As with any addiction, it is essential to be vigilant and careful. It is also important to remember that a relapse is not a failure, just a side step on the road to success. With this in mind, I want to discuss the dangers of non-alcoholic beer.
With an active life, the temptations to drink are everywhere. You go to a restaurant or a gathering, and you are bound to come in contact with people drinking. So much so you can begin to feel like an outsider. This is how many fall to the temptation of non-alcoholic beer.
This is what happened to me. My first relapse came with the temptation to try this beer. That with its name should have been okay. Right? This is not so though. Non-alcoholic beer has the same consequences as regular beer for one recovering from alcoholism. My experience triggered an alcohol relapse and the opportunity to help others avoid this same mistake.
One of the main reasons to avoid non-alcoholic beers is the taste. Memories often trigger alcohol relapse. The memory of the taste, the feeling achieved, or any other association you may have. Non-alcoholic beer has that same trigger. It causes the memories associated with taste to cause your body to crave it. The danger comes when you think you are safe because after all, it is non-alcoholic. I believed I could enjoy the taste and memories without the risk.
Non-alcoholic beer has a small amount of alcohol though. According to the FDA guidelines, non-alcoholic drinks may contain small amounts of alcohol. As seen here, they may contain .5% by volume. This is enough to cause cravings to return for a recovering alcoholic.
This is the same for non-alcoholic beer or beverages. No matter the type you take the risk of alcohol relapse with their consumption. This is a good reason to avoid these drinks altogether.
I thought it necessary to share this experience as a warning to all those who are on this path. Though it is not possible to avoid everything that will trigger the memories you associate drinking, avoiding these drinks will help eliminate one of those triggers.
Again, alcohol relapse does not mean failure. For me, it has meant trying harder. Pushing myself to remember all of the reasons I am a recovery alcoholic instead of an alcoholic. My journey is far from over, and I cannot say that I am cured, but I am still recovering. This little side step just made me stronger and urged me to continue towards my goal of helping others traveling down this same road.
With that in mind remember that non-alcoholic beer is not the right decision and could cause a slip on your path. I got back up and continued my journey. I hope this will help you avoid this misconception.
I will use this experience to further my calling in helping others journey through their recovery as I am still traveling through mine.