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How Do You Stay Sober in an Airport?

Oh yes, it’s that time of year when people from all corners of the country are piling into airports and pouring themselves into pricey airport bars. This is where it is totally socially acceptable to be downing cocktails at 7 am without judgment—and where we former alcoholic drinkers felt vindicated that everyone else was doing it, too. Now that we’re in recovery, our old fly lounge watering holes need to stay firmly in our memories.

A few tips to steer clear:

  1. Relax – Traveling can be stressful, so give yourself enough time (but not too much) to get there, through security, and to your gate.
  2. Have a Distraction – Bring a book, magazine, or your journal to keep yourself occupied. Airports are also prime people-watching territory.
  3. Stay Away From Drinking Establishments – If you’re hungry, there are plenty of other places to grab a bite that don’t serve kamikaze shots.
  4. Get Support, and Fast – If you’re feeling squirrelly, call someone in recovery. If you need in-person support, find an airport paging phone (ask an airport employee if you don’t see one) and ask them to page  “Friends of Bill W.” and give them your location, e.g., Gate 14. This is the call of the wild for our alcoholic tribe to seek you out and help a friend in need.
  5. Remember HALT – Don’t get hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. The latter may be unavoidable, but work with what you have. Take care of yourself and your needs.
  6. Go to an AA Meeting – Yes, airports have meetings, too. Ask guest services, or look it up online.
  7. Play the Tape Through – If you’re tempted, mentally take yourself from start to finish, if you were to drink. What would happen at the end? Would you be led away in handcuffs? Have a lot of explaining to do to people at your destination? Wake up full of remorse and guilt? Remember what it was like, and what your life is like now.
  8. Don’t Drink on the Plane – You  made it through the airport sober! Now don’t blow it all having a cocktail in a seat where your elbows are touching your neighbor and your knees are jammed into the seat-back. It’s just not worth it.

Travel is just one of many things you will learn to do in recovery. If you are struggling to stay sober, call the Serenity Recovery Center. Our state-of-the-art accommodations will provide you with the most relaxed, private, and comfortable detox possible, so that you will feel better, faster. Your wellbeing is our priority, and if you want to change your life, we want to help you. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at 844-339-6964. Your life can change and you can recover, pick up the phone and call us today.