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5 Drink Suggestions for People in Early Recovery

by: Jane Derry

You've gotten sober, and the inevitable will eventually happen. You will be at a function, or restaurant, and you will be asked, "What can I get you to drink?" Anyone who is a social drinker will likely wonder why they are reading this article at this point, but alcoholics in recovery understand. This can be a life-threatening question!

So, here are some suggestions about drink selections in early recovery.

1. Coffee. Coffee is one of your safest bets. It is on almost everyone's menu and it is served in a cup, which cannot be mistaken for a highball glass. Anyone who offers you a refill, will know exactly what you are drinking other than with our without caffeine, with our without milk and sugar. Coffee is a winner.

2. Tea. Another winner for sure, but often more 'fussy' than coffee. Getting the little pot of water, choosing a teabag, monitoring steeping time, etc, takes more effort, but you may just find out that you love Chai tea, or Earl Grey.

3. Soft drinks. Soft drinks can be really complicated, so here are some tips

Order your soft drink, if at all possible, in a bottle or can, and ask for it to be served still sealed. If you are opening your own bottle of Pepsi, you are sure, without a doubt, that it will be Pepsi, and only Pepsi.

If you are unable to order your drink in a sealed can or bottle, be very careful! Say this out loud to yourself now, "I'd like a Diet Coke please." Now say, out loud, "I'd like a rye and Coke please". Hear for yourself how this has the potential for deadly error.

Don't trust that the drink server has gotten your order right. In fact, assume that there is a good chance they didn't. Smell your drink before you take a sip. Get in the habit of smelling everything you drink that you didn't serve yourself. This is your life, you can't be too cautious.

If you have to leave your drink behind for any reason, such as a dance or washroom break, don't drink it when you return. It is too risky that you will pick up someone else's drink by mistake, or some misunderstanding person may have 'spiked' your drink.

4. Don't order: near beer, de-alcoholized wines, or 'virgin' substitutes of your old favorites. These 3 choices are very dangerous, as they are on the slippery slope to drinking alcohol. In sobriety you are changing everything. Vicariously trying to enjoy beer, wine, or your favorite cocktail without alcohol is still living in the old mind set. I've heard of many relapses starting this way.

5. Water. Water is always a good bet. Readily available in bottles or tap, it is hard to mistake water for anything but water.

Two extra tips:

Don't drink out of beer steins, wine goblets or martini glasses. It is pointless fantasizing and temptation.

Know what you are going to order to drink before you get where you are going. Have a 'drink choice' of choice, that you automatically order, in case you are caught of guard sometime, being offered a drink.

If you are an alcoholic, getting and staying sober will be the most demanding and all-encompassing thing you will ever do. It is completely overwhelming, which is why it must be done only a day at a time. I'm creating a series of little essays on some practical advice for living sober.

I hope this bit of advice is helpful. Remember to stay out of slippery places, we only go to a place where liquor is being served if we have a legitimate reason to be there. We don't go to the pub for lunch, or the nightclub for club soda. See to it that your spiritual condition is healthy, and ask your Higher Power to be with you. He/She/It or They will be.

See Also:

Is There A Treatment For Alcohol Addictions?
If you drink alcohol frequently then you could have alcohol addictions. These addictions are one of the hardest to eliminate. The causes are deep seated emotional problems. To end drinking, requires a strong will and a good method or process that you can follow.

Addictions and Your Cross to Bear
Two little stories contain some spiritual truths that can help the addict or alcoholic look at the way they are living their lives. If you think that your troubles are worse than anyone else's you will remain in self-pity.

Addiction - 60 Day Key Fob And A Powerful Thirst
I have worked in the addictions field now for 12 years, and I am certainly baffled. We had the honor of watching and walking through, the painful excavating and facing of, the dark places inside a young adult I'll call Peter.

Living With An Alcoholic
Living with an addict of any kind is always difficult, especially when you love them and they are part of your family. Addictive behavior is very destructive and the addict can unwittingly ruin the life of their loved ones.

Living With An Alcoholic Ė Donít Forget To Have A Life
Often people who live with an alcoholic spend much if, not all, of their time looking after the drinker. They worry about when he will arrive home, even if he will arrive home.

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About the Author:

Jane Derry - General Manager and Spiritual Counsellor. I am an addiction specialist. You can see more about what I do at

Jane's Mission: Through my commitment to live by spiritual principles, it is my intention to model and inspire hope and encouragement to people, especially to those suffering from the disease of addiction.

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