Sober Curiosity“ is an Anglicism. In English, „Sober“ and „Curiosity“ stand for „sobriety“ and „curiosity“. The underlying principle is that it is possible to have fun without alcohol. Often, it is people who are mindful and aware of a lifestyle that is not exclusively limited to abstaining from alcohol. The purpose of abstaining from alcohol is to improve quality of life and health. Ultimately, it is not about people who have come into contact with alcoholism. It is much more about a conscious lifestyle. It is about a freely chosen abstinence to make an important statement.
Development and background of „Sober Curiosity“
There are diverse backgrounds and lifestyles behind the „Sober Curiosity“ movement. In the recent past, it was the author Ruby Warrington who was the face of the movement. She described herself as a „cocktail girl.“ Alcohol consumption left negative consequences, so she decided to take the path of abstinence. She published her book „Sober Curiosity.“ It stands in German for „sober curious“ and the ability to experience exciting things without alcohol. Panic attacks as well as sleep problems have reinforced her decision to give up alcohol. In her work, she advocates the consistent abstention from alcohol consumption. Moderate or severely restricted consumption is also out of the question.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of young people who have made a conscious decision not to consume alcohol. The reasons for this lie in the social paradigm shift. In addition to sustainability, one’s own health also plays a substantial role these days. Whether work-life balance or a balanced diet, new priorities have become established that characterize life. Along with this, inner balance and physical fitness have become important everyday companions. Contrary to this, alcohol consumption represents a hurdle when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
In recent centuries, alcohol was a social stimulant that was recognized or tolerated across cultures. Nevertheless, it is a powerful drug that is both mentally and physically addictive. Consequently, there have been many deaths attributable to alcohol consumption. Tolerance for alcohol has recently declined – even among younger groups of people. The „Sober Curiosity“ movement is just one side effect that is an expression of today’s zeitgeist.
„Sober Curiosity“ in everyday life
People and followers of „Sober Curiosity“ usually focus on complete abstinence. This is because moderate alcohol consumption is difficult to define. It is up to the discretion of the individual to decide what consumption can be classified as moderate. Therefore, from the point of view of the supporters, alcohol consumption poses a danger – even with moderate consumption. This is because moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages can ultimately lead to alcohol addiction. Consumption can increase over time without those affected noticing.
That is why followers of „Sober Curiosity“ abstain from consumption in all areas of life. Along with this, alternative recreational events have become established, initiated under the motto „no alcohol.“ In the USA, there are an increasing number of bars and pubs that offer alcohol-free events. There is a growing target group in this area. Numerous people are consciously looking for parties where no alcohol is sold.
At the same time, other movements have developed that have similarities to „Sober Curiosity.“ In this regard, there is the „Mindful Drinking“ movement. This is about people who merely limit their consumption. Mindful Drinking is ultimately about responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. The primary goal is to integrate consumption into everyday life without exposing oneself to danger.
Distinction from Alcoholics Anonymous
There are parallels between Sober Curiosity and Alcoholics Anonymous. The latter group has been around since 1935, and both groups have made abstinence their goal. However, there are significant differences between the members of Alcoholics Anonymous and the followers of Sober Curiosity.
Alcoholism is a serious disease that can lead to death if left untreated. To overcome the disease, it is inevitable to live abstinent. Thus, abstinence in Alcoholics Anonymous is based on voluntary action only to a limited extent. Abstinence is an important step in making one’s way out of alcohol addiction. In this regard, there is no lifelong cure for alcoholism. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause one to relapse – even after decades of abstinence.
Contrary to this, for followers of Sober Curiosity, there is no urgent need to live abstinently. The decision is made freely and is not related to an alcohol disorder. This is precisely the essential difference. Here, a healthy lifestyle is the focus of the decision. In addition to abstaining from alcohol, a balanced diet or exercise is the focus of the movement.
Dangers of alcohol – a drug with fatal consequences
At the beginning of the 20th century, increased alcohol consumption was sometimes associated with weakness of character. There was no awareness that it was a dangerous drug or disease. It was not until 1952 that alcoholism was officially declared a disease, by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, new treatments were developed to treat it as a disease.
Alcohol has been shown to be even more dangerous than heroin or crack cocaine. A study in the journal Lancet has revealed that alcoholism has worse consequences for health and society than crack or heroin. British researchers have thus classified alcohol as extremely dangerous. In the long term, alcohol consumption leads to considerable limitations, even if the consequences are not obvious at first. The studies are rekindling old debates. The question is why other drugs are legally punished while the consumption of alcohol is legal.
Conclusion on the subject of „Sober Curiosity“
„Sober Curiosity“ helps raise society’s awareness of the dangers of alcohol. Even though alcoholism has been recognized as a disease for decades, there are still a high number of people who fall victim to the disease today. With the help of the sobriety movement, important preventive work is being done. Young people in particular underestimate the dangers associated with alcohol consumption. With proactive involvement, the negative consequences of alcohol consumption can be mitigated. Whether abstinence or reducing consumption, it is important to find the right way to deal with alcohol – this is the principle of „Sober Curiosity“.