There has been an exciting and noticeable shift in the UK’s attitude towards drinking. Much like the USA the Brit’s have a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol, abnormal drinking is celebrated and encouraged. Up until recently there has been nothing to challenge this perception. Treatment was for hard-core alcoholics, abstinence was seen as something extreme. Drinking was the norm.
But it seems that something has finally shifted and a new kind of sobriety is emerging. Soberistas an on-line community is a place for people to get advice, support and information about being ‘alcohol free’. The community there refers to it as being ‘AF’, much like being ‘gluten free’ this is a group of people who have ditched a substance that doesn’t agree with them. Being ‘AF’ can be a lifestyle choice for many different reasons. Lucy Rocca the founder of Soberistas stopped binge drinking and looked around for a community of like minded individuals to join. When she didn’t find any she started the website. Soberistas doesn’t advocate any form of recovery or treatment, it stays away from the term ‘alcoholic’ and exists to inform and connect people who just don’t want to drink anymore.
Club Soda is a website looking to start a nationwide network of people who want to gather, socialize and not drink. The founder Laura Willoughby MBE started it when she stopped drinking and realized there was on-line support for just about every problem except alcohol.
Both Club Soda and Soberistas offers an alternative community to Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART recovery. More importantly they are offering an alternative image to binge drinking. I have often argued that it’s not prohibition that we need but some kind of balanced alternative to binge drinking. ‘Not-drinking’, sobriety or being ‘alcohol free’ needs to be something visible and aspirational and I believe that Soberistas and Club Soda are providing this kind of balance.
I’d love to see something like this start in America. If you know of anything like this please let me know.