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Am I Still Sober If I Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?

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Non-Alcoholic BeerWhen an alcoholic comes into recovery, it is strongly suggested that they don’t drink alcohol anymore, obviously. But what about non-alcoholic beer? No alcohol means no problem, right? Scientific studies and experiences of other recovered alcoholics seem to think it might not be such a good idea.

Non-Alcoholic Beer Debate

First, let’s be clear about something: non-alcoholic beer actually has small amounts of alcohol in it. If you are a recovering alcoholic who is drinking non-alcoholic beer, you may be on borrowed time before you pick up the real deal. Being sober is also about motive, so if your motives are to get drunk (even on non-alcoholic beer) you might consider that you have in fact relapsed already. If you drink it for the taste and not in hopes to steal something from the experience (like a buzz) then you may just be playing with fire that could lead to a real relapse back to alcohol. For the most part, most alcoholics who are honest with themselves know in their hearts that this is just a bad idea.

In the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal published in November of 2013, a team of scientists from CA reported that the smell of alcohol had the potential to trigger a craving for certain alcoholics.  In a lab experiment, rats underwent different types of test that challenged their sense of smell and taste as it relates to alcohol. The end result was that both alcohol consumption and the anticipation of obtaining alcohol through sense of smell raised dopamine levels, which are the brain’s elation and pleasure chemicals. Although rats are not people, the study is interesting in the fact that the rats experience much of the same feelings as an alcoholic who is in active alcoholism.

If you are an alcoholic who is trying to stay sober long-term and live a life free from alcohol and drugs, then you don’t need to drink non-alcoholic beer in the first place. Those who are working a program of recovery find no need to use any form of alcohol whatsoever.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 90% of alcoholics will experience a relapse within for years after quitting drinking (this study does not include those alcoholics who are working a program of recovery). With that kind of statistic, why would any alcoholic who quit drinking want to tempt the beast? The bottom line, drinking non-alcoholic beer is basically living as a dry drunk and a relapse to real alcohol is only a sip away.

Recovering Alcoholic

If you want to truly recover from the disease of alcoholism then the best way is to not drink non-alcoholic beer and be completely clean from alcohol and other drugs that could cause a relapse. There are millions of Americans living in recovery from alcoholism, that are happy, joyous, and free. If you are struggling with staying sober, please contact us now – you do not have to do this alone. We do recover and we can help you be free from alcohol.




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