In the Hole & Under the Influence

By on August 1, 2018

How the Jackson milieu normalizes heavy drinking that spills into the lives of young people

JACKSON HOLE, WY – It isn’t exactly a news flash that Jackson is a town where people are known to party as hard as they play. It’s even been said, tongue firmly in cheek, that it’s a place that “attracts drinkers with a skiing problem.”

The glorification of Jackson’s “go big or go home” drinking culture has created a population of young adults who often unwittingly find themselves veering into alcohol abuse.

Simply put, booze rules. Alcohol is served at almost every community event, fair or festival. People sip on white wine or whiskey during haircuts; bike en masse around town after first downing a few beers at a local watering hole and attend “paint and sip” classes.

The pervasiveness of booze and the struggle to avoid drinking to excess begins with local children and spills into the spheres of transplants, usually 20-somethings seeking seasonal or year-round jobs that allow them to pursue high-adrenaline outdoor adventures on their days off. Those days are often followed by high octane-fueled evenings.

“People here tend to get ‘vacation drunk,’” said Ryan Burke, 36, a licensed addiction counselor at Curran-Seeley, an alcohol and drug counseling, treatment and prevention services organization.

“It’s literally like vacationland here so people who live here misinterpret that and think they have to be high all the time, permanently on vacation,” Burke said. “We’re the place where people are supposed to be happy so residents also want to be happy. If they have any problems in their life, they’re like: ‘I’m in Jackson Hole, I’m supposed to be happy all the time,’ so they’ll start drinking to avoid any stress or problems.”

(Kiki Kita)

Noelle Huser, 20, was born and raised in Jackson and witnessed the normalization of drinking culture from an early age. Children grow up thinking that drinking alcohol is just one of the realities of living in the valley, she said.

“It is a playground town and even the adults don’t always seem to fully grow up.”

She agreed with Burke’s assessment that younger residents sometimes turn to liquid substances to try and maintain a happy facade.

Huser opined that kids watch their parents and all their friend’s party and drink and “just have a good time, but as you get older, you begin to realize more and more that there are plenty of people in your community heavily relying on alcohol for their happiness.”

Burke himself found it pretty easy to assimilate to the “play hard, party hard” approach to living in the Hole. He moved to Jackson when he was 21 and saw the valley as an “extension of college life.”

“In college it was pretty acceptable that I would get as drunk as I did,” he said. And in Jackson “it was more acceptable that I would get that drunk.”

When everyone around you is doing it, “it doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing,” he said.

Burke drank to the max up until his early 30s, which was way longer than he wanted. “I had a lack of control on how drunk I wanted to get,” he said. “I am not in recovery, but I was going down a path that I didn’t like with my drinking.”

His escape route came in the form of exercise; he traded his drinking “identity” for an athletic one.  

Ingrained Examples

As a counselor at Curran-Seeley, Burke works in the intensive outpatient and adolescent treatment programs. Over the past four years working at the facility, he has seen many native Jacksonites seek help for substance abuse.

“There are a ton of people who are local going through the program,” Burke said, “and probably a disproportionate amount of those who grew up here.”

Local children are exposed to public alcoholic beverage consumption pretty much from the get-go, especially while in tow with their parents at community events.

The annual Wyoming Prevention Assessment (PNA) survey is designed to gather information for the planning, surveillance, and evaluation of substance abuse, violence, and delinquent behavior prevention programs, policies and practices. The Wyoming Department of Health’s Public Health Division, in collaboration with the Wyoming Department of Education, school districts and public schools, funds the research.

In 2016, the PNA collected more than 13,000 state surveys from students in the sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades. It found that in Teton County, 84 percent of sixth graders and 94 percent of eighth graders reported attending a community event in the past year where adults were drinking alcohol, making the county No.1 in the state. The county also ranked first for the number of sixth and eighth grade students who said they attended an event where alcohol was sold: 71 percent and 79 percent respectively.

Another No. 1 ranking for the county? Fifty-two percent of sixth grade students and 71 percent of eighth grade students said they attended a community event during the past 12 months where adults were drunk.

Unsurprisingly, the study also found alcohol remains the most commonly used substance in all grade levels throughout Wyoming.

