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10 Things You Can Enjoy Without Alcohol and Drugs

If you are recovering from substance abuse, filling your nights and weekends with social activities that do not involve alcohol and drugs can be challenging. Perhaps your friends like watching sporting events at the bar while enjoying a drink, but they forget how tough this type of atmosphere can be for a recovering alcoholic or a trigger for someone recovering from addiction. You don’t want to put yourself in an environment full of relapse triggers. At the same time, you probably don’t feel like missing out completely on the weekend nightlife.

If you can relate to this dilemma, we have good news. There are plenty of ways to have a good time without drinking alcohol or using drugs. You might even be surprised by some of the unconventional social activities that are available in our area. Here’s a list of some ways to have fun with friends while avoiding alcohol and drugs:

Live Theater:
Whether it’s Hamilton or the local community theater’s Annie, no drugs or alcohol are needed to find your heart stirred. And remember, the sun will come out tomorrow. And you can throw away your shot.

Bike riding:
Feel the wind on your face, work up a sweat, and feel better about your health. Getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery while riding a bike can make you feel like a kid again while also providing exercise and a chance to relax and think.

Wedding Receptions:
Sit back and enjoy others trying to remember the Macarena. See what it’s like to go left when you’re supposed to on The Electric Slide. Hit the right notes as you belt out “Sweet Caroline”. So good. So good. So good.

Visit a Museum:
Someone took the time to curate something. They gathered art works, or dinosaurs, or things connected to history. And while there’s the Smithsonian and the Chicago Field Museum, there’s also the Busy Beaver Button Museum. You’re welcome. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, Dallas has some wonderful options for you to explore. The Perot Museum, The DMA and the Bush Presidential Library are always great places to spend a day.

Take a Class:
Local community centers or colleges have some great classes. Learn to cook, draw, play the guitar, or create a 3D game. Find something new about you, and learn to love the things you never knew you could do.

Send Poems to Friends:
Write Haikus. 5 syllables, then 7 syllables, then 5. Make them about friends. Make them serious or silly. Then send them to them and wait for their reactions.

Volunteer at a Shelter:
Whether it’s for the homeless, for children, or for animals, something wonderful happens when you’re able to care for others.

Make a Photograph:
“You don’t take a photograph. You make it.” – Ansel Adams. In your pocket, you probably have a camera more technologically advanced than anything Ansel Adams ever used. So make it a goal, with intent. Don’t go grab a snapshot. Go out and make a photograph. Then print and frame it.

Send a Note:
Write a hand-written note to a favorite teacher from your childhood.

Find a Faith Based Place to Connect:
Many churches aren’t just about Sunday mornings (or whenever your faith tradition worships). Many are active throughout the week and offer opportunities for connection and fellowship. People gather in homes, go to baseball games, have Bible studies, or go to concerts together. You may find it helpful to participate in activities which are based in faith and fellowship in an environment very different from that which you likely found yourself in when you were using.

Whatever it is you choose to do, having fun in sobriety can be a whole new learning process. So, start with a few things and keep trying something every week. The greatest part of this process is that you may find some new things that are actually really fun to do while sober and you may also discover a new talent you never knew existed. So what are you waiting for? Take the class, create the masterpiece, and have fun while you are doing it.

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