I drink 12 beers a week, am I an alcoholic?
May 31, 2009 8:43 AM   Subscribe

I drink 12 beers a week, am I an alcoholic?

Between 18 and approx. 25/26 y.o. I used to drink a lot. I was going through college and as the city where I lived didn't have much to do, we used to go to sports bars, chat and drink. My average consumption at the time was 20 to 24 beers (cans) per weekend. When I finished college and moved out, my consumption was cut by half, and has remained stable ever since.

Sometimes, like everybody, I go a little over the limit in parties or gatherings with friends, but I usually have 6 beers on Friday night and six on Saturday. I don't drink on Sundays, nor mix different kinds of drinks, and avoid drinking that much if I am not at home. Speaking of which, I stay at home quite a lot during weekends, so I basically drink alone while surfing the web, watching videos and listening to music.

I have recently gone back to the city where I went through college and found out my friends still drink like and Oldsmobile, and I could not keep up. Watching them drink raised the question in my head about I was too drinking in excess, so I checked by average consumption and came to 12/week, and very rarely (once a month) drinking on weekdays.

Am I following a dangerous drinking pattern? What are the odds of my becoming an alcoholic? (a friend once joked I had many of the typical characteristics: drinking alone, without eating much, recovering fast, etc.)

Background: I do have family history of alcoholism. My mother drinks about 3 to 4 beers a day, my father 1 Jack-and-coke a day. My uncles on the mother's side are alcoholics
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (50 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I personally wouldn't be able to make a judgment call on whether you're an alcoholic, but I can say that drinking that much is not healthy for your body. 6 beers/night would for most sizes of people be considered binge drinking and that can cause all kinds of issues with your health in the long term. Liver issues, increased risk of certain cancers, etc.
posted by ishotjr at 8:46 AM on May 31, 2009

Drinking alone = alcoholic, at least to me.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2009

Oh, and please note that I said on the long-term, as in, if you kept this type of consumption up in the future, it could cause issues, not necessarily that you will have these problems from your past drinking.
posted by ishotjr at 8:48 AM on May 31, 2009

While drinking that much can be unhealthy, unless it is negatively interfering with the way you live your life or your performance at your job, you are not an alcoholic.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2009 [15 favorites]

If you're sober 5 nights a week, I don't think you're in danger of addiction...certainly not physical addiction. It might be that you don't know how to have fun or relax without alchohol, which might be a problem, as is the fact that you might just be wasting a lot of your time. Only you can know that.
posted by creasy boy at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2009

Watch "Leaving Las Vegas"

you're not an alcoholic.
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2009

As far as the medically recommended intake: no more than 14 drinks per week, and less than 4 at a time, for males. Half that for females. That's the US stance.
SO, you are drinking more than is recommended by having 6 per sitting.

That's all qualified too. If you have certain medical conditions, it should be less. If you have a history of alcohol dependence and abuse, the official advice is abstinence. If you have a family history of alcohol abuse, then the recommendations don't change but you are at higher risk for alcohol abuse yourself.

But no, you are not an alcoholic. You don't have a need to drink every day (if you were showing any signs of dependence, you couldn't go all week without it). If you had any signs of concerning behavior, it would be a different situation. But as you pointed out, you are drinking alone. Despite that though, it still probably plays out differently given that you are drinking alone but not on a daily basis and not to the point of legal problems, dependence, etc. For the moment you are probably okay, although cutting back on how much you drink in a given sitting could be a good thing. As far as your risk of _becoming_ an alcoholic, I think you sound attuned to the risks, so just keep an eye on your behavior And keep in mind that there may be some predisposed risk given that you have a family history.
posted by davidnc at 8:51 AM on May 31, 2009

Your question is a little misleading as it's phrased at first, because drinking 12 beers/week, spread out evenly on each day, is very different from drinking 6 beers on each weekend day. Could you spread your intake out to 2 drinks/day, weekdays and weekends, vs. 6 beers/day on the weekends? The dose makes the poison; if someone were on medication and tried tripling their medicines up on the weekends and taking nothing all week, it would make them very sick. Not that alcohol is medication, but it's something that's good for you in small, regular amounts, and not so good in big bursts.

