My Take on NAB's (non-alcoholic beer)
This is a tricky topic, and one that is debated amongst those in active recovery, are apart of the AA program & community, and those that support them. My take is simple, don't do anything that would compromise your sobriety. It's that simple. The truth is, I wouldn't do anything that would make me think I could drink again, or make me think I was a normal drinker. I stayed away from non-alcoholic beverages that were made to feel like a normal drink for quite a while. I was and am diligent about the work I put into maintaining my sobriety, and also work with others by way of sponsoring them through the 12 steps.
Having said all that, I allow myself the option to enjoy a frothy NAB on special occasions or after a long hike on a sunny day. The thing I want to stress here is this; I am not consuming these beverages in an effort to feel like I am drinking alcohol, or trying to blend into a restaurant or bar scene. I am simply enjoying this as I would any other non-alcoholic beverage. There's something convivial and nostalgic about having a NAB with a burger or on date night with my boyfriend. He enjoys them with me, and together we have a nice meal, enjoy each other's company, and that's the end of it. Consuming these beverages doesn't initiate the phenomenon of craving in ME. That's how I know I AM ok to safely consume them.
When you've reached a point of stability in your life and program of recovery, and I am speaking from experience here, feel free to expand your horizons. You've blossomed from the caterpillar, but be sure to remain humble in your state of being a beautiful butterfly. Keep an honest pulse check on how new activities like enjoying mock-tails or NAB's make you feel. If at anytime you're taken back to a place where you feel as if you are drinking, or it reminds you too much of the dark times you experienced in active addiction, stop or don't do it at all.
At the end of the day, you're your own best advocate. Keep your motives & intentions with this activity in check, and be honest with yourself about how they make you feel. If you're not sure, ask your sponsor or a trusted friend what they would suggest. Enjoy everything responsibly, even the non-alcoholic beverages. Cheers to you. Drop me a line with any questions or comments!