28 answers

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 ;)

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

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

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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.

11 moms found this helpful

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.

10 moms found this helpful

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.

7 moms found this helpful

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

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