What is ‘Sober Curious’?

What is ‘Sober Curious’?

What is 'Sober Curious'

“Sober Curious” describes a developing movement among those who are questioning their relationship with alcohol and contemplating cutting back or giving it up. This movement is frequently the result of worries about one’s general well-being, productivity, mental clarity, and general level of happiness. Thinking critically about your drinking choices instead of caving into peer pressure is what is meant by sober curiosity. This frequently entails making sacrifices. It could also entail abstaining from alcohol for extended periods, visiting sober bars, or going to social gatherings without drinking.

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Though people of all ages are experimenting, young folks are the target audience for sober curiosity. Being sober and inquisitive could be appealing to those who want to enhance other areas of their lives, such as relationships, and their physical or mental health, or other areas of their lives. There has been an increase in the number of soberly curious people in the previous few years.

Complete sobriety or abstinence is not the same as the sober curious movement. Individuals who choose abstinence give up alcohol. This could be the result of alcohol addiction for many. Contrarily, being sober and curious is a decision to cut back or quit drinking for one’s reasons rather than because of alcohol addiction.

Read more: The Jellinek Curve: Five Phases of Alcohol Addiction

History of Sober Curious Movement

Abstinence, or not drinking at all, was thought to be the only treatment for alcohol addiction for most of the 20th century. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which promotes total abstinence from alcohol and other substances, was formed in the 1930s by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. This way of thinking ruled the field of recovery for many years until alternative strategies progressively surfaced.

The Sober Curious movement strives to help people identify and explore their beliefs about alcohol, their patterns of usage, and how alcohol benefits or does not benefit their lives, as well as provide accurate information about what alcohol usage does to the body and brain. One alternative strategy for treating addiction is harm minimization. The concept originated in Europe throughout the 1970s and 1980s, eventually making its way to the United States.

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Goals of Sober Curious Movement

There are several ways in which being sober and curious is different from traditional sobriety. Above all, it does not necessitate complete abstinence from alcohol. Rather, it motivates individuals to, as the term implies, become inquisitive about their drinking—and strive to make better, more conscientious decisions around their alcohol consumption.

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition Brooke Scheller argues that this enables people “to explore living a life without alcohol without having to fully commit to not drinking.” Her speciality is nutrition to support a sober or sober-curious path. According to Peimer, the emphasis is not only on abstinence but also on the decisions we make when we choose to use alcohol as a stress reliever rather than finding healthier alternatives.

It also has a broader appeal. Although complete abstinence is typically advised for individuals with alcohol use disorders, the sober curious movement is appropriate for anyone seeking to improve their relationship with alcohol or who wishes to reduce their drinking for non-addiction-related reasons, such as bettering their health. An all-or-nothing approach is rigid; sober curious offers flexibility to acknowledge your use of alcohol may not be healthy,” adds Peimer.

Benefits of Being Sober and Curious

Drinking frequently or heavily has several serious health effects. In the short term, it can increase interpersonal conflict, cause hangovers, change behaviour, and contribute to injuries and accidents. It can leave you tired, cause an inflammatory response that affects your immune system, and interfere with daily life. Abstaining from alcohol has been shown to have health benefits.

One study found that after being sober for one month, people experience decreases in blood pressure and a lower risk for alcohol-related conditions. One study found that short-term abstinence can improve blood pressure, insulin resistance, weight, and cancer-related growth factors. Other research has found that lighter alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of depression

A novel approach to examining and transforming your relationship with alcohol is the sober curious movement. Being more conscious of your drinking habits, abstaining from alcohol for extended periods, and experiencing pleasant life events are all objectives of a sober curious lifestyle. Reducing your alcohol use and adopting a sober curious mindset can improve your mental and physical well-being. Whether sober curiosity is short-term or long-term, it can encourage thoughtful drinking practices and long-term lifestyle changes.

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However, not everyone finds success with the sober curious movement, and it’s perfectly OK to require further assistance in tackling drinking behaviours. Should you find it challenging to abstain from alcohol despite your best efforts, consulting with a specialist in diagnosing and treating alcohol dependence could be a wise next step. Speak with your doctor or a mental health professional if you think you might have a drinking problem or if you need more support to give up alcohol. Your doctor can oversee your detox, suggest a course of therapy, and connect you with helpful local resources. Additionally, they can prescribe drugs that help with cravings, withdrawal, and abstinence.

References +
  • https://zinniahealth.com/substance-use/alcohol/sober-curious
  • https://www.bswhealth.com/blog/sober-curious-dry-damp-january
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-sober-curious-4774971

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