And yes, the habit of drinking alone, while web-surfing, and not eating much, is not the healthiest relationship to alcohol.
posted by palliser at 8:52 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Not an alcoholic. While a beer or two a night would be healthier than having a six on Friday and Saturday, that's still not a lot of beer.

Drinking alone isn't meaningful unless you're passing out or trying to kill feelings. Beer tastes good and mellows you out, a nice accompaniment to web/music/video.

Do you need to drink to function? Is a day without the sauce a day that sucks? No? You're okay.
posted by codswallop at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're worried you have a drinking problem, you might have a drinking problem. It's not a matter of how many drinks you drink, or drinking alone.

On second reading of your question, you might be overthinking your drinking.

I've gone through periods of hard drinking due to friends and shared activities. I never thought of it in terms of a drinking problem. As I got older my drinking patterns changed.

Please talk to your doctor about your concerns and go from there.
posted by vincele at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Your question cannot be objectively answered from the information you've provided, and I’d be skeptical about the agenda of those presuming otherwise.
posted by applemeat at 8:56 AM on May 31, 2009 [16 favorites]

On preview, what applemeat said.
posted by vincele at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2009

unless it is negatively interfering with the way you live your life or your performance at your job, you are not an alcoholic.

Watch "Leaving Las Vegas"

you're not an alcoholic.

A member of my extended family always believed he wasn't an alcoholic because he never drank before 5:00. He then proceeded to drink a quart of hard liquor each night. He always was good at his job and would have believed alcohol didn't negatively affect his life. His children would have vehemently disagreed.

All this is to say that emotions themselves can be so dulled by alcohol that the alcoholic doesn't realize how his remoteness and numbness are destroying everyone around him.

NOT SAYING OP IS AN ALCOHOLIC. Just that these little "tests" can be very misleading and can get in the way of someone realizing they have a problem (because they passed the "test," see?).
posted by palliser at 9:00 AM on May 31, 2009

or more briefly, what applemeat said.
posted by palliser at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2009

Agree with applemeat
posted by dfriedman at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2009

My mum's an alcoholic. Or at least abuses the stuff habitually. She drinks to drown her pain, no matter the damage it causes the rest of her life. She does not see it as a problem and the problem is only limited or effected by her mood.

If you can choose not to partake, no matter what happens to you emotionally, then I would think you're fine. Unless of course you want to join the military or something, then you'd have to cut back.
posted by Submiqent at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2009

What would happen if you decided not to drink at all for a month or so? If you're concerned that you're developing or have developed a dependency on alcohol, you could test it out by deciding not to drink for a month. You could even allow yourself something like 1-2 drinks if and when you are out with friends, but not more than a few times during the month.

If you make it through the month with little difficulty, then no, I would not call you an alcoholic, because you would not have the requisite psychological dependency. If you find that you continue to drink in the same pattern - no matter the justification - that would imply that you do have an unhealthy psychological dependency.

Alcoholism is just a classification. To me, the important questions are if you are physically dependent (probably not, since you only drink 2 nights/week), if you are psychologically dependent (no idea), and if your drinking interferes with your quality of life (no idea).

If you want to read the DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, you can find it here.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:03 AM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

Do you have alcohol withdrawal when you don't drink (tremors, D.T.s, etc.)? I think you may just like the taste of it. Do you start early in the morning? These are additional questions you need to ponder. You have a healthy fear, which is good. Realize that if you are not an alcoholic now, it doesn't mean that you won't become one. Your family history is something to keep in mind.
posted by 6:1 at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2009

Does it get in the way of your life at all?
Do you ever not wake up on time on Saturday or put off chores you need to do only because you're hungover? If yes and you still keep drinking every Friday night then it is a problem.
If there was something else to do on a Friday/Saturday night that didn't involve you sitting at home, and didn't involve drinking, would you do it or would you choose to have the 6 drinks?
Even if there is nothing else for you to do, can you spend Friday night alone without drinking, or would you feel like you're missing something?

Depending on how you answer those questions it might or might not be a problem. But either way, drinking so much, especially all in 1-2 nights, can't be healthy!
posted by KateHasQuestions at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2009

I don't think you're an alcoholic but...

...some time soon, go to a cheap, all inclusive beach resort. Look at the bodies of the older people around you and you'll see what those 12 drinks a week are eventually going to do to you.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:17 AM on May 31, 2009

What are the odds of my becoming an alcoholic?

Try not to drink for two weeks. If you can do it without problems, you're probably not, at this point. If you can't, you've got a problem that needs to be sorted out. I am not a health official, nor do I have any such training so take it with a grain of salt, but the general rule is that you literally can't stop, even in the face of negative consequences. So, can you stop drinking?

I’d be skeptical about the agenda of those presuming otherwise

I'd be skeptical of those seeing agenda everywhere.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2009

A med student friend of mine taught me the CAGE test to determine whether you might have alcohol dependence.
posted by grouse at 9:19 AM on May 31, 2009

Can you go two weeks without drinking any alcohol whatsoever?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:27 AM on May 31, 2009

The fact that you're even concerned about what is realistically a reasonable amount of alchohol this is a good indicator that you're not. I also have a history of alchoholism in my family. I've always been really paranoid about it - the stellar example being my paternal grandmother's habit of drinking a bottle of scotch a day. Comparatively speaking, 12 a week isn't really much of a dependancy. You also didn't mention what sort of beer you're drinking. There's a marked difference between say, Bud Light and the types of British beer that are so heavy they're practically a liquid loaf of bread.

The suggestions that you just trial a month without beer are good. If you can't make it through a month without it, then maybe it's a problem. But really, if it's bothering you, and it sounds like it might be, you could talk to a drug and alchohl depenancy hotline. I don't know where you are, but many communities offer confidential over the phone advice to people who think they may have a problem.
posted by Jilder at 9:28 AM on May 31, 2009

Only a doctor or another medical professional can determine if you're an alcoholic. 6 beers on Friday and Saturday night is certainly binge drinking, but it's not unusual. I myself drank considerably more than you did until my early thirties. What I can tell you is that you're consuming way more carbs than you should, so if you cut back to four beers each night maybe you'll lose some weight.

But, on the plus side, beer tastes good!
posted by KokuRyu at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2009

You're the only person who can (really) answer this question.
posted by meggie78 at 9:33 AM on May 31, 2009

Asking if you are an alcoholic is the wrong question.

I work in psychiatric research on alcohol use, and we define alcohol problems as falling into two broad categories: abuse and dependence. Abuse means your alcohol consumption causes you problems, like social conflicts, neglecting your responsibilities at work or home, legal problems, etc. Dependence is physiological tolerance or withdrawal (meaning you need more and more to get a buzz or get drunk, and you feel bad when you don't drink) plus the problems of abuse.

Here is a summary of the clinical diagnostic criteria.

There are researchers who have found that even if you don't seem to meet the criteria above, there are risks associated with drinking 5 or more drinks per occasion. People who drink like that, instead of having 1-2 drinks per occasion spread out over the week, are at higher risk for eventually developing abuse and dependence, and systemic health problems related to alcohol.

The questions in most of the posts here are good ones to ask yourself- can you stop? does your drinking affect your life or those around you? However, those questions are only guidelines for when to seek help. Yes answers mean you should probably consult a psychiatrist and/or MD, who are best qualified to tell you if your long term physical or mental health is showing signs of damage from your drinking pattern.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:43 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Drinking alone = alcoholic, at least to me.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:47 AM on May 31 [+] [!]

I'm not sure how this whole idea got started, but this is ridiculous. As if introverts who live alone can't be allowed to drink alcohol because the simple act of drinking alone makes them an alcoholic.
posted by proj at 9:47 AM on May 31, 2009 [30 favorites]

The problem with hard and fast standards like "drinking alone = alcoholism" is that they don't have any accounting for context. I often drink alone, but it's limited to one or two beers that I'm savoring and critically evaluating. I also think the common definition of binge drinking as five drinks or more in a session is pretty loaded. There's a big difference between doing that in a power hour and just having a good session.

Nevertheless, as others have stated, you'd probably be better off if you stretched out your drinking to a beer each weeknight and three or four on weekends. Moderate alcohol consumption can be healthy - but the key is moderation.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 10:14 AM on May 31, 2009

Answer these questions honestly and you'll at least have an idea.
posted by hermitosis at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2009

Don't let anyone tell you drinking alone makes you an alcoholic. Alcoholism is an issue of functionality and responsibility.
posted by apetpsychic at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2009

Drinking alone = alcoholic, at least to me.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:47 AM on May 31 [+] [!]

