New Zealand’s unique online recovery community Living Sober will this month sign up its five thousandth member - a significant milestone revealing the strength and popularity of this powerful site.
Living Sober was launched in 2014 by writer and sober alcoholic Lotta Dann - in collaboration with the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Matua Raki and the Health Promotion Agency. Since the site launched it has helped thousands of others face the challenge of life without alcohol.
Now five and a half years sober Lotta is the online community’s manager and Editor-in-Chief, and today she is launching her second book, Mrs D is Going Within (published by Allen and Unwin).
In the memoir Mrs D, as members refer to Lotta on Living Sober, is finally finding her Zen. But what does that mean? Lotta humorously breaks down how mindfulness is giving shape to her life after alcohol, and shares the practices and strategies she developed for herself, in the hope it may help others too.
Two women who have gained strength by joining the Living Sober community have offered to share their own stories. Whiona says the support she found through Living Sober enabled her to put her shattered life back together, something she never thought possible.
Marylyn Hayes, who lives in the Catlins near Dunedin, wants to help others see they’re not alone. She says the decision to quit drinking changed her and the lives of those close to her. Living Sober is an outlet for me which takes the pressure off those around me.
Living Sober encourages not just women, but anyone, to exchange experiences about the effect alcohol has on their lives.
The Drug Foundation’s Programmes Manager Nathan Brown says being able to transform a private challenge into a positive social experience is a powerful tool for recovery. In Living Sober, thousands of people have found a place where they can share their struggles, and find the motivation to keep going.
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.