Valiant Living Blog

Can I Stay Sober on a Plane?

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Whether you are flying on a plane for personal reasons or flying for business, traveling can be a very stressful time that you feel comforted using drugs and alcohol to cope. The fear of flying, the turbulence, the light-headedness, claustrophobia, kids crying, and airport temptations are just a few of the ways that people want to use or drink to escape the pressures of flying. You put yourself in such a precarious situation when flying. Becoming overwhelmed could be very likely and if you are trying to stay sober, here are some tips to make your flight more comfortable.

Change your course

Instead of starting out in the airport bar and then heading on the plane for a few small bottles of hard liquor, decide that you are going to get a coffee at the airport donut shop or get a soda at the airport convenience store. Make sure you eat something so that you do not mistake your hunger as an excuse to drink or get loaded. Call someone while you are waiting to board and talk about your fear of flying to take the power out of it. More importantly, discreetly tell the flight attendant to not offer you a drink so that you do not act on a craving that might pop up if they do ask you if you want a cocktail.

Put your oxygen mask on first

Carry your recovery tools onboard because they represent the oxygen mask that falls down during a crash and for you, a crash would be a relapse. Bring recovery literature to read during your plane ride, download some speaker podcasts to listen to, download a guided meditation, or download a documentary that could help you focus on your primary purpose to stay sober. Your sobriety should be your number one priority, so you need to be ready in the event that your oxygen mask drops.  

Navigate your exit

Once the plane ride ends, you should make your way out of the airport to ensure that you do not stop at the airport bar on your way out to take the edge off. Get your baggage and get to your means of transportation for your next location. If you can make it happen, try to get to a meeting and share your experience to let others know that traveling sober is doable. 

You are never far from relapse if you do not take action in your program, especially when it comes to traveling alone on a plane. When a crash starts becoming apparent, use your emergency landing gear so you make a safe landing into your recovery.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463