More often than not, we are aware of a friend or loved one who is or has been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Sometimes, we find they struggle with both. However, when our buddy man’s up to the challenge of recovery, we as their friends, have a responsibility that we may not be aware of.
No, in the end, we can not force them to stay clean, but there are things we can do to encourage them to stay on the road to recovery. How we behave with them on vacation is one place we can all make some changes. Who knows. You may find that the changes you make are ones you will want to keep for yourself.
Choose Another Venue
When friends hang out, it seems all the usual rules go out the window. Normally, that is a fun thing, but when hanging out with your friend in recovery, that could be downright dangerous. The clubs and the bars are not only going to be flooded with alcohol, they are usually a great venue to find various kinds of drugs.
This environment is not conducive to helping a recovering addict stay away from temptation. No matter how many times they tell you they can handle it, this hang out is off the itinerary. This, more than likely, will go for restaurants with open bars, as well. You will find that your parents were right about more than one thing in life.
There are several options for having fun on vacation that do not include drugs and alcohol. Many seek the adrenaline rush as a replacement. Go hang gliding, play laser tag, or take your first plunge as a bungee jumper. Stay away from the bars.
There are so many stories that begin with how hung over someone was, or how bad of a trip they had and the goofy things they did as a result of being messed up. What most fail to realize is that in those times, who ever was intoxicated was beyond safe tolerances.
This is not funny any way you slice it and reminiscing about it with your pals will just bring the temptation flooding back. This is not to steal the feelings of camaraderie that you and your friend may have built by living through it.
However, at some point, you both should realize those moments probably weren’t your smartest and move on to better things. Make new memories on your trip together. There are bound to be moments that you look back on with a warm heart that don’t included being three sheets to wind or high as a kite.
Be Observant and Attentive
A vacation with your buddy is a great way to help him/her get their mind off their struggles, but there are going to be moments that your friend strives to find a handle on the moment. There will be situations that they would have handled differently before rehab. Some situations may bring feelings of being overwhelmed, angry, or even depressed.
Be the friend. Watch out for these moments and be there for them. Encourage them or talk them through the situation. It may be that they just need you to listen without judgement for a little while. Never help them make an excuse for failure, but be there to help pick them up and try again.
The vacation in and of itself will be a welcomed relief to your friend, but even better will be the knowledge of having a friend that truly supports them in recovery.