Opinion: Non-alcoholic beer and alcoholics – are they even allowed to drink it?

Many dry alcoholics ask themselves whether they are allowed to drink non-alcoholic beer.

For various reasons, addiction specialists often answer with a clear no. The following arguments are usually given against this:

Many non-alcoholic beers contain a residual amount of alcohol – up to 0.5% is allowed. This would trigger dry alcoholics.
As the taste is too similar to normal alcoholic beer or would be drunk in similar situations, it would make them want more or they would fall back into old patterns of behavior and then reach for normal beer.

On the first point, it should be noted that there are now also non-alcoholic beers that really don’t contain any alcohol at all. You can usually recognize them by a 0.0% in the name or in the nutritional information, e.g. Heineken 0.0. On the other hand, many fruit juices naturally contain alcohol, so this problem must also be taken into account with these.

If you are triggered by even the smallest amounts of alcohol and encouraged to drink, you should consistently stay away from such drinks – not just beer, but also fruit juices. This also applies in particular if you are taking Antabus for alcoholism.

But what about being triggered by the taste? I myself am a dry alcoholic and like to drink a non-alcoholic beer for a suitable occasion or meal as a pure stimulant. It has never triggered me and it helps me to stay dry, as I don’t have to give up a taste I appreciate. I’ve also found that I now drink a lot less non-alcoholic beer than I did at the beginning of my sober period.

But as I said, that’s my own personal opinion. If you have the feeling that the taste of beer, even non-alcoholic beer, tempts you to drink it, it’s better to give it up.

Basically, this is a very personal decision that you should weigh up carefully and, if in doubt, discuss with a therapist or doctor.





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