I'm not sure how this whole idea got started, but this is ridiculous. As if introverts who live alone can't be allowed to drink alcohol because the simple act of drinking alone makes them an alcoholic.

In my opinion there is a big difference between drinking alone and getting drunk alone. Having a couple beers on a friday night as you enjoy some other activity like surfing the web strikes me as not a big deal at all. If you're a big person, 6 beers might be giving you a strongish buzz. If you're a smaller person, it might be getting you hammered, which is really not a good idea. A very important question to ask (that perhaps someone in the thread might have already mentioned, sorry if so), is can you just drink one or two beers, or do you find yourself requiring 5-6 beers to get your fix?

The thing that concerns me most is that you have a somewhat specific amount of beer that you drink on specific days. Do you anticipate this during the week? does the anticipation grow and does your mood change in proximity to friday evening? Do you look forward to having 5 or six beers specifically, or do you look forward to just having some beer and it randomly turns into 5-6 on average? To me, this would be very different and mentally unhealthier than, say, beer not crossing your mind during the week and then getting a spontaneous desire to have a beer or two on friday evening. Also, do you not drink during the week because you want to "save" your drinking for those weekend binges, or do you just genuinely not want to drink during the week.

Anyways, I wouldn't say your an alcoholic, but it does sound like you might have some mentally unhealthy drinking habits. Disclaimer: obviously, as others have said I can't make a really sound judgment, but these are just my observations based on the info you provided.
posted by captain cosine at 10:19 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

anonymous: I drink 12 beers a week

No, you drink 12 beers every weekend. You have, by all indications, been doing this for the past two decades, largely by yourself.

I don't know about "alcoholic", but I think you definitely have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol that you need to take a good hard look at.
posted by mkultra at 10:22 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Labels don't really make a difference - if someone said YES, you're definitely an alcoholic, what would you do with that information? Go to the next AA meeting? Call a therapist? Well, do that now, if you're so concerned. You don't need our permission. Let someone in your real life (besides your drinking buddies) tell you what they think - they have much more information about how you actually function.
posted by desjardins at 10:37 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

You may find all sorts of scales to gauge whether or not you are an alcoholic. You will pass or fail the test depending on which scale you're looking at.

However, whether one scale or another says you are, either you or someone who cares for you is uncomfortable enough to prompt you to ask this question in the first place. So whether or not you're an alcoholic by the technical definition of the word, someone still thinks that it may be a bit much, and that may be reason alone to rethink your behavior.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2009

Nthing applemeat. "Alcoholic" is a damned tricky word and, er, loaded.

That aside, gotta take issue with the certainty that this is "binge drinking," whatever that means. It's a too-easy, new-hysteria phrase straight outta Mediasensationalismville.

Dunno the time-frame of your drinking, if the six meanders across seven hours, if you have a meal and a late-night snack in the course of draining 'em, etc., but I've problems with the thought that six beers an evening Does Equal binge drinking.
posted by ambient2 at 11:47 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

The quantity of alcohol one consumes is not really the main issue in alcoholism, since that quantity can fluctuate wildly depending on context and since the stages of dependency can sometimes be gradual. Also, even alcoholics are sometimes able to moderate their drinking habits upon occasion (I realize this is not an uncontroversial assertion).

Thus, the more subtle questions in my opinion are: how much you crave it, how it effects your moods when you go without it, and the degree to which you orient your social life around it. For instance, sometimes the mind plays tricks on itself and one finds oneself sublimating addictive tendencies into other activities--or fantasizing about social situations that turn out if scrutinized to be merely excuses to get drunk.

These are some of the ways that alcoholism metastasizes psychologically or psychosomatically, and there is not always a cut and dry test to measure one's potential for addiction. But I am not a clinician or specialist in these matters, and would encourage you to look into the literature on the subject yourself. My own feeling is that alcohol addiction can be quite complex in how it manifests itself from person to person, and that the mind often has 1001 tricks to rationalize away certain behavior patterns.
posted by ornate insect at 12:26 PM on May 31, 2009

I actually disagree with applemeat. It's not that the question can't be answered objectively, it's that the question is completely wrongheaded.

