, Irvine, and Anaheim are all great destinations to watch professionally orchestrated firework shows, among others in various OC cities. It’s a great activity to invite other sisters in sobriety (and even children) to have a fun outing together.
If you’re having guests over who are also trying to stay sober, there’s plenty of drink options that are fun, delicious, and non-alcoholic. Try a couple of these tasty summer recipes:
Tropical pineapple whip
- 1 can of Coconut Milk
- 1 bag of frozen pineapples (or a can, drained)
In a blender, simply combine a bag of frozen pineapple with a can of coconut milk. Fans of Disneyland in Anaheim will recognize a similar frozen treat! Try adding some coconut water, orange juice, or pineapple juice if you want a more drinkable smoothie.
Mint Peach Iced Tea
- 2 Peaches
- 4-5 large mint leaves
- 3-4 Teabags
- Pinch of baking soda
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 Lemon
You can either buy store-bought iced tea or make some yourself at home. Simply boil 3-4 teabags into a medium pot of water until it’s very strong and dark, stronger than you’d normally drink. Add a small pinch of baking soda (this makes it less bitter, it doesn’t add any bad flavors). Pour directly into a pitcher full of ice.
In another pot, mix together 2 cups of water, 1 cup sugar, and the juice of a whole lemon. Crush the mint in your hand and add to the syrup, try not to cut or rip the leaves. Dice the peaches and add to the syrup after the sugars dissolve. Cook 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Pour into the tea mixture. Serve chilled, with ice. This syrup also works great with club soda or lemonade.
What’s your favorite non-alcoholic summer drinks? We’d love to hear your best concoctions on our Facebook page.