As we experience such unprecedented times during this pandemic, we urge everyone celebrating 4th of July to be cautious in group settings and follow your state’s health guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. (For more information on Florida’s restrictions and guidelines, visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/, other states please check the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or your state’s website.)
Having said that, as Independence Day celebrations will proceed in a lot of communities, we would like to remind recovering individuals to be extra careful guarding their recovery. As you may know, 4th of July is one of the biggest days of the year for alcohol consumption with 1 billion dollars spent on beer alone with another $568+ million spent on wine and spirits.* Needless to say, that’s a lot of alcohol purchased in a single day translating to, by the sales number above, alcohol is everywhere. Being in such an environment, it’s easy to justify and to fall for “just this once” trap. Unfortunately, this slip-up is prevalent on days like the 4th of July and is one of the most common occasions where individuals start using again.
This year, individuals in recovery have an extra layer of stress and anxiety with the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing a slip up may be difficult in this situation. However, there are ways to enjoy a substance-free Independence Day. CELEBRATE YOUR FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION by abiding by the guidelines set in place to protect your recovery. Even during this pandemic, your recovery guidelines should remain the same. For support group meetings you need more careful forethought, depending on the area you are in, with special planning due to the social distancing rules.
As hard as this pandemic has been on many of us, with shelter-in-place orders, social distancing, business, and school closures, which all have brought greater isolation and potential financial distress, we must remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Many things remain outside our control, but our mindset is the key to coping with the difficult circumstances and facing the unknown. Always remember, when you find yourself stuck and struggling, to reach out to your support group. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are here to help. Stay focused, stay committed, and stay safe. Happy 4th.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.