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Problem drinking (when is it too much)

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Mr. Walter Trent, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Mr. Walter Trent

    Mr. Walter Trent Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    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
     
  2. PiperInAlberta

    PiperInAlberta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Canuckistan
    Bottle of wine a night?

    Like, every night of the week?
     
  3. Joffrey

    Joffrey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,349
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania Ave/Connecticut Ave
    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.
     
  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    greater chicago
    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.
     
  5. philosophe

    philosophe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,892
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    Oct 20, 2004
    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.
     
  6. celticgent

    celticgent Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    tundra
    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.
     
  7. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,468
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    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.)
     
  8. MBreinin

    MBreinin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    At the bottom of a Stoli bottle
    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
     
  9. philosophe

    philosophe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 20, 2004
    Folks, be careful with alcohol withdrawal. It can be very dangerous. When in doubt, taper down.
     
  10. starcrash

    starcrash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    173
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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
     
  11. r...

    r... Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    716
    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    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.
     
  12. dhc905

    dhc905 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,033
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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.
     
  13. horton

    horton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    654
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    +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.
     
  14. starcrash

    starcrash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    173
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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).
     
  15. Listi

    Listi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,915
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    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.
     
  16. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    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.

    ^ Yes.
    And yes.
     
  17. Davidko19

    Davidko19 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    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? (Who hasnt )
    2. Did drinking make your home life unhappy (I drink cause my home life is unhappy)
    3. Did you drink because you were shy with people? (uh, yea!)
    4. Has drinking affected your reputation? (Yes, party boy FTMFW!!!)
    5. Have you gotten into trouble with money because of your drinking? (Not enough of it)
    6. Did you associate with people you didn't respect and hang out
    in places you didn't want to be in when drinking? (Isnt this what dive bars are?)
    7. Did your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare? (who cares?)
    8. Has your drinking decreased you ambition? (Still ambitious to party it up)
    9. Did you want a drink "the morning after?" (Thats called the weekend)
    10. Did you have a hard time sleeping because of your drinking? (If by hard time you mean black out on the floor, then yes )
    11. Has your ability to work decreased since drinking? (Nope, always been lazy)
    12. Did drinking get you into trouble on the job or in business? (No, I used vodka. Its a no-tell when drinking on the job)
    13. Did you drink to escape from problems or worries? (who doesnt!?)
    14. Did you drink alone? (Who Doesnt?!)
    15. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a
    result of drinking? (more often than not)
    16. Has a doctor ever treated you for drinking? (thats for pussies)
    17. Did you drink to build up self-confidence? (of course, how else was I gonna hookup?)
    18. Have you ever been arrested, locked up or
    hospitalized on account of your drinking? (only if its a good night)
    19. Have you ever felt guilty after drinking? (only guilty of waht I woke up next to)
    20. Did you have to have a drink at a certain time each day? (irish coffee, margarita lunch, wine for dinner and beer the rest of time. Yes.)

    For more info on AA: http://www.aa.org



    I answered. Im cool.
     
  18. scarphe

    scarphe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    what is a problem drinker? the only problem drinkers i know are the ones that cannot afford to drink so they leech off friends. if you pull your wieght with friend or simply drink alone there is no problem.
     
  19. alliswell

    alliswell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    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.


    If it looks like a duck... Most college students drink like they're alcoholics - and get away with it because they're young and there are few repercussions. If you have time to drink from 5 to 5, you need a better hobby or better friends.

    OP - taper off and do something better with your time. But if you're in Japan, I imagine that your options are limited to working or drinking, so forget that and 'Kampai!'
     
  20. starcrash

    starcrash Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    173
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    If it looks like a duck... Most college students drink like they're alcoholics - and get away with it because they're young and there are few repercussions.
    A lot of college students (young people, in general) are heavy drinkers. Some are or may become alcoholics. It's not so much a matter of how much one drinks, but rather why one drinks and what happens as a result.

    As you can probably guess, I'm an alcoholic (sober 9 years).
     

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