Sober Vacation Ideas

sober vacation ideas

For sober travelers, it might seem difficult to “get out” without “going out.” Vacations are about exploring a new place and having a good time and for some, that may feel difficult to travel sober and still have fun. But while sobriety might change your travel experience, sober vacations are still fun and relaxing. Sobriety isn’t the end to being able to enjoy fun things in life like vacations and traveling. On the contrary, sobriety more often than not enhances the enjoyment of vacation and traveling—no days wasted nursing a hangover means more time and energy to explore new places! Soba Recovery encourages you to keep on reading for sober vacation ideas!

 

Where to Go on a Vacation Sober 

If you’re sober you can go anywhere, but depending on your comfort levels, some destinations may be sober-friendlier than others. At some vacation destinations, alcohol, drugs, or a party scene are less emphasized than others. Skip locations like Napa, Las Vegas, or Ibiza where alcohol and partying are highly emphasized in the tourist culture and check out these destinations instead!

 

Sober Vacation Destinations in the United States

  • San Antonio, Texas—In this vibrant city you can explore the historic Alamo, check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, stroll the San Antonio River Walk or walk through the King William Historic District. San Antonio also has an abundance of great museums, as well as the San Antonio zoo, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
  • Nashville, Tennessee—The Music City of the United States is also known as the soberest city in the United States. This is a great spot for country music fans, from opportunities to see live music, to checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Radnor Lake State Park is also on the outskirts of town for outdoor recreation. The Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, are also top attractions. Additionally, Nashville has a plethora of city tours and plenty of art and science museums.
  • Denver, Colorado—While you might think of Denver as a city where breweries are abundant and weed is legal, Denver also has a huge range of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding to hiking, whitewater rafting, and ziplining. Denver also has many sober attractions like the zoo, the aquarium, an abundance of art museums, and Red Rocks park and amphitheater. Denver also has great food—you can check out The Source, an artisanal market, or Denver Central Market, a gourmet food hall. Denver also has several sober bars and often has sober pop-up entertainment like sober sunrise dance parties by Daybreaker.

 

Sober Vacation Destinations Abroad

  • Sri Lanka—The culture in this island nation south of India de-emphasizes drugs and alcohol meaning as a tourist you’ll have reduced exposure to these substances. Sri Lanka has a beautiful and diverse landscape that offers visitors the opportunity to relax on serendipitous beaches, explore the rainforests, or climb a mountain. Sri Lanka is also home to breathtaking historical sites like Sigiriya, a rock-top fortress that has served as a royal palace as well as a Buddhist monastery.
  • Japan—Alcohol is available but much less emphasized than it is in the United States. In Japan you can visit vibrant cities to experience the sights and delicious food. Cities like Kyoto and Tokyo have no shortage of things to explore, from bamboo forests to restaurants to festivals. 
  • Morocco—In the culture of Morocco, alcohol is available, but not a part of the culture and easy to avoid altogether. Morocco has accident cities with beautiful architecture and buzzing street markets. Morocco also has breathtaking sites like the Atlas Mountains, the blue village of Chefchaouen, the red arches of Legzira and the UNESCO World Heritage site Aït Benhaddou.

 

Additionally, different kinds of vacations lend themselves to being sober vacations like hiking or trekking trips, and meditation, wellness or yoga retreats. There are also sober resorts in Mexico and sober cruises to different locations all over the world. Sober tourism is an increasingly booming business, and sober traveling companies are becoming more abundant. Companies like Sober Vacations International and Travel Sober create all-inclusive (save for airfare) trips with pre-planned sober-centric activities that bring like-minded individuals together over experiences that aren’t centered around drugs or alcohol. 

 

Activities to Do on a Sober Vacation 

A big component of sober vacations is the activities you plan to do. Even vacation destinations that are less sober-friendly can still be an enjoyable sober vacation destination so long as the activities are sober-centric. Of course, the activities you plan on a sober vacation depend to a degree on the destination you choose, but here are some ideas of activities you might do:

  • A walking or biking tour of the city you’re visiting 
  • Visit historic sites
  • Visit museums
  • Try a beach activity like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or sailing
  • Try a snow sport like skiing, snow-boarding, ice skating, snowmobiling
  • Go to a spa 
  • Check out the hiking trails or try rock climbing
  • Attend local events like art markets or music 
  • Try local foods

If you’re planning a sober vacation it is a good idea to plan ahead so you don’t feel bored or aimless or have too much free time. When you pinpoint the perfect location for your sober vacation, do some research on the local attractions to schedule some activities! On the other hand, make sure you don’t plan so many activities that you feel stressed or rushed. 

