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Are ‘Mocktails’ Dangerous for Recovering Alcoholics?

  • (June 05, 2015)

Summer is almost here, which means warmer weather, longer days and the season of BBQs, pool parties and dining al fresco. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, it can also mean the added stress of sweating out social events where frosty margaritas, colorful pitchers of sangria, tubs of ice-cold beer and other alcoholic beverages are center stage. A so-called “mocktail,” or virgin, alcohol-free cocktail, may seem like the perfect solution. Yet addiction experts warn that these drinks can, for some, be a slippery slope into using again. For those who are new to sobriety, the best bet is very often not only to skip the alcohol-free drink, but also to avoid social events that involve drinking, at least for a while. “When you’re newly sober you don’t know what’s going to trigger you. You should expect that you will be triggered and that you will have cravings, and that’s okay,” explains Paul Rinaldi, PhD, director of The Addiction Institute of New York at Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospitals, in New York City.

-Paul Rinaldi, PhD, Director, the Addiction Institute of New York, Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s.

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