The question isn't how much are you drinking, whether you're drinking alone, whether you drink while watching reruns of "The Smurfs", or whatever. It's how your drinking is affecting your life. Does your drinking cause you to miss work? Does it affect your family life? Do you have blackouts? Do you do things when you're drunk that you wish you hadn't done?

There's no line where "12 drinks a week you're an alcoholic, 11 drinks you're not." The fact that you seem to be looking for one makes me very suspicious.

My father, who counseled many alcoholics, once told me that alcoholism was "drinking despite negative consequences". What are the consequences of your drinking?
posted by sesquipedalian at 12:32 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

These silly folk-wisdom tests like drinking alone, or before 5, or only on weekends, or only beer, or can you stop for a few weeks, are useless. At best they are poor indicators of substance problems, at worse they serve as convenient excuses for drunks to justify their behavior.

As others have stated, there are two issues. Are you addicted to alcohol? Probably not. You could stop now and probably not suffer any physical withdrawal symptoms.

But are you abusing alcohol? Also hard to tell. One key indicator is how it affects your life. If you are avoiding doing things (or prevented from) because of your drinking, yes, you probably have something to work on. Note that this isn't a pass-fail test. Your drinking could not be affecting your life in the slightest, but you could still have a problem.

To my way of looking at it, dependance/abuse is signaled when you start living your life around your thing. Would you go nutty if you didn't get your weekend fix? Are you thinking about your fix all week? Is the idea that you might forget to drink one Saturday completely foreign to you? What goes through your mind after beer #2- is it "OMG, I can't wait for #3, why don't them make sixpacks with 8"? Sign of trouble.

To me, it seems more like you drink out of habit more than anything. Habit, abuse and dependance are separate things, but that are intertwined and have blurred distinctions.
posted by gjc at 12:39 PM on May 31, 2009

This is the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse's website, designed to answer questions about problem drinking.

Alcoholism-- or any addiction-- is defined by compulsive behavior despite ongoing negative consequences. If there aren't negative consequences, it's not an addiction. The fact that negative consequences are required means that there are culturally constructed aspects of the definition that make it rather silly to argue over "am I or am I not an alcoholic?" You might be an alcoholic in America, but not in Australia.

Contrary to rehab-promoted belief, one does *not* have to identify as an alcoholic (or go to AA for that matter) to recover from alcohol problems. All you need to do is decide you want to do something to make sure you are drinking at healthy levels (or not drinking at all if you can't moderate) and use the best tools and keep working to reach that goal. For some, that will mean AA, for others, a good read of the website listed may actually be all that's needed to push you towards a healthy pattern.

The site is based on extensive research into how people change problem behaviors. And bizarrely enough, very simple things like knowing what's "normal" are often enough to push the change needed. The reason most people don't know this is that it does not make a dramatic story so your memoir of "I binged a little and then decided to stop" is not going to make the bestseller lists.
posted by Maias at 12:40 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

I agree with most of the people here that there's no way for us to answer this question based on what you've told us. However, your family history of alcoholism and the fact that you clearly have a pretty high tolerance for alcohol are both risk factors for alcoholism.

If you had several risk factors for heart disease, you would probably minimize your red meat consumption and make sure to get regular exercise. So it's probably a good idea to minimize your consumption of alcohol to avoid the nastiness of alcoholism.

I think 6 beers in a night sounds like a lot for someone out of college, but then I get drunk on 3 beers.
posted by lunasol at 2:33 PM on May 31, 2009

Drinking alone is kind of a tip off but it sounds like your moderation is relatively impressive. I'd say you're borderline, as most alcoholics I know, when present around others who drink a ton, tend to ramp up their own drinking to new levels.
posted by stratastar at 5:15 PM on May 31, 2009

If you have to ask yourself if you're an alcoholic, then there's a good chance you are. You're the only one that can make that decision, though.
posted by item at 6:16 PM on May 31, 2009

The real question is - can you not drink any beer on friday and saturday and not feel like it's an effort not to drink. If you don't need it and it's not a big deal to have it or not have, you're probably not an alcoholic. If you don't drink on friday and saturday, but you're thinking about it all night and all day and it's an effort to not drink, then yes, you probably have at least some habit or dependency issue. You might be functional and it's not harming your life right now, but it's still an issue.
posted by gt2 at 11:08 PM on May 31, 2009

Sometimes, like everybody, I go a little over the limit in parties or gatherings with friends

Excuse me. Not everyone "goes a little over their limit in parties" because not everyone drinks more than a couple of beers in a sitting (or for some, any at all).

