Notices

NA Beer and Wine

Old 06-20-2010, 11:59 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
NA Beer and Wine

Hi all!

I am new to the site and had a question that perhaps one or several of y'all could answer for me!

I will be 60 days sober on the 24th of this month. A few days ago, i picked up a bottle of NA wine.... not because I missed the effect of the real thing, but for missing the taste of wine. I've had NA beverages before recovery and obviously, have never become intoxicated on them. This past weekend, the bottle of NA wine that I had did not make me crave the real thing at all- honestly. In fact, it made me crave the real thing less, because that essential wine taste and scent was there, without the drunkenness and hangovers.

However, my sponsor thinks that I should re-set my sobriety date, given the fact that wine had about .15th of a percent alcohol. I disagree, but what do I know?
celticfire78 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:10 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 4,682
For me, if i had done this i would re-set my sobriety date...it is not so much the amount of alcohol in the NA wine but the knowing that there was alcohol in it and doing it anyway regardless of the reason...

Might be worth thinking about why you would want to drink NA wine if your drinking had gotten so bad that you had to get help to stop? I.e. who's making the decision here for you to drink the NA wine you or your addiction...it is very sneaky?

Probably some may say it is up to you about your sobriety date and up to you if you drink NA wine and i do agree with that also if you dont have a problem you dont have a problem and in that case why is a sobriety date important to you at all?

Food for thought anyway:-)
yeahgr8 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:10 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 205,712
Hi Celticfire

You'll find a wide range of opinions here - this subject comes up pretty regularly.
I'm not in AA so I have no position on what your sponsor says.

I just know for me I get all the taste I need from drinks that don't remind me of the ones I used to drink.

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:26 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
Thanks for the responses, so far! =)

Well, to be honest, I guess this whole experience is actually making me wonder if I was ever an alcoholic to begin with, as the miniscule amount of alcohol that I did have didn't leave me pining for the real deal. I was able to drink like a "normal" person for about ten years, and knew when enough was enough. Then, I moved into an apartment by myself, which was followed by a string of catastrophic events.... so, I turned to alcohol. Easy solution.

I luckily stopped before it got WAY out of control. I never had any withdraws, nor was I chemically dependent. It WAS usually about the taste if I kept it to one. That is also leading me to believe that maybe NA wine might be a safe bet for me. Maybe not on a habitual basis, but occasional.
celticfire78 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:37 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 205,712
I think nearly everybody doubts whether they were alcoholic at some point, celticfire - I've seen many many people pass through here and wonder that - I've done it myself - I don't recall any folks who were proved right about that though.

The mind can be a tricky beast - be on your guard.
D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:42 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
Yes, I agree.... most that I've talked to questioned their alcoholism at one point or another. I don't think anyone LIKES having to admit that they're "powerless" over some inanimate substance, such as alcohol. I do believe at one point in my life that I truly WAS an alcoholic, and for me, it wasn't about how much I was drinking, but what sort of priority I gave to it in my life and examining those motives.

I would love to get to a point in my life where there is zero craving for alcohol, that, not even in the most stressful times in my life, will I be tempted to drink. If I am not tempted, and turn willingly to a healthier solution, am I still, then, an alcoholic?
celticfire78 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:47 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 205,712
I believe I will always be an alcoholic - I don't base that on dogma...I think, looking back, I was predestined to be an alcoholic long before I took my first drink...I certainly never drank normally....

I believe that's not going to change, so yep - always an alkie - but I intend on staying a non drinking one

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:26 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 174
I think if you have a search around this site you'll find a certain lack of posts saying "my alcoholism is cured! I went back drinking and it's great fun!".

You could possibly be the first, but I doubt it. Once you turn that alco corner, I don't think it's ever possible to go back.
Ronan is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:25 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Mark75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,947
I feel real strongly that one person, sponsor or no, should tell another to reset their sobriety date because they experimented with NA. Like yeahgr8 mentioned, a person might decide to do so themselves .... Recovery is an inside job.

I stil have an NA beer now and then, less so as time goes on. I prefer a sprite zero

Deciding that you are not alcoholic because NA wine doesn't trigger you, or you seem to be having an easy stretch so far... No. Maybe you aren't sure yet. Maybe you aren't done drinking. Maybe you are not alcoholic. It's an important journey to your own conclusion, and if applicable, acceptance. That journey doesn't involve NA beer or wine.

If I have an opinion about you, in particular, regarding NA beverages... IDK, maybe you ought to wait until you've made that journey.

Peace
Mark
Mark75 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:57 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
north's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Overseas... on the shore of an uncharted desert isle.
Posts: 254
Originally Posted by celticfire78 View Post
Hi all!