 

Tips for Staying Sober on Vacation 

Vacations might have more temptations than you’re used to in your day to day life, so it is important to check in where you’re at in your recovery before going on a sober vacation. If you decide you’re ready, here are some additional tips to keep in mind for how to stay sober on vacation:

  • Go with a supportive or sober friend who will not prioritize alcohol or other substances on the trip and can hold you accountable.
  • Make plans ahead of time for activities to keep busy, but also leave room for spontaneity and don’t overpack your schedule if you feel rushed or stressed.
  • Choose accommodations that don’t include happy hour drinks, have hotel bars, have minibars in the rooms or are right next to bars or nightclubs. One way to do this is to stay in vacation rentals where you can avoid partying vacationers. 
  • Prepare for triggers and take reminders of your sobriety with you.
  • If you find yourself struggling, reach out to your support network back home, attend an online support group meeting or find a local fellowship meeting. Support groups like AA have meetings all over the world.

 

The most important component of sober vacations is the commitment to sobriety that comes before, during, and after the vacation. The best time to plan a sober vacation is after you’ve been able to maintain a stable period in recovery, so you are able to truly relax and have fun on your vacation. If you feel like you aren’t quiet at that point in your recovery, keep working! You can get there. At Soba Recovery, we believe in individualized treatment for long-term recovery. If you’ve decided it is time to get sober, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see how we can help!

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

am i addicted to alcohol

The stereotype of someone addicted to alcohol is a person who always drinks in excess and as a result, their life is crumbling. However, the reality is some people are functioning or high-functioning alcoholics, which means even though they depend on and abuse alcohol, they have the appearance of being fine. Though you may know problem drinking as alcoholism or alcohol abuse, addiction to alcohol is officially referred to as alcohol use disorder, an addiction that is estimated to affect 15 million people in the United States. At Soba Recovery, we feel receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder is critical to success in overcoming it, but the first step toward treatment is identifying the problem.

 

Identifying an Alcohol Addiction

The signs of alcohol use disorder vary from person to person, but some common red flags in assessing whether you or a loved one has an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Needing alcohol to relax or feel confident
  • Drinking when you are alone or in secrecy
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Drinking more or longer than you intended
  • Losing friends or having relationship problems due to drinking
  • Drinking or being sick from drinking interferes with taking care of your family, working or attending school
  • Experiencing short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts
  • Feeling irritable or having extreme mood swings
  • Having legal problems related to drinking
  • Denying drinking or getting angry when confronted about drinking

If you or a loved one is exhibiting these symptoms their drinking may be cause for concern. Alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe and the urgency for treatment depends on the amount and severity of the symptoms displayed, though recovery is possible regardless of the severity.

 

How Is Alcohol Addictive?

Though alcohol is legal, it can still be a dangerous substance with serious side effects. One of these is the addictive qualities of alcohol which keeps people coming back for more and consuming it in unhealthy amounts. Alcohol is a chemical that causes our brains to release endorphins, making us feel more content and less sensitive to pain, associating these pleasurable sensations with drinking can encourage us to keep drinking even when we know it can harm us. In addition to the chemical reaction alcohol causes, we often tend to socially and in our own lives associate alcohol with positive stimuli, like having a glass of wine after a long day or getting beers with friends. When we make alcohol a reward or a treat that we use to socialize and celebrate, we create positive associations with it. Alcohol dependency doesn’t happen all at once, but rather over time as our brains are trained to crave the endorphin release of alcohol. An individual’s personality and genetics might make them predisposed to alcohol use disorder as well. Thrill seekers have a greater risk of addiction to alcohol because they seek the endorphin rush alcohol offers. Shy individuals are also prime candidates for developing alcohol use disorder because alcohol can help alleviate social anxiety and an individual can get addicted to or reliant on that effect. 

 

What Happens When You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Quitting drinking can be daunting because physical alcohol withdrawal is particularly tough on the body. However, there are many benefits of stopping drinking:

  • Improved heart and liver health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Elevated self-esteem
  • Better sleep quality
  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Improved focus on relationships and work
  • Lower cancer risks
  • Strengthened immune system

 

How to Get Help

If you think you are struggling with alcohol use disorder or are not sure if you have a problem or not please contact Soba Recovery today. We have professionals who can assess your situation and help determine what kind of treatment is suitable for your individual needs. Our two locations in Texas and Arizona are both amazing options for anyone struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse. 

