Alcohol is part of everyday culture in the United States when it comes to celebrations. As of late, drinking to cope with the pandemic or simply coping with life seems to have become very accepted in mainstream culture. But sober curious has begun to trend as well. In the start of the new year, “Dry January” and its counterpart, “Sober October.” have been in the news and on social media. These trends highlight what being sober curious means: periodically giving up alcohol to assess one’s relationship with alcohol and to see what life is like without it.
How Do I Know If I’m A Heavy Drinker?
The textbook definition is more than 12 drinks per week for women, more than 15 drinks per week for men, or anyone binge drinking (which is more than 5 drinks in a day) at least once per week on a consistent basis. Consistent means this is more than just an infrequent occurrence, it’s more the norm.
Benefits of Participating in Sober Curious Events
The curiosity about the trend seems to stem from people who think they may have an issue with alcohol. During a time period of usually a month, as long as a year or even indefinitely, individuals are seeking to see how their physical health, mental health, and lifestyle changes without the presence of alcohol. Originally started by a British charity called Alcohol Change UK, the public health campaign has caught on in popularity since its debut in 2014 and has made the jump across the pond to America. When considering being sober curious, it is important to consider the benefits one can anticipate. Eight hundred successful participants in Dry January 2018 studied by the University of Sussex reported significant achievement in terms of
- Better health
- Greater energy
- Increased focus
- Improved sleep
- Weight loss
- Financial savings
Are you unsure if you have a drinking problem?
Not everyone who is sober curious has an issue with alcohol. There is a spectrum in terms of whether someone does or does not have an issue with alcohol consumption. It is imperative to note that due to the potency of alcohol, for someone who is a heavy drinker or an alcoholic, symptoms of sudden withdrawal can be serious (seizures, serious high blood pressure, or intense anxiety) and therefore medical supervision is required for such a situation. Heavy drinking would include: more than 12 drinks per week for women, more than 15 drinks per week for men, or anyone binge drinking (which is more than 5 drinks in a day) at least once per week.
Sober Curious vs. Sobriety
Sober curious refers to a curious attitude and a trial period of abstinence from alcohol consumption. Sobriety is a daily effort to not consume alcohol as a result of an official decision to enter into a sober lifestyle. The assistance of an Executive Recovery Coach can greatly ease the effort put forth towards improving one’s health in this regard. Having someone to help illuminate this new path in an individual’s life can greatly improve chances of recovery. An objective professional with personal understanding of this complex situation can greatly improve the chances of staying the course of either achieving moderation or living a sober life.
Sober living can be fulfilling and fun. Easing into a different lifestyle can feel overwhelming. Here is a list of 23 Activities for a Sober Weekend to get you started. Look online for events and see if being sober curious is for you.
If you feel like you may have an alcohol problem, reach out. We are always ready to talk and give help and guidance.