There are many questions surrounding the use of alcohol substitutes for recovering alcoholics. Are there any benefits? What are the risks? Does non-alcoholic beer have alcohol in it? In recent years, especially with the pandemic raising alcoholism rates significantly, people have been more open to non-alcoholic or NA beverages. Whole bars have opened based on “mocktails” and other non-alcoholic drinks. Most bars and restaurants will have a mocktail menu. Overuse of any alcohol can lead to addiction.
Considering the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer and beverages is essential. Let’s look at the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer and other alcohol, and you can decide what’s best for you.
Potential Benefits of Alcohol Substitutes
While many are now “sober curious” and re-examining their relationship with alcohol, there is a social stigma many former alcoholics worry about: being the only person in the room not drinking. It feels like there’s a spotlight on you if you ask for water, if you’re seen drinking something non-alcoholic, or if you’re caught drinking nothing. People sometimes begin to ask intrusive questions:
- Why aren’t you drinking?
- Can’t you hold your liquor?
- Are you some kind of prude?
- Are you pregnant?
Sometimes people will insist that you can’t enjoy yourself without a drink and try to order one, despite your objections. Many people don’t want to admit that they are in recovery from alcohol addiction. It’s a private matter that people will share when and if they are ready. So to avoid all of the social hassles, some people recovering from alcohol addiction prefer to have an alcohol substitute.
It also provides the simple and familiar comfort of holding a drink and sipping on something throughout the evening. It also has a similar taste to “regular” alcohol, and some people relish the fact that they don’t have to give up the flavor of one of their favorite drinks.
Drawbacks of Using Alcohol Substitutes
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol substitutes opens the door to additional drinking. Many recovering addicts must be very strict in their “not even a single drink” policy to avoid a relapse.
Additionally, some non-alcoholic beers and drinks can still contain trace amounts of alcohol. This can confuse recovering alcoholics and make them feel like they are crossing a line when drinking these beverages. Those who worry about “slipping” should avoid these drinks altogether.
The pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer and drinks should be considered. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what works best for them. The important thing is always to stay safe and make sure that you’re not drinking actual alcohol or crossing a line when it comes to your recovery journey.
Alternatives to “NA” Drinks
There are other options if you are worried about the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer. Try sparkling water with a bit of fresh juice or lime and soda. Herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold without added sugar or caffeine. You could stick to plain water or alternate between that and club soda. These are great alternatives if you don’t want to worry about the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer.
More people than ever accept sober and sober curious behavior, and you don’t need to feel ashamed of your decision. You will be supported in your recovery journey, so take the time to consider what is best for you.
Recovery from Alcohol Abuse Disorder at Right Step
Support is available if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. Reach out to Promises Right Step for more information about programs and resources for recovery. With the right help and guidance, you can get back on the right track and achieve your goals.
Promises Right Step offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for those struggling with substance abuse and dual diagnosis for those with a mental health disorder and addiction. Contact us today at 17135283709 to learn more.