Alcoholics know that they need to stay away from beverages that contain alcohol. Yet, the prospect of having a cold non-alcoholic beer can send you wading through a major gray area. If you ask can an alcoholic drink non-alcoholic beer to a group, you’ll likely hear a wide range of answers. The majority of people who deal with alcohol addiction will say that any beverages that contain even the smallest amount of alcohol should be avoided at all costs. Others will say that a non-alcoholic beer represents the lesser of two evils, and that it is better to indulge this craving rather than to have a serious relapse. Answering this question completely can get complicated, and you’re going to need to do some self-exploration to find your best answer.
There are several reasons why it is better to avoid drinking non-alcoholic beer. Reading through this list might cause you to think twice before popping that top.
•Many non-alcoholic beers contain some amount of alcohol.
•The label may not always reveal how much a non-alcoholic beer contains
•Even drinking a beer with a low alcohol content reinforces alcoholic behaviors
•Others may get the wrong idea and offer you other alcoholic drinks in public places
•Tasting beer is a trigger for many alcoholics.
You’ll also occasionally find someone who feels as though it is perfectly fine to drink a non-alcoholic beer. They may say that they’ve always enjoyed the taste of beer and are able to handle the exposure to small amounts of alcohol. Others may feel like a non-alcoholic beer is a safer choice when they are drinking out in public. A bartender might accidentally add alcohol to a mocktail, and you can easily read the label on a non-alcoholic beer. This small benefit, however, might not be big enough to override the possibility that the beer could cause you to relapse and start drinking something stronger.
Newer versions of non-alcoholic beer tout having zero percentages of alcohol. These beers are becoming the go-to choice for alcoholics who like the flavor but don’t want to become intoxicated. This is still a slippery slope for many people with an addiction to alcohol. Some of these beers are too near the flavor of alcoholic versions. If taste or holding a bottle is a trigger for you, then it might be best to opt for a soda or flavored water.
Learn How to Set Your Personal Boundaries and Avoid Triggers
As someone who is new to sobriety, you likely haven’t encountered enough situations to fully know what is safe and what might cause you to relapse. While you are in rehab, you’ll get the chance to dive deeper into what triggers your addiction. Your counselor might talk to you about how you started drinking alcohol, and they’ll assess the severity of your addiction to help you find the best ways to cope. If you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol and find that beer is one of your weak spots, then staying away from any form of the drink may be your best bet.
This is also likely only the beginning of questions that you’ll have about how to handle different situations regarding alcohol. You may wonder if you can go to parties where alcohol is served without falling into temptation. Or, you might be concerned that a non-alcoholic version of another type of drink might generate more cravings. These are all situations that you’ll learn how to navigate better in time, but you can work with a counselor and the people in your group therapy sessions to figure out what you’ll do for now. Many people prefer to avoid tempting situations until they’ve been sober for a longer period of time. You may also need to hold off on even trying that non-alcoholic beer until you are sure that it won’t throw you into a downward spiral. As nice as it might seem to have a cold beer on a hot day, the truth is that there are other drinks that will give a similar level of satisfaction without any risk. Perhaps today is the day to start creating a signature non-alcoholic drink that you look forward to after a day of doing yard work or while you’re at the beach.
Are you still curious about the boundaries you need to set in sobriety? We’ve got tons of suggestions for living a full life in sobriety. We’re waiting to talk to you now at 833-820-2922.