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Pandemic sobriety study: 1 in 10 give up alcohol

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On a sunny, warm day at Container Park in downtown Las Vegas, the refreshments at Bin 702 are happily served and there's a lot to choose from here - not just alcohol.

"Instead of offering sodas and water, we take most of our cocktail menu and make it without alcohol," says General Manager Kelly Hawes.

She says the drink inspirations came from the staff, some who wanted to cut back on alcohol consumption so the options, which she says have been a welcome addition, will stay. It's a sobriety trend that's being tracked by American Addiction Centers and A new survey reports 1 in 10 Nevadans and Americans have given up alcohol since the start of the pandemic.

Social limitations were a big reason, about 30%, said respondents, and 50% gave it up for health reasons.

Jonathon Sprecher is the director of nursing at Desert Hope Treatment Center who is encouraged by the findings.

"Making a decision for a healthier lifestyle is what every nurse will encourage people to do. We just see the impact on your body," he said.

However, he points out about 30% admit to returning to their drinking habits. For the others, he hopes the trend will stay.

"I would hope they go back to how they felt, how they felt healthier without alcohol and revisit those decisions," he said.

Back at Container Park, we met Regina Tellez, enjoying the sun and a beverage who agrees, when Southern Nevada reopens to full capacity, drinking habits will change but points out, that doesn't have to be the case for all: "They have mocktails, it's great for the people who don't. Power to them."

Container Park sees those options as a necessary approach to business as well. Recovering from the economic crisis has required out of the box thinking says GM James Gonzales. "We're begging for human interaction, to hear laughter of the kids, at the park to have an amazing time," he says.

"They miss the social aspect and instead of partaking in alcohol you can enjoy the social aspect without having to drink," reflects Hawes.

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