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5 Tips to Stay Sober at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

December 15, 2023

Table of Contents

Active addiction often involves a lack of structure and a mundane routine that is almost entirely focused on obtaining and using substances.

For those in recovery from addiction in Southern California, there are myriad opportunities to spend time connecting with nature and rediscovering the simple pleasures of life.

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In July, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing arrives at Huntington Beach. This is the largest global surf competition and free to the public. The event occupies a large chunk south of Huntington Beach Pier in the heart of Surf City USA.

Huntington Beach started hosting this annual extravaganza in 1959. Named the United States Surfing Championships in 1964 and OP Pro in 1982, the event was again renamed as U.S. Open of Surfing in 1994.

The event attracts the top athletes from around the globe in surfing, skateboarding, and BMX. Expect a packed event schedule that includes surf, BMX, and skate competitions. Explore what’s on offer at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing site.

If you are anxious about attending a boisterous event in the early phase of your recovery from addiction, we highlight some actionable tips to help you stay sober in Surf City USA.

5 Tips to Stay Sober at the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

Here’s how you can enjoy a natural high at the U.S. Open of Surfing:

  1. Head to US Open Huntington Beach 2023 with a sober friend
  2. Plan carefully to streamline your experience of a sober 2023 US Open Surfing
  3. Be aware of your personal addiction triggers
  4. Practice gratitude on the beach
  5. Use grounding techniques if you become overwhelmed at 2023 US Open Surfing

1) Head to US Open Huntington Beach 2023 with a sober friend

If many of your friendships were predicated on substance use, you may find yourself relying heavily on your sober support system in the early phase of your recovery from addiction.

You may have plenty of sober friends in your existing social circle. If not, draw on your sober support network from peer support groups or the alumni program of your rehab. Either way, if you head to an event like the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing with a sober friend, you can both bask in the atmosphere without any awkwardness, and without any temptation from peers to derail your efforts.

2) Plan carefully to streamline your experience of a sober 2023 US Open Surfing

If you plan for an event like the Huntington Beach surfing competition, you can reduce the chance of potentially challenging situations.

  • Organize transportation rather than relying on a friend who may drink alcohol.
  • Avoid areas with bars.
  • Prepare to firmly refuse offers of alcohol or drugs.
  • Don’t allow your addiction triggers to trip you up– more on this below.
  • Create an escape plan if you feel in danger of relapsing at the U.S. Surf Open.

3) Be aware of your personal addiction triggers

In CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) sessions at drug or alcohol rehab, you will learn what personally triggers you to use addictive substances. Triggers are typically people, places, or things that provoke cravings for substance use. A therapist will also help you to create healthy coping mechanisms for scenarios in which you are unable to avoid triggering situations.

Be aware of triggers that could crop up during your visit to Huntington Beach and prepare coping strategies in advance.

4) Practice gratitude on the beach

Many people in recovery find immense benefit from reframing the concept of addiction recovery: rather than giving something up, embrace and be grateful for removing a destructive element from your life that no longer serves you or your family.

Attending a vibrant event like the annual surfing competition at Huntington Beach gives you the chance to practice gratitude for the natural highs available all around in California. Suck in the positive energy of professional athletes in their prime and be thankful for replacing the vicious cycle of addiction with a healthier lifestyle.

5) Use grounding techniques if you become overwhelmed at 2023 US Open Surfing

What happens if you become overwhelmed at the U.S. Open of Surfing?

Consider utilizing a highly effective grounding technique known as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. When confronted by a stressor, stop and take note of the following:

  • 5 things that you can see.
  • 4 things that you can feel.
  • 3 things that you can hear.
  • 2 things that you can smell.
  • 1 things that you can taste.

By anchoring yourself to the present moment and distracting yourself from the stressor, you should find that the craving passes within a few minutes.

Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery in Huntington Beach

If you need help kickstarting your recovery, we specialize in the intensive outpatient treatment of the following conditions at our Huntington Beach rehab:

  • Alcoholism (alcohol use disorder)
  • Drug addictions (substance use disorder)
  • Mental health disorders
  • Co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health disorder)

If you require a supervised medical detox, we can connect you with licensed medical detoxification centers throughout Orange County.

We offer treatment at the following levels of intensity on ASAM’s continuum of care:

  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • Virtual IOPs (remote rehab programs)

Your treatment team will draw from the following interventions when personalizing your treatment plan:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling
  • Psychotherapy (CBT or DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies

Once you complete your treatment program, you may step down to a less intensive form of treatment, or you might be ready to transition directly into sober living in Huntington Beach. Either way, you will leave Renaissance Recovery Center with an aftercare plan that includes access to our alumni program and relapse prevention strategies.

Take action today by calling admissions at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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