Sober Definition & Meaning

While many may be familiar with programs like Alcoholics Anonymous that are based around total abstinence, sober curiosity is unique in its more nuanced stance. “I think sober curiosity is more exploratory; it doesn’t conform you to a side and has less finality than ‘going sober,’” Kumar says. For some, this may mean giving up alcohol for a few weeks or a few months, only drinking from time to time, or avoiding it indefinitely. Ultimately, the goal is to become more aware of your drinking habits, understand why you might be drinking alcohol in the first place, and learn how to be more mindful of your alcohol consumption. On a deeper level, living a sober lifestyle can mean you choose not to drink alcohol for the long-term. That can be because of substance abuse issues or you just want to live healthier.

  • If you were spending a lot of your time drinking and in places where alcohol use is likely, you may need to find new ways to spend your time.
  • Recovery is a marathon, and there will be obstacles along the way.
  • The sober-curious trend is not about addiction necessarily.
  • Instead of a stimulant, alcohol is actually a depressant.
  • According to research published in JAMA Pediatrics, between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults aged 18 to 22 in the U.S. who do not consume alcohol increased to 28 percent, up from 20 percent.

For others, taking a is a chance to make a conscious choice about when, where and how much they want to drink when their break from alcohol is over. Sharing your goal helps you find like-minded people to connect with. Support from others who also want to reconsider their drinking patterns can be a great way to strengthen your resolve. Your commitment might encourage others to give it a try. Anyone can benefit from cutting back on alcohol and exploring drinking behaviors.

Words Near Sober in the Dictionary

Being sober curious does come with health benefits, even if you decide to drink sometimes. Sober curiosity, on the other hand, involves a choice to drink less or limit altogether for physical or mental benefits. It’s important to emphasize that leading a sober curious lifestyle is voluntary and not the result of a diagnosed condition. Sober curiosity can mean questioning your relationship to alcohol , drinking less alcohol, or living alcohol-free altogether. Please note – If you are a heavy drinker or drug user, it can be dangerous to suddenly stop using or drinking without medical supervision. Going cold turkey alone, as we detail here, can cause serious complications and painful withdrawal symptoms. Please contact Turnbridge if you need help during this time.


This month some people around the globe will be giving up alcohol in honor of Sober October. Nonalcoholic beer, wine, and liquors are also available for anyone looking for an alternative that looks and tastes more similar to alcohol. One reason sober bars are popping up across the country is that they remove the pressures and dangers of alcohol, while providing a space for socialization and community, which all humans crave. It won’t be enough on its own, Langabeer agrees, but a month of sobriety might be a valuable first step for some people.

The Difference Between Sober Curious and Sobriety

We are a recognized drug treatment center for young men and women in Connecticut, with clinical staff specializing in drug abuse and mental health disorders. However, we encourage everyone – those in recovery and outside it – to think about Sober October as a positive initiative. Because for many people who have been working to stay sober this month, this is just the beginning. Sober October can be a gateway to many more months sober – a period of recognizing the negative effects of drinking and drug use, understanding the benefits of sobriety, and for realizing real change. For many, Sober October is the door closed on binge drinking and drug use, and the entry point to a healthier, more fulfilling life. When living sober, you will attract many other sober and like-minded friends . You may repair bridges that were once “burned” by your addiction.

  • Learn the words you need to communicate with confidence.
  • Giving some thought to how you feel as the days of sobriety add up can help you get more insight on your alcohol use.
  • As we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices.
  • If a person with a BAC level of 0.08 stops drinking, it will take roughly 6 hours for them to sober up.
  • Nowadays, the collective conscience encouraged by global awareness movements such as “Go sober for October”, “Dry November”, or “Dry January” are calling on more people to re-evaluate their drinking habits.
  • But though he probably intended nothing more than a sober description of fugal features, his words overshot his mark.

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help. Aside from helping you better understand your relationship with alcohol, taking a month-long break from alcohol offers more than a few benefits. If you want to join the official fundraising challenge to raise money for cancer support and treatment, you have the option to commit to 14, 21, or 31 days without drinking. While there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional drink to unwind, regularly drinking in excess of recommended guidelines for moderate drinking can take a toll on your mental and physical health.

More from Merriam-Webster on sober

Staying sober for a month can break an addictive cycle and can also force us to sit with whatever emotions come up in the process, rather than masking them with substances. Experts say taking a break from alcohol, even temporarily, can help your overall health. The term started in the UK as a way to benefit a cancer center. “It kind of starts me off on the right foot. And if I end up having a glass of wine later, at least I started with water and lemon,” she said. Sober curiosity empowers people to push back on this default mode of drinking and question the role alcohol plays in their lives. Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

How do I know if I am sober?

  1. Hopping to maintain balance.
  2. Putting the foot down.
  3. Swaying while balancing.
  4. Using arms to balance.

In any case, the decision to rein in excessive can offer big rewards—if you know what your goal is, why it matters, and how you plan to get there. These official guidelines come from the non-profit Moderation Management. The group was founded in 1994 as an alternative to AA. It has become a way for people to learn how to stop harmful patterns when they drink and identify triggers for those behaviors. The statement noted that Dike has been sober since the crash and attended treatment for addiction.

Other Word Forms of Sober

That self-control has to be a learned behavior for many drinkers looking to cut alcohol out of their lives. It’s about identifying triggers for alcohol use, like stress, sadness, or boredom, and coming up with coping skills or alternatives to drinking when faced with those triggers. Sober usually refers to sobriety, the state of not having any measurable levels or effects from alcohol or drugs.

It’s not about ignoring your feelings, but facing them. That way, you’re not overwhelmed by your feelings and reach for a drink when those feelings crop up. Those in recovery who haven’t addressed those root issues are often described as “dry drunk,” a term coined by AA.

Make a plan before you abstain from alcohol

This might mean trying a different sport, fitness class, or joining some new social group. “It can be helpful to have someone who can hold you accountable to your goals.” This person can support you in your sober curious journey, and help remind you of your aspirations.

You will learn how to handle difficult drug cravings, tough emotions, and toxic relationships as they come and go. No matter what your goal is, to be healthier in general, to step back and assess your drinking habits, or even to raise money and awareness for a cause, any month of the year will really do just fine. Dry January was often a go-to for people as the prior six weeks of holidays that many people around the world celebrate often cause us to overindulge in both food and drink.

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