What is the Definition of Sober?


“On the Wagon” – a state of mind AND a place to live!


I got a comment from Kevin yesterday, who uses cannabis to stay “sober” from alcohol. He was responding to a post I wrote quite a while ago, called Recovering Alcoholics Smoking Pot, What? which is exciting in itself, because it means he went to Google and searched for something like “cannabis as a sobriety tool” and got me. The expert on cannabis. Not. What ever happened to that annoying turn of phrase, by the way? And how does Google index? You can look up “sobriety blogs” all day long and not find Waking Up the Ghost, but key in “smoke pot to cure alcoholism” and up I pop like a wack-a-mole.


Pot vs. Antidepressants

Kevin says pot keeps him from having to take anti-depressants (which gave him high blood pressure ) and booze (which made him drunk) and his biggest concern is what people think about his cannabis use. So of course he was cruising the internet to get justification for his “sobriety” and found my post.


I put “sobriety” in quotes because Kevin says, “I was once a by the book abstinence Nazi, I have done the steps 8 times, sponsored dozens, and helped many through multiple sets of steps. That changed 4 years ago when I had a sponsee get off of his prescribed Ativan with weed, I made a choice to support his choice. I had watched him for two years, and by his definition ( and mine), he stayed ( and still is) sober.”


 Defining “Sober”

I do not think I am finished with this subject. But for the purpose of today’s post, I will go back to the definition of “sober”. It means: not affected by alcohol; not drunk. But the synonyms of sober are: not drunk; clearheaded; teetotal; abstinent; abstemious; dry; on the wagon.


I know that incorrect word usage changed the definition of “literally”, so maybe using “sober” to mean: not drunk but high, will fly at some point. I am Word Girl, so pardon me, but I’ll buy the sentence:


I use cannabis as a means of keeping myself from drinking alcohol (which was ruining my life).


But I won’t buy:


I use cannabis to stay sober.


It’s literally just the word usage that bothers me.




Today I’m not drinking because I’m sober.


How come you’re not drinking?