TV Shows About Drug Addiction

tv shows about addiction

Hollywood has been very interested in addiction for a long time, using it as a minor or major plot point in many television shows and movies. However, there are an increasing number of television shows that offer a more diverse portrayal of substance abuse, dependency, and addiction. From reality TV to drama to comedy, producers have created a range of shows depicting active addiction and recovery. While some shows portray addiction more sensationally, others seek to show the nuance of addiction as a long and complicated disease, through the acknowledgement that addiction is gradual and seldom starts or ends with a singular dramatic event. Keep reading for Soba Recovery’s list of TV shows about drug addiction!

 

TV Shows About Drug Addiction

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie is a medical comedy-drama on Showtime that follows a nurse in a New York City hospital who is addicted to prescription opioids. The co-creators of the show Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem all struggled with alcohol addiction at some point in their lives and created the show to portray a high functioning addict who is competent at her job but jaded by the self-centeredness of active addiction. Nurse Jackie avoids stereotypes of addicts to portray a realistic version of high-functioning addiction as a tight-rope walk, in which falling off results in pain and destruction. 

 

Intervention

Intervention is a docu series on A&E profiling individuals struggling with addiction, following the consequences of those addictions and the effectiveness of interventions. The daily life of an individual who is substance dependent or suffering from addiction leads up to an intervention staged by their family and friends offering them an ultimatum: go to rehab or be cut off from the support of their family and friends. The involvement of the addict’s loved ones in Intervention offers a look into how addiction affects an addict’s loved ones. Intervention doesn’t glamorize drug and alcohol dependency for plot points in the way that other drama shows do, offering a raw look into the destructive power of addiction for everyone involved.

 

Mom

Mom is a comedy on CBS about a sober single mom and her estranged mother who is also struggling with addiction. Allison Janney and Anna Faris play the mother-daughter duo navigating how to repair their relationship while trying to pull their own lives together. Mom is one of few shows that emphasizes addiction recovery rather than active addiction and demonstrates the obstacles individuals face in navigating sobriety without getting weighed down by the despair or denial of addiction. Mom approaches recovery as it is, a difficult life-long healing process, with characters who endure setbacks but approach sobriety with hope and determination.

 

Euphoria

HBO’s teen drama Euphoria premiered in 2019 and almost instantly became wildly popular thanks to its raw portrayal of teenage mental illness and substance abuse. The show follows 17-year-old Rue Bennet who is a recovering drug addict as she returns home from rehab and attempts to navigate high school. Euphoria’s visuals and acting are alluring, and the show has received praise for its empathetic but brutally honest depiction of the challenges of addiction.

 

Recovery Road

Freeform’s Recovery Road is another teen drama series about addiction that follows Maddie, a high functioning 17-year-old addict, as she navigates teenage life after deciding to live at a sober living facility. Based on a popular novel by the same name, Recovery Road one ran for one season in 2016, but offers portrayals of various topics related to substance abuse and recovery including teen partying, the benefits of 12-step meetings, and the consequences of substance abuse. 

 

Love

Love is a Netflix comedy show about navigating modern relationships that quietly depicts two individuals, Mickey and Gus, struggling with addiction. Addiction is not the main focus of the show, but it is prevalent. Mickey abuses alcohol and prescription medications and then tries to stay sober, but smokes before AA meetings, lies to her sponsor and struggles with the urge to resist drinking or using drugs. However, Mickey never truly reaches an explosive rock bottom as so many other shows depict, sensationalizing addiction. Instead addiction prevents Mickey from connecting with others and living a fulfilling life. The dark, quirky humor of Love might be too much for some, but others enjoy the honest portrayal of non-sensationalized addiction.

 

Shameless

Showtime’s comedy-drama show Shameless depicts a family that is poor and dysfunctional as a result of their single father’s alcoholism. The show balances portraying the compulsive and damaging behaviors of addicts with comedy while shedding light on the impact of addiction on families through Frank Gallagher’s actions and their consequences for his six children. Shameless can at times be over-the-top and far-fetched, but it’s often realistic portrayal of a less-than-functioning addict and his family’s struggle to take care of him and make ends meet. The show offers an honest and eye-opening depiction of the impact of addiction on everyone, not just the addict.

