Monday, March 16, 2009

Dining Out Sober. Tips for Alcohol Awareness Month (April)

It is estimated that there are 18 million Americans who have an alcohol-use disorder. Dining out is often a difficulty in many's quests to battle this illnes...

Sarah Allen Benton, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and recovering alcoholic, is the author of the new book UNDERSTANDING THE HIGH-FUNCTIONING ALOCOHLIC: Professional Views and Personal Insights (Praeger Publishers, March 23, 2009).

Benton offers some tips to those trying to beat alcoholism when out to dinner......

-- Restaurants assume that all patrons are going to drink and place the wine menu on top of the regular menu, forcing even sober customers to be often confused and open it. Servers make most of their money from expensive bills that have alcohol charged on them. They often try to push drinks on all customers which can be challengeing and very tempting for those in early sobriety. Especially if they're out with others who drink. Iimmediately send that menu away and make sure the server knows you will have no alcohol.

-- Many foods have alcohol in the ingredients, such as chicken Marsala (Marsala wine) and desserts with rum sauces. Some sober alcoholics do not eat ANYTHING that has alcohol in it, even if the alcohol is cooked. Others will have cooked wine sauces. However, rum cakes have pure run poured on them and I have personally been triggered by innocently having a piece of it and then realized it afterwards.

-- Drinking non-alcoholic beers can be tricky for some. Sober alcoholics may feel pressure to have something in their hand or appear like they are drinking with those who are drinking around them. Many sober alcoholics do NOT drink beverages that mimic alcohol for it can become a slippery slope of "pretending" that you can drink.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thanks for this helpful post and bringing these issues to light.