Taking a break from alcohol after the holidays has become known in recent years as the “dry January” trend.
Now that January is over, some temporary non-drinkers are extending their sobriety into what has come to be called the “sober curious” movement. They’re trying out a social life that’s not dependent on alcohol.
In Chicago, a sober curious meet-up group has more than 400 online members. About a dozen come to monthly gatherings at a Whole Foods store in Lincoln Park.
Member Cori Clark says it’s a social gathering that allows for more authenticity “because you’re not distracted by what you’re drinking.” Clark, a recovering alcoholic, says that for her, sobriety is a matter of life and death. But for many women in the group, avoiding alcohol is more of a healthy lifestyle choice.
Yet as Clark wrote in a Chicago Tribune commentary, “If someone abstains from alcohol as a recovering addict or to improve their overall lifestyle, it’s breaking a mold shaped by a multibillion-dollar industry. We are standing up against a thing designed to control us.”
Clark joins “Chicago Tonight” in discussion, along with Daniel Fridberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago.