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Is the Word Alcoholic Overly Used in Today's World? Ol Timers Please Way In!

I grew up on Bette Davis films where the women always offered hubby a drink minutes after he got in the door. My ex boyfriend was 45 and French he drank everyday without becoming intoxicsted.
I drink kind beer or locally made brew everyday by definition aren't I an alcoholic?
I'm just realizing that in today's world it seems easy to be labeled an alcoholic. But when I was growing up I remember my dad drinking beer a couple days a week. But I've never I my 26 years seen the man drunk. I can't even remember the last time I got drunk but I know I drank last night. I enjoy it! My boyfriend and I are first time parents with our first home, and our first business we are busy and when he comes home at 7pm I'm excited that in one hour when baby goes to sleepnWe can decompress with a cold one. I need this lke some moms need Xanax or cigarettes. I need no, correction I like the ritual of putting baby to sleep together making sure she's sleep and then out on the deck to just shoot the breeze. Since becoming a mom this is as wild as it gets around here. If this makes me an alcoholic then so be it!
Let me say this, I understand that this is a sensitive subject. I have legit dui offenders, peeing on themselves, get the shakes without a drink relatives. So I get it, trust me I do. I just trip at how easily the word is thrown around thses days. Almost like how everyone now has an anxiety disorder of sort these days.
What do you all say has our attitude towards having a drink changed?
Can't wait to see your opinions

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

"A drink a day linked to healthy aging"
http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/health/women-drinking-daily...

One to two drinks a day is good for women and men. Addiction is not a moral issue. And labeling it "alcoholism" is about dependency, not frequency, like Thea said.

I'm going to have a glass or two of wine now while I make dinner ;)

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I'm not looking up the definition of alcoholic, but this is what the word means in my head. Someone who cannot NOT drink. Someone who relies on alcohol to help when something else, anything else, would. Someone who looks forward to it so much that they will drop everything else in order to have it. Someone who hides doing it from someone who is worried about them doing it, including a family member or a boss. Someone who will spend money on alcohol rather than on bills or food, knowing that they cannot afford it at the time. Someone who has a problem admitting they have a problem.

Then there is the alcoholic who knows they are one, accepts it, even goes to meetings, yet drinks anyway. At least THAT person is honest about their alcoholism compared to what all I've said above.

D.

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I don't think anyone considers having a drink at night being an alcoholic? Across the globe, almost everyone who can afford it will drink a glass of wine or two at night after a hard day or with dinner if they like drinks. Not EVERY day because they aren't hooked. I think people frown on that way less than needing Xanax or cigarettes.

IMO, alcoholics are people who depend on alcohol to function despite damage (health, finances, relationships) it is doing in their lives, and they are miserable if they don't drink. They CAN'T EVER BE the designated driver, etc because they HAVE to drink. My MIL gets her first of many drinks by 4pm sharp or ELSE. They TRAVEL with a cases of wine so she'll never "run out" if they're on a trip... IMO, people often don't label people as being alcoholics when they actually qualify.

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You are mistaken, that someone needs to be "drunk" to be an alcoholic. My sister was/is an alcoholic. She is never drunk, but she absolutely could not survive without alcohol. She never got sloppy, it never impaired her physically, she never had physical affects. However, she could psychologically not be without alcohol. When she stops drinking, she has real problems. Alcohol does NOT have to interfere with your daily duties, for you to be an addict. In fact alcohol only interferes with many addicts duties when they STOP drinking. Moms who need cigarettes are ADDICTED. If you NEED to have a drink. I mean, if you can't go a day without having a drink, and NOT drinking makes you anxious or have other withdrawal symptoms...you are certainly alcohol dependent, and have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Do you HAVE to drink every day? Would you be phycologically or physiocally challanged by that. One of the Webster's definitions of addicts: "to cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on an addictive substance, as alcohol or a narcotic. " So, if you are DEPENDENT on having that drink every day, yes you are an addict.

I would not personally carry such a laid back attitude towards being dependent on alcohol. (IF, you in fact are. Only you really know.) I have grown up around people who were dependent. It rarely stays at the stage of just having a drink every day. In fact, it never has.

