Lotta Dann reckons she’s a work in progress and so is the online community she manages, Living Sober.
Author, mum of three, blogger – and no longer a boozy housewife – Mrs D, as she’s known to the Living Sober community, wrote her first blog in 2011 when she made a commitment to end her unhappy love affair with wine and share her journey to help others do the same.
Her down-to-earth humorous posts were so popular they led to a book and inspired the creation of Living Sober, billed as “the friendliest place to talk honestly with others about your relationship with alcohol”. These days, it gets around 80,000 hits a month. And that’s the problem.
“From the day I launched it, we had people flooding in there,” Lotta says. “And they stayed there. Now, it’s completely outgrown itself. It’s way beyond anything I ever imagined.”
Frustrating technical difficulties were put down to overloading, and the decision was made to rebuild the website. This led to a whole makeover with an updated look.
“We wanted a more robust back-end, but we also just wanted our space to be a bit nicer, a little more modern, a bit fancy even.”
But the strength of the community is the people, and that will never change, she says.
“What makes it so powerful is the kindness, the understanding of the people who use it, the way everyone treats each other.”
Lotta admits she gets as much out of the Living Sober community of peers as her many followers do.
“I stay happily sober solely with online support. I need Living Sober as much as it needs me.”
The new site goes live at the end of November.
Survey participants also reported that barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high.
A group of powerful synthetic opioids that were first detected in the country just a year ago may have already been linked to several deaths.
95% of respondents reported positive effects, in a study that looked at both prescription and black market cannabis use.