Updated: Feb 26, 2021
I have two conflicting opinions on these. A couple of friends have been recommending the benefits of the new 'Gordons Alcohol Free Gin', and I was intrigued enough to buy some. It does taste of juniper, it does not taste of alcohol, and if you put in enough tonic, ice and a lemon slice, it'll pass.
I am very early into my recovery journey, and it strikes me that moving away from these patterns, rituals and behaviours is a clearer route to success than trying to keep all my habits together but surgically remove that one crucial component.
When I gave up smoking I did it with one of those plastic cigarettes specifically so I could do just that - maintain all the social norms, habits and behaviours while reducing and removing only the addictive substance from the whole dance.
Is nicotine addiction comparable to alcohol? Probably not. Nicotine takes two weeks to get over, and there are fewer and fewer social settings where it's popular and accepted. Nowadays I find it easy not to smoke, although I do still hang around with smokers and 'watch', just for the craic, which is ultimately what I miss.
I don't know. Alcohol is such a deeply ingrained and established norm in society, it seems to me impossible to live in the UK without encountering it. It's there when I walk in the door of the supermarket, advertised at me while I wait for a bus, watch the TV, read a paper. I cannot just live free of triggers, suggestions and the presence of alcohol. I have to learn how to live in a family, a friendship group and a society where drinking alcohol is normal. I really don'y know if involving 'pretend alcohol' into that process is going to work for or against me.
I'll come back to this topic later I'm sure, but please do let me know your thoughts and experiences in the forum.