Is it ok to be California Sober?

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Hello, everyone! It’s Mark, and welcome to another edition of our video newsletter. In this video, I want to talk to you about the concept of California sober.

There was an article that was published just a couple of weeks ago talking about Demi Lovato, who I believe was in recovery, and now she’s saying that she’s California sober. Apparently, what that means is that, she smokes marijuana and consumes alcohol, but she’s not drinking hard liquor; she’s not using hard drugs or street drugs, or whatever other name you want to use.

I read that and shuddered because that is frankly an insult to people who have spent years working on their recovery. It’s an insult to the families that call us dealing with their loved ones’ substance use and mental health disorders and have been dealing with it for years. It’s an insult to those people who spent thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, to get their loved ones sober; those who’ve made multiple trips to the emergency rooms and have seen their loved ones Narcan and brought back to life after facing death.

Let me be as clear as I possibly can. If you have substance use disorder or mental illness, there’s no such thing as California sober; there’s no such thing as doing a little bit of drugs or a little bit of alcohol. Somebody who has a disorder has to practice abstinence forever, or they will not stay in recovery.

I’ve been very blessed over the last few years to make a lot of friends in the treatment industry, many of whom are in recovery. I am amazed and humbled by them. Because I see how hard they work to stay in recovery. But the folks who’ve been in recovery for five, ten, fifteen years work on the recovery every single day. They practice the skills that they’ve learned to maintain recovery. They don’t have a little bit of weed or a little bit of alcohol. They don’t have any of that stuff because once you have even just a little bit, that’s when relapse happens. I respect Demi Lovato, but his whole idea of California sober is simply ridiculous, and it’s not reality.

With that said, take care, and be well.

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