Why You Should Avoid Non-Alcoholic Beer

At Treatment Alternative’s New York alcohol rehabilitation center, we know everyone’s addiction recovery is unique.  Each recovering addict uses personal methods and strategies to help stay focused and stay clean.

Recovering alcoholics sometimes order nonalcoholic beer instead of regular beer.  This happens for several, self-justifying reasons: they still enjoy the taste of beer, they think it will make social situations less awkward, or they crave the psychological boost. The professionals at our treatment center strongly recommend against drinking non-alcoholic beverages that are designed to look, taste, or feel like the real thing.  Non-alcoholic beverages include virgin drinks, mocktails, and non-alcoholic beers.

Drinking nonalcoholic beer is a slippery slope for a recovering alcoholic, and here’s why:

  • Nonalcoholic beer has a similar smell to beer, and studies have shown that smell alone is strong enough to trigger a relapse.
  • Ordering or buying a nonalcoholic beer still requires the user to think or say the word “beer” which can lead them down a dangerous mental path of trying to relive the old days.
  • Non-alcoholic beer is designed to look, taste, and smell like regular beer. Consuming something so similar to your former addiction is a dangerous relapse trigger.

The reality is that drinking “mocktails” as a recovering addict is a gray area, and gray areas are to be avoided at all costs in recovery.  Anything that could damage a former addict’s sobriety is simply not worth it. Our New York alcohol rehabilitation center suggests staying away from the idea entirely if you want to continue to work on your sobriety and maintain your treatment for alcoholism.

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