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Truth in Advertising - The Cup Runneth Over

Author: Elizabeth Carlini

Sunspire Health Hilton Head's Director of Nursing, Elizabeth Carlini, discusses the everyday challenges those in recovery face.


I am not struggling with addiction, nor am I in recovery. Yet, I come from a family rich with a substance addiction history. It motivated me towards my career working with those struggling with substance use disorder. I think it’s made me both acutely aware and empathetic towards their struggles.

Grocery Shopping and Booze…But Why?

I remember when I first read that one of our local grocery stores was planning on building a small bar and serving beer and wine to grocery shoppers. I found it strange and perplexing. I had noticed the bar type area they were building, and yet, it never occurred to me that it was actually going to be a bar. Silly me, I assumed a grocery store might be building bar type seating for cooking demonstrations or something. Then I read the story in our local little paper. My mind immediately went to the numerous car accidents that already happen in this area on a daily basis. It went to our older population who tend to be on medications that might not mix well with alcohol. It went to who really needs a glass of vino or a beer to gather food for your home? Mostly, my mind went to the people I see every day trying to build a new life of recovery from substance addiction.

But We Can’t Coddle Them! Reality is Rough

I recognize that we can’t build the world around people in recovery. There are restaurants that serve alcohol, there are weddings, parties and more which may all serve alcohol. My community is an island with a large amount of golf courses and restaurants. It’s a place where people come to vacation. I imagine it’s a challenging area for early recovery. Should there not be areas where one can go and not feel that they face the temptation of alcohol? I would think gathering food for the week would be one of those places. I know that wine and beer is already sold there…packaged. It just feels that may be a bit different than a Chardonnay being consumed as you stock up on toilet paper.

What To Do?

I have had some time between the newspaper article that I read and the reality of the grocery store bar opening. I can honestly say that I don’t know how many people are walking around drinking in the aisles. I don’t know because I haven’t been there. This particular store was a comfort to me when I moved here because it’s where I shopped up north. It was something that I could keep the SAME from my old, northern life. However, my respect for the challenges of people in early recovery won out and I have begun shopping at a grocery store that doesn’t have a bar. Possibly, there’s a small selfish reason too. Almost every ding, swipe and small fender bender that I’ve ever experienced has been in a store parking lot. I decided adding alcohol to the equation just might increase my odds of the weekly grocery store outing turning into a trip to the collision shop. I know that this chain won’t notice my absence. I know my “protest” doesn’t matter in the big scheme. Maybe it’s even over the top to change grocery stores over this issue. I just know that I would never walk in there without thinking of those I spend my days with.


To learn more about how Hilton Head can help you or a loved one overcome addiction, visit the facility's website to chat with a care advocate.