Have you ever heard of the term “California Sober”? It’s a phrase popularized by singer / actress Demi Lovato in a recent documentary that describes her battle against addiction. According to the star, the term means avoiding all addictive substances, with the exception of “soft” drugs like marijuana and alcohol. The practice is rooted in harm reduction rather than absolutism.

People who are “California sober”, also known as “Cali sober”, either consume moderately or avoid alcohol and “hard” drugs. Some examples of “hard drugs” are heroin, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Instead, they use “soft” drugs like marijuana, LSD, or psilocybin. Demi Lovato explains that it is some form of “balanced” sobriety that has helped her stay away from harder drugs. Lovato clarifies, “I’ve learned that if I say I will never do this again, it won’t work.” I am a white thinker “. Since Lovato’s interview, the term California has soberly exploded on social media. Does it work anyway?

Does California Sober work?

Demi Lovato claims California sobriety works for her, but is it for everyone? Unfortunately no, it is not. Exposure to light alcohol and drug use can be okay for certain people, while it can be disastrous for those struggling with addiction. Research has shown that people who have once been addicted to a substance and return to drinking or smoking are more likely to relapse. Even if a person does not use “softer” drugs or alcohol, they are likely to relapse. According to the American Medical Association Journal, nearly 50% of people will relapse within a year of treatment. 

For those in recovery, it is necessary to stay away from drugs and alcohol. It may seem like absolutism to some, but in reality it is the best chance a person has of improving their chances of staying “clean”. The practice of reintroducing “soft” drugs into a person’s system is risky. Both alcohol and marijuana are among the 3 most widely consumed addictive substances in the United States. More than 11.8 million people admit to using marijuana and approximately 30% of them have a marijuana use disorder. Almost 70% of adults consume too much alcohol, and about 14.5 million have an alcohol abuse disorder.

California Sober is not medically proven or regulated

While celebrities rave about being “Cali sober,” it’s important to note that the term is not medically recognized or regulated. There is no way of knowing what 2 different people think is okay while “Cali is sober”. Some people consume alcohol and smoke weed, while others take mushrooms and don’t drink. The term is arbitrary with little to no clear criteria or scientific basis.

Aside from being confusing, getting “Cali sober” can still lead to addiction to marijuana and alcohol. The goal of treatment is to help patients stop substance abuse. By using “soft” drugs, people, in a way, delay true sobriety. Still, medical professionals need to do a lot more research to understand whether some people benefit from being “kali sober”.

Get help

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction problems or relapses, help is available. Contact a treatment provider today to explore the treatment options available. Treatment providers can answer rehab-related questions and provide valuable information about treatment. Contact a treatment provider today!

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