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President Biden is a Teetotaler. How do you Know if You’re One?

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January 21, 2021

Despite the pandemic driving up alcohol sales, there are still people who simply don’t drink—pre-COVID and even now. Part of this population are those who used to drink, but have chosen to quit and are now sober. Another part of this population are known as a teetotaler.

Teetotalism is the practice of abstaining from alcoholic beverages. Some who practice also advocate for others to abstain as well. Although the words “sobriety” or “sober” tend to be associated with an individual who has had an addiction to alcohol or has delt with an alcohol use disorder, has undergone rehabilitation treatment, and no longer drinks, a teetotaler is not necessarily someone who struggled with alcohol abuse. A teetotaler tends to choose abstinence from drinking for their own personal reasons. This can be due to alcohol abuse, but may be for any number of reasons.

Recently sworn-in as the 46th president of the United States, President Joe Biden is a teetotaler. Although he may have several personal reasons for this decision, two of them that may contribute to his abstinence include: (1) his regular commute home each night to his family in Delaware left little time for social situations involving alcohol and (2) he witnessed one of his favorite uncles be a heavy drinker.

At American Addiction Centers, the nationwide leader in addiction treatment, we treat alcohol use disorders and substance use disorders. If you find yourself struggling with an addiction to alcohol, please reach out for help.

 

Where Teetotaler Culture Began

When alcohol consumption increased in the United States between the 1820s and 1830s, the era seemed to also give rise to teetotalism in this country. Drinking alcohol was part of the norm, so those who were vocal about abstaining from consuming alcoholic beverages stood out. Once Prohibition ended, drinking in moderation became more acceptable and the negative label of a teetotaler became a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, just before the American Temperance Union advocated for individuals to abstain from liquor, the Preston Temperance Society in England were also part of the temperance movement by encouraging others to not drink. Those who signed the pledge to do this were asked to write a “T” alongside their signature to signify “total abstinence.” The capitalized “T” in addition to the word “total” led to the name T-totalers, otherwise known as teetotalers.

Whether you have battled alcoholism in the past (and hopefully received professional/medical rehabilitation treatment) and are now sober, or you’ve never had a drink in your life, you can choose to be a teetotaler.

But if you’re currently struggling with an alcohol use disorder, there are resources available to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Don’t let a battle with alcohol abuse hinder you. Please reach out to get the help that you need today.

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