Open Door Blog

Sidestep Your Summertime Triggers

Summer is a time of happiness and joy, lots of sunshine and fun ahead. The challenge for people in recovery is to figure out how to be sober through a summer when it seems everyone is drinking or doing things that trigger you. Summertime relapse triggers are possible but you don’t have to give into them. There are alternatives. 


Addiction triggers can be pretty much anything. Think about what you typically encounter that can trigger a craving. Memories can be jogged by a place, people, certain events, or smells. Addressing these triggers as they come up means knowing what they are when they happen. If you can identify them, you can handle them better. 

Fun Sober Activities:

  • Beach Volleyball
  • Working Out
  • Virgin Mock-tails like a Pina Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Road Trips
  • Bowling
  • Fishing


Think about what triggers your thoughts and feelings to want to use substances. It is not how you want to be thinking or feeling in that moment but, since it is happening, get present and stay focused. In the summer, you will have lots of triggers from memories come back. It may be time to reconsider whether these are a good idea for you (at least right now). Some additional helpful tips:

  • Negative emotions are huge triggers any time of year. Those who used substances to deal will find it harder to cope without it try to recognize when these emotions pop up and be prepared. Have a sponsor’s number handy, have an accountability person on speed dial (or with you) and don’t be afraid to leave early if needed
  • Only go where you feel comfortable. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable in sobriety with some people, then don’t attend the event. Your goal is to minimize the risk of worrying about addiction triggers
  • In recovery, you might choose to host your own party with sober friends. Recovery and sobriety are important for you so don’t compromise

At The Keys to it ALL we are here for you year-round. 

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