62% of the world’s adult population lives free from alcohol any given year. 48% of the global adult population are lifetime alcohol abstainers.
Despite these facts, people often feel alone, marginalized and even excluded or bullied when they choose to stay sober for a night, a party, a month or any other period.
That’s because of the alcohol norm – the socially constructed convention that alcohol belongs everywhere at all times. The alcohol norm is pervasive and oppressive and it is fueled by the alcohol industry. Big Alcohol’s profits soar when more people use alcohol and so their strategy is to create the impression that everyone likes alcohol, that alcohol is glamorous, harmless and magic really.
But there are a number of problems associated with the alcohol norm:
More so, the alcohol norm establishes a fake picture of alcohol.
Feeling high from alcohol is first and foremost a social construction and much dependent on the circumstances and expectations – not a property of ethanol, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages.
Together with 150+ civil society organizations and grass-roots movements from 60+ countries around the world, we have identified seven key areas where urgent action can lead to transformative change.