Sobriety is the condition of not having any measurable levels or effects from alcohol or drugs.Sobriety is also considered to be the natural state of a human being at birth. A person in a state of sobriety is considered sober. Organizations of the temperance movement have encouraged sobriety as being normative in society.
In a treatment setting, sobriety is the achieved goal of independence from consuming alcohol. As such, sustained abstinence is a prerequisite for sobriety. Early in abstinence, residual effects of alcohol consumption can preclude sobriety. These effects are labeled "PAWS," or "post-acute-withdrawal syndrome." Someone who abstains, but has a latent desire to resume use, is termed a "Dry drunk" and not considered truly sober. An abstainer may be subconsciously motivated to resume alcohol consumption, but for a variety of reasons, abstains (e.g. a medical or legal concern precluding use).
Sobriety has more specific meanings within specific contexts, such as the culture of many substance use recovery programs, law enforcement, and some schools of psychology. In some cases, sobriety implies the achievement of "life balance."
Sobriety may refer to being clear of immediate or residual effects of any mind-altering substances. Colloquially, it may refer to a specific substance that is the concern of a particular recovery support program(e.g. alcohol, marijuana, opiates, or tobacco). "Clean and sober" is a commonly used phrase, which refers to someone having an extended period without alcohol or other drugs in their body.
Recovery can start in many different ways for all people. One may go to rehab, a detox center or engage a sober companion to start. The next recovery support program may be slightly more difficult to find. Sober living can be confusing using any generic search engine. Recovery resources exist for many different companies, mainly across the United States.
Alcoholics can also use books, podcasts and online resources to help their own recovery.
Organizations of the temperance movement have encouraged sobriety as being normative in society.The Woman's Christian Temperance Union disseminates literature on the living a sober lifestyle, while fraternal organisations such as the Independent Order of Rechabites and International Organisation of Good Templars provide a space for teetotalers to socialize.
Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer testing are two ways law enforcement officers often test for sobriety in a suspected high or drunk driver. In the US, these "standardized field sobriety tests" are at the officer's discretion. They can also administer other tests including blood and urine tests.In other countries (for example The Netherlands), only breathalizer and blood testing is used. Standardized tests that can be performed in the US include:
Non-standardized tests include:
Since these tests rely on cooperation of the subject, the final result often depends on the presiding officer's interpretation. There are many factors that can lead to inaccuracies in sobriety testing including orthopedic or neurologic conditions, and fatigue.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship requiring no membership dues or fees, dedicated to helping alcoholics peer to peer in sobriety through its spiritually inclined Twelve Steps program. Structurally guided by its Twelve Traditions, AA is non-professional, non-denominational, self-supporting and apolitical, with an avowed desire to stop drinking as its sole requirement for membership. AA has not endorsed the disease model of alcoholism, to which its program is nonetheless sympathetic, but its wider acceptance is partly due to many AA members independently promulgating it. As of 2020, having spread to diverse cultures, including geopolitical areas normally resistant to grassroots movements, AA has had an estimated worldwide membership of over two million with 75% of those in the U.S. and Canada.
Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol that results in significant mental or physical health problems. Alcoholism is not a recognized diagnostic entity. Predominant diagnostic classifications are alcohol use disorder (DSM-5) or alcohol dependence (ICD-11).
Rational Recovery was a commercial vendor of material related to counseling, guidance, and direct instruction for addiction designed as a direct counterpoint to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and twelve-step programs. Rational Recovery was founded in 1986 by Jack Trimpey, a California-licensed clinical social worker. Trimpey is a recovered alcoholic who works in the field of treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions. Rational Recovery is a commercial trademark, along with the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT). The organization published a periodical, the Journal of Rational Recovery, from at latest 1993 until at least June 2001. The former "Rational Recovery" website ("rational.org") is no longer active.
The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the movement typically criticize alcohol intoxication or promote complete abstinence from alcohol (teetotalism), and its leaders emphasize alcohol's negative effects on people's health, personalities and family lives. Typically the movement promotes alcohol education and it also demands the passage of new laws against the sale of alcohol, either regulations on the availability of alcohol, or the complete prohibition of it. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the temperance movement became prominent in many countries, particularly in English-speaking and Scandinavian ones, and it eventually led to national prohibitions in Canada, in Norway and in the United States, as well as provincial prohibition in India. A number of temperance organizations exist that promote temperance and teetotalism as a virtue.
Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and stop substance misuse to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is the offense of driving, operating, or being in control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.
The Washingtonian movement was a 19th-century temperance fellowship founded on Thursday, April 2, 1840, by six alcoholics at Chase's Tavern on Liberty Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The idea was that by relying on each other, sharing their alcoholic experiences, and creating an atmosphere of conviviality, they could keep each other sober. Total abstinence from alcohol (teetotalism) was their goal. The group taught sobriety and preceded Alcoholics Anonymous by almost a century. Members sought out other "drunkards", told them their experiences with excessive alcohol use, and how the Society had helped them achieve sobriety. With the passage of time the Society became a prohibitionist organization in that it promoted the legal and mandatory prohibition of alcoholic beverages. The Society was the inspiration for Timothy Shay Arthur's Six Nights with the Washingtonians and his Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.