Whether or not you're addicted, drinking every single day has terrible effects on the body. Especially, women To more specifically answer your question, NO I don't think it's thrown around too much. I think the medical and psychological community has realized that being an alcoholic has a larger spectrum, then just the people who get drunk every day. We are more aware of the mental and physical affects of alcohol on the body. Back in the day, cigarettes were though of being healthy. We now know they are not. Should we not call people who smoke addicts, just because at one point they weren't? Of course not, we know more now. Just like with alcohol. 25 years ago, we only considered one type of person an alcoholic...but that was shortsighted. There are all kinds of addicts. We know that now. That's a GOOD thing. The simple truth is, when you NEED a substance to get by, you are addicted. That can look different, person to person. No, having a drink every day does not mean you are addicted. NEEDING a drink every day, means you are. Only you know, if you truly need it.

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Drinking every day doesn't make one an alcoholic
NOT drinking every day doesn't make one NOT an alcoholic.

There are daily drinkers, binge drinkers, social drinkers, heavy drinkers who are NOT alcoholics.

There are daily drinkers, binge drinkers, those who never drink alone (different from social drinkers), heavy drinkers who ARE alcoholics.

Consider it this way (my favorite way to explain addiction to both addicts and normies):

Suzie is a social broccoli user. She doesn't make sure she has broccoli in the fridge at night before going to bed to make sure she'll have broccoli in the morning (or in the middle of the night if she wakes up). She doesn't call the hostess ahead of time to make sure she'll have broccoli, and she doesn't bring her own broccoli to the party just in case the hostess has the wrong kind of broccoli, or the party runs out of broccoli. When money is tight, she doesn't make sure that her broccoli is in the budget even if it means skimping on food or paying a bill or two late. Suzie never worries what will happen if she can't get broccoli that day. Or if she can't get enough broccoli that day. She's never made sure to have her broccoli before a big important meeting, or put a project on hold to go get more broccoli so she won't have to stop in the middle of it. When people come over, she'll doesn't run to the store to go get broccoli, and she doesn't make sure to keep enough broccoli stashed away for herself in case her guests eat it all. Suzie's doctor, friends, and loved ones have never spoken to her about how concerned they are about her eating broccoli. Whether she takes one job over another is in no way influenced by one job offering broccoli. Suzie has never promised herself to quit using broccoli. Suzie has never intended not to have broccoli, and found herself having broccoli anyway. Suzie has never dated anyone that she dislikes just because they use broccoli the same way that she does. Suzie has never put her life in danger by driving while throwing broccoli at other people. Suzie has never had any health problems from her broccoli use, and if such a problem were to occur (vitamin toxicity or allergy), Suzie would feel no qualms about quitting broccoli, although the habit might be hard to change, she would never be in tears over having to choose between her health and broccoli. When a doctor says the broccoli is affecting her health, or a loved one asks her to stop, it doesn't occur to her to argue with the doctor, or to agree with the loved one, and then sneak her broccoli. Suzie doesn't justify or explain her broccoli use. Suzie doesn't lie about her broccoli use. Suzie doesn't minimize her broccoli use.

Suzie is a social broccoli user.

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I would have to disagree with the way you have defined alcoholism (ie, having a drink every night or even a few nights a week).

My husband is a recovering alcoholic. He has not had a drink in over 23 years, long before I knew him, so I do really know what it's like to be around an alcoholic who is actively drinking. I do know many alcoholics, because my husband is very involved in AA and has people over to the house almost every weekend. I can tell you that it's very difficult to define alcoholism. Each person has their own experience, so they would define it differently.

I've tried to explain it to my 5 year old. I told him that Mommy and my parents and brothers and sisters can have a glass of wine or bottle of beer and it's nice and relaxing and really ok. But Daddy can't because his body would just want more and more and more and not want to stop and that's not good for him, is it? I'm actually very lost as to how to talk to my boys, but I'm trying.

I might not be the one to ask if I think the term is misused or over used because in my world it is not. The word is very carefully applied and there are many people who are in fact alcoholics. The first of the 12 Steps talks about admitting being powerless over alcohol. I'm inclined to think that might be a good place to start when forming an actual definition.

I think, if anything, the attitude towards alcohol is actually healthier than it was in the past. When we watch movies made in the 1950's we see lots of smoking and pregnant gals drinking and smoking and people driving while heavily intoxicated. Our understanding has grown. It's possible you have seen some situations of the pendulum swinging too far, but I really do see many people who have benefited from admitting that they have an addiction to alcohol.

8 moms found this helpful

"A drink a day linked to healthy aging"
http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/health/women-drinking-daily...