In high school, drinking makes you cool, Huser said. “Alcohol is also very commonly used as a tool for some guys to “sexually prey on younger, inebriated girls, sort of initiating them into partying and drinking culture.”

Huser said her male classmates often “targeted younger freshman girls by getting them very drunk and impairing their ability to think straight and make conscious consensual decisions. Many times they would take advantage of them when they were intoxicated by sexually harassing or assaulting them. Huser remembered constantly being grabbed by senior guys as a freshman at parties.

“They would smack your butt or forcefully kiss you or try to lure you into rooms alone with them. It was very predatory behavior with a lot of manipulative pressure to drink.”

In general Huser believes kids are just bored here and don’t know what else to do on the weekends, so they usually start drinking freshman year. They either learn to mellow out and control themselves by college, as she did, or they develop a dependency, she said.

“I know kids who would even come to school plastered, especially senior year.”

A student at the University of Montana in Missoula, Huser drank more as a teenager in Jackson than she does now in a college town that likes to party.

Of course, not all people who grow up here have the same story as Huser. Take longtime resident Jenny Karns, a fifth-generation member of the Karns family which has called this valley home since 1890.

As a Jackson Hole High School student in the mid- to late-1980s, Karns was a self-described “party girl leader.” After more than a decade of struggling to put the plug in the jug, she counts three years of sober living under her belt.

“No matter how much people seem to think they’re invincible, [alcohol abuse] catches up to you in the long run,” Karns said. “Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.”

When Karns was a child, there weren’t nearly as many community events, so her exposure to adults drinking was mostly through family parties. She said it wasn’t until middle school that she was around kids her age and older who drank and smoked pot outside a now-closed arcade. (This, of course, could be Anychild, U.S.A.’s experience.) It wasn’t until Karns returned to Jackson following college in Utah and a year living in Park City that her drinking career really took off.

“We partied all the time,” Karns said. “It was that 20-something ski culture, and this is what you did—drink a lot. I never honestly thought I had a problem until later. I could control things, I had a good life, I always showed up for work.

Karns never missed a day of work, but some mornings she’d arrive “drunk and hungover,” she said. “And for all my friends it was the same thing. We all drank the way we wanted to drink. It seemed normal.”

Karns’s take on why there are so many fundraisers in town that serve alcohol is that it’s “totally about the money raised from liquor sales and maybe loosening people up so they’ll spend more, donate more, bid more.”

A lot of people have social anxiety; they’re not alcoholics, “but they really do need those couple of drinks to be around people and socialize and stay longer,” she said.

Virginia Powell Symons, owner of Vibrant Events of Jackson Hole, coordinates several local fundraisers and other community events, such as Eco-Fair. Including the sale of alcohol, even at events billed as “family-friendly” is  not meant to glorify drinking, she said. The inclusion of alcoholic beverages along with other refreshments offered is meant as an additive, not an incentive.

“Alcohol is often the most productive fundraiser for nonprofits, as the overhead is usually slim to none and the sales are easy,” Powell Symons said. “I know that the nonprofit events that I’m affiliated with certainly see great revenues from alcohol sales.”

That said, it is a priority for nonprofits to promote responsible alcohol service and make sure attendees are not overserved, she added. “I believe that most in our town do an excellent job.”

Powell Symons prefers that volunteers not pour alcohol at the events she helps organize. They usually have representatives of the purveyor (Snake River Brewing, Jackson Hole Still Works, Jackson Hole Winery, etc.) pour if at all possible, she said. If that isn’t possible, she often recruit volunteers who work in restaurants and bars.

While this does not guarantee those employees have taken the Training in Intervention Procedures (TIPS) program provided free by the Jackson Police Department, Powell Symons said it does ensure that she has folks handling booze that know not to overpour and who have a history of being responsible.

Powell Symons is herself TIPS certified and encourages any of her staff members who are representing Vibrant Events to take the training as well.

TIPS is available to alcohol retailers in Teton County several times a year. According to the police department’s website, the purpose of the training is to help people create environments that promote safety and responsibility wherever alcohol is sold, served or consumed.

As the mother of a three-year-old, Powell Symons said it is important for people to be cognizant of children’s exposure to alcohol use.

