When it comes to recovery for alcoholics and addicts, staying sober is a constant struggle. It can be particularly tricky when traveling. No matter the reason for going away, a break from routine for a recovering addict can trigger a relapse.
Time at a quality recovery center like https://clearrecoverycenter.com/ will equip you with the resources to handle urges. However it’s easy for a lot of recovering addicts to slip when they’re at the airport and have time to kill, or an attendant offers a drink.
The following are six easy tricks you’ll want to try before and during your trip so that you stay sober.
1. Don’t Leave A Potential Slip Up To Chance
Before leaving, look into support groups in the town or city you’ll be staying in. Do your best to work support meetings into your schedule while away.
Attending these group meetings is a crucial part of any addict’s recovery process. Being around others will help encourage you to stay on the right path. While going to these meetings may not be your normal setup, they remind you of your addiction and not to take it lightly.
2. Find Local Contacts
Seek out fellow recovering addicts in the area you’re visiting either before you leave for your trip, or shortly after you arrive. Get their phone numbers and keep those numbers with you at all times.
Local Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous groups will have names and numbers of those who can help you. Reaching out to your fellow recovering substance abusers will help you feel less lonely, a feeling that leads many to relapse. Locals in recovery can also point you to other resources in the town, like the aforementioned support group meetings.
3. Bring Recovery Literature or Recordings
Having some source to read or listen to while you’re flying, riding, or driving can be really helpful in a pinch. Recovery-related books like AA’s “The Big Book” lists the 12 steps of the program, and has personal stories that can be a source of comfort while you’re traveling.
There’s an audio version of “The Big Book” available on a free app, making it the perfect travel companion for a road trip. You can also find recordings of seminars by those in recovery to download.
4. Remember H.A.L.T.
Remember to pay attention to H.A.L.T. when you’re traveling. You don’t want to become too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired while you’re away from home.
Psychologists have noted that any of these feelings and emotions could trigger a relapse, so pack snacks and don’t stay up just to get somewhere faster. If you feel yourself getting lonely or angry call your home support group or the local one to get back on track.
5. Stay in Contact With Your Home Network
Getting local contacts from the place you’re visiting is crucial, but it’s still important to keep in touch with your group from home, including your NA or AA sponsor.
Your sponsor should be available to guide and assist you in the recovery process, even when you’re away. Through phone calls, texts, and emails, it shouldn’t be hard to stay in touch with those who support your sobriety.
6. Avoid Drink Vendors and Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Beverage
If you have a layover, choose a place to rest that doesn’t serve alcohol. Completely avoid a duty-free wing and even a terminal that has a bar. Instead, treat yourself with your favorite type of cuisine at a nearby vendor over the cocktail lounge.
Buy a sparkling water or soda to sip on the plane. This way, you already have a drink in your hand when the flight attendant asks if you’d like to purchase a drink. Come prepared with a drink so you’re not tempted!
Final Words: Stick to Your Routine
The biggest takeaway you should remember on your travels is to try and keep the routine you’ve grown accustomed to as a sober individual. Get up and have breakfast and other meals at your usual times. If you meditate or exercise, do those activities when you typically would. Arrange your time so you won’t have idle downtime that could lead to compulsive behavior.
With proper planning, you can enjoy your travel time without the worry of relapse.