Substance Use

Sober Curious: What Does it Mean?

hand refusing beer

What Does Sober Curious Mean?

The term “sober curious” refers to people who can choose, question, or change their relationship with alcohol in response to their mental or physical health. The sober curious movement recognizes that alcohol consumption is deeply ingrained in our culture and encourages individuals to be mindful of their intake and consider eliminating or reducing alcohol completely.

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Where Does the Term Sober Curious Come From?

The term “sober curious” was first coined by Ruby Warrington in her book Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol.

In this book, she explores how our dominant drinking culture has led to a world where we think it is normal or even necessary to drink alcohol as part of socializing or relaxing. Warrington encourages readers to explore what can be achieved if we choose to cut back or avoid alcohol.

People who are sober curious often ask themselves questions like:

  • Do I need this substance?
  • What would my life be like without it?
  • How can I find fulfillment and joy without relying on drugs or alcohol?

The concept of being sober curious has become increasingly popular as more people have begun questioning the role that substances play in their lives.

It’s not necessarily about quitting drinking altogether.

Instead, it’s about making conscious choices about when, where, and how much you consume. It also involves understanding your triggers for using drugs or alcohol so you can better manage them in the future.

At its core, being sober curious means having an open mind when it comes to examining your relationship with substances and then deciding what works best for you based on your individual needs and goals. For some people, this could mean reducing consumption; for others, it might mean abstaining completely.

Regardless of the path taken, it’s important not to feel ashamed about the choice you make, as everyone’s journey is unique.

What Is the Difference Between Sober and Sober Curious?

Sober and sober curious are two different states of being when it comes to alcohol consumption. The sober curious movement recognizes that many individuals want to explore the role alcohol plays in their lives without necessarily eliminating it altogether. Unlike sobriety, which involves abstaining from drinking altogether, a “sober curious” person may choose to be mindful about their drinking habits or go fully sober for a period of time.

The idea behind being “sober curious” is that people can take control over how much they drink and become more aware of the impact alcohol has on them mentally and physically.

This approach allows people to reduce their intake while still enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage if desired.

For those looking for guidance during this journey, there are now various resources available such as books, podcasts, online support groups and even apps like Sober Grid, designed specifically for sober-curious individuals.

According to MedlinePlus, as a central nervous system depressant, alcohol has the power to significantly alter your disposition, behavior and level of self-control. Additionally, it hinders one’s capacity for clear thinking and can lead to impaired memory.

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What Does Sober Curious Mean on Tinder?

It means honestly disclosing one’s attitude towards alcohol to possible matches, so that both can weigh up whether they are suitable for each other. If someone identifies as ‘sober curious,’ they may still consume small amounts of alcohol but have chosen to reduce their intake significantly or eliminate it altogether.

By stating this openly on Tinder profiles, it allows both parties to decide if they want pursue something further without any surprises later down the line.

Benefits of Sober Curiosity

Drinking plays a huge part in most social settings, and for many people, not drinking can seem like a big step out of their comfort zone. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 14 million American adults suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The benefits of sober curiosity are numerous and can be life-changing.

For those in recovery from addiction, embracing a sober curious lifestyle can help:

  • Reduce cravings
  • Build healthier relationships with others
  • Foster greater self-awareness, emotional balance, and stability
  • Develop healthier relationships with others around them
  • Bolster overall wellness
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease

When someone embraces sobriety, they become more aware of themselves and their surroundings which enables them to form meaningful connections with other people instead of relying on substances for comfort or companionship.

In addition, developing healthy relationships also means having more support when faced with challenging times during the recovery process, such as relapse prevention or managing difficult emotions like anger or sadness.

For people who don’t have AUD, exploring a sober curious lifestyle can have similar benefits. Taking time away from drinking can help to:

  • Save money and energy
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Reduce anxiety levels
  • Allow more time for engaging in productive activities that don’t involve alcohol

Sobriety also allows people to avoid many negative consequences of alcohol. For example, the Department of Transportation states that over 11,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that consuming too much alcohol can be incredibly detrimental, bringing with it a range of health risks including:

  • Injury
  • Violence
  • Mental health problems
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer

Practicing Sober Curiosity

Practicing sober curiosity can be a powerful tool in supporting long-term sobriety. It involves taking an honest look at one’s own behaviors and motivations, without judgment or guilt. Examining one’s own actions and intentions without self-condemnation can enable an individual to recognize potential pitfalls in their sobriety journey and devise tactics for circumventing them.

It’s also important to pay attention to how your body responds when presented with an opportunity for substance use such as being invited out for drinks or seeing someone smoking cigarettes outside a bar. This will give insight into what situations may trigger cravings or put you at risk of relapsing later down the line.

What are Sober Curious Examples?

Sober curious examples are those situations where someone decides to try out abstaining from substances without necessarily committing to full-blown sobriety.

For those considering a sober curious journey, there are several online communities offering support. These include Hello Sunday Morning, Club Soda, Moderation Management, and One Year No Beer.

Additionally, individuals can reduce their alcohol intake or take regular breaks from drinking, for example, in Dry January. According to this study published in the National Library of Medicine, Dry January is a UK-wide movement that urges individuals to refrain from drinking alcohol throughout the entire month of January.

What Are Some Other Examples of Sober Curious?

Some people also find success with taking regular breaks from drinking, such as having several days off per week or going completely dry once every few months. Others may decide on “sobriety lite” by limiting themselves only to certain types or amounts of drinks when socializing or attending events.

Another sober curious example is moderating one’s substance intake so that it does not interfere too much with daily life activities such as work or relationships. Setting boundaries on your consumption and tracking when these limits are reached can help to ensure that substance use remains in moderation.

If you feel like alcohol is causing problems in your life, Zinnia Healing is here to help. We understand alcohol addiction treatment can be intimidating, but it’s the first step toward recovery. Give us a call on our alcoholism helpline at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.