At the center of National Recovery Month comes National Sober Day (September 14), to raise awareness about alcohol—and specifically, the value of not drinking.
Founded in 2019, the annual observance was originally coined by Courtney Andersen and Lori Massicot, creators of a podcast called Real Aligned Women. Each of these stars has gone on to demonstrate how a sober lifestyle is not only possible, but fun. Andersen now hosts a podcast called Sober Vibes, and Massicot hosts To 50 and Beyond.
National Sober Day Is at the Center
In 1989, SAMHSA began National Recovery Month, “to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.”1
The observance is now sponsored by Faces & Voices of Recovery, with a permanent theme and tagline: “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person. Every Family. Every Community.” Other organizations have offered strong support, such as the National Council for Mental Wellbeing—which has its own page with Recovery Month resources2—and International Recovery Day, which encourages people to celebrate on September 30.3
Even the White House has chimed in, with a proclamation on National Recovery Month posted at the end of August.4 The President wrote, “Let us remember that there are many pathways to recovery and that overcoming substance use disorder is courageous and difficult. Let us also understand the importance of eliminating the stigmatization of addiction.”
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How to Mark National Sober Day
- Let’s consider a personal step first—perhaps the most obvious one: not drinking on September 14.
- For those who are already sober, take time out to thank yourself. Some congratulations, a mental pat on the back, and perhaps a delicious (nonalcoholic) reward may be in order. Gratitude can be very powerful.
- Plan a booze-free event. Consider exploring the booming world of nonalcoholic beverages. People now have more choices than ever before, and in many circles, not drinking alcohol has become cooler than ever.
- If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with alcohol, reach out. Be an ally. Sometimes just knowing that someone else cares enough to bring up the subject (granted, not always easy) is enough to convince them to seek help.
- For those who drink, taking a day off can be a thoughtful break—and a way of evaluating drinking habits. You don’t have to “never drink again” if that sounds too daunting.
If Taking a Day Off from Alcohol Seems Difficult
If taking a day off from alcohol seems difficult, perhaps it’s time to think about “why”—and check out some options for getting help. For some, the first thing that comes to mind is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), followed by rehab. But while AA works for many people, for others AA is simply not a good fit—whether people aren’t comfortable with a group situation, or with the “higher power” approach. And while rehab can be an attractive idea, it is often expensive, and not everyone has the time to leave family, friends, and work for a month or more.
Modern options like Ria Health can make getting help more convenient than ever. And you don’t have to rely on National Sober Day to cut down on alcohol. It’s a good idea anytime, any day of the year.