Sober-curious Movement Gains Momentum

Last Edited:

12/29/2021

Sober-Curious Movement Gains Momentum

Here’s some sobering news: For some women, Wine Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays are giving way to a new trend: leaving liquor alone.

Some are calling it a sober-curious movement. Instead of reaching for cocktails, folks are reaching for connection.

Not everyone has passed on drinking. Alcohol sales skyrocketed in the early months of COVID-19. One study found that sales spiked 54% at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

For some people, the added hours at home turned into happy hours. Alcohol consumption rose by double digits (17%) among women. Women drinking heavily (four or more drinks within a couple of hours) spiked 41%.

One American Psychological Association poll found that 23% of surveyed adults said they drank more to cope with pandemic stress.

For people in recovery, it was a struggle, especially with meetings moved online and therapy options reduced. Others, however, found a new lifeline online, with support groups meeting all hours of the day via Zoom connection.

While not everyone found they qualified as having an alcohol use disorder, they did discover that in socializing at home, they felt less pressure to go along with the brunch crowd’s mimosas or the dinner gang’s wine. Others learned life could be swell without spirits or that taking a breather from the bar scene gave them fresh perspectives on their drinking. 

No Hangovers, No Problem

Some liked cutting back after seeing it as a great makeover, not only of one’s mind and moods, but also their appearances. Slowing or stopping that pour led to weight loss or clearer skin

Glowy teetotaling celebrities and influencers have left some people saying, “I’ll have what she’s not having.”

A growing sobriety trend has also led to some reconsidering the contents of their cocktail glasses. It’s a trend propelled by any number of things:

Some ladies were drawn to life-coaching programs. Whereas Alcoholics Anonymous and its ilk encourage abstinence, others push for moderation.

The mocktail movement appears to be gaining momentum in recent years. One study forecast the “low- to no-proof” part of the alcohol market that currently makes up 3% of sales is expected to grow tenfold by 2024. 

Mocktails make it pretty and festive without the pain of a hangover. Celebrities are even getting on the bandwagon. Actress Blake Lively started her own line of alcohol-free beverages

Some taste like the real thing. All look like the real thing. They come dressed to the nines, a work of art for any bar. Full of the pretty without the pain of hangovers and other not-so-welcome aftereffects of overindulging.

For some, that can be enough to raise a glass and keep things festive, even though the contents of said glass may be faux. For others who struggle to get or stay sober—and there are millions who do—help for addiction is out there

Sources

Instyle.com – The Pandemic Has Sparked a Sober Movement Among Millennial Women

wsj.com – A Sober Curious Movement Builds Online, Targeting ‘Gray Area’ Drinking

niaaa.nih.gov – Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

npr.org – Breaking The Booze Habit, Even Briefly, Has Its Benefits

businessinsider.com – Cool girls don’t drink alcohol anymore

nypost.com – Why the hot new alcohol trend is cutting back — or even quitting

instyle.com – Blake Lively Shares Why She Started Her Non-Alcoholic Mixer Line, Betty Buzz

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Women’s Drug & Alcohol Rehab Resources

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