 

Get Sober With Soba Recovery

While Hollywood has at times exploited addiction for ratings, more and more shows are trying to take an increasingly nuanced approach to addiction whether it be by portraying non-stereotypical characters, depicting the effects of addiction as a family disease, or focusing on lesser told stories of recovery. The diversification of television shows depicting addiction help break down taboo about addiction itself and open up conversations about it. Few of these shows shy away from the gory details of drug and alcohol use, abuse, and dependency, so be mindful watching if you are personally recovering and struggling with these sorts of triggers. Otherwise, enjoy watching these shows whether you find yourself critiquing them or reflecting because of them! 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, please reach out to us today at Soba Recovery. We can treat a wide range of addictions at either of our two locations in Arizona or Texas. We look forward to helping you with your addiction!

What Is a Sober Living Home?

what is a sober living home

One of the most important elements of recovery often overlooked is the transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment. The continuation of sobriety after inpatient care can be difficult if a recovering addict is faced with returning to their old home and habits. Sober living homes are one element of treatment for addiction that supports those recovering as they ease back into daily life. For some people in recovery, these supportive environments can make the difference between relapse or maintaining sobriety. Soba Recovery encourages you to continue reading to learn more about sober living homes! 

 

What Is a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes are group homes in a controlled environment free from drugs and alcohol, created specifically for individuals recovering from addiction. Sober living homes help with the transition from inpatient and outpatient care, assisting individuals in their sobriety maintenance. These homes are often owned and operated privately but can also be owned and operated by businesses or charity organizations. Residents living in sober living homes do things like pay rent and go to work, just as they would in a regular home, but they also offer additional structure with things like house meetings and chores to contribute to the maintenance of the house. All residents must remain sober and follow house rules to stay in the homes. Residents are also encouraged to continue seeking outpatient treatment and participate in a 12-step program.

 

Benefits of Sober Living Homes

Sobriety is a lifelong journey. However, the transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment is critical and sober living homes can help prompt a lasting recovery. Sober living homes are substance-free, offering a controlled and supportive environment that decreases the chances of relapse. Studies have shown sobriety can be difficult to maintain in dysfunctional homes and sober living homes improve sobriety outcomes. Sober living homes have a multitude of benefits, some of which include: 

 

Support: Though individuals from all walks of life may be in sober living homes, all residents living in sober living homes are working towards the goals of recovery and sobriety. Sober living homes thus offer a space to build sober fellowships, mutual support systems, and positive friendships for those in recovery.

 

Accountability: Sober living homes can assist with building accountability of sobriety. Sober living homes have rules residents must adhere to, helping to rebuild personal responsibility. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own recovery, therefore the teaching accountability and responsibly are invaluable to maintaining sobriety.

 

Stability: Sober living homes are fundamentally safe, comfortable, and secure places, providing individuals recovering from addiction with a stable home environment. Structure in sober living homes is often created through chores, house meetings, attendance to 12 step programs, and other meaningful activities that not only help re-establish stability, but also help maintain purpose. By avoiding boredom, depression, or uncertainty, sober living homes offer stability critical to relapse prevention.

 

Skills: Sober living homes provide an environment that encourages recovering addicts to build healthy coping skills and habits to manage triggers and prepare for their return home. Sober living homes also have resources for finding employment and mending broken relationships.

 

How to Get Into a Sober Living Home

Though not all sober living homes restrict who can live there, often the majority of residents have completed a rehabilitation program for addiction before moving in. Sober living homes offer a space to maintain sobriety, so it makes sense that most residents have already started the process through means such as detoxification or other inpatient treatment. If you are interested in living in a sober living home, you can start by researching programs to find one that is the best fit for you. 

 

How Soba Recovery Can Help

Soba Recovery’s sober living in Texas and Arizona understands that sobriety is a lifelong journey and to support the longevity of that goal, we believe in spending quality time and effort in treatment by investing in an individual’s care for an extended period all at once. With this goal in mind, sober living homes are integral to long-term recovery at Soba Recovery. We offer individualized treatment at our two locations: our Substance Abuse Treatment in Mesa, AZ and San Antonio Recovery Center, both of which offer detox and inpatient treatments, as well as outpatient and sober living homes for aftercare. If you’re interested in sober living, please contact us. We are here to help you take that next step on your road to recovery.