When you’re in recovery, you have to do what’s necessary to stay sober. Weekends, particularly Saturday nights, can be triggers for those struggling with a drug or alcohol substance use disorder. Previous weekends had you going out to bars and perhaps drinking too much and finding yourself in the very situations that led you to seek out treatment – so what now? There are many things you can do to stay sober on the weekend. Here are some tips for remaining sober on a Saturday night.

Take Charge of Your Plans
Rather than simply waiting to see what happens on Saturday night, set out to plan a sober activity for yourself and a friend. There are lots of things you can do in lieu of going out – hosting a video game or board game tournament, heading to the movie theater to see the latest flick, going to the gym for a healthy Saturday night on the treadmill or elliptical. What’s important is that you create plans ahead of time so you’re not left to your own devices and the temptation to fall into old habits.

Enlist Others Interested in Maintaining Sobriety
If you’re struggling to maintain your own sobriety, the last thing you want to do is spend time with those who are not sober. Instead, look for an AA meeting, invite friends from your support group to a Netflix marathon, follow up on the “call me anytime” invitation that person in your recovery group extended. When you use the buddy system for staying sober, you’ll be far more successful in making a sober weekend happen.

Avoid Those Who Trigger Your Drinking or Drug Use
One thing you don’t want to do on a Saturday night is hang out with your old drinking buddies. After all, you’re trying to break the old habits and cycles, and often people have a hard time accepting when a member of their pack changes. If you cannot be around someone without drinking (or if that’s your only connection with the individual), it’s time to seriously reconsider whether this is someone you ought to be involved with.

Consider Volunteer Work
One of the best things to heal from a difficult time is to give back and help lift others up. What causes do you support? Does your local animal shelter need help cleaning cages or bathing animals? Volunteer work can go a long way toward occupying your time on a Saturday evening and keeping you sober in the long-run.

Join a Sports Team or Fitness Group
By committing to an athletic pursuit, you’re helping to ensure you’re keeping your body healthy to be able to participate in the competitions. Whether you join a basketball team through your local rec center or you commit to a running club that meets early Sunday mornings, you’re surrounding yourself with others who have a goal of being active. Just make sure you skip any after-game drinks offers if you’re not yet in a place where you can be comfortable with being honest about your recovery journey.

Stay Away from Alcohol-Heavy Events
Don’t go to the afterparty for your favorite band’s concert at a bar. Avoid Mary’s 21st birthday pub crawl. It’s important to know your limits and your triggers, especially early on in your recovery journey. Instead, plan something solo or with a sober friend during the same time.

Get Help Staying Sober if You Need It
There is no shame in getting help with an addiction if you need it. At Turning Point Recovery Center, we offer a number of inpatient and outpatient recovery programs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.