Supporting Your Loved One’s Recovery This Spring Break

March 8, 2019

So, you’re spending Spring Break with someone who is in recovery. Maybe you’re a parent or sibling of someone in recovery who is coming home this spring. Or maybe you’re taking a Spring Break trip with your recovering BFF. Maybe this will be a romantic getaway with your budding college love…who just happens to be in remission from a substance use disorder. In any case, you and your loved one can still have a great time—but your support is crucial. Especially early on, it can be difficult for people in recovery from addiction disorders. That gets compounded during drug- and alcohol-heavy events, like just about every major Spring Break party across the Western hemisphere. Here are a few tips and tricks for supporting your loved one’s recovery this Spring Break.

Plan Ahead

Boredom is the father of relapse. Seriously. Being bored, idle, or uncertain of what to do can easily lead to thoughts of use. And while thoughts of use don’t always lead to actual use, they certainly have the potential to spiral into full-blown re-engagement in use. This is going to be even more true when the easiest activities at hand include going to a booze- and coke-filled party or a bar. Why not nip this risk factor in the bud by planning ahead? Come up with some fun, sober-centered activities that you and your loved one can do together. Specifics will vary by location and personal interests, but can include a nice restaurant, a trip to an art gallery, a music show (plus if it’s all ages; that will mean there are alcohol-free zones), or even something conventional like hanging out at the beach.

Commit to Recovery

When you’re out with your loved one, abstain from using substances. But don’t make it super awkward. Everyone in recovery has to stumble through those dinner outings when friends or family order a drink then sheepishly ask, “oh hey, is this okay?” I’m not saying you have to abstain forever, but this Spring Break, when you’re out and about with your loved one, abstain with them, without asking or making it seem like an inconvenience to you. This is going to be especially important if you are joining in on conventional Spring Break activities because it will show solidarity with your sober loved one and help them to feel less pressured and weird about being one of the only people around not using.

Let Them Know It’s Safe to Talk to You

Make sure your loved one knows it’s safe to open up to you. This is really, really crucial. Sometimes people in recovery, especially early recovery, feel shame when it comes to discussing “use thoughts,” or even a slip. During Spring Break, when there’s ample temptation all around, having a trusted someone to confide in could very well be the difference between thinking about using and actually using. You don’t have to make this an overly large gesture; just take a moment to let your loved one know that she is safe to open up and be honest with you. Let her know you won’t judge her or yell at them no matter what they say…and then, when the moment comes, don’t judge or yell at matter what they say!

The Ammon Foundation believes that when individuals are holistically and strategically supported to build purposeful lives, the likelihood of them maintaining their recovery substantially increases. We provide this support via our two core programs – Ammon Recovery Scholars Program and Ammon Empowerment Workshop Program. To find out more about our programs, or to apply for an educational scholarship, please click here.