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Do mocktails put sobriety at risk?

October 26, 2021

There’s been much debate about whether or not mocktails put a person’s sobriety at risk. 

For some people, it may work, but for others, it’s a pathway towards relapse. 

In short, mocktails are not recommended to those in recovery from alcohol abuse, especially since about one-third of alcoholics in recovery relapse within one year of sobriety. It’s simply too risky for this demographic. 

In a world where “drinking culture” is the norm (especially in the U.S.), it’s imperative for those in recovery to wholeheartedly NOT participate or be involved in this type of culture…especially if your goal is sobriety. 

What are mocktails?

Mocktails are alcohol-free mixed cocktails; that resemble regular alcoholic beverages. These drinks are often mixed with fruit juices, iced tea, soda, syrups, non-alcoholic bitters and topped off with fruit or a garnish. 

For example, a mocktail margarita would likely include lime juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, tonic water, and ice; sans the tequila. 

Mocktails are marketed to the demographic of people who stay away from alcohol but act as an opportunity to help a person remain “social” in a social setting or around those who are consuming alcohol. 

Are mocktails counterproductive? 

The intent behind mocktails is creative and was generated to build an inclusive environment for those in recovery or simply for those who don’t consume alcohol. 

But, for people who are fresh in recovery, participating in the culture of “drinking” is far too risky, as the relapse rate is very high during this period. 

“Alcohol relapse rates vary widely in clinical studies, but some studies show that people who receive treatment have a short-term remission rate between 20 percent and 50 percent.”

American Addiction Centers

For some people, mocktails may open the door to relapse. These drinks mimic actual alcoholic beverages and are typically made in areas where actual alcohol is present; it can easily serve as an easy trigger that leads one back to addiction.

As we said, mocktails work for some people, but it’s best to steer clear of them, especially during the early periods of recovery. Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line, after establishing new positive habits, one can test out the implementation of mocktails into their life, and it may just work for them. 

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