What Does Sober Mean? Details on Alcohol-Free Living

If you’re interested in sobriety, it might help to start by looking at your current behavior and what you want to change about it. It isn’t always easy to know if your drinking qualifies as excessive. But it’s often wise to seek professional help if you or a loved one think you have a problem.

Some critics of the term have called it offensive to the sober community because of how hard fully sober people work to abstain from alcohol and drugs. But Lhooq believes the term helps people by showing that there’s a “spectrum” of sobriety. After graduating high school, he attended college at the University of Coastal Carolina & Salisbury University. In 2015, Corey was given the opportunity to join Amethyst Recovery Center’s Business Development team. In 2018, Corey had the opportunity to partner with Amethyst and USR to open The Freedom Center in his to hometown of Gaithersburg, MD.

Sober Curiosity

I have experience working in psychiatric hospitals, inpatient, outpatient, detox, and partial hospitalization programs providing clinical social work services. My approach to therapy is grounded in compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding of the unique experiences and perspectives of each of my clients . I utilize a person-centered approach to my clients to help empower change within themselves. The Simple and sober meaning essentially boils down to ‘not being drunk.’ It refers to being free from any form of intoxication. According to the medical community and the famous recovery programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), it means abstinence from the consumption of alcohol. In the medical community, sobriety is looked at in objective terms, and it is mainly concerned with not consuming alcohol.

  • But as more people move towards low (or no) alcohol consumption as part of their quest toward a healthier lifestyle, the concept of California Sober could continue to gain traction.
  • Transitioning from treatment to regular everyday life can be overwhelming, so sober living homes are available to provide structure, support, and direction.
  • Yes, living a sober life does require that you abstain from using drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Vince is passionate about the work that he does, and approaches therapy through an empathetic and motivational approach.

Certainly in the United States, AA has been credited with success in reducing alcohol use. It is frequently claimed that AA members achieve abstinence at a higher rate than do professionally treated alcoholics and that AA participants who are more active in the fellowship program do as well or better than less active participants. Studies of AA are difficult to conduct, however, because the members are usually devoted to one of the guiding principles of AA, anonymity, making it difficult to follow particular individuals over time. Those studies that have been conducted have produced results that are consistent with the idea that social support for sobriety can enhance treatment outcome. Addiction and alcoholism are terrible diseases that affect millions of Americans year after year after year. Some addicts will go into treatment several times and come out only to pick right back up and start drinking or using again.

Is It Possible To Be Completely Sober?

Vanessa is a Montgomery County native who spends her free time traveling with her daughter and volunteering in the community. Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.

does sober only refer to alcohol

For example, if you value being an effective and helpful employee at work, how does alcohol get in the way of that? You might notice that alcohol negatively affects your sleep and leads to fatigue the next day, which impacts your performance at work. Many https://www.healthworkscollective.com/how-choose-sober-house-tips-to-focus-on/ aspects of some cultures revolve around alcohol — networking events, date nights, celebratory champagne toasts — so it isn’t always easy to avoid alcohol entirely. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today.

Sobriety Defined: Concept vs. Textbook Meaning

Mark joined the medical team at The Freedom Center in September 2018 as the Medical Director. He received his medical degree in Mexico with further certification from Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. He then attended New York Medical College for his residency training. Prior to being hired at The Freedom Center, he spent over twenty years working in the field of addictions treatment, and has been involved in nearly every treatment setting, from outpatient to residential to maintenance management. Mary is an experienced Client Care Manager with 20+ years in customer service.

does sober only refer to alcohol

While many may be familiar with programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 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. I have over four years of experience helping individuals, couples, and families navigate life’s challenges, including mental health issues, addiction, trauma, grief, and other issues individuals may experience. I graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and then pursued my Masters in Clinical Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work.

First up, check your state’s cannabis laws to make sure you’re in the know about what’s allowed. If you have the option, it could be an opportunity to explore marijuana and find out if it helps you de-stress and wind down at the end of the day (the way a glass of wine might without the interrupted sleep and hangover the next morning). Even if you don’t live in a state where marijuana is legalized, you’re welcome to partake in hemp-based CBD as part of your California Sober journey. Hemp-based CBD contains no THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives you a high) and is legal in all 50 states. When it comes to marijuana, in particular, 2020 was a big year for the formerly illicit drug as four additional states legalized adult (recreational) use, and that momentum is expected to carry into more states.

In this regard Valenta and Gonzales (2016) reported that chronic ICV MCP-1 administration led to a persistent increase in operant self-administration of alcohol in rats. Relatedly intrabasolateral amygdala administration of the IL-1 receptor antagonist IL1Ra or the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 reduced alcohol self-administration in mice (Marshall, McKnight, Blose, Lysle, & Thiele, 2016). From studies such as these, a neuroimmune hypothesis of alcohol addiction could be supported (Crews & Vetreno, 2016; Mayfield, Ferguson, & Harris, 2013; Robinson et al., 2014). However, other work in this neuroimmune arena showed that disruption of CCL2 or its receptor Ccr2 reduced preference for alcohol in female mice (Blednov et al., 2005). Similarly mice lacking other components of the TLR/MyD88 pathway showed differences in ethanol drinking that were dependent on MyD88 itself (increased drinking) or TLR2 (decreased drinking) (Blednov et al., 2017).


If you’re sober, does that mean you don’t use alcohol or other drugs? If you’re sober curious or just looking to cut back on your drinking, you have options. The non-alcoholic beverage industry has been trending sober house hot over the last couple years with alcohol-free alternatives to beer, wines, and spirits  that taste just like the real thing. One may go to rehab, a detox center or engage a sober companion to start.

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