The season of celebration is right around the corner. The end of fall and winter months contains countless celebrations, holidays, and parties that are ripe with alcohol. For most of the country this is a time of carefree celebration and holiday, but for recovering alcoholics it can be an incredibly stressful time of year. The flowing of alcohol at these celebrations is constant temptation for those who are recovering from alcohol abuse and/or addiction. It is impossible to ignore and dodge all of these celebrations, in fact seclusion can drive a recovering alcoholic to relapse. Part of the recovery process is to remove the alcoholic from the seclusion they have placed themselves in and get them healthy again. “Mocktails” are virgin or alcohol free drinks. These drinks might seem like a good way to stay involved without succumbing to relapse. Many experts believe that these drinks can lead to alcohol consumption and eventual abuse. They are a slippery slope. These drinks can remind an addict about their experiences with alcohol, sometimes simply reminiscing in the good ol’ times, and they may even trigger sensations in the reward center of the brain. These drinks are a slippery slope for recovering alcoholics.

Overcoming Addiction

The best way to overcome an addiction is to seek treatment from a professional treatment facility. The programs in these facilities vary from facility to facility and will depend on the amenities that are available. Most follow a simple or base strategy of: Detox, therapy, counseling, activities, and aftercare. During therapy and counseling the addict will learn what caused and contributed to their addiction by analyzing their own histories and comparing them with others in the program. They will learn how addiction manifests itself in an individual and how it progresses. The come to understand how they can control their own lives without the need for drugs or alcohol. The activities are form or learning sessions where the recovering addict learns how to avoid and cope with triggers, temptations, and enablers. Here they will grow to understand what they will be able to control and what they will not be able to control.

Knowing Your Own Threshold

Smelling the scent of a cigarette can be enough for someone who has recently quit smoking to bum a cigarette or go to purchase a whole pack. Even watching someone from afar could be enough to trigger their need to light up again. The same thing goes for recovering alcoholics. It is essential in the rehabilitation process for recovering addicts to understand their own threshold. If it is understood that the taste of cranberry will ignite an irresistible thirst for vodka, then it is best to stay clear of that drink or anything that resembles it. Recover is a long and hard road that must be taken step by step, day by day. At some point in their life it might be possible to indulge in virgin drinks, but it is necessary to stay clear of them for quite some time. For those who are just out of recovery, complete abstinence from these drinks or activities involving alcoholic beverages is essential. Addiction a difficult situation to navigate, there are some recovering addicts who find these “mocktails” to be beneficial in their recovery, but it is best to give the body some time to build strength before attempting something that could hinder your sobriety. An added danger of these drinks is their high concentration of sugar. It has been studied that sugar is an addicting substance and treatment encourages individuals to maintain moderation in life. Recovering addicts should never enter any dangerous situation without acknowledging every possible outcome and should continue to meet regularly with support groups to reduce the likelihood of relapse.