My husband just got out of alcohol rehab (30 day in-house treatment) and has been trying to find things that he can enjoy at social settings. He tried O’Dools last weekend at a friends BBQ and coincidentally (or not) had a couple days following of major cravings for alcohol.
I have to think it was the O’Dools, although he would like to think it was the change in exercise as he had been walking / jogging every day through and after rehab and had hurt himself the day before and not walked / jogged for several days. He thinks it was the lack of endorphins from the hard exercise, however, I am thinking it was the fact that there is a very small amount of alcohol in “non alcoholic” beer and after having SEVERAL, it equates to about half a regular beer.
Can you please weigh in on this for me. I am trying to be supportive while still looking into the causes in an effort to avoid these in the future. He is doing SO well and is in SUCH a good mental spot that I hate to jeopardize it with social settings.
I would have to agree with you, Cindy. Non-alcoholic beer is not something you should drink if you are alcohol dependent and are trying to abstain from alcohol. There are two reasons for this:
1. Non-alcoholic beer contains, as you rightly point out, a very small amount of alcohol. Although the amount is minuscule, it is still enough to induce cravings in someone who is an alcoholic.
2. Non-alcoholic beer tastes like beer, and this taste is enough to make the alcoholic crave more.
Your husband stopping his exercise may have played a factor in his cravings returning but, in my opinion, drinking non-alcoholic beer will have been the major trigger.
My advice to him would be to stay well clear of non-alcoholic beer (and non-alcoholic wine) in the future. I know of a couple of people who have returned to full-blown active alcoholism after drinking so-called non-alcoholic beer/wine. It just isn’t worth it.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.