Many often wonder what exactly it can mean to be sober? How would it be to live a life without alcohol? Sobriety means different things to different people. For some people, being sober is all or nothing, while for others, it might mean replacing alcohol with other substances. In simple terms, being sober means not being intoxicated. The sober curious culture that has emerged in recent years aims to question everything, from the impulses to the expectations of drinking. It involves making more conscious decisions about the consumption of alcohol. In this article, we will explore the meaning of sobriety.
2. What does sober mean?
The Simple and sober meaning essentially boils down to ‘not being drunk.’ It refers to being free from any form of intoxication. So the question arises - does sobriety mean abstinence? According to the medical community and the famous recovery programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), it means abstinence from the consumption of alcohol. In the medical community, sobriety is looked at in objective terms, and it is mainly concerned with not consuming alcohol. There are several new approaches to sobriety in which moderation management is practiced. Instead of abstaining from alcohol completely, moderation management requires the control of destructive drinking habits and patterns. Besides this, there are some other ways to look at sobriety too.
"California Sober" is a new approach to sobriety; however, there is no official definition for describing it yet. This ambiguous term is used to describe the practice of achieving sobriety by using other substances that are not as harmful. If a person is California sober, it means that they are replacing the addictive substances with other substances that are less harmful alternatives. People practicing a California Sober lifestyle often replace alcohol with marijuana. This approach has proved useful for people who have developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. However, it is important to be cautious while adopting this approach.
Sober curiosity is quite different from practicing sobriety. In the latter, a person chooses to live a sober lifestyle because of alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, while the former essentially boils down the making active choices. Sober-curious people have the option to exercise their choice, and they tend to question and change their drinking habits because of other reasons. These reasons can be related to their physical or mental health. Sober curiosity has enabled people to recognize their unhealthy drinking habits and make meaningful changes in their lifestyles.
Sober Curiosity – History
Throughout history, sobriety has not been a popular movement. This is because much of our culture and lifestyle often revolve around alcohol. From wedding celebrations to sporting events and office networking, most of these occasions are celebrated using cocktails, wine, beer, and champagne. The sober curiosity movement emerged when people realized that hitting ‘rock bottom’ is not a necessity for making meaningful changes in life. In 2014, a charity called Alcohol Concern marked the month of January as Dry January. This event encouraged people to stay away from alcohol for a month. Thereafter, Ruby Warrington released a book called ‘Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Deep Connection, and Limitless Presence Awaiting Us All On The Other Side of Alcohol.’ Even though the term existed for decades, it was popularized by Warrington.
Sober Curiosity – Lifestyle
The millennial generation has been instrumental in popularizing the sober curious lifestyle, among other things like yoga, mindfulness, and plant-based diets. Through the practice of a sober curious lifestyle, sobriety has, in fact, become more acceptable in society. In recent years, many bars have opened up in different parts of the country offering non-alcoholic beverages, mocktails, and other drinks like kombucha. An online marketplace for non-alcoholic beverages called Better Rhodes also provides a great collection of non-alcoholic drinks. The sober curious lifestyle allows one to socialize with their community without the dangers and pressures of alcohol.
3. Benefits of being sober
Drinking alcohol for a long time can lead to a host of chronic health problems, including heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and liver disease. According to a CDC report, excessive drinking and alcoholism lead to around 90,000 deaths in the United States every year. It is important for heavy drinkers to cut down their alcohol consumption if they want to live a healthy and happy life. However, abruptly stopping the consumption of alcohol can also be dangerous for heavy drinkers. Consuming non-alcoholic beverages, containing only 0.5% alcohol, can be a great way to segue into a sober lifestyle.
4. What does recovery entail?
The terms ‘sober’ and ‘clean’ convey different things. While being sober is related to quitting alcohol, a clean lifestyle means stopping the use of drugs and other hallucinogenic substances. Another term that has assumed significance in this content is ‘recovery.’ Recovery is not just related to the act of abstaining from drinking. It takes a more holistic view of the process, covering a person’s emotional, behavioral, and physical states. Recovery does not necessarily entail complete abstinence. The ultimate goal is to reduce dependency, and how a person achieves that goal is dependent on them.
Road to Recovery
You can decide your road to recovery by first determining your reasons for migrating to a sober lifestyle. You can seek the help of your friends or a professional therapist to understand yourself better, and you will eventually be able to narrow down your reasons for practicing sobriety. With a recovery plan in place, you will be able to navigate a sober lifestyle in a better way.
With this, we have hopefully provided a definitive answer to your question – What does sober mean? For many years, health experts have published studies exposing the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption. If you are considering going alcohol-free, Better Rhodes is here to support you on your journey. Besides a great collection of non-alcoholic (0.5% ABV) and alcohol-free beverages (0.0% ABV), we also provide resources for anyone who is sober curious.