What to Drink Instead of Alcohol
Since alcohol is so socially acceptable, it’s essentially synonymous with many parties and holidays. When you’re trying to lead a substance-free lifestyle, your first impulse might be to decline invitations to occasions where you know others will be drinking. Still, isolation and avoidance are not conducive to long-term sobriety. Next time you get invited to a social gathering, try one of these non-alcoholic drinks to avoid temptation.
1. Infused Water
Water is an excellent non-alcoholic drink because it’s healthy and easily available. However, if you don’t usually enjoy water because it’s essentially tasteless, you can dress it up by infusing it with various fruits, vegetables and herbs. You can find plenty of infused water recipes online, but you can’t go wrong by starting with classic combinations like lemon and lime or cucumber with fresh mint leaves. The fun of experimenting with different flavors will also encourage you to drink more water daily.
2. Herbal Tea
Caffeine-free herbal teas are delightful all year long, whether you prefer the refreshing iced variety in summer or soothing hot tea in winter. Many tea varieties are also high in antioxidants and can combat other health conditions like inflammation, hypertension, joint pain and cognitive decline.
3. Ginger Ale
Many people enjoy the slightly peppery, sweet taste of ginger in recipes like stir-fries and desserts. Ginger ale containing genuine ginger root is also an ideal non-alcoholic drink because it offers several health benefits, including soothing an upset stomach and supporting a healthy cardiovascular system. While ginger ale is naturally caffeine-free, be careful to drink it in moderation – most brands you’ll find at the grocery store have added sugar and artificial flavorings. When shopping, read labels carefully.
4. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is another healthy non-alcoholic drink choice that offers a ton of flavor and nutritional benefits. However, it’s also best when enjoyed in moderation because consuming too much fruit juice can cause blood sugar spikes. Though it provides many of the same vitamins as whole fruit, a glass of juice might contain as much sugar as a candy bar or a can of soda, so be careful not to overdo it.
Tips for Navigating Gatherings Involving Alcohol
Here’s some bonus advice to help you avoid temptation if you’re planning to attend a get-together where other people will be drinking.
- Have an exit plan, so you can politely excuse yourself and leave early if you start feeling overwhelmed.
- Bring a cooler full of your chosen non-alcoholic drinks with you to ensure you don’t run out.
- Always have a beverage in your hand, so nobody will get the idea to offer you a drink.
- Invite your sponsor or another sober supporter as your plus-one.
- Know your triggers – being around people who pressure you to drink can threaten your hard-earned recovery.
Overcoming an Alcohol Use Disorder
Many people in recovery rely on non-alcoholic drinks to help them enjoy social situations without relapsing. However, merely swapping alcohol for a different beverage isn’t enough to address the underlying causes of a substance use disorder. Achieving sustained sobriety requires time, patience and evidence-based therapy. If you have unsuccessfully tried to stop drinking on your own, you could benefit from being in an environment that removes temptations and allows you to fully focus on your recovery. Learn more about Beach House’s unique benefits by contacting our admissions counselors today.