I am new to the site and had a question that perhaps one or several of y'all could answer for me!

I will be 60 days sober on the 24th of this month. A few days ago, i picked up a bottle of NA wine.... not because I missed the effect of the real thing, but for missing the taste of wine. I've had NA beverages before recovery and obviously, have never become intoxicated on them. This past weekend, the bottle of NA wine that I had did not make me crave the real thing at all- honestly. In fact, it made me crave the real thing less, because that essential wine taste and scent was there, without the drunkenness and hangovers.

However, my sponsor thinks that I should re-set my sobriety date, given the fact that wine had about .15th of a percent alcohol. I disagree, but what do I know?
Sometimes it helps to be able to do the math. If your sponsor is so insistent on you resetting your sobriety date, ask them the last time they had a glass of orange juice or ate something with malt vinegar like fish & chips or a salad with vinaigrette dressing.

An ABV of 0.15%, as you indicated, is significantly less than the maximum ABV level allowed for NA beers in the US which is 0.5% (0.05% for the UK). And, if one wants to really get anally-retentive over it, then to be consistent, they ought to throw a similar objection to the average glass of orange juice which can contain up to 0.5% ABV. And, the malt vinegar that we pour liberally over our fish and chips (at least in the UK), contains about 0.2% ABV...
north is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:38 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2,126
If there's one thing I've learned on my recovery journey, it's that I don't get to define certain terms for anybody else but me, and vice versa (nobody gets to define those terms for me). Some of those terms are....:

alcoholic/alcoholism (although I do go by AA's BB for that one); sober/sobriety;
sobriety date;
recovery;
recovering/recovered; and
although not a term, per se.....how to work the AA Program (the steps) correctly.

When I was active in my alcoholism (+ other drug addictions--all of em), I drank/used to get high, period (and on rare occasions, for the taste)..... Today, I have been known to have an NA malt beverage and/or NA wine from time to time.....for the taste; I've never gotten high, nor has this ever triggered any desire for the 'real' things---and this definitely does NOT mean that I was not a real alcoholic (today, a real, recovered alcoholic).

I was very fortunate that when I started on my recovery journey, my sponsor, and all the others in my support group, did not tell me what to do, and/or how to do it; they made suggestions based on their experience, and let me decide. So far, it's worked for me.......


NoelleR
DOS: 6/23/86
NoelleR is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:42 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Toro Solo
 
notnormal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: san francisco
Posts: 103
We had 5 people over to the house last night to watch racing. I made steaks and vegies on the BBQ while my wife made a salad. We hung out for a few hours, three bottles of wine came and went and I had two NA beers.
Not once did any one offer me a glass of wine and I had a great evening. I woke up this morning feeling wonderful and clear with even more confidence that I'm doing the right thing.
The two NA beers made it just that much easier for me to feel good in what could be a very uncomfortable environment...
I'll put my evening up against your sponsors anytime..
4 weeks today.
nn
notnormal is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:33 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by north View Post
Sometimes it helps to be able to do the math. If your sponsor is so insistent on you resetting your sobriety date, ask them the last time they had a glass of orange juice or ate something with malt vinegar like fish & chips or a salad with vinaigrette dressing.

An ABV of 0.15%, as you indicated, is significantly less than the maximum ABV level allowed for NA beers in the US which is 0.5% (0.05% for the UK). And, if one wants to really get anally-retentive over it, then to be consistent, they ought to throw a similar objection to the average glass of orange juice which can contain up to 0.5% ABV. And, the malt vinegar that we pour liberally over our fish and chips (at least in the UK), contains about 0.2% ABV...
Exactly. I actually mentioned this to my sponsor last night. She insisted that it was the intent around it, no matter how much alcohol was in it. "If orange juice has alcohol in it, then why not drink that instead", she asked. Well, I dunno. I wasn't in the mood, maybe? Orange juice doesn't have the same essential aromas and flavor that a good wine has. And for me, good wine was ALWAYS about the taste, never about getting drunk. More than two glasses of regular wine always set me sick as a dog. If I wanted to get drunk it was all about Belgian ales and Vodka! Good NA wines are better in some cases than the real thing (and good NA wines DO exist!), because I get to indulge on the great taste with none of the guilt!

