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Over the last decade, “mocktails” have been growing as an alternative to drinking alcohol. By definition, mocktails are beverages that are similar to alcoholic drinks – from the glass to the juices and mixers – but without the booze.  For people in addiction recovery, this may be a great alternative and way to partake in social gatherings, but for others, this may be a triggering experience. Here’s how to determine whether you’re someone triggered by mocktails, or able to raise a (virgin) glass.

Addiction Triggers During Early Recovery

In early recovery from alcohol addiction, sobriety can be fragile. You’re still implementing new habits and establishing a routine and triggers are more likely to affect you. In early recovery, it’s best to try and avoid situations where alcohol may be present and do your best to avoid things that remind you of your past compulsions. In this phase, you’re still transitioning and changing your lifestyle, so it may be harder to maintain sobriety even while pretending to drink an alcoholic beverage.

“Everyone is an individual and all have different triggers,” said Dr. Romas Buivydas, VP of Clinical Development at Spectrum and host of Airing Addiction, a weekly Facebook Live series. “Mocktails may be triggering to some, but to others, it’s fun alternative and a way to say, ‘cheers’ and raise a glass without alcohol.”

Decreasing Relapse Risks in Long-Term Recovery

There are many pathways to recovery for different people, but it is important to note that all pathways require recovery to be firmly established before experimenting with mocktails or similar things. It all depends on the individual.

For those in long-term recovery, the risk of relapse decreases and you’re more likely to be established in your healthy and sober lifestyle. This time may be a great opportunity to attend social gatherings. After all, many social opportunities revolve around food and drink and are popular aspects of society. While everyone else has a beer in hand, you’ll feel a part of the festivities with your mocktail. Additionally, spending time with friends and family and celebrating together is necessary for emotional health and wellness.

So, how do you know which boat you’re in? Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings and reactions to mocktails. Does drinking a mocktail really make you want to hit the bar later? Does it conjure up memories of binge sessions? Do you feel pressured by the environment at hand or the people around you to start drinking alcohol? If so, skip the mocktails.

On the other hand, if you’re someone totally comfortable in your sobriety, you’re confident in your new lifestyle and don’t let people, places and situations sway your recovery, it’s ok to indulge in a mocktail or alcohol-free beer!

Regardless of your decision, raise a glass and celebrate how far you’ve come and how far you are going.

Non-alcoholic drinks don’t have to be boring – check out these fun recipes for your mocktail bash.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, call us today at 1-877-MyRehab and we can help guide you on the path to recovery. We have an immediate availability of beds, call today!

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