So-called sobriety clubs hold mass appeal for so many questioning their relationships with alcohol. Why is that?
Problematic drinking has been on the rise for decades, with global consumption increasing as much as 70% between 1990 and 2017, a 2019 Lancet study found.
The pandemic has accelerated the trend. A Harvard study published in January found excessive drinking rose 21% in 2020 alone. Researchers predict that will lead to 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040.
Women and Alcohol
Women have been particularly affected, increasing their heavy drinking days by 41% during the pandemic, another study found. That’s likely due to a combination of pandemic-related stress, increased alcohol marketing to women, and the absence of other coping mechanisms.
Research shows that women are less likely than men to seek treatment for alcohol-use disorder, and have poorer outcomes when they use traditional routes like 12-step programs and in-patient care.
That’s where the largely female-skewing world of non-12-step online-support groups comes in. The groups, which first cropped up around 2015, offer varying levels of support, from free Facebook groups, podcasts, and videos to meetings and private-forum access for the price of a six-pack or private coaching and “master classes” as pricey as the nicest case of Champagne.
Each program has its own vibe and methodology. Tempest, which was recently acquired by Monument, is female-focused and holistic, emphasizing mindfulness practices on top of cognitive-behavioral therapy and positive psychology. The Luckiest Club, founded by a woman who got sober through AA, is meeting- heavy. SoberSis markets itself toward women who consider themselves “gray-area drinkers,” while This Naked Mind’s Alcohol Experiment says it can help quell the desire to drink “through a journey of facts, neuroscience, and logic.” Project 90 targets “high achievers” of all genders.
Members are often big on team spirit, using names for themselves like “Soberistas” or “the Sober Mom Squad” — that are more akin to “Swifties” and “Beliebers” than “diabetics” and “celiacs.” They start “quit lit” book clubs, meet up at retreats, join sober dance parties during wellness weekends, and toast alcohol-free cocktails at “sober in the city” events.
A Uniting Theory
One theory unites most programs: They resist telling members that sobriety is the only acceptable end goal. “Who cares if you’re not drinking if you’re miserable?” This Naked Mind Founder Annie Grace told Insider. She encourages people to set goals for how they want to feel – like that alcohol is small and irrelevant in their lives – rather than how they want to behave.
For more on sobriety clubs read the full article here.
Better Than A Sobriety Club
The Alcohol Experiment, a 30-day challenge exploring life with less or no alcohol.
Over 700 videos that explore sober life — from socializing to sex and much more.
A global support community where members can remain anonymous if they choose.
Opportunities to join Annie Grace and This Naked Mind Head Coach Scott Pinyard in live conversation.