The Thrope Recovery Centre is looking for people to become Sober Heroes this September.

The Centre has been doing this for five years now, and it is part of the worldwide campaign of Sober Setempber, which sees people give up something for 30 days. This can range anywhere from alcohol and cigarettes to sugar or caffeine, depending on what the person participating chooses. The goal is to help people understand the struggle of someone who is battling an addiction.

Thorpe Development Co-ordinator Sara Fox says people walking a mile in a recovering person’s shoes come away with more knowledge about how the recovery process works.

“When you’re giving up something that’s perhaps a part of your lifestyle, that you use habitually, you’ll realize that it’s very hard to actually stop using it. Through doing this, you might realize that people who live in recovery, it takes dedication and persistence and it’s a conscious effort every minute of every day.”

The event also serves as a fundraiser. People participating can sign up by themselves or as a team with friends, families or co-workers to raise donations. Alternatively, they can take part by donating to another “Sober Hero” they know in the community.

The fundraising part comes at a point where many recovery organizations are concerned about alcohol consumption. Fox explains that Alberta liquor sales are up 40 per cent since the COVID-19 pandemic began, indicating people are drinking more alcohol more often. At the Thorpe Recovery Centre, they have fifty people using their services compared to ten back in March.

She adds that every donation helps and just by being Sober Heroes, people can foster important conversations in the community and show people recovering that they’re not alone.

“There’s such a huge stigma associated with addiction and that’s a part of what we’re trying to break through. Anyone can give up drinking, and it shouldn’t be questioned. It shouldn’t be scrutinized if someone wants to improve their health.”

People can join Sober September on the Thorpe Recovery Centre’s website. Once they sign up, they will receive updates and addiction facts via email. All funds raised go back into the Thorpe Recovery Centre and the programs they provide.