With pandemic restrictions lifted and people getting back into their normal social routines, how that time is spent has started to be questioned by those part of a movement called sober curiosity. Spurred in part by the focus personal health has received due to the pandemic, individuals are choosing to forgo alcohol and drugs except for during special occasions.
Sobriety Wasn’t Always the Choice Though
For many Americans, the pandemic caused significant damage to mental health. An increase in both anxiety and depression happened early into COVID lockdowns that actually led to an increase in substance abuse, primarily alcohol consumption. Even those who previously had no issues with moderating their alcohol intake started to lean into heavier drinking to cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Thankfully this trend seems to be going the other way as sober curiosity opens the doors for social gatherings that don’t revolve around drinking, instead placing the spotlight on interacting with those around you. Why sit around in a loud bar trying to talk to friends when the exact same thing can be achieved elsewhere with better results and without dealing with alcohol’s negative health effects. Even some bars and pubs are increasing their non-alcoholic offerings to meet this rising demand.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks Maintain Social Standards
There’s no denying that part of the draw of a party or lively club is simply being around others who are there to have a good time. The issue is that the practice quickly became synonymous with binge drinking and drug abuse, a connection the sober curious movement is trying to break.
Even those who take on the responsibility of being a designated driver can struggle to enjoy themselves due to others assuming they won’t be having fun since they’re sober. Pressuring a designated driver into even a single drink can ruin an otherwise safe evening. Today, sober individuals can still enjoy a beverage and blend in with the rest of the group while remaining sober thanks to non-alcohol beers, wines, and liquors.
Being Sober Curious Is Easier Than Ever
Since these new drinks don’t actually contain any alcohol, the ability to serve them as a business has a much smaller barrier to entry. Liquor licenses aren’t required to sell or serve the beverages meaning smaller restaurants, convenience stores, and food trucks can carry them as a sober alternative to alcohol. Dry counties that still ban alcohol sales on certain days or times can fill in the gaps with non-alcoholic versions of local favorites.
Sober bars have also started springing up around the country, boasting a menu completely void of alcohol. Most bars quickly become social hubs for crowds looking for sober engagement and a relaxed place to interact alike. Non-drinkers can enjoy going out to the bar without being surrounded by alcohol and pressures to drink. What’s even more exciting is that those currently struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction can find new public support during their journey to recovery.
Start Working Towards Sober Living With ARC
Going from being addicted to alcohol to sober curious can be harder for those who have a long history of alcohol abuse. While some may be able to reduce their intake levels to nearly zero and start enjoying a sober lifestyle with the occasional drink, others will need to completely change their approach to drinking.
Find the exact level of help you need to achieve your ideal relationship with alcohol by reaching out to our team of recovery experts at America’s Rehab Campuses. With individualized treatment that fits your schedule and needs, you’ll be on your way to living your best sober life before you know it.