Oct. 3, 2021 – Nicola Peachey, 46, says she tried one such program, a 30-day alcohol-free challenge called the Alcohol Experiment, in July after wine became a coping mechanism during the pandemic.

“Alcohol became my new bestie,” said the resident of Perth, Australia, who spent lockdowns with her husband, their two teenagers, and a Brazilian exchange student. Ms. Peachey, a diet and nutrition coach, said she hasn’t had a drink since joining the program, even while on a recent vacation.

According to a Rand Corp. survey of 1,540 adults, the number of days in which Americans drank rose 14% during a month-long period in the spring of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. In a February American Psychological Association poll of 3,013 adults, 23% reported drinking more to cope with stress during the pandemic.

The new programs are part of a broader trend toward sobriety, led by authors of drinking recovery memoirs, social-media influencers, and leaders of online sober communities. Many frame abstinence as a healthy lifestyle choice and push back at what they describe as society’s embrace of alcohol.


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