Maybe you’ve heard the trendy term ‘Sober Curious,’ and wondered just what that meant. It’s a term coined for what is becoming a subculture of people who not only want to get sober but want to embrace an entire dry social scene that seems to be popping up more and more. But is it really ‘cool’ to get sober? Or, is there a more dangerous undertone to getting sober being the newest trend to try?
Sober Is The New Black
In 2014, Scottish housewife and mom Rachel Black bravely shared her story of alcohol addiction and recovery. In her book, Sober Is The New Black, she detailed her regular cycle of juggling all the roles she had as a woman, wife, and mother. At the end of each day, she ‘rewarded’ herself with wine until she realized that her wine intake grew each day, and was no longer a treat but a must. She found life harder to cope with and in turn, drank more until she realized she needed help to get her life back.
And she wasn’t alone. Research shows that millennials are drinking considerably less than generations before them. Many claim the new trend to ‘get sober,’ is a result of more people being sober curious—wanting to know what life without alcohol and the health issues it can bring is like. This new curiosity comes almost as a direct revolt against what has come to be known as a given in most Instagram or other social media posts. In fact, in 2016, French researchers shared they’d created an ‘influencer’ profile on Instagram to prove that the inclusion of a social drink was the norm. When the profile was exposed, the fear over just how easily people became desensitized to alcohol in everyday life encouraged more to become sober curious.
The Sober Curious Movement Presumes Choice
While it’s positive that research suggests millennials may be drinking less, the problem is that the sober curious movement presumes it’s a natural choice to get dry and that being sober is a lifestyle choice.
Sean Mahoney is the author of Now That You’ve Stopped Dying. He calls the sober curious movement a trendy one and one that doesn’t take into serious account that an alternative to sobriety is often death. He sees those exploring the Sober Curious movement as people who don’t necessarily need to get sober, but who consider it for the other benefits of abstaining from alcohol. Those benefits include better brain and liver function, as well as weight control and more money in your pocket.
He says that the Sober Curious are interested in hanging out with their friends in bar culture, but not necessarily wanting to drink in excess. They are tired of feeling the pressure to drink heavily at work or social functions just to fit in and don’t want to do it anymore.
And those are all excellent reasons for abstaining from alcohol.
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The Problem With The Sober Curious Movement
The problem for those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism, though, is that resisting or abstaining from alcohol isn’t a trendy or cute fad to try. Getting sober and abstaining from alcohol is a must for those suffering from alcoholism. If you don’t, Mahoney says that you will not only lose relationships, jobs, and money…you may end up losing your life.
The Sober Curious trend presumes that all you have to do to abstain from alcohol and get sober is decide it’s not the lifestyle you want. It doesn’t factor in that alcoholism is a disease. It also glamorizes getting sober as ‘being cool,’ but doesn’t highlight that while some may be drinking less, they’re turning to other substitutes as fill-ins. Researchers are looking at the relationship between looser marijuana laws and the decline of alcohol sales, while other research suggests that some may substitute food indulgence with alcohol. Both have their own set of problems, and introspection into either phenomenon rarely looks at the structure of the disease of alcoholism itself.
Recovery And True Healing Wait For You
The compassionate and experienced staff at Ocean Hills Recovery knows that to get sober, you have to want to be more than part of the current social media campaign or trend. For those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism, to best achieve sobriety, you’ll need more than an Instagram hashtag.
Ocean Hills Recovery will look at you as an individual, and customize a treatment plan that will address your mental and physical needs. Their goal is your long-lasting sobriety, and they will work hard to help you learn how to take your will and your life back. They offer individual and group therapies, medical interventions, and multi-step programs. They’ll walk through each step of treatment with you in their calm and comfortable residential setting, and you’ll have the tools you need to maintain sobriety for a lifetime. You need to take the first step.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.