Transcript for Being 'Sober Curious,' an approach to not drinking with better wellness in mind
party you don't want to miss. The music's pumping. The crowd jumping. Except this is no ordinary night out because this party starts at the crack of dawn. This is daybreaker, where the buzz comes with a dose of mindfulness. And no booze. It's just one of a growing list of venues offering an alternative to knows choosing not to drink. They call themselves sober curious. 33-year-old Josh Hirsch, a former wine buyer, is one of them. The difference between sober curious and sobriety is what? The big difference is that people who are in recovery need to be in recovery. Sober curious is you've noticed in your own life how drinking has impacted you and you've come to a point where I need to think about this. Reporter: With alcohol a pervasive part of modern life, Josh began questioning the troubling side effects that come with being part of a drinking culture. It seems to be a neverending bender. Last October I decided, I was like let me do November and December just no alcohol. And if I can do it during the holidays then I can do it anytime. So I did it as an experiment and I just was like oh, wow. It made such a difference. Reporter: He heard about the sober curious movement through lifestyle journalist ruby Warrington, who wrote a book by the same name after going through a similar journey. I came to drinking age with very much "Sex and the city" as my backdrop. It was seen as part of being a fabulous modern emancipated woman who lived this glamorous city life to end every day wh a cosmopolitan. And it was shocking to me how much my experience of good times or glamour or parties and socializing seemed to rely on alcohol. Reporter: In her quest to confront a relationship with alcohol ruby discovered a sobering reality. Alcohol-related illnesses are the third cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. It definitely contributes to cancer, to Alzheimer's, to heart disease. These are not things that we often hear about. Reporter: 1 in 12 Americans suffer from alcoholism. And according to the CDC, rates of cirrhosis are rising dramatically. Ruby says it was a wake-up call to spread the sober curious message. Anybody who's questioning their drinking is sober curious in my book. You don't have to be completely abstinent from alcohol. It requires thinking of yourself as a non-drinker as your kind of baseline and then from there choosing very selectively when you might engage in having a drink. Reporter: For those questioning the effect of alcohol in their lives, listen bar has provided a non-alcoholic alternative. I'm having a spicy drink as well. It's delicious. It's got jalapenos in it. Reporter: It looks like the average bar, but looks can be deceiving. For the folks here there's no hangover to worry about in the morning. We're here because it's an alcohol-free bar. This is a very safe space to make a decision that people aren't used to, which is I want to go out and I don't want to drink. You don't have to explain yourself. No one's going to think you're pregnant. Reporter: Lorelei bendrovski is a former consultant turned entrepreneur now capitalizing on the growing sober curious movement. Cheers. Cheers. Everything you think about in a typical bar, and the only thing that's different is that those drinks don't have any alcohol in them. Reporter: You won't find any syrupy Shirley temples here. Our drinks are very grownup and, you know, complex. This one is the actual sunshine. It's got mango and seedless and euphorics and pilot combucha. This one is the dollar slice. It's sort of our spicy bloody Mary. And customers seem to approve. It tastes like a complex sort of gin and tonic but there's no alcohol at all. I just feel like alcohol is pushed at us all the time. So just like stepping away from that feels very nice. I'm surprised that there are sober bars. This has really only happened in the past year, and I think these products and these services for people who are like hey, I want to go to a bar, I want to be social but I don't want to drink water all night, you know? Reporter: You may have heard of dry January. Now a concept that some are extending all year. In fact, a recent survey found that 1/3 of people want to drink It's more than a trend. You can see it as partly as an extension of the wellness revolution that we're seeing. Reporter: And the beverage industry is getting in on the action. From vanada, a non-alcoholic sparkling rose, to seedless, a non-alcoholic spirit. Even global brands like Heineken now offering a non-alcoholic tonight Josh and boyfriend Adam are getting ready for a night out on the town. For the sober curious it's not always easy. So many social activities are centered around alcohol. So I think there really is an underlying sort of craving for these other spaces. Reporter: They're headed to getaway, an alcohol-free bar that offers the duo a much-needed haven. I'm interested in the sort of vibe they're going to set since it's like a sober bar, is it going to feel the same as a regular bar or is it going to have a different feel? Reporter: Getaway's founder Sam thonis wanted to open a space where he could hang with his brother, a recovering We've been pretty deliberate about not calling ourselves a sober bar. We are a bar. We don't have alcohol. That's kind of the beginning and end of the pitch. Reporter: The final consensus? We stayed longer than we planned. Reporter: And it's not just all about late nights. Remember daybreaker? Early morning raves are hugely popular with the sober curious crowd. I watch how alcohol tends to be a necessary binder for people in order to feel comfortable. Daybreaker and so many other experiences like this are out there for people to be able to open themselves up without that lubricant. Whoo! Reporter: This group trading in their bottomless brunch for beats. The fact that daybreaker offers so much fun with other people who feel the same way and you can just let loose and be crazy without any alcohol in this case is a lot of fun, and it's healthy for you. You've described the sober life as something that anybody would want. Leading to radically greater joy, clarity, presence, and connection. I mean, wow, that's a big promise. That's a lot. It is. To aim for. These are all things I've experienced in my life and all things I've seen other people in my life from family members to my husband to my friends to people in my wider community reporting experiencing these benefits. I truly do believe that you can't possibly know how much of an impact not drinking is going to have on your life until you stop, until you get sober curious and see for yourself. As for Josh -- I think mentally and emotionally I feel much better. I feel very clear-minded, Y know, in terms of like making decisions. And I haven't been hung over. It feels so good. To your health. Thank you so much. I'm famous for saying this is so good, if you just put a little something in here it would be even better. So I've got a ways to go. Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Deborah Roberts in New York. Our thanks to Deborah coming
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