“I’m constantly aware of the atmosphere around us when we attend a concert or other community event where alcohol is served,” Powell Symons said. “My husband and I drink responsibly in front of our son and we leave if it’s getting a little too wild or if people are intoxicated and acting like idiots.”

The Jackson Hole Children’s Museum’s annual Touch-A-Truck may be the only kid-friendly fundraiser in town without alcohol, or worse, intoxicated individuals. The majority of the other family events in Jackson, such as Old West Days, the National Museum of Wildlife Arts’ First Sundays, the summer solstice celebration at R Park, the Jackson Hole Skijoring competition and the JacksonHoleLive/Raptor Fest/Crawfish Boil combo serve alcohol in some form. The annual Snowmobile Hill Climb is always an event that families enjoy, but it’s also where adults of all ages tend to get intoxicated.

“As Touch-A-Truck is our biggest annual fundraiser, we have definitely discussed selling alcohol as an additional revenue stream,” said Sara Fagan, the museum’s operations director. “What we always come back to is this: Touch-A-Truck is a fun family-friendly event, held on Sunday and showcasing the men and women who serve and protect our community every day.”

While selling alcohol could increase event revenues, Fagan said “it doesn’t align with the spirit of the event and we have made an intentional decision not to sell it.”

Drunk Person, Meet the Cops

Here’s a sobering statistic: according to the 2016 Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police report, alcohol was involved in 89.1 percent of all Teton County custodial arrests. Statewide the average was 57 percent.

While Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests accounted for nearly 27 percent of all arrests statewide, the counties with significantly higher statistics included Teton County (No. 1) at 48.73 percent. The valley placed No. 2 in arrests for public intoxication, at just more than 25 percent. The percentage of public intox arrests in all of Wyoming? Well, that number was half of Teton County’s: 12.86 percent.

The report also revealed that the age group with the highest percentage of DUI arrests was ages 21 to 25, followed by ages 26 to 30 and 31 to 35. Hello, nearly half the population of Jackson Hole.

Todd Smith, Jackson’s chief of police, Police Department, has been policing here for 28 years. Over that time, he has seen more than his fair share of both residents and visitors impaired by alcohol.

“I can tell you that the numbers you see in that report—those public intoxication numbers—pale in comparison to the number of people we stop due to some sign of intoxication on the road, on the sidewalk and whatnot,” Smith said. “I think it would scare you if you saw the numbers of people that we encounter who are intoxicated and we stop to ensure that they’re going to be able to get home.”

The Jackson Police Department’s system doesn’t necessarily equate an arrest with an event, so when asked if he thinks there is an over-abundance of alcohol-infused events here, Smith demurred.

“It’s difficult for me to have a good measuring stick for that, because it’s always been that way,” he said. “Entities are relying on the revenue generated from alcohol sales to fund the events, so it becomes one of those things of, if you don’t do it, do you have money to hold the event or do it next time?”

Smith doesn’t think the problem is an event having alcohol available, rather it’s more that he wishes people—especially young adults—would do things in moderation and know that nothing good is going to come from drinking excessively, he said.

“Unfortunately the social norms here say that it’s OK to do that,” Smith said. “I’m sure there are other places in the country where this may be the norm, but I think for Wyoming, particularly here in Jackson with our vacationing culture, people feel like alcohol has to be part of everything they do.”

After this summer’s first JacksonHoleLive concert at the Snow King Sports and Events Center, Smith said the police got a call from a citizen about a juvenile person passed out on the bleachers.

“You see that kind of situation over and over and in law enforcement you become a little bit jaded to it because it’s so common, but then you stop and reflect upon the question: ‘Is it this way everywhere?’”

Statistically, Smith said, “it’s not this way everywhere.”

Beyond the Hangover

While being arrested or just plain embarrassed by a drunken encounter with the police is one consequence of drinking too much, there are actually physical and psychological consequences, too. And one doesn’t have to be a long-term drinker or north of age 40 to experience damaging effects.

Alcohol exacerbates depression, since it is itself a depressant. It also causes brain damage. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple ‘slips’ in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.”

Rachel*, 34, of Jackson, found this to be the case.

“I think it was when, after a heavy night of drinking, I had trouble speaking the next day,” she said. “This was jarring. I have always been a skilled public speaker, and won speech competitions throughout school. So when I found myself stuttering, I realized just how badly I had been damaging my brain with alcohol. I could no longer conceal the effects.”

