The newest social scene doesn't include booze
Posted October 19, 2016
America’s social scene may have sobered up.
Well+Good, a website that shares health and wellness related news and tips, recently reported on a new social scene that may provide health benefits for everyone — the social sober scene, one without spirits, wine and beer.
“Drinking wine, spirits and the like has been at the center of social occasions since the Greeks and Romans,” Well+Good explained. “Even on today’s healthy living scene, beer yoga, workouts-and-wine, and mindful cocktail nights foster engagement in what many love to call ‘healthy moderation.’"
“But in a number of wellness circles, people are calling time on casual drinking, simply because it makes them feel like, well, crap,” the website continued. “Or because the 12-step model of addiction isn’t really a fit for these abstainers who are looking to lead a ‘high vibe life’ without substances. Which is why a new crop of sober social events and venues have emerged in cities across the country and the pond."
As Well+Good reported, this new movement away from alcohol is mainly because of health reasons. Those who spoke to Well+Good said that alcohol made them feel sick, or they didn’t feel comfortable including alcohol in every social scenario they encountered.
It’s been a struggle, though, for those who choose to give up wine and beer completely, often telling their mentors that they’ve lost a sense of identity because they no longer sip spirits, Well+Good explained.
“The most common concern that I see with my clients when they’re ready to give up alcohol is the fear of a loss of connection,” life mentor Jennifer Kass told Well+Good.
But the movement to sober up may be growing. As Nick Anderson wrote for Deseret News back in April, studies have found that millennials are actually drinking less alcohol, with some giving it up entirely. In fact, a Heineken survey found that more than 75 percent of young people moderate how much they drink. Millennials in the survey said they exercise caution when drinking because they want to live a more positive lifestyle.
"Millennials have grown up in a period of rapid technological change, globalization and economic disruption,” Goal Auzeen Saedi, psychologist and millennial behaviour expert, said in the press release from Heineken. “The result is their outlook on life is sharply different to previous generations. They are dedicated to positive lifestyles. Drinking in moderation is one aspect of this, taking matters into their own hands, making positive lifestyle choices and attempting to make the best of every opportunity that is thrown at them."
This movement may also move toward mainstream pop culture, too.
“There’s an emerging movement of literally scores of women and men showing the world that sober is the new cool,” said Dawn Nickel, co-founder of She Recovers, an addiction support center. “Media stories about celebrities living sober lifestyles, organizations like Faces and Voices of Recovery, and large-scale events like the Concert to Face Addiction in D.C. last October — with performances by Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crowe, to name just a few — have definitely helped change people’s minds.”
Indeed, some sober bars, like The Other Side, which is run by the nonprofit New Directors Addiction Recovery Services, already exist where those who want to live a sober lifestyle can kick back with a non-alcoholic drink. As The Huffington Post reported, sober bars gives people a place to have fun without the booze.
“It’s the exact same concept as your local neighborhood bar except without alcohol,” Chris Reed, president of NDARS and a former addict himself, told The Huffington Post.
Reed also said to HuffPost that it’s important that people who want to avoid alcohol also find a community that encourages sober lifestyles.
“I recommend that people in early recovery find new activities and new people not centered on substance use — join a sports league, get involved in a faith community, do volunteer work, whatever,” he told HuffPost. “This dry bar could meet the need for some people in recovery.”
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.