One to two drinks a day is good for women and men. Addiction is not a moral issue. And labeling it "alcoholism" is about dependency, not frequency, like Thea said.

I'm going to have a glass or two of wine now while I make dinner ;)

8 moms found this helpful

I'm not looking up the definition of alcoholic, but this is what the word means in my head. Someone who cannot NOT drink. Someone who relies on alcohol to help when something else, anything else, would. Someone who looks forward to it so much that they will drop everything else in order to have it. Someone who hides doing it from someone who is worried about them doing it, including a family member or a boss. Someone who will spend money on alcohol rather than on bills or food, knowing that they cannot afford it at the time. Someone who has a problem admitting they have a problem.

Then there is the alcoholic who knows they are one, accepts it, even goes to meetings, yet drinks anyway. At least THAT person is honest about their alcoholism compared to what all I've said above.

D.

7 moms found this helpful

My opinion is that you have a problem. If you "need" it and look forward to it and plan on it, to drink every single night, then that is a serious issue. But I have never been a drinker, nor have I dated or married anyone who did. I don't see the point in it. I think its a huge waste of money and it affects peoples personality, and not always for the better. Not to mention the outcome of some who drink and drive. I also think its a horrible example to lead in front of your kids. So my definition of an "alcoholic" is someone who drinks every night and can't give it up.

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Some reading your post might think you are minimizing a medical disease that left to progress freely without treatment leads to death.

That particular legit DUI, peeing on himself, shakes without a drink friend or relative CANNOT stop drinking. You can. At this point in your life. Is that true? I don't know. I don't know you. And you don't know if your answer will be the same 20 years from now. It might be. It might not be.

What I do know is that there are alcoholics and drug addicts in this world who would not, IF in their "right" mind, make the choices they do. They would not leave a child in the care of a stranger until they score a rock in a crack house, they would NOT routinely risk lives by frequently drinking and driving, they would not use a scalpel or other surgical tool to slowly but surely damage their livers, hearts, lungs and mind.

So--at the end of the day, I don't give a rip whether you sit on your porch and have a beer. It's not the same. You are comparing apples to oranges, Mrs. wartooth, and even though you say you "know" alcoholics, I don't think you know much about alcoholism or addiction or them.

You might want to get educated. You know, as you're raising a child now.
All the best!

6 moms found this helpful

I don't think anyone considers having a drink at night being an alcoholic? Across the globe, almost everyone who can afford it will drink a glass of wine or two at night after a hard day or with dinner if they like drinks. Not EVERY day because they aren't hooked. I think people frown on that way less than needing Xanax or cigarettes.

IMO, alcoholics are people who depend on alcohol to function despite damage (health, finances, relationships) it is doing in their lives, and they are miserable if they don't drink. They CAN'T EVER BE the designated driver, etc because they HAVE to drink. My MIL gets her first of many drinks by 4pm sharp or ELSE. They TRAVEL with a cases of wine so she'll never "run out" if they're on a trip... IMO, people often don't label people as being alcoholics when they actually qualify.

6 moms found this helpful

Look up the definition of an alcoholic. One of the conditions is that drinking interferes with daily life.

I suggest that we hear more about alcoholism now because we've become aware of the health dangers of drinking too much alcohol. Also, that the period in time during which before dinner cocktails were encouraged has created more people with difficulty handling alcohol.

My doctor suggested that if I were concerned about whether or not I drank too much I was an alcoholic. lol I wouldn't go so far as to say that but it could be an indicator. Turned out that my liver enzymes were to high and stopping my moderate drinking caused the enzymes to normalize. I wouldn't say I was an alcoholic but I would say that drinking was not good for me. Some would say that qualifies for the term alcoholism.

Which brings me to the next idea. The definition of alcoholism has been greatly broadened. In the "old days" to be labeled an alcoholic one had to be noticeably drunk often. Then the definition was broadened to include the social drinker who was tipsy much of the time. Now the definition includes any drinking that interferes with daily life.

Under that definition anyone who wakes up regularly with a hangover is an alcoholic. Anyone, whose spouse nags them about drinking is an alcoholic. Any time the drinking causes even minor difficulties it is termed alcoholism. Having seen many people in various levels of intoxication I tend to agree with that definition.

