Sept. 8, 2023 – When I turned 21, I fell in love with dive bars, fancy cocktail lounges, and everything in between. It wasn’t just the taste of alcohol. It was the history, the culture, and how alcohol made me feel. It was as if I had opened a portal to a more fun, more courageous version of myself. It took the edge off those big feelings and situations you navigate when coming of age.

For the next 15 years, my drinking was moderate to heavy, always trending upward when hard times hit. To keep myself in check, I’d done Dry January several times to prove I could go a month without drinking. But I’d always go back to drinking more, and the reset never quite stuck.

In January 2020, I realized that my drinking was causing me more harm than good (again). This is where I could regale you with embarrassing stories, but I’ll keep those to myself. All I know is that I couldn’t ignore the destructive cycle I was in anymore.

After several stops and starts, I committed to an alcohol-free lifestyle when dealing with undiagnosed celiac symptoms. I’ve not touched a drop of alcohol in over a year and a half.

Going alcohol-free is a big change. But the non-alcoholic (NA) drinks space is a movement that is hot right now and makes it easier. Whether you identify as sober-curious, sober, alcohol-free, in recovery, or label agnostic, there are many places in L.A. to get booze-free drinks.