When celebrating holidays, many people gather with friends and family, decorating their homes and enjoying time together. However, some holiday celebrations often include consuming substances like alcohol. For individuals who are in recovery, celebrating holidays like the Fourth of July can be intimidating, uncomfortable and triggering. However, why must a drink be had in order to celebrate the history of the United States? Celebrating holidays with drugs and alcohol may be viewed as a social norm, but it is important to remember that drugs and alcohol are not necessary in order to celebrate the holiday.

Holiday Drug Use: More Problematic Than Patriotic

In 2016, Americans spent more than $1 billion on cold beverages for their Fourth of July celebrations. That amount was higher than what was spent on burgers and hotdogs, combined. According to CNBC, the Fourth of July is the country’s largest beer-drinking holiday. The popular holiday also surpassed New Year’s as the most dangerous holiday of the year, especially when it comes to traveling on the roadways. According to the Los Angeles Times, there was an average of 127 fatal car crashes each year on July 4 between 2008 and 2012. Of those who died, 41 percent of people had elevated blood alcohol levels.

So how did the day that was meant to celebrate America’s birthday become a day where people choose to drink? The Fourth of July is a federal holiday, which means that most businesses are closed and the employees of those businesses get to enjoy the day off. Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times that it’s more than just celebrating a day off of work. “They tend to try to cram a lot into these weekends and that’s where they get into trouble,” Spring said. In other words, a paid holiday is taken to new heights due to the excitement of having a free day to themselves.

Remember The Reason for The Holiday

Beneath all the celebration, the Fourth of July is more than just about alcoholic drinks and setting off fireworks. In 1776, the thirteen American colonies declared themselves independent from the British Empire, thus the United States of America was born. Also known as Independence Day, the day celebrates the birth of the country. It can be commemorated in speeches presented by politicians, celebrities hosting private events, or military personnel saluting the United States at noon on the holiday by shooting off a gun.

The holiday is important to celebrate for its historical significance, rather than for having the day off and a chance to drink. The Fourth of July is a time to remind people not only of the hard work and dedication it took to become the country that the United States is today, but to encourage people to live their lives to their fullest potential.

Sobriety Is Something To Celebrate Too

America was not built on the amount of alcohol our founding fathers were able to consume, so why is the Fourth of July? For individuals in recovery, this day can potentially be triggering and intimidating. Instead of looking at this day negatively, view it as a reminder of how far you have come in your recovery. You have worked hard to separate yourself from substance misuse and have strived to become the person you are today.

For those who haven’t yet found sobriety, The Recovery Village has facilities located throughout the country that can help people looking to begin their recovery. Each facility offers an individualized experience that is tailored to the needs of each patient to ensure a beneficial healing process. Facilities offer various programs, such as inpatient or outpatient rehab, to allow patients to learn the skills needed to manage their addiction.

If you or a loved one struggle with a substance use disorder, call The Recovery Village today at 352.771.2700 to begin your journey to a substance-free life.

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