It’s tough getting sober and even more so to stop socializing and having fun when drinking alcohol and hanging out at the local bar is almost a national sport for many adults. Trying to avoid the triggers by staying home and withdrawing from society often has the opposite effect, in other words, falling off the wagon or into a dark hole of depression.
So, three cheers are in order for the spirit of “sober bars” which are popping up all over the place, such as the Cherokee Recovery Village in Bastrop, Texas welcome recovering addicts and alcoholics a space for fun, community, and sobriety support.
With alcohol out of the equation, patrons indulge in the likes of fruity virgin cocktails, kombucha, coffees, tea frappes and non-alcoholic beer instead and the entertainment menu, over and above the usual bar fare the Cherokee Recovery Village host events like karaoke, fundraisers and community dinners.
Not surprisingly, people who are sober and those wanting the health benefits of not drinking alcohol but still having fun are also attracted to sober bars.
Paul French, owner of the Cherokee Recovery Village is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and a former addict, says the bar helps recovering alcoholics become adjusted to typical bar environments without feeling tempted to drink alcohol.
“This is exposing yourself to triggers intentionally to weaken those triggers,” he told KEYE in the interview below.
‘’It will allow you to eventually go into establishments where there’s drinking and partying and craziness and it won’t affect you as strongly as it did.
‘’You can come in and you can drink. We only have healthy beverages.”
For Ember Zenchyshyn, 3 years sober, the sober bar provides a fun lifestyle while preparing her for the inevitable a time when she does go back to a bar or social event, to have the willpower to say no to an alcoholic drink. She said, “You’re not going to be able to avoid stuff forever.
It’s life, you just don’t want to get into recovery to stop living life. You’re getting into recovery to enjoy life.
People need connection once they start a recovery program.”
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