As we inch closer to resuming our pre-Covid activities, many people are unable to kick their unhealthy habits that developed during the most difficult periods of the pandemic. The increase of stress and isolation led to a surge in alcohol consumption and drug use. In June 2020, 13% of Americans started or increased substance use as a coping mechanism. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults reported a high level of alcohol consumption and identified an increase in their current alcohol intake compared to their pre-pandemic habits. In an effort to safely curb these unhealthy cravings with a more relaxed approach, a new lifestyle has started to trend: California Sober.
What is California Sober?
California Sober is a way of living that uses cannabis and other psychedelics to create a more balanced lifestyle. Alcoholics Anonymous has greatly influenced the societal definition of sober, requiring complete abstinence from any consciousness-altering substance. However, a new interpretation of sober has recently emerged which simply means to achieve “life balance”. From this mindset, California Sober was born. This way of being describes people who have decided to quit consuming highly addictive drugs and alcohol, and instead use cannabis as a way to relax and feel more balanced. California Sober allows for a more reasonable approach to sobriety, rather than adhering to the strict rules of traditional abstinence.
“Ultimately, this mode of being feels like a radical self-experiment, except I am tweaking my body’s neurochemistry through removing substances, instead of adding them… being Cali sober is the ultimate trip.” –Michelle Lhooq, VICE
Traditional vs. Progressive Approaches to Sobriety
For many years, the traditional 12-Step model for addiction has been fairly successful. However, our understanding of alcoholism and addiction has grown and evolved, making room for more progressive approaches to sobriety. Because it is a fairly new concept, there isn’t a lot of medical research that supports the California Sober lifestyle. For those recovering from addiction, many traditional experts believe that the only way to move forward is complete abstinence. Additionally, they are wary of drugs or alcohol being consumed in moderation as a long-term strategy toward sobriety.
More progressive experts believe that fixating on abstinence is actually a detriment to recovery. They argue that sobriety simply means “not being intoxicated”. Instead, they focus on trying to fix the issues that drive people to consume substances in excess. They argue that traditional approaches to sobriety keep you in a constant state of “being in recovery”, forever attaching people to their addictions.
Is California Sober Right for You?
For those who have found that their increase in alcohol consumption and recreational drug use is more situational, (i.e. pandemic blues), California Sober may be the perfect solution. Here are some questions from Laura Fisher of Real Simple to ask yourself.
- Do you find yourself reaching for a glass of wine (or two) to unwind at night, but not liking the way it makes you feel the day after?
- Does your alcohol intake negatively impact your sleep, mood, or health in any way?
- Do you crave a “cleaner” lifestyle, but don’t want to give up having a little help in relaxing?
- Are you a little too reliant on alcohol to chill out, but don’t know how to make a change?
- Is booze not for you, but you’re seeking something else to help you de-stress?
If you answered yes to a few of these questions, then you should consider California Sober. With 1 in 3 Americans living in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, the California Sober lifestyle is becoming more and more accessible. An alternative solution to marijuana is CBD, which is legal in all 50 states in the US. CBD contains no THC, also known as the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives you a high. Consuming CBD, similarly to marijuana and other substances, may help reduce anxiety and pain.
Find the Right Balance
There are pros and cons to all versions of sobriety. Conventional addiction management programs offer a larger human support network, but require much stricter personal sacrifices. A progressive approach that focuses more on life balance offers more personal freedom, but it may be harder to find a community that shares your same values. Ultimately, the path to sobriety is up to you. If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to ease into any version of sobriety, let Natural Recovery Greens be part of your daily routine. Each serving contains full spectrum hemp extract to help bring balance to your mind and body.