I agree so far with what everyone has said about it being a personal decision of mine, based on my own rigorous honesty. If my sponsor isn't happy with the decision I've chosen to make for myself, well, I have to remind myself that I am not responsible for my sponsor's happiness and contentment.
celticfire78 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:48 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
TwelveSteps's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 411
Personally, I will sometimes have NA beer. I actually don't think it tastes that much like real beer (which I love, Belgians especially), but I mainly drink it at BBQs and things like that where it reduces my anxiety about acquaintances questioning why I'm not drinking. It looks like a bottle of beer and helps me not focus so much on the fact that I'm the only one without a beer in my hand. My sponsor disagrees with me as to whether it is OK to ever have NA beer, but like several other posters mentioned, only you can decide what's right for you. For me, the minute amount of alcohol has no effect on me and does not induce cravings. I'll usually have one that I nurse the whole time, and don't think about it for a second once it's done. For others, I can see how it could create a reminder of "oh, wouldn't a beer feel nice right now" or how their cravings could get triggered by the small amount of alcohol. It's up to you to monitor how you feel about it, or just avoid it if pondering the question at all just causes too much anxiety.

GG

Last edited by Dee74; 06-21-2010 at 01:55 PM. Reason: removed ad
TwelveSteps is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:03 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 205,712
A

To balance things up a bit...

My experience is, back in the day as a beer drinker, whenever I tried to moderate with NA beer, I always ended up back on the hard stuff.

I don't see any reason to test if thats changed now I'm a non drinker.

Like I said before I figure there's lots of tasty alternatives out there that don't have anything to do with the drinks I nearly destroyed myself with.

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:15 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Kerbcrawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 464
hi mate, this subject of n/a beers wine,brings up quite a split camp here, i think you should define your sobriety date, an not your sponsor..he,s not your guardian angel, or your hp,i use n/a beers occassionaly it helps,like someone said, in among awkward settings, barbies/parties/events, i find it plays a useful role,plus no one even thinks your not drinkin beer, not that this should matter, the other thing im a little concerned with is the dogma, and conviction,by certain groups..and teachings, that once you are..blah blah...you will always be, once you pop,you will never be able to stop...and i had those ideas inscribed in my brain..then hey if i mess up..an take a drink..im far more likely to throw the towel in, and offer no further resistance..because i was led to beleive if i have the one,im done for as it were...which is why im trying to treat this affliction of alcohol addiction,..like any other high powered likeable hard to break habit,..i have the n/a beers, an enjoy the taste and flavour of fizzy fermented natural wheat/barley, more than synthetic high pretend sugar and e,number additive cokes and other stuff, by the way bought some of that elsberg n/a wine cost me 4 as much as wine..an tasted pretty much like grape juice...waste of money,i thought. anyhow day 57..wish you well.
Kerbcrawler is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:16 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
hendershot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 285
You have two options: Reset your sobriety date or don't.

Up to you. But a couple of big red flags: why you didn't ask your sponsor about this before you did it and at 60 days why would you flirt with your disease like that?

If you are serious about your sobriety, why risk it?

The issue of the low-alcohol content doesn't seem to matter. These questions would still be pertinent whether it had zero alcy. In reality, the alcohol is too low for you to feel its effects. But our brains are funny. You are used to feeling intoxicated from wine, so your brain is going to release dopamine just from the taste even if there is no alcy in it. Even your post is oozing with euphoric recall--the taste, the smell. It feels good to remember because your brain is relasing dopamine and dopamine fuels the addicted self.

Tread cautiously.
hendershot is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:35 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
AWOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Present
Posts: 425
Great thread Celtic and, agreed -- this is personal choice country. I had no issues with NA beer a few years ago when I tried being sober, but as with Dee, it eventually became a footpath to the real deal. Some addiction specialists (medical) regard NA drinks as placebos that keep you psychologically tied to opportunities to down greater concentrations of alcohol in bottles or cans, whereas orange juice is unlikely to lead you to the local liquor store.
AWOL is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:42 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Freedom1990's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,182
Originally Posted by celticfire78 View Post
A few days ago, i picked up a bottle of NA wine.... not because I missed the effect of the real thing, but for missing the taste of wine.
I don't romance any of my past life prior to sobriety, and that includes the taste.

I assume you have the sponsor you have for a reason?

If I have a beef, or disagree with my sponsor, I'm not afraid to go face to face with him, nor do I go out and get other opinions on my sponsor's suggestions.
Freedom1990 is offline  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:45 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
Mark75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,947
Actually, just all this talk about beer and wine has more trigger value than the N/A stuff we are talkin' about.... hmmm, go figure!!

BTW ... I think there are excellent points on both sides of this (re-occurring) debate ... I would never encourage experimenting with it and would dissuade those early on in recovery...

But there was another point that was a fresh take which deserved discussion and I think some caution on the part of the OP...

That somehow the ability to drink the stuff and not be triggered suggested the possibility that maybe, he is not alcoholic. I was struck by that point
Mark75 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:19 AM.