Beyond neurological damage, according to the American Cancer Society, drinking alcohol can also raise the risk of getting cancer, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, breast and liver.

In fact, a July 18 medical report in the British Medical Journal notes that deaths from liver disease have risen sharply in the U.S., with the biggest increase coming from perhaps an unlikely percentage of the population: millennials. The contributing factor? Drinking.

The study, conducted by Dr. Elliot Tapper and Dr. Neehar Parikh at the University of Michigan, and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, looked at federal data taken from death certificates and the U.S. Census Bureau. They found a 65 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver since 1999; 10 percent of those deaths were among people aged 25 to 34.

“People so young might not even realize that they can drink themselves to death so quickly, but they can,” said liver specialist Dr. Haripriya Maddur of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago in an NBC News report.

Maddur said the incidence of liver disease deaths in younger individuals is because millennials are drinking more and they’re drinking different types of hard liquor that are actually more potent than, say, beer.  

“Surprisingly, it only takes about 10 years of heavy drinking to actually lead to cirrhosis,” Maddur, who was not involved in the study, told NBC. “So when people start drinking in college and they start binge drinking, that can actually lead to end-stage liver disease at a much earlier age.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines binge drinking as downing five or more drinks in a couple of hours for a man, or four for a woman. “For young folks around here, that’s a normal Tuesday,” Burke said.

On average, Burke said most of the people who come to Curran-Seeley are 10 years into their addiction before they seek help and get diagnosed. “Often that’s because it takes 10 years to do so due to the stigma of stopping,” he said.  

When the Party’s Over

Alcohol or drug addiction, any type of addiction, is really not so much about the substance or activity one is obsessively and compulsively engaged in. Instead, it’s often about escapism—countless attempts to numb emotional and/or physical pain with alcohol. To temporarily blot out stress, unhappiness, fear or frustration.

“We want to run away, get that psychological crutch,” Burke said. “People think ‘Oh, I’m not a drunk, I’m not down in the gutter,’ but you’re psychologically dependent on it if you can’t go to a wedding without drinking, go to any event without drinking. Psychological dependence is a huge deal that no one pays attention to.”

Mia* is a 29-year-old recovering alcoholic who can attest to the roots of alcoholism and the psychological and physical struggles to overcome the disease. Almost 10 months sober, she is using the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, among other things, to stay alcohol-free.

Mia moved to Jackson from Santa Fe, New Mexico, more than four years ago. Like many other newcomers to the valley, she said she didn’t drink as frequently until she came here. The area’s long, isolating winters contributed to her alcohol usage.

“In the winter there’s nothing else to do in the evening and the days are so short, that it just feels like the only place to go are bars,” Mia said. “Most all of the roommates I have had since moving here drink/drank daily, which is by technical health standards to excess. But in Jackson that’s just considered completely normal and not too excessive.”

Mia first tried to get sober in April 2017 when she said she’d reached a bottom and was completely miserable. That’s when she had to accept that her drinking “was out of control and that I couldn’t stop on my own,” she said.

“I stayed sober for 17 days and then I was in and out of the program for a few months because I wasn’t fully accepting the powerlessness of alcoholism and I had to keep trying it out through ‘controlled drinking.’”

Once she did accept that her life was unmanageable because of her inordinate drinking, she found her friends here unsupportive of her decision to stop.

“They’d say: ‘Oh you’re no fun anymore,’ ‘Why can’t you just have one drink?’ ‘You didn’t drink all week, can’t you just drink on the weekend?’”

That lack of understanding and support from friends made it all the more difficult, Mia said.

She wondered why alcohol is the only drug where when you stop doing it, you have to explain yourself. “When people ask, part of me sometimes wants to say, ‘Well drinking increases your chance for every single type of cancer and that’s why I’m not drinking. Why do I have to explain this?’ If I said I was cutting out sugar, people would say ‘great.’ If I said I was doing the Whole 30 Diet they would say, ‘That’s going to be hard but it’s good for your health.’”

The intense pressure of her job in the creative arts industry and seasonal crunch time is what drove her to drink the last time at this point in the year. This summer she is 100 percent aware that this kind of professional intense stress is a huge trigger for her.