Don't include me in your excuse to yourself.

Agreed with above: if you can go two weekends without drinking, I would agree you're not an alcoholic. As I see it, you need to put a couple of six-packs in your belly every weekend. That's alcoholism.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:34 AM on June 1, 2009

Don't get hung up on the term.

Why don't you try going a month without a drop of alcohol? Just as an experiment.

If this seems difficult, maybe you have a problem with alcohol.
posted by Flying Squirrel at 3:21 AM on June 1, 2009

Note again: plenty of (if not most or all) alcoholics can go on the wagon for x weeks at a time to "prove" to themselves they don't have a problem. This is not indicative of anything, except perhaps as a measure of self control. White-knuckling it for a couple of weeks isn't a sign that you aren't a drunk, it's a sign you are.

Despite the snark, civil-disobedient is mostly correct: going over the limit is a sign of a problem. I know a guy who goes over the limit maybe three times a year. But when he does, it's WAY out of control. Slurring, staggering, beligerant, drinking more and more and more until he is physically incapable of putting glass to mouth. He claims he's not an alcoholic ('cause his parents were, and they drank every night. Not like him.), but in those moments, he surely is. He is abusing alcohol and is unable to control it.

Another alcoholism metaphor that a lot of people use is "love affair". You can start and stop, but your love for teh booz never ends. There was a great, and haunting, scene in West Wing where Leo talked about his love affair with Scotch. He talked about all of the asthetics of the act of drinking- the clink of the ice, the smell, the wonderful clarity of the drink in the glass. And then, after one drink, all of a sudden it's Monday.

(Also, the entire series of NYPD Blue is a story about the recovery of Andy's alcoholism.)

It's not about the amount, or the duration, or the fits and starts. It's about the mental connection. It's not "can you stop", it's how you feel about it.

All that said, who cares about labels? If it concerns you, cut back. I was in the same place a few years ago. You are in your early to mid 20s and hanging at the bars is what you do. But for me, that also included being miserable the rest of the time. Alcohol exaserbated my depression. I didn't realize it until I started taking something for the depression and started feeling better, and realized that after a night of drinking I felt miserable again. So I cut back. What sucks is that it sort of wrecked some friendships. Very close friends who were still on that schedule, and I just could no longer hang like I used to. Since that's what they still were (and are...) doing, maintaining the closeness became more difficult. Because it turns out, hanging around in bars is really only tolerable if you've got a buzz going.
posted by gjc at 7:50 AM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

If you have to ask yourself if you're an alcoholic, then there's a good chance you are.

I disagree. Some people are, for various reasons (e.g. family history, past relationships, hypochondria, etc.) more sensitive than others to the possibility of being an alcoholic, and this increased awareness does not in itself make them one. ...By your logic, the hardcore drunk passed out and pissing himself on the floor twice a week while adamant he has no drinking problem whatsoever is probably not an alcoholic?
posted by applemeat at 8:01 AM on June 1, 2009

applemeat: By your logic, the hardcore drunk passed out and pissing himself on the floor twice a week while adamant he has no drinking problem whatsoever is probably not an alcoholic?

No. Come on, basic math logic says otherwise. When I say, "If A then B", it does not imply "If not A then not B".
posted by mkultra at 8:18 AM on June 1, 2009

It's tough to answer because it would involve your behaviors, not your dosage. Comparing yourself to others isn't going to help much either. But if you are putting away 12 drinks in one weekend, that qualifies as heaving drinking. If you want, check out A&E's Intervention as they have alcoholics on all the time and they are all pretty different.

You could take a break for a month or two and see how you feel.
posted by chairface at 4:27 PM on June 1, 2009

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