Arrow-right Camera


Annie’s Mailbox: OK if alcoholic likes nonalcoholic beer?

Dear Annie: I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been to rehab three times and now go to AA every day. I also attend an intensive outpatient program every week. It’s finally had an impact. I have NO desire at all for a glass of wine.

I am an attractive professional and had a very high-paying job for 25 years. Alcohol played a major role in my losing my job. It also caused serious issues with my family. I got three DUIs and pretty much took a perfectly good life and allowed alcohol to screw it up. Alcohol does that.

After being “dry” for three weeks, I finished up some landscaping work with a friend and said, “Boy, a beer would be great right now.” So I ordered a nonalcoholic beer at the local bar. Since then, I’ve had a few more. I feel great, I don’t wake up jittery, and I have a lot more energy and drive.

Here’s my question. Is nonalcoholic beer OK for an alcoholic? I’m aware that there is .05 percent alcohol in a beer, but it satisfies the urge without the problems associated with normal alcoholic beverages. – Wondering About the Brew in Massachusetts

Dear Wondering: We commend you for trying to stay sober, but any alcohol, even a small amount, could be a problem for you. Studies have shown that the smell of nonalcoholic beer can trigger the same increase in the brain chemical dopamine as regular beer, causing some recovering alcoholics to eventually relapse. Please discuss this with your AA sponsor.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Crying in California,” the woman who did not receive a condolence card from her doctor after the loss of her daughter. She has my sympathy. At least she did not experience the horror of receiving a call from the doctor reminding her of her dead daughter’s next appointment. That’s what happened to our mother shortly after Dad passed away. Please tell “Crying” to wipe her tears and change doctors. – K in Kentucky

Click here to comment on this story »