Certain hashtags have become buzzwords in the sober community, with #SoberLite, #SoberCurious, and #SoberCali gaining popularity on social media for the positive spin that celebrities put on semi-sobriety. But cutting down on intoxicants, whether alcohol or drugs or both, is not true sobriety – it’s a dangerous dance. Addiction is still a very real threat to those who are susceptible to it, and practicing a hashtag that allegedly works for a celebrity could endanger your own sobriety.
Defining the #SoberTrends
There is no such thing as a spectrum of sobriety. You’re either sober, or you’re not. Some people, however, have convinced themselves that there are degrees to their sobriety, a belief that can derail someone else’s sober journey.
Here are three of the most common hashtags that semi-sober celebs and non-celebs are using:
#CaliSober: In the California sober approach, individuals smoke cannabis and occasionally take psychedelic drugs but abstain from alcohol completely, or at least rarely have a drink. When you’re #CaliSober, you profess that you’re not an addict, but rather you have a balanced, positive relationship with drugs that will improve your lifestyle rather than negatively affect your mental and physical wellness. Singer Demi Lovato has endorsed the #CaliSober approach on her recovery journey to great criticism, and recently rescinded her commitment in exchange for a “Sober Sober” approach of full sobriety.
#SoberLite: The #SoberLite approach is like #CaliSober in that it permits the use of cannabis and a small amount of alcohol consumption but no hard drugs. People who endorse the #SoberLite approach see it as a more achievable method of partial abstinence. Singer The Weeknd endorses the #SoberLite approach.
#SoberCurious: The #SoberCurious lifestyle is far less permissive than #SoberCali and #SoberLite. The individual who adopts this approach seeks to exclude alcohol or drugs for either mental or physical health reasons. They don’t “need” to get sober, but they are curious about what it feels like to live a life without indulging in any substances. People who endorse this hashtag may participate in trends like Dry January or Sober October.
There’s No Such Thing as Semi-Sober
It’s clear that all three of these hashtags have drawbacks. A person who has achieved sobriety but is struggling to stay that way can easily fall prey to a permissive social media trend that makes it seem like dabbling in substances is possible.
Addiction is a real affliction. Once you develop this health condition, you will always have it, and staying sober is a choice that takes concentrated, constant effort. Anyone with a history of addiction is vulnerable to a relapse should they ingest cannabis, alcohol, or other substances, no matter how small the amount.
A truly sober lifestyle is not one in which you have a drink occasionally or take a drug just for fun. It’s a lifestyle where you practice total abstinence. Sobriety is not a wellness trend – it is an ongoing, lifelong journey and the only true path to recovery.
The Dangers of Semi-Sober Trends
It’s important to keep in mind the people who promote trendy hashtags. They’re singers, actors, and celebrities, people with large followings on social media who get plenty of likes and follows for putting themselves out there. But are they completely straightforward all the time about how their methodology is working? These individuals are not medical professionals and, while they may have spent time in rehab themselves, they clearly have a skewed view of recovery and what constitutes healthy lifestyle choices.
Social media hashtags can combine the concepts of needing and wanting to get sober – but these are two very different states of being. While following a semi-sober lifestyle and limiting the consumption of drugs or alcohol is healthy, it can mask an underlying addiction, especially for a person who is lax to admit that they have a problem with substances. Likewise, someone who is on an abstinence-only path to recovery can be distracted or tempted by the permissiveness of these lifestyles, or they can consider the casual nature of them demeaning to the serious issue of addiction.
Take the Path to a Real Sober Lifestyle
If you suspect that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, instead of trying to conquer it yourself and putting yourself in harm’s way by adopting a sober-lite lifestyle, consult with a medical professional at a holistic rehab.
Social media is not the place to seek advice about your alcohol or drug consumption. Holistic rehab treatment centers like Beachside Rehab offer substance abuse support.
Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss ongoing recovery support.