amNewYork

Sober Groups Help Recovering Addicts Meet Up To “Have A Blast In Sobriety”

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MJ Gottlieb was newly sober and kept finding himself at the same diners and coffee shops.

"I kept saying if this is all there is … I'm gonna continue to use," he told amNewYork.

Fast-forward about a decade and Gottlieb is co-founder and CEO of Loosid, a phone app that provides support and connects recovering addicts with each other, both online and in the city. From travel, dating, parties and other events, Loosid helps provide a safe space where alcohol and drugs aren't part of the scene.

In March, Loosid teamed up with Madison Square Garden to provide the first Sober Lounge at a recent Miami Heat-Knicks game. Instead of being surrounded by beer, sober adults sipped on mocktails and enjoyed food and giveaways as they watched the game.

"We want to show people you can have a blast in sobriety, and the ballgame was a great way to do it," Gottlieb said, adding that he's working with other venues, too. "It could be a mother who wants to bring their child to a sober section of a game so they can enjoy it without people flinging beer in each other's faces." 

Similarly, BIGVISION, which organizes sober events for young adults in recovery, is bringing a sober bar from Austin, Texas, dubbed Sans Bar, to New York City for a one-day pop-up on Saturday based on the original. DJ June will spin tunes at the "bar," where handcrafted zero-proof mocktails will be offered.