Dry drunk is a colloquial expression that describes an alcoholic who no longer drinks but otherwise maintains the same behavior patterns of an alcoholic. The objective of groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not just to help their members stop abusing drugs and alcohol. It is acknowledged in these programs that addiction is more systemic than a "bad habit" and is fundamentally caused by self-centeredness. Long term membership in Alcoholics Anonymous has been found to reform pathological narcissism, and those who are sober but retain characteristics associated with addiction are known in AA as dry drunks. The term is used by AA in relation to feelings of anger, depression and resentment.
Alcohol education is the practice of disseminating disinformation about the effects of alcohol on health, as well as society and the family unit. It was introduced into the public schools by temperance organizations such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in the late 19th century. Initially, alcohol education focused on how the consumption of alcoholic beverages affected society, as well as the family unit. In the 1930s, this came to also incorporate education pertaining to alcohol's effects on health. For example, even light and moderate alcohol consumption increases cancer risk in individuals. Organizations such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States were founded to promulgate alcohol education alongside those of the temperance movement, such as the American Council on Alcohol Problems.
Alcohol has a number of effects on health. Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include intoxication and dehydration. Long-term effects of alcohol include changes in the metabolism of the liver and brain, several types of cancer and alcohol use disorder. Alcohol intoxication affects the brain, causing slurred speech, clumsiness, and delayed reflexes. Alcohol stimulates insulin production, which speeds up glucose metabolism and can result in low blood sugar, causing irritability and possibly death for diabetics.
A temperance bar, also known as an alcohol-free bar, sober bar, or dry bar, is a type of bar that does not serve alcoholic beverages. An alcohol-free bar can be a business establishment or located in a non-business environment or event, such as at a wedding. Alcohol-free bars typically serve non-alcoholic beverages, such as non-alcoholic cocktails known as mocktails, alcohol-free beer or low-alcohol beer, alcohol-free wine, juice, soft drinks and water. Popular temperance drinks include cream soda, dandelion and burdock, sarsaparilla, and Vimto, among others. Various foods may also be served.
Transitional living refers to any type of living situation that is transitional. The primary purpose or mission of transitional living environments is temporary. Transitional living facilities often offer low cost housing. Transitional living residents that cater to those recovering from economic hardship often graduate from a shelter to lesser crowded living situation. Transitional living may or may not have other common threads among residents. Transitional living provides professional support, education, and a stable living environment. Common types of transitional living include transitioning from jail or prison, an addiction treatment center or a mental health facility. They may also target homelessness, especially among youth. Transitional living is provided by many well known private and non profit organizations, by government, churches and other charitable organizations.
Sober living houses (SLHs), also called sober homes and sober living environments, are facilities that provide safe housing and supportive, structured living conditions for people exiting drug rehabilitation programs. SLHs serve as a transitional environment between such programs and mainstream society. Many SLHs also accept people who are in recovery from substance use disorders but have not recently completed a rehabilitation program.
Drug addiction recovery groups are voluntary associations of people who share a common desire to overcome their drug addiction. Different groups use different methods, ranging from completely secular to explicitly spiritual. Some programs may advocate a reduction in the use of illegal drugs rather than outright abstention, although this is for other programs typically not a sustainable treatment plan in the long term. One survey of members who found active involvement in any addiction recovery group correlates with higher chances of maintaining sobriety. The survey found group participation increased when the individual members' beliefs matched those of their primary support group. Analysis of the survey results found a significant positive correlation between the religiosity of members and their participation in twelve-step programs and to a lesser level in non religious SMART Recovery groups, the correlation factor being three times smaller for SMART Recovery than for the twelve-step addiction recovery groups. Religiosity was inversely related to participation in Secular Organizations for Sobriety.
SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization that provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addiction. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. The SMART approach is secular and research-based, using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and non-confrontational motivational methods.
LifeRing Secular Recovery is a secular, non-profit organization providing peer-run addiction recovery groups. The organization provides support and assistance to people seeking to recover from alcohol and drug addiction, and also assists partners, family members and friends of addicts or alcoholics. It is an abstinence-based recovery program with three fundamental principles: sobriety, secularity and self-empowerment. The motto of LifeRing is "empower your sober self."
Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. Most frequently, the term refers to sexual abstinence, but it can also mean abstinence from alcohol, drugs, food, etc.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), also known as Save Our Selves, is a non-profit network of autonomous addiction recovery groups. The program stresses the need to place the highest priority on sobriety and uses mutual support to assist members in achieving this goal. The Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety emphasize rational decision-making and are not religious or spiritual in nature. SOS represents an alternative to the spiritually based addiction recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). SOS members may also attend AA meetings, but SOS does not view spirituality or surrendering to a Higher Power as being necessary to maintain abstinence.
Drunk driving is the act of driving under the influence of alcohol. A small increase in the blood alcohol content increases the relative risk of a motor vehicle crash.
Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of total personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices teetotalism is called a teetotaler or is simply said to be teetotal. The teetotalism movement was first started in Preston, England, in the early 19th century. The Preston Temperance Society was founded in 1833 by Joseph Livesey, who was to become a leader of the temperance movement and the author of The Pledge: "We agree to abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality whether ale, porter, wine or ardent spirits, except as medicine." Today, a number of temperance organizations exist that promote teetotalism as a virtue.
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