The main struggle for Mia in sobriety is handling stress in a town where she said the go-to for dealing with pressure in a professional or social setting is having a drink.

Still, Mia has found alternatives.

“I have found that exercise for me does almost the same thing. It’s not a replacement, but the endorphins help me manage stress and in turn that has helped me lose weight and become healthier with a lot of positive effects instead of negative.”

Another woman in recovery from alcoholism who has turned a negative into a positive is Brantley Sydnor, 35, who hasn’t had a drink in more than four years. In January of this year she decided to combine her two worlds of 12-step work and yoga into a program she created: Zenity Now at Teton Yoga Shala. It’s a meditative yoga practice designed for anyone interested in learning more about yoga or the 12 steps of recovery.

“The 12 steps and yoga are both spiritual programs that really mirror one another,” Sydnor said. “I’m really hoping this appeals not only to addicts of drugs and alcohol, but also those people struggling with a relationship, struggling with a job, or their relationship to social media, whatever.”

A 13-year resident, Sydnor struggled with most of the above for years. She said in her 20s, she was “that girl” who stumbled around at concerts and other events. After a while she would just isolate herself at home and drink the way she wanted to drink. But that was also problematic.

“I’d put my phone away,” Sydnor said. “I couldn’t even drink in front of my phone.”

Once she stopped drinking, she realized not everybody is or was as drunk as she thought. “A lot of it was just me,” Sydnor said. “That was really profound for me.”

Sobriety has given her choices, she said. The main one being that after a couple of relapses, she simply chooses not to drink anymore.

“It’s a drinking world in general and I have learned how to coexist with alcohol’s availability, especially here—it’s everywhere,” Sydnor said. “When people get too wasted, I just move away from them, or I leave.”

She said she is grateful for those relapses, for those cases of what she calls the “fuck its.”

“It’s what it took for me to wake up and fully understand that I just cannot touch it, I just cannot,” Sydnor said. “And then once I fully came to that conclusion and believed it, there was just a newfound freedom; I was just free. I don’t take sobriety for granted. I know it could go away if I don’t stay spiritually fit, so I do.”

Rachel, although not an alcoholic, has also held on to the moments of reckoning she has had. “In college, I sometimes was a binge drinker but when I moved to Jackson what changed was how I perceived heavy drinking,” she said. “My friends and coworkers normalized binge drinking to the extent that we laughed about blackouts; hangovers became a legitimate excuse to miss out on work meetings or engagements with friends. It was never ‘let’s have two drinks and call it.’ The extreme culture certainly contributed to that and booze always seemed to close out a challenging day in the mountains.”

It was the drinking heavily, the hangovers and more that began to affect how Rachel was performing on the job. And that is precisely the reason she has virtually stopped drinking.

“I found that as the hangovers got worse, so too did my ability to concentrate and my level of clarity diminished,” Rachel said. “I normally just suffered through those days at work, but I would become preoccupied with thoughts of going home when I could take the edge off with a drink. And the cycle would continue.”

Taking Action

The good news in Jackson is that awareness of the acute alcohol abuse problem, as well as support and hope offered by recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Curran-Seeley, can help break or at the very least, ease young people’s proclivity to party beyond the pale.

“As an entire town, we can all take a step back, look and say, ‘Hmm, what is my alcohol use like? What is my alcohol promotion like? Am I doing this in a responsible way? Am I doing this in a way that promotes healthy living or am I doing it in a way that’s going to cause trouble for people down the road?’” said Trudy Funk, executive director of Curran Seely.

As parents, as business owners, as nonprofits, as fundraisers, Funk said residents have to take some responsibility.

During his three-year tenure as the executive director of the Prevention Management Organization of Teton County, Matt Stech’s main goal was for the community to have better awareness and knowledge about the consequences of Jackson’s intense drinking culture and how that affects local children.

“The first thing we did was write the letter to the nonprofit community asking them not to openly promote alcohol at events,” Stech said. “Essentially we asked: ‘Hey, can you do this better?’”

The letter read: “We are challenging all local nonprofits that utilize alcohol as a marketing or fundraising tool to engage in a voluntary self-assessment process and consider making positive changes to the use of alcohol in these capacities.”

