What Is the Sober Curious Movement?

What Is the Sober Curious Movement?

The Sober Curious Movement has been making headlines for the past several years. As more people move away from excessive drinking and begin to embrace a healthier lifestyle, others are being encouraged to evaluate their relationship with alcohol and ask themselves, “Am I drinking more than I need to be?” Alcohol consumption is a major part of American culture. Many of us are exposed to drinking at a young age, whether by our parents or our peers. We are taught that drinking equates to social fun, to parties, to joyous gatherings, to happy times and favored memories. Drinking serves as a right of passage for many of us. We likely remember our first drink — stealing from the liquor cabinet, drinking lukewarm beer out of a red cup at a high school party, sneaking a stinging sip during Thanksgiving dinner. For most people, drinking alcohol serves as a social instrument during young adulthood, and transitions into a “special occasion” ritual later on in life. Maybe a person parties a little too hard in their 20s, gets it out of their system, and enjoys a nice glass of wine every once in a while once they are more established — once they have a career and a family to tend to. For others, what begins as an innocent pastime transitions into something more sinister. They find putting down the drink is not easy. In fact, it might be seemingly impossible, regardless of associated consequences.

If you have been struggling to cut back on your drinking, you might be suffering from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder. If this is the case, some degree of professional intervention is likely necessary. At Intrepid Detox Residential we have developed an effective curriculum of care for those looking to overcome alcohol addiction and move towards a life of recovery. Whether you are curious about sobriety or you are certain you need some degree of help, we are available. Contact us today to learn more.

What Is the Sober Curious Movement?

The Sober Curious Movement is a widespread social wellness movement that involves taking an honest look at your personal relationship with alcohol, and choosing to forego drinking in lieu of healthier alternatives. The movement first gained momentum in 2018, and has been a topic of conversation since. But why? More studies are surfacing that suggest even consuming alcohol in small amounts could have adverse effects on overall health. One study published by Nature Communications reads, “Alcohol consumption is one of the leading contributors to the global burden of disease and to high healthcare and economic costs. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions worldwide, with harmful effects on physical, cognitive, and social functioning. Chronic excessive alcohol consumption is associated with direct and indirect adverse effects, including (but not limited to) cardiovascular disease, nutritional deficiency, cancer, and accelerated aging.” This study found that consuming just one drink every day could lead to serious cognitive issues.

Those who are curious about sobriety are not necessarily struggling with an alcohol use disorder, but they are interested in learning more about the health benefits associated with a lifestyle that doesn’t make ample space for alcohol. However, there are many individuals who reevaluate their relationship with alcohol, attempt to cut it out, and find that they are unable to do so. People in this category would likely benefit from some degree of treatment. This might look like individual therapy sessions with an addiction specialist, 12 Step program involvement, or seeking treatment from an accredited rehabilitation center. The best option for you will depend on your unique clinical needs. Contact us to learn more.

The Difference Between Sober Curious and “In Recovery”

People who are sober curious are actively questioning their relationship with alcohol. They might ask themselves the following questions:

  • What does alcohol add to my life?
  • Do I drink to have fun, or do I drink to numb out uncomfortable emotions?
  • Have I experienced any personal consequences as a result of my drinking?
  • Would my overall quality of life improve if I gave up drinking?
  • Do I feel like I need to drink in order to fit in?
  • Do I do most of my alcohol consumption in social settings?
  • Do I ever drink alone?
  • Would the people I spend time with and the places I frequent change if I gave up drinking?
  • Have I attempted to stop drinking in the past? If so, was doing so difficult?

Being sober curious encourages people to be more mindful of their drinking habits and become more aware of the ways that drinking impacts their quality of life. People might be curious about limiting their alcohol consumption for a variety of reasons. The Mayo Clinic notes several benefits associated with reducing alcohol intake:

  • “Reducing your risk of developing and dying of heart disease.
  • Possibly reducing your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow).
  • Possibly reducing your risk of diabetes.”

Outside of physical health benefits, limiting alcohol intake has been shown to improve mood, increase libido, improve sleep, and facilitate better decision-making.

When a person is in recovery for alcoholism, it is because they can no longer control their alcohol intake. They have become physically and psychologically dependent on the chemical substance. The chemistry of their brain has been altered by repetitive exposure to alcohol, and drinking becomes compulsive. Associated consequences become unmanageable, and if a person does not maintain complete abstinence they will find themselves in a very unfortunate situation. The main distinction between sober curiosity and alcoholism recovery is necessity.


If you or someone you love has been struggling with a substance use disorder of any kind, Intrepid Detox Residential is available to help. We have developed a comprehensive recovery program that covers multiple levels of clinical care, guiding clients through the treatment process and making sure they are set up for continued success in sobriety. In many cases, entering into a medical detox center is an important initial step, seeing as the physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and uncomfortable when unaddressed. Once a client has been physically stabilized they have the opportunity to transition into the residential portion of our clinical program, where they will continue to heal on a thorough basis. At Intrepid Detox Residential we believe that recovery is always possible as long as a person has access to quality addiction treatment options. To learn more about our treatment program or to begin your personal recovery journey, contact us today.


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