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alcoholic

Is having a few drinks at night, every night, considered as having a problem with alcohol? Is someone who does many shots someone who has a problem? It's a blurry line. I don't come from a family of drinkers so I don't have context.

Mon. Oct 23, 10:26am

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You may have a problem if you drink every night, but you may not. Try not drinking for a few days in a row. If it's no problem, then you likely don't have a problem. If it's really difficult and you have withdrawal symptoms, etc., then you probably do have a problem.

If you drink every time you're in a social situation, for example, because you "need" it to loosen up, then you may have a problem. Any time you "need" a substance, you probably have a problem.

Also, if you black out often, and do not remember parts of nights, you likely have a problem.

If you just drink a glass of wine with dinner every night, or something like that, you probably don't have a problem.

If you have questions, the best answer is to see your doctor, and be honest about your habits.

Monday, October 23, 2006, 12:10 PM

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from what i have learned and heard for many years, if you think you might have a problem, you probably do. give yourself some time away from drinking and see if that poses a problem for you. for some, even the thought of not drinking for a few days is difficult. if you find that is the case, i suggest seeking help from your doctor, local clinic or maybe an AA meeting.

Monday, October 23, 2006, 12:30 PM

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I'm a recovering alcoholic. It's not so much about volume. It boils down to: Is it messing with your life? I don't mean life-threatening, but do you have constant arguments about it with someone? Does it interfere with other activities? Do you find yourself thinking about drinking when you're not? Does your behavior change when you drink? Do other people comment on your drinking? Do you sip your drink all night, or do you find yourself shoveling it in?

I'm not saying AA is the only way to go, but these 20 questions they use may be helpful:

1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
6. Have you got into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?
9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
15. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?
16. Do you drink alone?
17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?


If you have answered YES to any of the questions, there is a definite
warning that you may be alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to any 2, the chances are that you are an
alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to 3 or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.




Monday, October 23, 2006, 12:34 PM

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I think that AA is horseshit. It is like they want to recruit new members like a cult does. Do you drink when you are stressed? Then you are an Alcoholic!!! Yay, you are one of us. Such crap. My grandmother was an alcholic- she drank vodka before noon and the was always an empty bottle in her trash. And she died younger than she needed to.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:48 AM

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To the 12:34 poster. Thanks for your list of warning signs for alcohol. It really can be used for any addiction. The cornerstone of addiction is suffering negative consequences and continuing the behavior.

My mother is an alcoholic and a drug addict (prescription pain and sleeping pills). I grew up thinking that behavior was normal. I only questioned it when I moved away for college and got some perspective. My mother, now in her 70's and in very poor health, continues to drink and abuse drugs. It is the "elephant in the living room" that no one talks about. After years of attempting to start a conversation with both my parents about my mothers' substance abuse, and some therapy on my own, I have come to realize she will only change when she is ready and at her age I doubt that will happen. It is sad but this is her choice. You can't force a diabetic to take insulin, you can't force an alcoholic to seek treatment.

As for AA, I attended a few meeting for Children of Alcoholics, got what I needed from it and moved on. It is a wonderful organization, completely voluntary and free of charge. It has changed peoples lives. As the 12:34 poster noted, it isn't for everyone. The previous poster apparently missed that part.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 6:24 PM

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11:48 poster....wow maybe you should seek out some help!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 6:34 PM

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I've got a question for you, OP -- are you in college? I've known people who went through that phase in school, and who have changed their ways since graduation. I don't want to downplay the seriousness of drinking or anything, but sometimes people who are not alcholics drink heavily in college.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 8:03 PM

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i agree w/ the last poster-my friends and i all joked that we were "temporary alcoholics" when we were in college. i know being an alcoholic isn't something to joke about-but binge drinking is very common on many college campuses. while we drank more than our fair share and more often than we should (now, i can't believe how much!)-there were always students we could see as having much more real drinking problem than ours-the students who blacked out, passed out in public, vomited frequently, didn't remember the night ever and did things completely out of character while drinking, the ones who frequently missed class or work because of their hangovers. those were the ones w/ the problems, not "us".

i probably have 2 or 3 drinks a week now . . . big difference from college (not that it was okay/healthy.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 9:16 AM

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11:48, 12:34 here...

One of the tenets of AA is: The public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion.

I've never met a recovering alcoholic who "recruits for their cult." AA has helped hundreds of thousands of people (probably millions, actually). And it has helped their families too.

That said, AA also acknowledges that it isn't the only way. Other people achieve sobriety through a variety of means.

I was simply offering the OP a set of questions to help her/him determine whether s/he has a problem. I wasn't telling her to get her butt into AA.

Each to his own...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 10:01 AM

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while it may be true that some drinkers in college settings drink until they black out or vomit in public, i doubt that their drinking habits started out that way. as one drinks more often, one's tolerance for alcohol is raised, thus requiring more than before. and women who try to keep up with their male friends' drinking habits, in drinking games for example, are at a much higher risk of alcohol-related health issues. women metabolize alcohol differently than men. i don't think promoting "college" drinking is a good idea, any more than smoking cigarettes or pot in college-you may plan to discontinue these habits later in life, but your body may become addicted. why is drinking deemed a part of college life anyway? one should be forming habits that help one succeed in life and in school-which is not cheap! save the money you would spend on drinking or smoking for a month and see how much "extra" cash you end up having.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 11:52 AM

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