With spring in full swing and summer on the way, we’re officially coming up on concert season! Many of your friends and family are looking forward to seeing their favorite bands and hearing their favorite songs live. But with that comes tailgates, pre-gaming, and overpriced beer vendors.
So how can someone in recovery go to these concerts and get an equally exciting experience without sabotaging their sobriety? Fortunately, the benefits of staying sober at concerts far outweigh the seemingly attractive perks of a drug or alcohol influenced concert experience. It just takes a plan.
1. Go with people who support your recovery
More than likely, you’ll be surrounded by people who are either drunk, high, or in the process of getting there. So it’s very important that your immediate concert group supports and respects your sobriety. Supporting your recovery could mean joining you in sobriety for the night or simply not partaking in substance use in front of you. It’s really up to you to communicate what you’re comfortable with and what will trigger you.
2. Make sure the band is someone you truly enjoy
Concerts are notorious relapse triggers for a lot of people in recovery. It’s hard to be immersed in a setting where everybody seems to be getting drunk or high. Seeing a band that you truly enjoy will help ease the temptation because you’re likely to be more focused on the music than you would be otherwise.
3. Find sober concert groups
A lot of concerts and festivals have at least one group attending dedicated to recovery. If you’re not completely comfortable going with your immediate group of friends, you may benefit from joining one of these sober fan clubs. Most of them will post on online message boards but some will even have meet-ups beforehand to give people a chance to get to know each other.
4. Plan a sober event for after the concert
Whether it’s a lunch with your support group or a sober hike with your friends, having a sober activity to look forward to while at the concert will help you to stay motivated to remain sober during. It might also help to plan to go to a meeting a day or two after the concert to help you feel balanced.
5. Have an escape plan
It’s very important to have an exit strategy for when things get too intense. Volunteer to drive so that you can leave when you want to. You can also ask a friend to stay sober with you during the concert so that you’re not alone if you need to step away.
Concerts can be just as fun – if not more fun – in recovery as they were before getting sober. The music will make a greater impression, you’ll save money, you’ll feel good, and you’ll actually remember the concert. That said, don’t put yourself in situations that are too tempting or uncomfortable. Just remember that your sobriety is the most important thing and act accordingly.