Nowadays, tons of trends go in and out of style to help promote sober living. Even trends focused on cutting back on using substances like alcohol and marijuana have made their way into the spotlight for a bit before fizzling out, like Dry January.

With New Year’s Eve being hot with resolutions to quit or cut back on drinking, spending January without alcohol is a way to dip your toes into setting goals and deadlines, often alongside other people you know.

One of the newest sobriety trends aims more for harm reduction than sobriety, but many factors should be discussed before trying out “California Sober.” Depending on what substances you are struggling with, this may not be the right fit for you, and there are still risks for using mind-altering substances if you are trying to stay away from other substances.

If you struggle heavily with substance abuse and find it difficult to control your usage and actions, recovery goes beyond trends, and Soba can help.

There are inpatient and outpatient treatments available to you all over the country that can help you face your substance use head-on. If you want to learn more about being “California Sober,” continue reading to see what it’s all about.

Marijuana and Alcohol in Moderation

While “California Sober” has no true definition of what it means, it’s been associated with cutting out addictive substances and replacing them with alternative methods that might not be as harmful.

For instance, you might cut out cocaine from your daily life while drinking alcohol in moderation or smoking marijuana to help combat withdrawal symptoms. In theory, “California Sober” works because it replaces addictive substances with less harmful substances. In this sense, it’s not actually being sober because you are still under the influence of different substances, but it aims for you to use fewer harmful substances daily.

Some people don’t use alcohol or other addictive substances and refer to only using weed as being “California Sober.” Because this trend has no real parameters, it’s more about your goals in staying sober from the substances you are addicted to. If you struggle with addiction to marijuana, this kind of “sobriety” may not work for you. It relies on the use of marijuana to avoid using hard drugs and limit withdrawals, so it’s not ideal for people who find their use of marijuana is creating issues in their personal life and mental health. Some people might even consider being “California Sober” as avoiding “hard drugs” but continuing to use Psilocybin or LSD.

Does Being “California Sober” Work?

Everyone has very different needs, and not all methods work the same. In this case, being “California Sober” might work better for some people than others. It’s also likely that different medical professionals will have varying opinions on whether or not going “California Sober” will benefit you.

Using marijuana and alcohol in moderation is not a true form of sobriety.

If you are looking to achieve total sobriety, smoking marijuana and drinking a few beers here and there will not help you. That said, quitting cold turkey can cause extreme side effects, like nausea, vomiting, cramping, anxiety, and fevers, so it’s essential to learn the best ways for you to manage your withdrawal.

After communicating with your doctor, you might decide that the safest way for you to put hard drugs in your past is to go through the withdrawal symptoms with the aid of marijuana. This is not uncommon because marijuana is often viewed as a harmless drug compared to substances like heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

The most important thing about sobriety, or working towards sobriety, is that you are taking your health and needs into consideration so that you can end up on the other side stronger than ever. Ultimately, you do know what’s best for you, but having the ability to talk through all possibilities with a professional can assist you in making the right decision for you.

What Are the Risks and Rewards of “California Sober”?

As with every method of sobriety, there are risks and rewards. The main positive thing to come out of any trend is consuming fewer addictive substances.

If you are trying out these trends or are coming up with your own rules and stipulations to cut back or cut out substances, you are already thinking about ways to improve your life. You’re considering your health and taking steps towards getting better.

However, it’s important to consider both sides when trying to figure out if this take on sobriety would be worthwhile to you.


If you decide to cut out most addictive substances but continue (or start) using marijuana, you might experience negative consequences. Using marijuana can cause:

  • Decreased motivation
  • Heightened depression and anxiety
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Lung damage
  • Paranoia and psychosis
  • Developing a tolerance that can lead to addiction

There’s no exact research to prove that there are many benefits of being “California Sober.” It’s different for everyone, and thus it’s difficult to track the progress, benefits, and risks involved.


To find a real reward for going “California Sober,” you must have previously set goals for yourself concerning your substance use.

If you have been struggling with alcohol dependency and want to try marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of withdrawals and allow you to function better, you can aim for a goal of fewer alcohol cravings.

You’ll know that there was a reward for being “California Sober” when you notice how your relationship with alcohol, in this example, has changed. Recovery can be slow, but you’ll begin to notice when things are looking up.

What Are the Benefits of Being Sober?

If you are considering going “California Sober,” think to yourself, “What is it that I want? Do I want to avoid some substances? Or do I want to avoid all substances?”

The road to recovery is long and hard, but the easiest way to prevent a relapse is to work with professionals on the steps to recovery. For those that struggle with substances like opioids or heroin, introducing marijuana or alcohol back into your life may push you to relapse. If it’s sobriety that you want, you may want to work on cutting out all substances, not just the ones you were first addicted to.

One thing we know about substance use disorder is that it can happen to anyone. You shouldn’t be ashamed about getting help, and you definitely shouldn’t be ashamed about doing what’s best for you and staying away from substances.

When you become sober, you gain a sense of mental clarity that you don’t get when under the influence. You’ll likely notice you have more energy, you might gain the weight back that you had lost, you can see improvements in your sleep, mood, and appetite, and you can regain your focus. Leaping to sobriety can seem scary, but it sure is worth it.

Get Help at Soba Recovery Centers

When you are working towards sobriety, it can be difficult to do it alone, but you don’t have to.

With Soba Recovery Centers, you can find the best treatment plan available for you and begin your path to recovery today. Soba Recovery Centers work with people who experience a variety of substance use disorders, and treatment plans are crafted specifically for you.

We understand that recovery often encompasses many layers that preserve the person underneath. We take your needs seriously and are here to give you the best chance at recovering.

Being “California Sober” might work for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Still, there are plenty of options to help you reach a level of sobriety that will best encourage you to live your life to the fullest.

This can be a lot easier when you are guided by medical professionals with your best interests in mind. Don’t wait another minute longer — reach out to change your life, today.


Addiction | Health Effects | Marijuana | CDC

Withdrawal Management – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings – NCBI Bookshelf | NCBI

Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery | NCBI

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