Anchorage, Alaska – Sober pop-up bars appearing and alcohol-free drink options being added to the menus of famous restaurants and bars across the globe are proof that living a sober lifestyle is gaining popularity.
Alaska is no exception. Kicked off nearly two decades ago as the Alaska Native Sobriety Movement at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, more and more Alaskans will recognize this March as Alaska’s Sobriety Awareness Month.
Signed into law last year, Sobriety Awareness Month celebrates the choice of Alaskans living a sober, healthy lifestyle and encourages others to recognize those making a sober choice.
“Sobriety isn’t easy,” said Tiffany Hall, executive director of Recover Alaska, who is nine years sober. “Alcohol is so present in our society, whether we’re listening to music or seeing ads in magazines, whether we’re celebrating or mourning, if we want to relax or get pumped up, alcohol is everywhere. Hopefully this month will encourage people to start thinking about the presence of alcohol in their lives and getting creative with other ways to celebrate or relax. There’s a misperception that sobriety is boring or anti-social, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
According to recent national news, like CBS News, more and more people are choosing to live a life without drugs or alcohol regardless of whether or not they struggle with addiction.
Money, awareness around the health impacts of alcohol use and wellness trends are being stated as reasons people are choosing to live sober. Regardless of reasoning, the often-overlooked population of people choosing to not drink is rising, and it is time to pay attention.
Bars and restaurants that previously relied on alcohol sales are beginning to see that the population of people choosing not to drink, whether it be a lifelong commitment, a month, a weekend or just one night, do have spending power and will pay for zero-proof drinks that include higher quality ingredients. Evidence of this movement can be seen on menus across the state and the nation and, extending beyond the bar, sober events like yoga parties and alcohol-free concerts.
“For many, socializing with friends is still going to involve hanging out at bars and restaurants,” said Hall. “So it’s nice when a place offers specialty spirit-free options and isinteresting for reasons other than just the alcohol it serves.”
Recover Alaska is encouraging all Alaskans to participate in Sobriety Awareness Month.
Most people have been touched by sobriety in some way, whether they have a friend, loved one or community member choosing to live without drugs and alcohol or they are living a sober lifestyle themselves. In Alaska, Sobriety Awareness Month will consist of Dry Weekend Challenges, featured “buzz free” drink additions at bars and restaurants across the state and the chance to host a community film screening of Day 001: Recovery is a different path for everyone, where eight Alaskans share their personal stories of struggles and success with alcohol.
About Recover Alaska
Recover Alaska is a multi-sector action group pursuing a solutions-based approach to reduce excessive alcohol use and harms across the state. Partners include Rasmuson Foundation, The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Providence Alaska, Southcentral Foundation, State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, and University of Alaska Anchorage. The vision for Recover Alaska is for Alaskans to live free from the consequences of alcohol misuse, so we are empowered to achieve our full potential. For more information, visit recoveralaska.org.