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Summertime is filled with warm days and outdoor events. There are parties, family gatherings, barbecue outings and concerts, and most of these get-togethers offer alcohol. When you or a loved one is facing the challenges of remaining sober during these times, there are steps you can take that will help. Here are some tips for sober fun during the summer season1.

Summer Sobriety Tips

  1. Set boundaries regarding how much time is spent at occasions where alcohol drinking is typical.
  2. Have a friend or family member go with you to a social function for added support.
  3. If you think you will drink at a social gathering or event, it might be safer to skip it.
  4. Leave the party early to minimize chances of temptation. Make sure you have a way to get home easily if you choose to leave the event early.
  5. If you need to gather your composure, call a friend to gain the support you need while taking a breather from the event.
  6. When you are in an atmosphere where alcohol is being served, avoid negative people and any confrontations or debates.
  7. Use your relaxation tools that you learned in recovery to build up your resistance to stress.
  8. Participate in social and recreational activities that don’t include alcohol.
  9. Schedule social and recreational activities that don’t include alcohol and invite your loved ones along.

Take Alcohol Out of the Equation

Let your friends and family know that taking alcohol out of the equation makes for a safer summer. A study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse found that up to 70 percent of all deaths that happened during water recreation activities involve the use of alcohol2. Here are some ideas for activities you can create that are fun, interesting, and don’t involve alcohol.

Abstinence-Friendly Activities

Summer is a time for catching up on reading. It’s a great time to form a sober book club. Meet with your fellow readers and discuss your reading. It’s a fun way to flex the creative muscles while enjoying social relationships that are alcohol-free.

It always feels good to help someone else, and volunteering is an ideal way to do so on a consistent basis. When you feel good about yourself, you are less likely to seek out alcohol, so volunteer for a cause that helps you stay focused on what you need and want: a healthy and rewarding life.

Throw your own alcohol-free barbecue. Get out the grill, invite loved ones over and get grilling. An event like this may even convince some friends and family members that everyone can have a good time without drinking.

Find a recovery meeting you don’t normally attend. This is a great way to meet new, like-minded people and increase your opportunities to socialize with those who don’t include alcohol in their activities.

There are many triggers that can happen during the summer, when it may seem like all you see is people enjoying themselves while drinking. It is possible to have an enjoyable and fun summer being sober—and it’s safer too. Use the tips we discussed to ensure your summer has the fun and excitement you deserve that can be had alcohol-free. Plenty of people enjoy the summer without a drop of alcohol, and so can you.


  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-high-functioning-alcoholic/201506/sober-summer
  2. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/news-events/news-noteworthy/niaaa-fact-sheet-risky-drinking-can-put-chill-your-summer-fun