How To Avoid A Relapse During Summer Break

Summer break brings relaxation and fun, but it also presents unique challenges for those in recovery from addiction. Increased social gatherings, travel, and a break from routine can create a perfect storm for relapse triggers. Understanding how to not relapse during this period is crucial for maintaining sobriety and mental health. At 12 South Recovery Center, we provide comprehensive support through our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Addiction Detox, and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) to help you stay on track.

Read on to discover practical tips and insights into avoiding relapse this summer.

Older woman receiving mental health therapy

Understanding Summer Break as a Relapse Trigger

Summer break often disrupts the structure and routine that many in recovery rely on. Here’s why summer can be a particularly challenging time:

  1. Increased Social Events: Barbecues, beach parties, and vacations can expose individuals to environments where alcohol and drugs are prevalent.
  2. Change in Routine: The break from work or school routines can lead to unstructured time, which can be a trigger for some.
  3. Stress and Expectations: The pressure to enjoy and make the most of summer can lead to increased stress and potential relapse.

Understanding that these factors can be triggers is the first step in learning how to not relapse during summer break.

Strategies for Avoiding Relapse During Summer Break

1. Maintain a Structured Routine

One of the most effective ways to avoid relapse is to maintain a structured routine even during summer. This includes:

  • Regular Sleep Schedule: Ensure you get adequate rest each night.
  • Scheduled Activities: Plan your day to include activities that support your recovery, such as exercise, hobbies, or volunteering.
  • Healthy Meals: Stick to a balanced diet to maintain physical and mental health.

By keeping a structured routine, you reduce the risk of boredom and aimlessness, which are common relapse triggers.

2. Set Boundaries for Social Events

Social gatherings are expected during summer, but setting boundaries before hand can help you stay on track:

  • Limit Exposure: Choose events that are less likely to involve any substance use.
  • Bring a Sober Buddy: Only attend events with someone who supports your sobriety can provide accountability and support.
  • Have an Exit Plan: Always have a way to leave if you feel uncomfortable or tempted.

These strategies can help you enjoy social events without compromising your recovery.

3. Identify and Manage Stressors

Summer can bring unique stressors, such as travel plans or family dynamics. Here’s how to manage them:

  • Plan Ahead: Prepare for potential stressors by planning activities and setting realistic expectations.
  • Practice Self-Care: Incorporate activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as meditation, yoga, or reading.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a therapist if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Recognizing and managing stress is crucial for avoiding relapse during summer break.

4. Stay Connected with Your Support Network

Your support network plays a vital role in your recovery journey. Stay connected by:

  • Regular Meetings: Continue attending support group meetings or therapy sessions.
  • Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with your sponsor or accountability partner.
  • Stay Engaged: Participate in community events or online forums that focus on recovery.

Staying connected with those who understand your journey can provide the encouragement and accountability you need.

Professional Support at 12 South Recovery Center

Despite your best efforts, you may find summer to be particularly challenging. That’s where professional help comes in. At 12 South Recovery Center, we offer:

  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): A flexible option that allows you to receive treatment while maintaining daily responsibilities.
  • Addiction Detox: A medically supervised detox program to help you safely withdraw from substances.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): A structured program that provides comprehensive care and support.

Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate recovery, especially during challenging times like summer break.

Contact 12 South Recovery Network For Support

Avoiding relapse during summer break is possible with the right strategies and support. By maintaining a structured routine, setting boundaries, managing stressors, and staying connected with your support network, you can enjoy a sober and fulfilling summer. Remember, 12 South Recovery Center is here to support you every step of the way. Share this post with others who may benefit from these tips, and don’t hesitate to contact our team for professional assistance.


At 12 South Recovery, we aim to help restore balance to every area of life – treating the mind, body and spirit so our clients are able to find lasting recovery from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Our unique Treatment Programs aim to address both addiction and the underlying causes.

Contact 12 South Recovery at 866-839-6876 today.

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