By J. D. Heyes, contributing writer to Natural News
It’s a development that some sociologists say could be the beginning of a major shift in the behavior of younger people.
As reported by the The Guardian, more and more of today’s millennials see “sober” as the new drunk, choosing to hang out at liquor-free juice bars, drinking a variety of concoctions that may have some kick, but not from alcohol.
Recently a reporter for the news site caught up with a couple of young people in Manhattan who were on a “juice crawl” – a monthly event where participants hop in and out of three different shops to sample more than 19 flavors of alcohol-free brew with names like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Purple Rain,” from 2-ounce plastic cups.
The crawls are just one of a number of booze-free activities that have begun in major U.S. cities around the country, catering to a growing number of younger Americans who have sworn off liquor.
As The Guardian reported further:
This group is not full of recovering addicts, but rather people who value mindfulness, spandex and green juice. For those 35 and under, cutting back on booze no longer means social suicide. In addition to juice crawls, there are now sober day raves, alcohol-free bars, boozeless dinner and dance parties, and a sober social network that organizes group outings and launched a dating app so popular it has temporarily shut down.
‘I Just Don’t Want to Do That’
On one night in particular, there is a long line outside an event called Shine, an alcohol-free venue combining food, water with “Australian flower essences,” meditation and “enlightenment” – music, a lecture and a film. The venue is full of people who either do not drink or who are trying to cut back on alcohol consumption.
Launched in Los Angeles in 2014, Shine has now spread to New York City, and the events are regularly sold out to crowds of more than 100 people. Its founder describes those who attend as “mindful tastemakers” and “spiritually curious.”
Plainly speaking, they believe liquor gets in the way of meaningful interactions with others, and that hangovers the next morning only serve to block them from achieving their goals.
“I just feel like you have deeper conversations with people when you’re not distracted by drunkenness,” June Zhang, a 26-year-old MBA student who drinks at most once a week, told the news site.
“I want to wake up each morning with a fresh mind so I can write,” noted Ryan Fischer, a 35-year-old dog walker and writer who said he hasn’t had any alcohol for a few months and recently returned from a shamanic retreat. “At night my dad has a couple of whiskeys and my mom has a Pinot Grigio and they lull into the night. I just don’t want to do that.”
‘The New Church’
A recent study of millennials in five different countries, including the United States, found that 75 percent said they drink only in moderation on most nights out.
Clinical psychologist, Goal Auzeen Saedi, told The Guardian that her younger patients in particular are very concerned about the future, which she says in in large part due to financial uncertainty.
“I think the pressures are higher because [young] people are seeing that even if you have a great degree, that does not guarantee you a job by any means,” she said.
But mindfulness, she said, is trendy right now, and many of her patients tell her that they use yoga and meditation for stress release rather than alcohol.
“Right now there are all these yogi Instagram celebrities with millions of followers … and they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking juice,” she says. “Mindfulness, in a way, is the new church.”