June is Pride Month, a time to honor the continuing journey of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Every city and town does Pride Month differently, but celebrations are held all over the world.
For some, these celebrations involve drugs and alcohol. As you may know, there is a huge problem with substance use among the LGBTQ+ community. According to SAMHSA, 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ+ population report a substance use disorder, compared to 9 percent of the general population.
There are several reasons for the high rates of substance use, including stress, anxiety and depression from the social stigma they face. Many self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to deal with these issues and numb their pain. Also, many of the places that appeal to LGBTQ+ members are centered around alcohol, such as gay clubs and bars.
Whether this is your first or your fifth Pride Month sober, there are plenty of ways to celebrate without hurting your recovery. Here are some ideas to add to your calendar!
Attend a Pride Festival
Many cities host pride festivals, so check your area to see what’s nearby. Even though most of these are not exclusively sober events, many of them do not serve alcohol. Instead, they have music, craft fairs with pride items, food vendors, live music, fireworks and more.
If you are looking for something exclusively sober, check out the Gay & Sober Pride Celebration that’s held in New York City. The celebration is free and includes a parade and a Dance on the River cruise.
Attend a Virtual Pride Event
Another way you can celebrate Pride Month while steering clear of drugs and alcohol is by attending a virtual pride event. There are plenty of things you can do, such as take an online course, attend a webinar or live stream and participate in team building activities and virtual games. Virtual events will avoid the temptations that might turn up at in-person events.
Host Your Own Pride Event
If you’ve just completed addiction treatment in Agoura Hills and have concerns over attending a pride event, host your own! This way, you can be in control of the celebration. You can barbecue burgers and hot dogs, prepare tasty mocktails and play games like Never Have I Ever or Cards Against Humanity. You can also be selective about who you invite, ensuring that your guest list is sober.
Volunteer for Pride Month
A great way to celebrate Pride Month while protecting your sobriety is to volunteer your time. You can connect with a LGBTQ+ organization in your area and see if they need any help. Many communities have non-profit organizations that support, educate and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth.
Find a Sober LGBTQ+ Group
There are many sober LGBTQ+ groups where you can meet new people. You can find these groups on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or on sites like Meetup.com. Being a part of these groups will expand your support network and give you new friends to experience sober events with, including Pride Month activities.
Addiction Treatment for LGBTQ+ Individuals
At Awakenings Treatment Center, we celebrate Pride Month by spreading awareness regarding addiction and co-occurring conditions that often affect the LGBTQ+ population. If you struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, please contact our admissions department today. We have an LGBTQ+ mental health and addiction treatment program that includes robust family support.