I Can Drink O’Doul’s If I Am in Recovery, Right?
“It’s just an O’Doul’s, it’s OK. Relax, it’s no big deal. You are overreacting; I’ve been in recovery for two years now.”
This is a common statement to hear from people new to sobriety. How often does it really plague people with lots of time in recovery? For many, this is a dilemma after treatment: Whether or not to drink so-called ‘alcohol-free’ beer.
So you completed 90 days alcohol rehab and think that you have this thing beat. Now what? You return home to the same friends, bars, parties and lifestyle. But you feel different, you are going to be able to withstand temptation and drink a nonalcoholic beer. Even though you heard from staff at the rehab center that you should stay away from old behavior patterns, you decide that you are not the same as those other alcoholics.
You’re having fun now. You are hanging out with old friends in old places, but feel as if you still have things under control with your O’Doul’s. This false sense of control creeps back into your life. Then you start to miss meetings and instead meet your nonalcoholic friends at the bar after work. Addiction manipulates you into believing you are in control.
Some recovering alcoholics continue to drink O’Doul’s feeling justified in their behavior because it is alcohol-free beer. They will remain dry drunks, behaving like those in active addiction. Some may eventually go back to their alcohol of choice requiring drug and alcohol rehab once again. Be careful of this trap and understand what it truly means to be in recovery.
Rules of Recovery
You will eventually find what works best for you in your recovery program. You should know that the O’Doul’s brand contains 0.4 percent alcohol, according to the Anheuser Busch website. This means that even though you believe that O’Doul’s is alcohol-free, it actually has some alcohol in it. When you are in recovery, socializing around alcoholic events should not be a priority, nor should you drink alcohol-free beer.
Some simple rules to live by when in recovery are:
- Don’t pick up.
- Change old people, places and things that are part of your alcohol lifestyle.
- Attend meetings regularly.
- Have a support network for dealing with temptation and be honest.
Don’t get fooled by addiction letting you think that you are OK just because you are not using your drug or alcohol of choice. If you or a loved one have fallen off the wagon, there is no shame in admitting that you need help. Learn how to help an alcoholic friend or family member and always consider getting substance use disorder treatment if you find you need it.