Alcohol awareness week

This week is Alcohol Awareness Week 2020. The result of Covid-19 has meant millions of households have spent months isolating, which has had a massive influence on the increased consumption of alcohol.

Bee Sober CIC is a non-profit organization whose aim is to help people in the community become sober, and enjoy life without the need of alcohol.

They are also merged with ‘The Sober Experiment’ when people can try a sober life before fully committing. Ran by Salford resident, Joanne Dullaghan, and two other ladies, Lisa Elsworth, and Alex Walker, their aim is to bring sober people together and help them focus on the benefits of a life with non-toxic liquids.

They use social media, Bee Sober CIC on Facebook, and @beesobercic on Twitter, to share their stories and reach out to others. 

Statistics show that people on the verge of alcoholism has risen sharply this year, Alex shared an alarming fact:

“Between February and June, 8.5 million people were at risk of being alcoholic, and that had doubled, so in February, it was half that amount!”

Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including 5 types of cancers; mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers. Alcohol is also a factor in high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and depression. 

The group offers weekly sessions, which are hosted via zoom in this current climate. Their sessions range from fitness classes to yoga, and breathing techniques.

They offer a range of drop-ins, and welcome people that are curious about becoming sober, or those who are already sober and want to meet like-minded individuals.

Image Credit – Bee Sober. Joanne Dullaghan, Lisa Elsworth and Alex Walker, before and after their sober journey.

Lisa and Alex have recently trained to become volunteers with the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and are aiming to work more closely with them through Bee Sober CIC. NACOA received double the amount of phone calls during the first lockdown and Alex says,

“They deal with a lot of adults, who are children of alcoholics. Myself being one. A lot of the reasons people drink are to numb out this difficult past, or just because they cant break their own cycle”.

Joanne, Alex, and Lisa all have their own reasons for becoming sober and they want to branch Bee Sober CIC across different platforms. They believe various situations and life problems is what makes a lot of people turn to alcohol. They want to make sure people from all paths and scenarios can come to the group and feel looked after, comfortable and related to.

Bee Sober has been popular and a lot of people want to join the sober life. Many peoples lifestyle choices have changed in recent years, with going vegan being one of them. Joanne referred to sobriety to veganism, explaining how,

“just a few years ago people would stick their noses up at vegans, and now even Greggs is doing a vegan sausage roll, I see the same happening with sobriety.”

However, they also explained situations when bars have questioned their sobriety, with Lisa explaining that one barman told them to,

“just enjoy a drink, it’s Friday night.”

They said because they are confident in the life choices they weren’t influenced to drink any alcohol, but they explained if someone was new to being sober, or was out with friends that were drinking, this comment would’ve swayed a lot of people, and ended their sobriety.

Alcoholism comes in many different patterns, Bee Sober explained how alcoholism is not drinking every day, its drinking to mask pains and life experiences, instead of confronting emotions head on. Joanne strongly believes that a lot of people face an issue with alcohol but don’t realize it. They made this group for people to also question if they potentially have a problem with alcohol, so people wouldn’t feel as an outcast to see what the sober life would be like.

Alex doesn’t want there to be only one week for alcohol awareness,

“Every week is alcohol awareness week.”

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