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I was thinking just the other day that the way stats are compiled is pretty over-inflated. They say if you have more than 4 drinks at a time that you are binge drinking. Seriously? if that's the case, everyone I know is a binge drinker.

unwinding at the end of the day with a cold beer does not an alcoholic make. your nightly ritual sounds lovely and you don't have to defend yourself to anyone.

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No. There is no amount or frequency of drinking that makes a person an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a short hand reference to an alcohol ADDICTION. It is about DEPENDENCE on alcohol NOT FREQUENCY of drinking. Drinking a beer every day doesn't make you an alcoholic by any stretch... actually drinking *A* beer when there are 8 in the fridge probably confirms that you are NOT an alcoholic. So no... you are not "by definition" an alcoholic.

I agree though, that people throw the word around without knowing or thinking about what they are saying. But that's just like anything ... like people who say "I LITERALLY wet my pants laughing." Oh really? I don't think our attitude about drinking has changed... at least not in my circle... My partner and I regularly have wine with dinner or a mixed drink together in the evening. Most of my childless friends regularly grab a drink together after work etc.

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Having a drink a day does not make one an alcoholic. Alcoholism is when the person loses control over their drinking, which usually presents itself when alcohol begins to interfere with ones health, social/family life, work, or personal relationships. They drink at inappropriate times (i.e. at work, before/during driving, etc) despite the possible consequences because they feel they "have" to. It is a type of compulsion, not a drink for enjoyment or relaxation.
It may be overused by some, but I think it is more likely that it is just our increased awareness of the condition that makes it feel like it is more common. It is still stigmatized but there is more discussion these days and more help available.
I do think our general attitude towards drinking has changed, but for the better. Responsible drinking is much more encouraged, drunk driving is not tolerated at all (by sober people at least). My dad used to have 1 or more beers daily after work, but it was never problematic. He doesn't drink as much beer anymore but he and my mom drink wine often. I do not consider him an alcoholic. My sister on the other hand is. She has struggled with other addictions in the past and is still struggling to control this one. She was in treatment earlier this year, had a relapse this summer, but has now been sober for more than 100 days. I don't think she will ever be able to drink socially, it is still a daily struggle for her. I feel that I could drink wine every day and never become an alcoholic, I have never felt the way she does about alcohol or anything else.

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Having a drink every day after work does not make you an alcoholic. My husband is a recovering alcoholic and he drank for years. It was awful. (we were not married or even dating when he was drinking) He would get places without knowing how he got there, he would drink so much he would pass out, he would do lines of coke so he could continue to drink. He couldn't function without drinking. THAT is an alcoholic. One or two drinks, in my opinion, does not make you an alcoholic.
Laura

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Labels are convenient. Some people like things packaged neatly for their consumption and understanding. We're so "busy" it is just ever so helpful to have labels to simplify things. Labeling is stereotyping so there is this myth all the necessary information can be stamped on the outside. "Oh, she's an alcoholic/a bully/a helicopter parent/a single mom/etc," given with a suitable long look. Too bad humans cannot be distilled so tidily.

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Dependance on anything is not good and can lead to further issues. As for the old movies, they encouraged much of the drinking today in this country although it's been in Europe, etc. for years. Many there die from the drinking even though they aren't stumbling around or 'drunk'. Too much is not good and I'd say every night is not good. Everyone today has drinks, anxiety, other things never known to man in my childhood. I would just do what is best for you and you family and your health since you have a child now to raise. Please don't pattern your life after Bette Davis.

4 moms found this helpful

My DH will often have one drink at night, after dinner. I don't think he's an alcoholic. If he HAD to have that drink or had more than one or drank til he got buzzed every night....

Perhaps there is more awareness of such things. Even though the housewife of yesteryear brought her DH a beer - was it because she wanted him to be happy or he'd freak out if she didn't? Depends on the husband.

I also think that many people will say, "I'm not" when they ARE - my late BIL was one. He was a "functioning alcoholic" til he lost his wife over his binge drinking and went into "non-functioning". His behavior and attitude toward alcohol was the same, even if he wasn't getting DUIs when the kids were little. The kids hated him drinking b/c he was different. And I spent part of my childhood with a "dry drunk" - claimed to be sober, was an SOB.

I used to room with a girl in college who didn't think she was drunk til she puked. But she was DRUNK long before then and we hated dealing with her. She definitely abused it. It was definitely a problem when she failed classes b/c she didn't attend music theory with a hangover.

