The term sobriety is commonly used to express the idea of abstinence from the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both. However, in its Latin roots (sobrius, sobrietas) and continuing in its Medieval and Renaissance uses, the definition of sobriety is to be temperate and moderate in the indulgence of appetite. In the 16th century, Sobrietie was defined as "a bride-lyng by discrecion the wilfulnesse of desire." By the mid-20th century, sobriety came to mean total abstinence from any consumption of drugs, especially alcohol. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines recovery as a state of "complete abstinence" from all psychoactive substances combined with a satisfactory quality of life. This shifting definition, from one of temperance to one of abstinence, is indicative of a larger issue ...

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