Pride Month is all about being proud of who you are and celebrating yourself. For the LGBTQ+ community, Pride is a special month for that reason.Much of these celebrations, though, often involve partying, alcohol, and drugs. And for some folks, that can be a problem. Substance abuse is an issue in the LGBTQ+ community. And for LGB individuals, research shows they are twice as likely to experience substance abuse than heterosexual individuals.
Staying sober during Pride can be a challenge. When so many festivities are alcohol-centered, it’s hard to find a space where sober folks can celebrate their identity and be healthy. But, it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips on how to still have a great time during Pride Month and respect your sobriety.
1. Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Beverage
Whether you’re heading to a friend’s party or a get-together in the park, bring your own non-alcoholic drink. Think drinks like La Croix, soda, or kombucha. This way, you are guaranteed to have something you can sip on and enjoy wherever you are. However, if you’re at a bar or closed event, you may not be allowed to bring in your own beverage. If you can, be sure to check ahead of time what non-alcoholic drinks are available.
2. Hang Out With Other Sober People
Not everyone will be sober at Pride events, and feeling like you’re the only sober person in the room can feel isolating and lonely. Finding other people or friends who are also sober can help you feel less alone and validated. You can still enjoy events sober, but having a sober support group with you can make it even better.
3. Take a Moment to Check in With Yourself
Before you head off to any festivities, check in with yourself and your sobriety. Going to events that are alcohol-centered can be tough, whether you struggle with staying sober, feel left out, or in a generally unhealthy headspace. Be honest with yourself in what’s comfortable and healthy for you. Is there anything you should or want to do prior to engaging in activities? Talking with your sponsor or heading to a meeting a few days in advance may be a good option. Or, taking some time to yourself prior, whether it’s reading a book or going for a walk can be helpful. Whatever it is, take a moment to check in with yourself.
4. Celebrate Pride in Your Own Sober Way
Pride doesn’t have to be about late-night partying and drinking heavily. There are plenty of other activities in which you can celebrate Pride, without alcohol or substances. A few fun ideas might be a sober movie night, arts and crafts, a potluck dinner, or a day in the park. There are also a number of Pride parades you can attend, like Heritage Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Harlem Pride, and Reclaim Pride. Whatever it is, celebrate Pride on your own terms, in your own way. For more Pride-related events, click here.
5. Look Fabulous
If you’re planning on going out to celebrate, devote some of your time and focus on your outfit(s). Instead of focusing on pre-gaming or getting jello shots, find joy in preparing your look. When you feel confident in how you look, you’ll feel good, too. For so many queer folks, expressing yourself externally is one way of feeling validated and seen. By redirecting your focus from drinking to looking better than everyone, you can add another dimension in celebrating Pride.
How Apicha CHC Can Help You
If you struggle with substance abuse and addiction, Apicha CHC can help. Talking about substance abuse and, when necessary, working together to create an action plan is part of standard care at Apicha CHC. If you'd like to schedule an appointment, click the link below.
All of Apicha CHC's staff has been trained in opioid overdose prevention, including the use of naloxone for the purpose of preventing death from an opioid overdose, and received New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Overdose Rescue Kits with naloxone.