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define alcoholism

vettloffah

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My friend called me today asking advice on whether or not he should seek AA. What is the definition of an alcoholic?
 

Reggs

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You're only a troubled alcoholic if it hurts your sex life or income.

There are many functioning alcoholics that have bigger problems to worry about, so I don't consider them troubled, and therefor in need of AA.

My dad had a friend who would go mountain climbing with him all the time that had to take a flask with him. The man was still strong as an ox, kept his wits, was a good husband, and always held down a nice job. He had a nice life.
 

nootje

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^ what he said, youre an alcoholic when it regularly interferes with your functioning. (a negative interfering to be sure.. )
 

fwiffo

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I don't usually read my alumni magazine but flipped through it waiting for something and found this: http://checkyourdrinking.net

Apparently with 21 units/week, I'm at "doing serious harm to myself" but short of I need to see a doctor right away.
 

why

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Originally Posted by fwiffo
I don't usually read my alumni magazine but flipped through it waiting for something and found this: http://checkyourdrinking.net Apparently with 21 units/week, I'm at "doing serious harm to myself" but short of I need to see a doctor right away.
That site reports having a glass or two of wine with dinner a few nights per week as 'hazardous'.
 

impolyt_one

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I am at 34 units/week and I'm not sure I even counted correctly, but it sounds about right. The truth hurts more than it really does. I am more than functioning though, I don't even do work unless it's genius work that makes it worth the taxi ride across town for, and I can create magic. Otherwise I'll just rest with my scotch until I need to do the next magical thing.
 

ysc

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Originally Posted by vettloffah
My friend called me today asking advice on whether or not he should seek AA.
I think if he is asking about it he should go.
 

crazyquik

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Someone asked me if I was an alcoholic once, and then I thought about it for a while and sent them an email like this:

The more I think about the question, the harder it is to answer. In part, because I feel the definition in our society is in flux (or rather, wrong). By current definitions, I'm an alcoholic. That is, I'm a male that sometimes exceeds the "14 drinks per week, more than 3 per sitting, and sometimes drinks alone." In fact, the guidelines are half for women (7 drinks per week), therefore a man of smaller stature should only drink 7 or so per week by those popularly accepted guidelinse.

By current definitions, the vast majority of all our Founding Fathers were alcoholics. Many of them drank more than 14 drinks per week, sometimes more than 3 per sitting, and all of them sometimes drank alone. So, by modern popularly accepted definitions, I am an alcoholic (along with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson (America's first famous wine enthusiast, who bought nearly 300 bottles in two weeks when he arrived in France), John Adams (who had 'a large tankard of hard cider every morning before breakfast), and most signers of the Constitution).

And of course there was Samuel Adams, who lead the Boston Tea Party (but is best remembered because 200 years later a microbrewery revolution was launched with his name). There remains a bill/receipt from the party thrown when the Constitution was signed. It had enough alcohol on it for two bottles of wine, a few shots of liquor, and lots of alcoholic punch and beer for every single delegate. When General George Washington resigned from our fledgling Continental Army, a large party was thrown and there were 13 toasts to him.

Nearly every 'great man' of the Revolutionary and Federalist era would be alcoholics by today's standards. It wasn't until the Temperance Movement, and ultimately Prohibition, that American alcohol consumption varied much compared to England and greater Europe. Because of the linger effects of Temperance and Prohibition (aimed at social ills), Americans continue to drink less than Europeans, and less than our Revolutionary generation (who seemed to have set up a pretty decent system of government, be fairly well read, were articulate, were curious thinkers, etc).

I suppose they were merely 'functioning alcoholics.'

In fact, apparently pre-gaming (drinking before you go out) is a sign of alcoholism. However it doesn't effect my work, there's no physical manifestations, I routinely go long strings of time without drinking any with no problem (from one week to one month at a time), it doesn't cause any financial concerns, I've never beat my wife, etc. And I don't think any of the people I mentioned have any of those problems either, even if we are all alcoholics by the guidelines.
Many, many, many of the great men of history have been alcoholics by the standards put forward by MADD. Having alcohol with 2-3 meals a day didn't seem to stop them from rewriting history, building empires, and being brilliant thinkers.
 

willpower

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Continued use despite ever increasing consequences (financial, relationships, work, etc)
 

jfclarky

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If he has to drink then he should go. If you can take a break from alcohol for a few months and not start drinking again he is okay.

Checkout an al-anon meeting. If you care about your friend, i know you do, then look into getting the person help.
 

Icarus

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You're an alcoholic if alcohol is part of your routine. If you absoloutley must have a scotch or something at a certain time, or you cannot enjoy a meal without an alcoholic beverage, then you are an alcoholic.

As already mentioned, there's a big difference between being a stumbling drunkard, and a functioning alcoholic. Because of some people's lack of self control, there are certain stigmas in the US attached to drinking during the day. In the UK you can have a pint anytime without any stigmas attached to it.

I don't have a routine, sometimes I go a week or even two without a drink, but I thoroughly enjoy good beer, red wine, and scotch. Some foods I'm just so accustomed to eating with wine, it's a little hard to eat without it. I think American alcoholism vs European alcoholism is an interesting discussion. In the wine and beer belts, most adults, and even teenagers, are alcoholics by US standards.
 

Don Carlos

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It's only alcoholism when you decide you want to quit.
 

Piobaire

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I took the survey. Here's one factoid from my results:

In the last year you spent about 1,907 hours under the influence of alcohol (based on your typical drinking during one week).
Doing the math, there are 8760 hours in a year. I was under the influence of ETOH 22% of the time.

I'm also well into the top category of the various consumption charts they had
 

TheDarkKnight

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When drinking is a substantial psychological or physical addiction.

And/ OR where drinking often causes negative consequences socially or for work, or for your physical health: Some people are high level functioning alcoholics and I have known a few. They are pleasant when drunk, hold down jobs etc. In many ways this is worse for them, as people tolerate their drinking and they can maintain their drinking, so it continues longer with more health problems.

It’s a misconception that alcoholism means drinking every night, it does not. Some alcoholics may drink 2 or 3 times a week, but have no control over doing this, how much they drink and the consequences.
 

ramuman

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According to the survey, Canadian 25-34 drink less than 2 drinks a day on Fri and Sat and less than one on Sundays. BS. If this was during a period of a hockey game, then those averages make sense. People get hammered and visit the Hockey Hall of Fame there as part of a visit to the mall to which it's attached.

In the last year you spent about 1,767 hours under the influence of alcohol (based on your typical drinking during one week).
 

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