Non alcoholic drinks: The pros and cons if you’re in recovery

In recent years the market for non alcoholic drinks has seen a significant surge in popularity. Not only from people who suffer from an alcohol substance use disorder, but also from an increase in general health awareness. Non alcoholic drinks mimic the taste and appearance of alcoholic beverages, minus the alcohol and its associated risks.

Often individuals on their recovery journey seek various aids and strategies to help them navigate sobriety. Alcohol free imitations offer a way to enjoy the social aspects of drinking without the risks associated with alcohol. It’s important to be aware and understand the challenges that non alcoholic drinks may present before deciding if incorporating these drinks will be beneficial to your recovery process.


Socialising is an important aspect of our lives, and can be one of the most challenging aspects for someone in recovery. Especially in a social setting where alcohol is often present. From birthday parties to weddings, dinners and after work drinks – non alcoholic drinks provide a way to participate in the events while remaining sober. Chinking glasses and raising bubbles can be a significant part of social celebrations and rituals. Non alcoholic champers provide the bubbles without tipping the balance.

In these situations an alcohol drink can assist with avoiding feeling uncomfortable or isolated.


One of the primary problems with non-alcohol “alcohol” is that it can trigger memories and associations with past drinking experiences. The familiar taste and situations may awaken old cravings and temptations, making it a challenge to stay on the recovery path.

Non alcoholic drinks can blur the line between what’s safe and what’s not. Some of the available options are very similar to their alcohol counterparts in taste and appearance. The normalisation of consuming drinks with such a strong resemblance to actual alcohol may jeopardise ones recovery.

Although these drinks don’t contain alcohol, they can still be over consumed. Some individuals may find that they develop a cross addiction and begin drinking the imitation drinks to fill the void left from the absence of alcoholic beverages.

Talk it out.

While non alcoholic drinks may seem like a harmless alternative it’s crucial to be aware of the impact they could have on your recovery. It’s advised to consult the use of things like non alcoholic drinks with your support team or counsellor, and make an informed choice.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol use, help is available. Recovery is possible. Give us a call on 03 9533 7888 for support and more information.