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As the season of parties and social gatherings approaches, you may want to consider some sober alternatives to toasting with friends and family. But what are the options out there, and which one is right for you? Is it even okay to drink non-alcoholic beverages in recovery? We’ve got the answers for you.
What is a Non-Alcoholic Drink?
We aren’t talking about chocolate milk and orange juice here. A non-alcoholic drink refers to a beverage that would typically be alcoholic, but without the alcohol. The goal is that the drink generally tastes the same as its alcoholic counterpart so you get the experience of drinking alcohol while staying sober. Essentially, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks
There are three types of non-alcoholic (NA) drinks, two of which are pretty straightforward. NA beer and wine are mainstay substitutes for people looking for the taste without the commitment. And while the concept of mocktails isn’t new, the surge in variety in recent years certainly is.
You’ve likely heard of a Shirley Temple, the go-to of alcohol-free mixed drinks. And perhaps you’ve even heard someone order a virgin daiquiri or pina colada. The concept of non-alcoholic mixed drinks isn’t new, but they sure have surged in popularity in recent years. The term mocktail has kind of morphed into an umbrella term for not only encompass imitation cocktails but any mixed drink. Some restaurants even serve healthy mocktails that mix a combination of liquids infused with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
Non-Alcoholic beer was developed in the 1970s and first released in 1979. Clausthaler was the world’s first non-alcoholic beer, born through an innovative brewing process that halts the formation of alcohol. Without the presence of alcohol, it turns out beer can be quite healthy for you. Alcohol-free beer can reduce your risk of heart disease, help you sleep, aid bone growth, and strengthen your immune system against the common cold. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals like folic acid, potassium, iron, and zinc.
Non-alcoholic wine was first developed in 1869 to be used as communion wine at a New Jersey methodist church. The concept quickly swept through congregations across the country and jumpstarted America’s processed fruit juice industry. In fact, up until 1890, Welch’s Grape Juice was known as Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine. And just like alcohol-free beer, NA wine has many health benefits which include:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing risks of certain cancers and heart disease
- Reducing blood clots
- Lowering cholesterol
- Slowing progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Okay in Recovery?
Unfortunately, we can’t say with certainty whether non-alcoholic drinks are a safe option for any particular person in recovery. It’s up to the individual if they feel stable enough in sobriety to try non-alcoholic drinks. Some people in recovery find that drinking NA beer, wine, or mocktails keeps them from potential relapse. And that’s certainly something to be excited about, but there are some dangers to consider.
Some people find—especially in early recovery—that the smell of NA beer or wine is too similar to the real thing. Smell or other sensory indicators can trigger a relapse. For some, the sound of a cork being popped is enough. The setting also plays an important role. Returning to an old stomping ground such as a bar to order a non-alcoholic drink could trigger a relapse. Old habits die hard and a return to familiarity with addiction can jumpstart those old habits. This isn’t to discourage anyone from trying out NA drinks in recovery but be cautious and vigilant.
Eudaimonia Can Help Keep You on the Path to Recovery
Eudaimonia offers excellent recovery programs with tailored care. In these programs, individuals can develop positive coping skills with the tools necessary to maintain sobriety. Eudaimonia even provides tailored care based on gender and orientation. We also include supervised, short-term housing to provide support for newly sober individuals. But no matter where you are in your recovery, Eudaimonia Sober Living Homes can provide support every step of the way. We have facilities for sober living in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs ready to assist you in living your sober lifestyle. Call Eudaimonia Sober Living Homes at (888) 424 – 4029 for more information on the sober living process and current room availability.