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Sober-Curious? Taking a break from alcohol is fashionable and helps health: photos



Some who have given up drinking are joining "sober-sometimes" friends to enjoy soft drinks at the Sans Bar in Austin, Texas.

Julia Robinson for NPR


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Julia Robinson for NPR

Some who have given up drinking are joining "sober-sometimes" friends to enjoy soft drinks at the Sans Bar in Austin, Texas.

Julia Robinson for NPR

At 8 o'clock on Saturday night, people start gathering in a popular bar called Harvard and Stone, in a neighborhood of East Los Angeles. The chakra becomes stronger when the drink begins to flow.

In the far corner, a group of about a dozen women also enjoy themselves but do not drink alcohol. They drink handcrafted cocktails with names like Baby's First Bourbon and Med de Collins with soft drinks. They are part of a sober social club composed mostly of 30 years old women who want to have fun and become friends without alcohol.

The members of this club work, have hard jobs, and just do not want to feel anymore foggy or gloomy. Without alcohol, they say they just feel better.

"My God, Well, one thing that was noticeable to almost everyone was my overall health and, like my skin, my eyes … I lost weight, Stephanie Forte, who works in the beauty sphere

Another member of the social club, Kathy Kuznjar, says she has insulted if there was enough wine in the house, she says she feels more relaxed ever since became sober and lost 30 pounds

"Again, I'm creative," says Kuznjar. "And I know I will not do these things if I'm still

Recently, a group of women who did not drink alcohol seemed strange, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 86% of adults over 18 reported having an alcoholic beverage or drink at some point and 56% say they have had alcohol during the last month, but alcohol abstinence – in the short or long term – is becoming more widespread.

"Not everyone wants to get lost when he goes to the bar," says Forte. Sometimes when you're there, you just want to be social and adjust. of the party.

Julia Robinson for NPR


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Julia Robinson for NPR

"Sober curiosity" or "sober sometimes" movement has begun as a challenge for those who feel they have fun too much during the New Year's Eve weekend. First it was "Dry January", when people could boast in social media about how to make a break from alcohol. Now there is "Dry Jul" and even "Own September". And the movement has spread throughout the country with people who try to see each other's life without alcohol and share this experience.

Instagram accounts like Sober Girl and Sober Nation have tens of thousands of followers, and Ruby Warrington. Author of Book Sober Curious: Blessed sleep, greater focus, infinite presence and deep connection that awaits us all on the other side of alcohol which was released in December

While there is virtually no no deficiency to take a break from drinking alcohol – or to leave it completely – science is just beginning to study the ways in which abstinence can be good for you. Short breaks improve health There are several studies that point to some benefits of abstinence even for moderate drinkers – in addition to the widely recognized benefits for people who have alcohol abuse.

A British study of about 850 years of men and women who voluntarily refrained from drinking during dry January found that the participants reported a number of benefits. For example, 82% say they feel an achievement. A better study, published last year by UK researchers, compared health outcomes among a group of men and women who agreed to stop weight loss. drink for one month. , compared to the health of a group that continues to consume alcohol. "They found that at the end of this month – just after one month – people were generally losing weight," said Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the NIAAA Director. "They had improvements in insulin sensitivity, their blood pressure levels improved and their liver looked a little healthier." Improvements are modest, White says, but the wide range of benefits that researchers are documenting is noticeable.

In order to understand how the disruption of alcohol can affect the liver's healthy functioning, researchers in the Netherlands conducted a separate study. document the biochemical effects of a one-month abstinence from alcohol

The study is small. It included only 16 people who had the habit of drinking on average two drinks a day. However, the results are provocative, scientists say, and deserve to be traced. After a break, the researchers measure the levels of a liver enzyme called gamma-glutamyltransferase or GGT. "There is an antioxidant made by the liver called glutathione.You can get an indirect measurement of the degree of oxidative stress in the liver by measuring an enzyme called GGT that helps fill up the glutathione foods," explains White. Good for Your Health, Global Research Says “/>

After a month scientists have documented a reduction in the GGT of the participants.

"The results of these studies are actually very surprising," White said. The health risks associated with heavy, long-term drinking are well-known, but these are some of the first evidence to help scientists understand how the body responds even to a short break from moderate alcohol use.

For drinkers who are dependent on alcohol, taking a short break is probably not an option. Many people who drink hard have had no easy way to manage their relationship with alcohol.

Chris Marshall is a substance abuse counselor and founder of Sans Bar Austin, a place for "nocturnal living" without alcohol.

Julia Robinson for NPR


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Chris Marshall is Certified Drug Abuse Consultant and founder of Sans Bar Austin, a place for a "night life" without alcohol.

Julia Robinson for NPR

Chris Marshall from Austin, Texas is sober over the past 12 years. He starts drinking at high school, he says, and gets his first DUI at 16. Then he joins a college brotherhood and continues to drink.

"My whole drinking is really focused around the community and I want such a relationship with other people," he says.

Finally, he was worried by Alcoholics Anonymous, and he became a counselor on substance abuse to help "These early days of alcohol abstinence have been so severe because I did not have friends," he says.Sans Bar in Austin, Texas, a popular mocktail is good, well, but he finds that recovery is often really lonely

better – a mixture of confused blueberries, lemon meyer, smoked honey, apple vinegar and mint.

Julia Robinson for NPR


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Julia Robinson for NPR

So he created the Sans Bar, a sober bar in Austin. It is open on Friday night and some Saturdays – a convenient place where people can talk, make sober friends, listen to music and, of course, drink good soft drinks. (Marshall loves ginger beer, which he says offers a nice burn in the throat that people sometimes miss when they no longer drink alcohol.)

Sans Bar has become so popular that Marshall took the idea this year. He organizes pop-up bars in Washington, New York and Anchorage. He discovers new sober bars in Kansas City, West Massachusetts.

"What I want to create across the country is these small incubators for social connections," he says.

Marshall has seen many changes in the way people have been watching sobriety over the past 12 years. When you worry, you either drink – or not, he says. There is now a whole spectrum of sobriety. "Not everyone is identified as sober all the time," says Marshall.

He welcomes people who are recovering, and those who are just curious about the sober life in Sans Bar, as long as they are free of substances when they arrive and while they are there.

You know, alcohol is the only drug you need to give the reason you do not, "he says.

Recently, on Friday evening Rob Zaleski and Kimon Daniel entered the Marshall Bar in Austin. They go without alcohol for 30 days, explain and document their experience in a podcast and in the #BoozelessATX Instagram.

"We came to the understanding that we drink too often and too much," says They wanted to see what new skills and activities they can try without consuming alcohol. So far, they have found archery lessons, playing football on a flag, checking motorcycles on a biker rally and joining a free improvisation class. [19659908] Chris Marshall organizes the pop-up Sans Bars in New York, Washington, DK and Anchorage, and he is expanded into permanent spaces in Kansas City, Mo., and West Massachusetts.

Julia Robinson for NPR


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Julia Robinson for NPR

Chris Marshall organizes pop up Sans Bars in New York, Washington, USA and Anchorage. And he has expanded into permanent spaces in Kansas City, Mo. and West Massachusetts.

Julia Robinson for NPR

Now, if you worry about being one of the 17 million adults in the US who are dependent on alcohol, and alcohol causes you stress or harm, seek medical attention. As we report, there are different treatments outside Alcoholics Anonymous, including counseling, medicines, and support groups to help people who want to end this addiction. This NIAAA guide can help you find the right program or approach for you.

But if you can and want to experiment with cutting out alcohol while others around you are drinking, Marshall offers these tips to stick to it. plans not to drink. Bring a friend who supports you. And the demand for a good substitute drink.


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