3 Reasons it's Time to Redefine 'Sober'
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” - John Maynard Keyes.
In the early part of the twentieth century, soda was considered good for you. Until it wasn’t. A hundred years from now - what is something we will look back on with similar regret? Alcohol. Every new study proves that consuming alcohol is a net negative. Studies that once demonstrated the positive effects of alcohol are being debunked constantly.
While alcohol use rose during the lockdowns that followed the pandemic - preliminary indicators are that its popularity is dwindling.
Alcohol’s demise is coinciding with a resurgence in the popularity of Psychedelics. It’s hard to devise a rational argument that replacing alcohol with drugs that allow you to explore advanced stages of consciousness, heal past trauma and activate profound feelings of love & empathy is a bad thing.
Still, the term ‘sober’, in its current form, means abstaining from ALL substances…including Psychedelics. This makes little sense knowing what we now know, and poses more risks than rewards. Here are 3 reasons why:
Restrictive diets rarely work, neither do overly restrictive relationships with drugs.
The trendy diets that come & go have one thing in common - they are restrictive. No carbs, no sugar, no fat…and so on. The reason they are trendy is because their impact is typically immaterial and their adherence ephemeral.
40-60% of addicts will relapse. Essentially one of out every two people that attempt sobriety, in its current definition, will fail. Not very inspiring odds. The reason why is clear - the outright denial of pleasure is antithetical to being human.
This point is especially pertinent with younger people. Imagine telling a 25 year old, who is coming to terms with let’s say…an alcohol addiction -“you’re done, no more partying, no more drugs, no more fun”. It’s asinine.
There is a better way that is less blunt instrument and more customizable to the individual - something to the effect of, “hey, you are exuding the signs of an alcohol addiction so it’s time to permanently end that relationship. However, periodic Psychedelic journey’s are absolutely ok”. This approach would materially drive down relapse rates.
Psychedelics are not habit-forming. Lumping them in with drugs like alcohol & cocaine is a false equivalency.
Those with addictive personalities & tendencies should steer clear of addictive substances. That’s a logical position to take. But Psychedelics are not addictive - so categorizing them with habit-forming substances like alcohol or cocaine makes no sense.
Additionally, there is a ton of evidence that Psychedelics can actually cure addiction. Specifically - alcohol addiction. That should be enough to ‘spike the ball’ on this argument. The future of ‘sobriety’ should include Psychedelics.
The downfall of alcohol and the ubiquity of Psychedelics will create a more loving, kind & empathetic world.
Alcohol ceding territory to Psychedelics is a net positive for society. Alcohol, especially when abused, poses far more risks than rewards. Psychedelics risks are inconsequential in comparison (which is not to say they are without risk).
Drinking is so deeply ingrained in our culture that it’s difficult to envision a world without it. Psychedelics are nascent so a world where they are everywhere is equally hard to imagine. But let’s do our best -
Instead of work ‘Happy Hours’, where John from Marketing has one too many and ends up in a meeting with HR, companies have ‘Cannabis Friday’s’, where those interested, smoke a joint or have an edible to unwind and discuss the week that was.
Instead of day-drinking with friends, or attending a bottomless mimosa brunch - you take Psilocybin with your group on a beach, or on a hike. Instead of gossiping about who is sleeping with whom…you connect with nature, you see your friends in a different light & have a profound spiritual experience (plus - the added benefit of no hangover the following day).
Maybe you & your partner are going through a hard time. One of you lost a parent, the others business is struggling. Instead of pounding wine & numbing to the pains that we all face in life - you each take MDMA. You put on a nice playlist, light some candles, and connect with one another. You allow the MDMA to create a cessation from the pain so that the two of you can explore it, together…which both binds you & puts everything into a much-needed perspective
I could go on & on with examples like this - but the point is clear. Alcohol is not the only way to feel pleasure & avoid pain, in fact, it’s not even very good at that. Psychedelics are. And they shouldn’t be excluded from those trying to lead ‘sober’ lives.
I personally quit drinking alcohol 4 years ago. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I often analogize not drinking to developing a ‘cheat code’ for life (a reference to old school video games…where you could enter a code that would skip you to a higher level). No alcohol, recreational cannabis use & ritualized use of Psychedelics is an amazing way to go through life.
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