So, while I don't think one glass or one beer makes you an alcoholic, I do think that as a reasonable person you should occasionally go "hrm" and if you find you have trouble without that drink (or your drinks get bigger or more potent), you should think about why and if you have a problem.

I also think that encouraging more responsible drinking is part of it and that's a GOOD THING. Fewer drunks on the road, for example. Keeping people with "just a few" beers out from behind the wheel. Making it OK to get a cab or take someone's keys.

3 moms found this helpful

Right there with you sister. And I, too, serve my man.

:)

(But then, I'm older too, I guess. I'm 45, he's 55. When my kids were little I never drank, not even a drop. Mostly because their father is an abusive drunk. But now that we're divorced I enjoy a couple while I'm cooking dinner, mostly every day.)

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So what brought this question on?

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Did someone suggest you were an alcoholic? I think it is mostly a bad habit for the run of the mill daily drinker. My sister remembers one lady who wrote a book (cannot remember what it was) laying awake at night wondering if she was an alcoholic. Then wondering how many non alcoholics were laying around at night wondering if they were alcoholic. If you spend a lot of time wondering if you are an alcoholic, you might be on to something. I don't think the term is overused, If anything its underused. My husband called his friend a "problem drinker" for years. At his third DUI he finally called a spade a spade. My experience is that more people turn blind eye than anything else.

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Love Riley J's example.
Bravo.

Frequency does not make an alcoholic.
Just because a person drinks a drink everyday, it does not mean they are an Alcoholic.
Alcoholism, merely reflects the "type" of addiction a person is. Alcohol.

The difference is: some people are addicts. Some are not.

2 moms found this helpful

I was wondering the same thing the other day. All my friends drink(we all used to work in bars in the 90s) and i can very clearly see the few who are dependent upon it. Strangely enough half of those people you would never assume had issues with it. I know plenty of people that go overboard on a holiday and make fools of themselves that would appear to have a problem and absolutely dont.

There is no cookie cutter definition for anything, much less addiction.

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I am a drinker like you, and I read something (on this site I think) that I've made my new drinking motto: I drink for prescriptive not additctive reasons. Isn't that the best?! It's funny but also true and I think why most people drink. It also inherently reminds you that drinking can become an addiction.

I think your references to time/trends is interesting and has many layers which makes your title question harder to answer.

It is a good thing that there is alcohol (and health in general) awareness so that the days of the 1950's people/parents smokin' and drinkin' innapropriately and not knowing how/why it's bad is a thing of the past.

However, more awareness can lead to oversensitivity and mis-labeling - but not in my opinion any more than in the past and probably a small price to pay.

Also a side note, regardless of health education and as is was in the good ol days, in many ways drinking is still a refined/status thing in society - even if that's not how you or I drink. (Thinks of all the ads you see.) Purchasing the most expensive bottle is just as popular as it used to be. And you still have the two categories of people doing this kind of drinking: those who are just flaunting their wealth and those who are REALLY going to enjoy that bottle of wine.

I like all the points about european culture - that there is a more positive, casual relationship with drinking alcohol on a daily basis. I think this attitude along with the knowledge that health risks do exist, is the best way to be.

The most poignant comment for me was the four points about addiction mentioned below -- to me that sums it up completely.

Cheers :)

1 mom found this helpful

let me ask you this... say tonight your child wakes up after you put them to bed sick.... are you angry cause you can't have your beer? Do you ignore their cries to keep drinking? can you not relax with anything but a beer?
I think you are over simplifing what a alcoholic is... as other have said it is not a how often you drink... it is disease where you can not NOT drink.
but i do see your point... but keep in mind there is a difference between your neighboor saying "what you an alcoholic/bipolar/anxiety do/ whatever"... and truely having these disorders and being engaged in treatment.

1 mom found this helpful

There are true alcoholics, but having a drink to unwind does not make one an alcoholic or enjoying the taste of beer or whatever is your choice does not make you one. This is coming from someone (myself) who rarely drinks or will do it occasionally if out and about.

I've was engaged to an alcoholic at a young age and was very naive, but grew up quick and learned about alcoholism. Luckily we did not get married and I called it off.

I did meet another man who right up front told me he was an alcoholic, but because of the my first experience I thought oh no you're not! Well he was as it turned out, but he was a different type of alcoholic. They come in all forms.

