California Sober is a trend popularized by singer Demi Lovato that describes abstaining from drugs while still using marijuana. For some, California Sober, or Cali Sober, also includes the moderate use of alcohol.
Are there certain addicts who shouldn’t explore being California Sober?
The idea of ‘California Sober’ is a paradox. True sobriety means abstaining from all substances, including alcohol and marijuana. So going California Sober isn’t really pursuing sobriety, it’s moderating substance use.
For some, this method may be an effective expression of sober curiosity. But for people with substance use disorders and serious chemical dependencies, engaging in any level of substance use can be a slippery slope. Marijuana and alcohol are both mind-altering substances, and for people with addictions, it often blurs the lines between acceptable and unacceptable substance use, introducing many opportunities for relapse.
On top of this, your judgment, coordination, short-term memory, and other cognitive functions are impaired while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. As a result, a person with an addiction might be easily influenced to use the very substances they’re attempting to avoid while using these “safer” substances. If you know you have a serious problem with drugs or alcohol, California Sober might not be the right approach.
Are doctors actually adopting the term CS?
Medical professionals do not recognize California Sober as an official term or reliable form of addiction treatment. This is a socially circulated term without foundations in the medical community.
Many have expressed their increase in alcohol consumption due to the pandemic. What is your advice to get back on the “sober” track?
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a range of new mental and physical health issues for people across the U.S. If you started drinking more during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Factors such as anxiety, increased stress, loneliness, depression, and social isolation had significant impacts on drinking habits for many people looking for ways to cope.
If you saw a change in your alcohol consumption during the pandemic and want to make changes toward a sober lifestyle or more moderated drinking habits, start by assessing your current alcohol consumption. Be honest with yourself about how much you’re drinking on a daily or weekly basis. Then, create realistic goals, such as limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage per week. If you’re not sure you can do it alone, invite a friend or family member to join you so you have an accountability partner.
If you’re interested in going completely sober, pinpoint the reasons and circumstances surrounding your alcohol use. Do you typically drink when you’re stressed, at a social gathering, or feeling bored? Find healthy alternatives and replace drinking with a new activity, such as going on a hike or meditating. If you find it difficult to stick to your goals and can’t stay sober, consider reaching out for professional help. Talk to a therapist or addiction treatment specialist about getting started with a program that can help you to stay sober and regain your physical and mental health.