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Problem drinking (when is it too much)

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Since celebrating my 50th birthday, I've been reflecting on my health and I've started to wonder if my lifestyle is as healthy as I always thought. According to the doctor, I'm healthy (no major or minor illnesses) and fit (weekly exercise).

But, I drink.

I've always felt that something isn't a problem until it interferes with work. I don't miss work because I'm hungover and I never feel sick or overly tired in the morning. But, I drink a bottle of wine or 1500 to 2000 ml of beer per night (every night). Obviously, on special occasions I do over do things. But, I know to stay within my limit when necessary.

Here, among friends (who hopefully have a similar outlook as me), I want to ask where the line is. What separates us from the real problem drinkers?

Wally
post #2 of 53
Bottle of wine a night?

Like, every night of the week?
post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Walter Trent View Post
Since celebrating my 50th birthday, I've been reflecting on my health and I've started to wonder if my lifestyle is as healthy as I always thought. According to the doctor, I'm healthy (no major or minor illnesses) and fit (weekly exercise).

But, I drink.

I've always felt that something isn't a problem until it interferes with work. I don't miss work because I'm hungover and I never feel sick or overly tired in the morning. But, I drink a bottle of wine or 1500 to 2000 ml of beer per night (every night). Obviously, on special occasions I do over do things. But, I know to stay within my limit when necessary.

Here, among friends (who hopefully have a similar outlook as me), I want to ask where the line is. What separates us from the real problem drinkers?

Wally


If you don't have that bottle of wine or beer on night, does it fuck up your mood, sleep, morning? If so then I'd say there are some dependency issue. BUt hey, you're 50 and it has not negatively affected your career or social life (the latter I'm assuming). If the quantity disturbs you then make yourself cut back the quantity to half nightly or the same amount but a few times a week.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
If you don't have that bottle of wine or beer on night, does it fuck up your mood, sleep, morning? If so then I'd say there are some dependency issue. BUt hey, you're 50 and it has not negatively affected your career or social life (the latter I'm assuming). If the quantity disturbs you then make yourself cut back the quantity to half nightly or the same amount but a few times a week.

that's basically what I would say - if you skip it what happens?

I think a bottle a night per person is a bit much, myself, but if it hasn't effected you in a negative way then its not the end of the world.
post #5 of 53
A bottle per night is, generally speaking, a lot, but drinking practices vary a lot by culture. If you can't cut back or skip it for a while, you have a problem. I'd also say that I know many high-functioning alcoholics, and you might be one. To me, it sounds like you need to reflect on the impact of booze on your life and also find out to what degree you are physically and/or psychologically dependent on alcohol.
post #6 of 53
Here's a simple gauge:

Have you begun to question if you have a problem?
Has anyone who cares about you brought up your drinking in a negative way or commented that there might be a problem?
Do you ever have any feelings of guilt or remorse for your drinking, or things that you have done while/after drinking?

If so, you may have an issue and may want to look deeper.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by celticgent View Post
Here's a simple gauge:

celticgent is right - a yes to any of those questions means you should talk to someone about it.

Most quizzes/tests will trigger the same response on a minimal amount of questions (i.e. 3/10, 1/5, etc.)
post #8 of 53
If you can't go without it, you have an issue. Try to break the routine. Don't drink for a week and see what happens. I was very much in the same boat recently. I would start drinking at work at 5 o'clock with associates, head home and plow through 1/2 a 5th of Vodka...pretty much 5 days a week...with continued weekend drinking. Now 1/2 a bottle of Vodka was generally my "limit," since more would put a hurtin' on me for sure come the morning. However, my body really started to get pissed off. I was not hung over in the morning, I was ILL, as in my liver was not functioning worth a damn. I was having cold sweats, anxiety attacks, shakes. Basically, I was going through physical withdrawal during the day. I dared not have a drink, even though I have a bar in my office and it would be perfectly acceptable to sit at my desk with a cocktail and work. This is New Orleans, and this is a hard drinking business.

Instead, I cut myself off and then way, way down. I was genuinely concerned though as it was interfering with my work, and it was causing serious issues at home, to the point where my wife was calling me an alcoholic.

So, my first suggestion to you is break the routine and get rid of the crutch. I found that I could simply give up booze with no ramifications. I still drink, but I have cut wayyyyyy back and I have very strict rules that I observe when doing so.

