From now on in Alaska, March will be known as Sobriety Awareness Month.

Senate Bill 208 officially became law on Wednesday. The bill focuses on celebrating sober lifestyles and encouraging people to stay clean.

"Establishing March as Sobriety Awareness Month may seem like a small gesture, but for many, it recognizes their achievement for a better lifestyle for themselves which will help foster a culture that is conscious of this State's multi-faceted substance abuse challenge and how those challenges can ultimately be overcome," said State Sen. Berta Gardner, a sponsor of the bill.

They also want to break down any stigma that might surround sobriety -- both for those who are in addiction recovery and those who don’t choose to use drugs or alcohol at all.

State Rep. Ivy Spohnholz advanced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. She says she has been sober for 17 years.

“Naming March as Sobriety Awareness Month creates a platform for leaders in the sobriety and recovery movement to celebrate sobriety as a great choice for both people who are in recovery as well as those who wish to prevent addiction from taking their families, their community members and their futures.”

The rates of alcohol and substance abuse in Alaska are among some of the highest in the nation, costing billions of dollars a year.

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