It’s that time of the year again – spring break! Whether you’ve been invited to grab drinks after work or asked to attend a baseball game, most places that young people are invited to at this time of the year are overflowing with alcohol. In fact, for those in their 20s, alcohol can be a big part of having a social life.
But what about people who are recovering from alcoholism or substance abuse? What types of choices do you have to be with friends in a fun, relaxed and alcohol-free environment? Sometimes it can feel like there are not many options.
When Sobriety Leads to Isolation
It’s easy to feel excluded or isolated when you’re newly sober and most social activities take place in environments where alcohol is plentiful. Sure, you’ve probably been encouraged to enjoy a quiet afternoon in the library, bookstore or nearby coffee shop, but not everyone is satisfied with this type of relaxation. This can be particularly hard when you know your friends are at nightclubs and bars.
Fortunately, alcohol-free bars are popping up all over the country as more young people face recovery and want a safe, sober place to hang out with friends.
A New Social Opportunity
Sober bars include everything a typical bar would – live entertainment, arcade games, dartboards, comedy, karaoke and more. These environments are positive places for those who want to socialize with friends – without the temptation of alcohol. Anyone is welcome as long as they are not intending to drink.
You can still sip on a wide range of fun and fruity drinks such as:
Club sodas and lime
Changing the Stigma of Being Sober
Aside from giving recovering addicts a place to go, sober bars are changing the stigma that being sober is boring. Sober bars are fun and include loud music, lights and lounge areas, just as any other typical club would have. There is no social pressure to drink or use drugs, and it’s a nice alternative to sitting around at home on a Friday night.
Another concept that is changing the stigma of being sober is alcohol-free spring breaks. Some interventionists and treatment professionals are putting together clean spring breaks that include lodging, meals and activities for one cost. It’s a chance for people in recovery to connect with others their age and participate in something fun.
Activities like sober bars and sober spring breaks give recovering addicts a chance to participate in “normalized” activities. Many admit that it finally feels like a place has been carved out for them in society. This will hopefully reduce the isolation and exclusion that recovering addicts feel, especially in early recovery.