Mike
post #9 of 53
Folks, be careful with alcohol withdrawal. It can be very dangerous. When in doubt, taper down.
post #10 of 53
Alcoholism is a self-diagnosis, but here is a way to help decide for yourself:

Alcoholics Anonymous Twenty Questions (if the answer is yes to three or more, you may be an alcoholic):

1. Did you lose time from work due to drinking? ( ) ( )
2. Did drinking make your home life unhappy ( ) ( )
3. Did you drink because you were shy with people? ( ) ( )
4. Has drinking affected your reputation? ( ) ( )
5. Have you gotten into trouble with money because of your drinking? ( ) ( )
6. Did you associate with people you didn't respect and hang out
in places you didn't want to be in when drinking? ( ) ( )
7. Did your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare? ( ) ( )
8. Has your drinking decreased you ambition? ( ) ( )
9. Did you want a drink "the morning after?" ( ) ( )
10. Did you have a hard time sleeping because of your drinking? ( ) ( )
11. Has your ability to work decreased since drinking? ( ) ( )
12. Did drinking get you into trouble on the job or in business? ( ) ( )
13. Did you drink to escape from problems or worries? ( ) ( )
14. Did you drink alone? ( ) ( )
15. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a
result of drinking? ( ) ( )
16. Has a doctor ever treated you for drinking? ( ) ( )
17. Did you drink to build up self-confidence? ( ) ( )
18. Have you ever been arrested, locked up or
hospitalized on account of your drinking? ( ) ( )
19. Have you ever felt guilty after drinking? ( ) ( )
20. Did you have to have a drink at a certain time each day? ( ) ( )

For more info on AA: http://www.aa.org
post #11 of 53
I answered yes to more than three but dont consider myself an alchy. Am I in denial? To the OP, there's no reason to have more than a glass of wine a night on a consitant basis. You may not be an alchy but you sure keep the habits of one.
post #12 of 53
I don't know about all those questionnaires, but generally if you get drunk by yourself, I think you need to look into issues. If you're drinking the same amount but in a social setting, I don't necessarily think you have issues.
post #13 of 53
+1 to celticgent

i think a bottle a night is a problem and would urge you to cut back

i used to drink wine with dinner every night (e.g., half a bottle) plus often have pre- or post-dinner cocktail.

now i might have one drink. period. and most nights none. I actually enjoy it more, and getting rid of all those empty calories helps in a lot of ways, including skin firmness etc.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by r... View Post
I answered yes to more than three but dont consider myself an alchy. Am I in denial?
You may be a heavy drinker and not an alcoholic. My point is that it's up for you to decide.

Two important questions for the OP:
1. When you take a drink, do you crave another?
2. Do you frequently think about alcohol when not drinking (including thinking about whether or not you should quit drinking)?

Many alcoholics exhibit the "phenomenon of craving" and a "mental obsession" in regards to alcohol (and/ or other mind-altering substances).
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash View Post
Alcoholism is a self-diagnosis, but here is a way to help decide for yourself: Alcoholics Anonymous Twenty Questions (if the answer is yes to three or more, you may be an alcoholic): 1. Did you lose time from work due to drinking? ( ) ( ) 2. Did drinking make your home life unhappy ( ) ( ) 3. Did you drink because you were shy with people? ( ) ( ) 4. Has drinking affected your reputation? ( ) ( ) 5. Have you gotten into trouble with money because of your drinking? ( ) ( ) 6. Did you associate with people you didn’t respect and hang out in places you didn’t want to be in when drinking? ( ) ( ) 7. Did your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare? ( ) ( ) 8. Has your drinking decreased you ambition? ( ) ( ) 9. Did you want a drink “the morning after?” ( ) ( ) 10. Did you have a hard time sleeping because of your drinking? ( ) ( ) 11. Has your ability to work decreased since drinking? ( ) ( ) 12. Did drinking get you into trouble on the job or in business? ( ) ( ) 13. Did you drink to escape from problems or worries? ( ) ( ) 14. Did you drink alone? ( ) ( ) 15. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking? ( ) ( ) 16. Has a doctor ever treated you for drinking? ( ) ( ) 17. Did you drink to build up self-confidence? ( ) ( ) 18. Have you ever been arrested, locked up or hospitalized on account of your drinking? ( ) ( ) 19. Have you ever felt guilty after drinking? ( ) ( ) 20. Did you have to have a drink at a certain time each day? ( ) ( ) For more info on AA: http://www.aa.org
I always have a problem with these questionnaires. They make just about every college student an alcoholic. I could reasonably answer yes to 1, 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 15, 17, and 19 during my first few years, although I've been drinking somewhat less these days. I think the fact that you're ASKING not only yourself, but others, if you have a problem, is a sign that you should change some things. Because if it's not a problem yet, it will be eventually.
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