Trendy New Ways to Quit Drinking: New Options for Today’s Lifestyle

Table of Contents

Although the pandemic is largely in the rearview mirror, we still experience its impact in many ways. For one, the landscape of health and wellness has changed, including greater access to telehealth, which has impacted the way many addiction treatment options are now offered.

The uptick in alcohol use during the pandemic due to isolation, unemployment, overwhelm, and anxiety also led to a rise in alcohol use disorder (AUD). This continues to be an issue for many people and has prompted a new conversation on ways to quit drinking alcohol.

In the past, the only choices for cutting down on alcohol were Alcoholics Anonymous and rehab centers (the latter, often quite expensive). But now there are new ways to quit drinking, and abstinence isn’t necessarily required. 

As people rethink their drinking and seek change, new trends are emerging that point to a dramatic reassessment of the subject of alcohol use, sobriety, and everything in between.

As we explore trendy ways to quit drinking we are bumping into terms like sober curious, mindful drinking, gray area drinking, damp lifestyle, and telehealth and medication options. Let’s take a look at what they mean and how they work.

The Sober Curious Movement

There has been a recent wave of people questioning why alcohol is so ubiquitous in our culture—and whether we need it in our lives.

Thanks to a 2018 book by Ruby Warrington, the phrase “sober curious” has been on the rise for a few years now, helping to challenge the traditional idea of “alcoholism” as the only reason to quit.

two fashionable shoes on a white background
Photo by Thomas William on unsplash

Sober curiosity is a fluid concept. It promotes the idea that drinking is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Modified drinking habits may translate to abstinence, moderation, or something in between. 

The goal of sober curiosity is to develop a relationship with alcohol that is right for you, rather than conforming to social norms that say you are either a “drinker” or in recovery.

Gray Area Drinking

A year later, Holly Whitaker published Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol, offering another honest look at the cultural landscape. 

Most people don’t realize the enormous impact of alcohol on society, and how cutting down can yield unimagined benefits. Whitaker refers to what is known as “gray area drinking.” 

If someone drinks often but not to the extent that it visibly harms their life, they could be considered a gray area drinker. Many people fall into this category at times which is why it’s so hard to identify as a problem.

help with alcohol addiction ria health
Need Help or Have Questions?

Schedule a private call with a Ria Health team member and we can help you get started.

The Damp Lifestyle 

Recently, TikTok culture has added another layer to this movement. The idea of a “damp lifestyle” has been taking off across social media, encouraging people to question how much they drink and pursue a healthier balance.

Made famous by Hana Danly, this movement is about pursuing mindful, moderate drinking—focusing on avoiding binging. This trendy new way to quit drinking offers a softer approach to what it means to live a life without the harmful effects of alcohol.

Millie Gooch, founder of Sober Girl Society, notes that especially among younger people, drinking alcohol is declining in popularity. Many stores have been reporting “soaring sales in their non-alcoholic drinks.”

Mindful Drinking

Mindful drinking is another trendy way to reduce drinking. It’s about paying attention to when, why, and how much you drink. To drink mindfully, take a moment before you reach for a drink and consider why you’re making that choice. It’s all about drinking with awareness.

Many people are adopting these approaches to drinking less. With the increase in sober bars and other alternatives, it’s also easier than ever to socialize without overdrinking.

Medications and Moderation

One major shift is the growing availability of medication for alcohol cravings. Medication makes moderation-based treatment possible for many people, by helping retrain their brain chemistry.

So, as more and more people are looking at “mindful drinking” or a “damp lifestyle,” the tools we have to treat alcohol dependence are keeping pace with these goals.

New Language

Photo by Dani Marroquin on unsplash

The term “alcoholism” isn’t accurately describing the problem anymore, and is increasingly being replaced with “alcohol use disorder” (AUD). 

This term recognizes the spectrum of problems people have with alcohol, and steps away from the stereotypes associated with being an “alcoholic.”

recent article notes that “inveterate boozers are also represented as having an eccentric orientation to lying, cheating, stealing, boasting, and mean-spiritedness.”1 Who wants to identify with that kind of characterization? The article later notes that “alcoholism” ends with “ism,” and asks, “Is alcoholism a disease or an ideology?”

A Step Away From Stigma

In the last few years—even before the pandemic—dialogue has increased about the stigma of seeking treatment for AUD. More and more people are realizing that AUD (and addiction in general) is a widespread issue that affects people of all ages, professions, and economic backgrounds. 

With this increased recognition has come greater understanding, acceptance, and a powerful new shift in how people “quit.” Past ideas about alcohol consumption are giving way to more modern concepts, based on the latest developments in scientific research.

Ways to Help Quit Drinking

Along with these new trends to help those wanting to change their relationship with alcohol some tried and true steps never seem to go out of style.

Evaluate your drinking habits– take note of how much and how often you drink. Recognize any triggers so you can avoid them as needed.

Learn about how alcohol can affect your health- Drinking can affect your sleep patterns and cognitive functioning. It can also lead to serious issues like high blood pressure, stroke, and liver disease. 

Be aware of withdrawal symptoms- Depending on the severity of your alcohol use some symptoms may occur like headaches, tremors, palpitations, or worse. If you have been drinking heavily it is essential to consult a physician before quitting.

Identify a goal- Specific, measurable goals are best. For example “I will have a one drink per day limit.” Or “I will taper off by diluting my drinks a little more each day.”

Seek support- Let your friends know about your plan to reduce drinking and ask them to help you stick to it. Online communities or local AA groups can help you connect with like-minded people. 

Plan before going out- Commit to your drinking limits. Choose mocktails or sip one drink slowly all night. Have your excuses for not drinking ready and plan to leave if you feel pressured.

Remove alcohol from your home- If it’s not there you can’t partake! Why not stock up with some delicious non-alcoholic options? 

Practice self-care- The healthier you feel the more motivated you will be to continue. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious meals, get daily exercise, and get plenty of sleep.

Find enjoyable activities- Plan some events that don’t center around drinking. Consider a movie with friends, a game night, or a potluck dinner. Discover a hobby you enjoy.

Explore books and podcasts on the topic– Some options are Drinking: A Love Story by Carolyn Knapp or The Naked Mind by Annie Grace.

The Benefits of Telehealth

The rise of telehealth has been a literal lifesaver for millions. For patients and medical staff, the ability to connect remotely has meant increasing access to treatment. Programs like Ria Health are an ideal fit for the current age. 

Ria provides access to expert medical and coaching teams to guide you every step of the way, all from the comfort and convenience of your home.

Whatever option people choose, it is clear that thousands of people are reconsidering, re-evaluating, and changing their relationship with alcohol. It is often not an easy process. But now there are options grounded in science and the latest research.

For many people who have been frustrated by methods from the past, new choices offer new success—and new hope.

Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

or call (800) 504-5360

Written By:
Bruce Hodges
In a career that includes writing, editing, communication and fundraising consulting, Bruce Hodges has created and edited text for online and print publications, including proposals, press releases, and podium remarks. Among many other interests, he explores poetry and essays, and writes articles for The Strad magazine (London) and WRTI public radio (Philadelphia). “As a lifelong advocate for innovative causes, I think of friends no longer with us who struggled with alcohol. If they had access to the revolutionary science behind Ria Health, some of them might be alive today.”
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.

Table of Contents

More Topics to Read
Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

or call (800) 504-5360

Is My Drinking Normal?

Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.