It’s probably human nature to believe that, over time, things get better. We tend to have faith that we’re on a path of progress. And that when we make a conscious change, it’s for the better. But, experience tells us that, as a society, when we make changes, we don’t always make wise choices.

Things that can seem like a good idea at the time, can, in hindsight, turn out to be not so great. When that happens, a future generation often rediscovers our older ideas and, because they too believe everything is progress, suddenly what’s old is new again. Take, for example, doctors who make house calls. In the 1930’s, 40% of all doctor visits were house calls. When you were sick, the doctor would come to your home to see you.

Home health

For various reasons, mostly driven by financial considerations and health insurance dictates, home doctor visits fell out of favor. By the 1980’s house calls were only 1% of medical visits. But guess what? Yes, what’s old is new again. House calls are making a resurgence. Over the past decade they’ve grown by the millions.

Here in New Orleans, we only have one medical practice that is solely dedicated to house calls. It’s called NOLA Doc. Its founder is Mark Berenson.

NOLA Doc's Dr Mark Berenson

NOLA Doc’s Dr Mark Berenson

We first met Mark on Out to Lunch in 2016, 3 years after he launched his revolutionary practice. Then he was working by himself, out of his house, with a doctor bag. Today, Mark has a two-doctor practice, support staff, and an office – but still no clinic. NOLA Doc is a 100% house call medical practice.

Sober

In New Orleans, if there’s one thing that doesn’t ever seem to go out of style, it’s alcohol. Alcohol is one of the pillars of New Orleans life. We have a tourist-dependent economy, the central focus of which is Bourbon Street.  The attraction of Bourbon Street is nominally music, but its revenue is generated predominantly from selling drinks.

You can even drink on the street here. We’re proud of our go-cup culture. If you’re not from New Orleans, the go-cup is a plastic cup you can legally take with you everywhere, so you never have to be without a drink. Most of us have a stack of go-cups at home. We stock up on them at Mardi Gras – they’re one of the principal throws of every Mardi Gras parade.

Mardi Gras is perhaps the thing New Orleans is most famous for world-wide. What is Mardi Gras? Well, essentially, it’s a city-wide, weeks long, alcohol-fueled party.

So, given that we’re an alcohol-centric city, opening a new business whose very reason for existence is the absence of alcohol might seem like a risky venture. That’s the fundamental principle of a business called The Antidote Juice, and its partner program, The Next Sober Life.

The Antidote Juice is an organic juice bar in the CBD that sells juices, coffee drinks, and fresh salads. The Next Sober Life is its associated mentorship-based community of sober, sober-curious, and sober-ally members who believe that, even in New Orleans, you don’t have to sacrifice a social life to be sober.

NOLA's leading light of the sober community, Scorch Inez

NOLA’s leading light of the sober community, Scorch Inez

Scorch Inez is co-founder of The Antidote and The Next Sober Life.

You can find photos from this show by Jill Lafleur at our website.

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