Sober curious. Nondrinker. A new language around sobriety is emerging

Writer Sarah Wood explores how the stigma and language around sobriety is changing in her essay “I’m Tired of Explaining Why I Don’t Drink” for New York Magazine outlet The Cut.

Sarah Wood is a writer who covers topics like mental health, relationships and sobriety, which she most recently tackled for her essay “I’m Tired of Explaining Why I Don’t Drink” for The Cut.

It starts with the moment she decided to give up drinking before diving into the stigma of being sober, even as the non-alcoholic drink market booms and bars find ways to incorporate more mocktails on their menus.

“Of all the things I anticipated might happen when I stopped drinking, I never expected to need talking points,” writes Wood, who says she’d be asked questions of why she quit drinking in the first place and if she was an alcoholic.

In her essay, she proposes a new way of talking about abstaining from alcohol and alcoholism in general, in part to alleviate the stigma around both drinking and not imbibing.

Listen: Sarah Wood talks the stigma of sobriety, the changing language around alcohol as WDET listeners recount their own experiences.


Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.