"Recovery Etiquette" Tips for Thoughtful Hosts
The Caron Foundation
Don't worry about entertaining an alcoholic who's
in recovery. Here are some helpful hints.
There's no reason to be self-conscious about entertainment plans
that include a guest who is an alcoholic in recovery. The Caron
Foundation offers these "recovery etiquette" tips for
- Feel free to serve alcohol beverages at your gathering. You
need not plan your party around a guest you know is in recovery.
"Alcoholism comes in a person, not in a bottle," says
Todd Whitmer, senior executive officer of the Caron Foundation.
"The recovering alcoholic won't suddenly relapse if alcohol
- Don't make a big deal of it if someone at your party is in
recovery. There are plenty of reasons people say no to alcohol
beverages, including preference, dieting, interactions with medications,
and serving as designated driver, as well as being in recovery
from alcoholism. There is no reason to differentiate one guest's
reason for abstaining from another's. If someone declines a drink,
don't ask why.
- Include non-alcoholic beverages in your offerings. While some
non-drinkers will drink non-alcoholic beer and wine, most recovering
alcoholics prefer beverages that don't look or taste like the
real thing. Stock your bar with sparkling water and cider, soft
drinks, and juices.
- If you're serving wine at the table, offer a choice of wine
or an alternative such as mineral water as you pour.
- Foods cooked with wine, brandy, and other spirits long enough
to destroy the alcohol content are technically OK. Most, but not
all recovering alcoholics feel comfortable eating them, so let
guests know what's cooled with alcohol.
- Foods with uncooked alcohol are another matter. If you include
them on your buffet table, label them so the recovering alcoholic
can steer clear.
- The same goes for punch; let guests know if it contains alcohol.
The Caron Foundation is an addiction treatment
center located in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.