Are you ready to take a dare? Can you go two weeks without hoisting a pint, sipping chardonnay, or slinging a shot? What would it be like to abandon alcohol for two weeks? Parvati Shallow of CBS News challenges viewers to do just that. She writes, “Nearly 23 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports. If you’re not one of these people, chances are you know someone who is.” Many people know someone who falls into that category. Irresponsible drinking challenges the quality of life for those with addiction issues as well as for others in their lives.
Get on the Wagon
If drinking is merely a social choice for you, the #14 Days on the Wagon challenge is calling. The campaign began Oct. 6 and continues through Oct. 20. CBS invites people to visit the website to learn about ways of living a substance-free life while socializing and to share their experiences with others. One event spokesperson, Tommy Rosen of Recovery 2.0, is a yoga instructor who’s been clean for more than two decades and teaches others how to re-create their lives through sobriety. “I have been a marijuana addict, a cocaine addict, a heroin addict, a gambling addict, and a co-dependent, but I am not going to die from the dis-ease of addiction,” he writes.
Socializing Without Alcohol
Many people choose not to drink to support family and friends in recovery. You may find that you don’t need to drink to have fun. Many activities can take the place of drinking in socializing and relationships, such as:
- Holding pot-luck gatherings
- Beginning a drum circle
- Visiting museums and art galleries
- Practicing yoga
- Going to the gym
- Seeing movies
- Taking art classes or music lessons
- Meeting for a book club
- Gardening with a neighbor
- Hosting a house concert
- Going to 12-step meetings
- Meeting with others to talk about any topic of interest
What’s Your Relationship With Alcohol?
If you decide you can’t go 14 days without drinking, examine your relationship with alcohol and its place in your life. If all or most of your friends drink regularly, you may want to explore new friendships. For some who are impacted by alcohol abuse or addiction, the only choices are sobriety or self-sabotage. An important action would be to consider treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, with the added support of regular self-help support group meetings. If you jump on the wagon, assess how you feel emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually before, during and after. You may save money, feel healthier and make new friends. It could be the beginning of an entirely new way of life.