My feeling about alcoholism is if you HAVE to have it then maybe you have a problem. If you drink to the point of getting drunk all the time maybe you have a problem. If you control it there is no problem.

To each his own until someone gets hurt.

Updated

There are true alcoholics, but having a drink to unwind does not make one an alcoholic or enjoying the taste of beer or whatever is your choice does not make you one. This is coming from someone (myself) who rarely drinks or will do it occasionally if out and about.

I've was engaged to an alcoholic at a young age and was very naive, but grew up quick and learned about alcoholism. Luckily we did not get married and I called it off.

I did meet another man who right up front told me he was an alcoholic, but because of the my first experience I thought oh no you're not! Well he was as it turned out, but he was a different type of alcoholic. They come in all forms.

My feeling about alcoholism is if you HAVE to have it then maybe you have a problem. If you drink to the point of getting drunk all the time maybe you have a problem. If you control it there is no problem.

To each his own until someone gets hurt.

1 mom found this helpful

My best friend was labled an alcoholic by her parents who ARE acoholics because THEY taught her how to drink, she went to AA, took a break and learned that she is NOT an alcoholic, she was just never taught how to treat it responsibly. I enjoy drinking ... I was a binge drinker before my son living it up enjoying myself but I also know my limits and how to drink with out getting drunk every time. From my experience with alcoholics, going to AA meetings with my best friend and alanon as well alcoholics can not drink with out getting drunk, can not survive the world with out alcohol and do not know what the "problem" or "big deal" is.

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In short, I see an alcoholic as someone with a dependancy problem where it affects their life or others in their life.

Example: The young lady in my office who came to work smelling of alcohol 1 time. She was just stupid not necessarily an alcoholic. I don't know how often she drinks and if the drinking is affecting her life, although this one instance has certainly been a disruption.

My father was an alcoholic. He drank whenever and whatever he could get his hands on. Sometimes he could not get up to go to work. Not to say someone who does not work doesn't have a problem getting up, but there were several things that suggested he had a problem.

At the same time, there are functioning alcoholics. There are people who need a drink to make it each day (dependancy), yet they make it to work every day. This type is a little more difficult to identify, but they exist. I guess the question is, if you run out of the drink of choice, to what length would you go to get more?

1 mom found this helpful

I agree, it depends on how dependent and addicted you are to it, and how you would feel or react if you had to go without. My hubby likes to unwind with a couple of beers every night, he has a beer when we go out, once in a while he has a glass of scotch at home at night. That does not make him an alcoholic, as far as I am concerned. He enjoys it, he is not dependent on it, and it does not change his behavior or keep him from doing normal things. On the other hand, true alcoholics are always alcoholics. They may be sober, may have been able to kick their drinking problem, and therefore are not actually drinking at all, but they are still alcoholics by definition - they are just in recovery, and it's an addiction that they have to control.

I've sometimes have suspected that my dad was an alcoholic to some degree - he would sometimes decide not to drink for months, or a year at a time. Then he would go back to having a beer or 2 a night, which was no big deal. But then sometimes on weekends he would kind of go on a bender, and then get all angry and weird. Not abusive in any way, but he would just start trying to have some deep philosophical conversation with you and it would turn into this crazy argument. I learned to avoid him when he got that way. He could get the same way at parties and holiday gatherings at other people's homes. One time he and my uncle had this huge falling out and didn't talk to each other for months after we were at their house for Thanksgiving and my dad had been drinking and they got into some dumb argument about something. So it makes me wonder sometimes, since my dad sometimes drank excessively in certain situations and then his behavior changed dramatically. He wouldn't stop at one drink - he would down the whole bottle of scotch and then some.

So anyway, it seems to be on how dependent one is on alcohol (or anything), what role it plays in their daily lives, and how it may affect or alter their behavior, especially when they have access to it vs. not.

I know a group of adults who go out during the week sometimes (I think once a week) and on the weekend to drink heavily. It's a regular habit. I tend to wonder if they are alcoholics.

The alcoholic I knew would drink almost a fifth of Vodka a night, drive his small children around intoxicated - and beat his wife and children. Sounds extreme? I tend to think of alchoholism as extreme.

The above crowd of people also have small children. They drink "responsibly" as their children are watched by someone else while they're out and they don't drive. Their level of drinking sounds at least borderline to me. I guess this is my definition of alcoholism.

You wouldn't hit my radar at a drink a night.

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