Two of the four questions included: “What kinds of associations are made in your promotion? Are they unnecessarily glamorizing or promoting alcohol?” And, “Do you serve alcohol at family-focused events? What messages might your promotion send to local children and youth?”

Stech said this resulted in some understanding and change, but he feels there is still room for improvement, both for those holding events and the young adult population attending them and just abusing alcohol in general.

“You can go to the art fair and not drink, you can go to a concert and not drink,” Stech said. “There are lots of things to do—it’s just finding a friend to go with you and not drink.”

If you have a predilection to addiction it usually catches you in your late teens and keeps going on until the jig is up, Stech said. “People just keep it at a solid simmer and then it boils over in their 30s and 40s.”

*Name has been changed to protect that person’s privacy


Sobering Thoughts

Cover story author Julie Butler discusses kicking the bottle
By Robyn Vincent

Planet Jackson Hole: How long have you been in recovery?

Julie Butler: 19 years


PJH: When was your rock-bottom moment with alcohol?

JB: My mother had been an active alcoholic until I was 20 and then she got sober. I did a one-on-one intervention with her and had to study up on alcoholism in order to do so. That’s when I learned it can be genetic, and even though I’d been a blackout drinker since age 15, I decided my brother was probably the one who got the gene, not me.

My drinking was just fine, thank you very much. Until it wasn’t.

Over the next 20 years of my drinking the blackouts persisted, I would lose entire days recovering from hangovers, my body began to crave alcohol more consistently and my mind’s obsession with “when is an acceptable time to start drinking today?” slowly began to consume me. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and for the last two months of my drinking, I was doing so every night and the red warning flag was flying furiously. When you start mixing vodka with your kids’ Juicy Juice boxes, it may be the time to accept you are powerless over alcohol!


PJH: Given your history with alcohol, what are some aspects of Jackson’s drinking culture that strike you most?

JB: That going beyond the buzz seems to be acceptable here, even glorified with “events” such as the Gelande Quaffing Championship at Teton Village. No matter what I do or where I go, I see that 20- and 30-somethings never miss an opportunity to imbibe.


PJH: Is living in Jackson as a recovering alcoholic easier or harder than where you lived before JH?

JB: I wouldn’t say it’s harder exactly, as, gratefully, my obsession/compulsion to drink was lifted many years ago.

But since moving here from Connecticut in 2014, I have never been exposed to so much boozing in my all my years of recovery, and that can be very uncomfortable for me at times.

It is said that alcoholics have a “built-in forgetter.” I think if I weren’t working a program, if I didn’t have the support that I do, that I might fairly easily decide to join the fun.

Fortunately, the drunkenness I find myself around at times affords me the opportunity to see the old Jules and her unhappiness, lack of self-esteem, inability to say “when.” I don’t want to go back there.


PJH: What has been the hardest thing about recovery?

JB: It may sound corny, but the hardest thing for me sometimes can be “accepting the things I cannot change.” Yet as deeply painful, frustrating and stressful as things can be and have been, I know for a fact that taking a drink never makes anything better. And a drink can even turn a good thing bad.


PJH: What advice do you have for young people who are thinking about quitting?

JB: It’s entirely possible to be young and not drink to excess, or at all; I know many people who got sober before they ever had their first legal drink. Removing alcohol as a social and emotional crutch, as a way to self-medicate, is doable. The clarity and self-discovery that comes from sobriety—whether full-on abstinence or just significantly putting on the breaks—is amazing. Quitting drinking doesn’t mean you quit the fun of life.


Help and Info:

Alcoholics Anonymous

The Jackson group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets daily on the St. John’s Church campus in the basement of the Browse N’ Buy building. The 24-hour number connects you with someone who can provide meeting information and put you in touch with a recovering alcoholic.


Curran-Seeley Foundation

Abstinence-based treatment programs are offered to residents on a sliding scale. It has an intensive outpatient program for men, women and adolescents. The organization also provides free, confidential consultations for people who are wondering if their alcohol use is normal, social or dependent.


Sober Events

■ A Sober Ski Week is held annually at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It happens January 23 to 27, 2019

■ Zenity Now at Teton Shala Yoga blends yoga and the 12 steps of recovery. Visit or


About Julie Butler

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