1. #1
    ToddE's Avatar
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    Is Everyone Who Drinks An Alcoholic?

    I always assumed this was true.

    I don't mean the occasional drinker. I read a biography when I was 18 or so, of a SF/FX author I liked at the time. He wrote that he didn't like alcohol, but would have a drink or two on social occasions. His point was it was just easier have a couple drink, once in a while then bother to explain that he real did want it. Social drinking situations, are fairly common. I always assumed social drinkers were mostly, just like the author bio I read. My wife doesn't drink. In fifteen years, I know of one time she actually got drunk. At parties with people who know her well she won't even have a drink. At a wedding or a holiday meal if wine is being served she will have a drink.

    I imagine the same thing may have been true in the Madmen era, with smoking. Social smoking is pretty much, nonexistent today though. I would think most people probably agree that people who smoke are 1) Addicted to nicotine, 2) Just getting started but will become addicted or 3) Trying it out but don't become addicted, because they decide they don't like it. I would think the same is true of coffee or diet coke. There are probably a few occasional user as a stay awake, but that most drinkers of that type of beverage are addicted to caffeine.

    I was addicted to caffeine twice a a young adult. After HS I was in the Navy. Was long hours, little sleep a lot of the time and I drank several cups a day. After leaving the service I wen to college. I never scheduled early class a quite drinking coffee all together after a couple months. When I had my first job I started up with coffee again, because of having to get up early, which I was used to. Once I got used to the schedule I quit coffee again after a few months. Except by accident I haven't had caffeine in 20 years. I had bad headaches for a week both times I quit caffeine. Quoting was easy though, because I really do not like it.

    I don't like being jittery, hyper,whatever you want to call it. In my early late teens / early twenties I tried crystal meth once and crack four or five times. If you haven't tried them they are very intense. I can't imagine someone who likes that type of thing using them and not picking the habit up. I had a synthetic narcotic. Once when I was 17 for an out patient surgery. It was good. I never used heroin because I new I would get hooked. I figure better to drink. I never was under any idea that I wasn't addicted or wouldn't become so.

    If you smoke you will become addicted to nicotine. If you drink coffee or tea you become addicted to caffeine. Cocaine, heroin, and so on down the line use it regularly, then you will become addicted. Same with alcohol. Where this is true or not it is what I have alway assumed, anyway.

    I did read an article on yahoo I think, a few months back that said most binge drinkers are not alcoholics, by medical definition. The article didn't site sources or give explain what medial definition of alcoholism is.

    Anyway just thought I'd put this put it out here. I'd be interested in anyone else's thoughts or perspective.

  2. #2

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    Yes very interesting point Todd. As a very new recovering alcoholic I suppose I should not be concerning my self with other peoples use of alcohol, but I did have a discussion with my husband recently about why non-alcoholics drink if they don't enjoy it? He was quite defensive and said I am in no position to judge the rest of the world. Well I am not judging but I am interested. I don't think that there is any conclusive research to prove that normal drinkers don't enjoy alcohol. I think that some people might be touchy about the subject if they have been exposed to alcoholics in their families. ie they just don't want to get anywhere near the subject of whether they might be alcoholic. but my point is what is the point of drinking if you dont enjoy it and lets face it it is an acquired taste. without the chemical effect it has on my brain I certainly wouldn't enjoy drinking it for the taste.

  3. #3

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    But one thing we all have in common is that alcohol has taken more from us than we have taken from alcohol. Finally whatever alcohol gave or gives to us must now be replaced by something else.
    John nicely put.

    ToddE, loopy,

    I came to this forum because someone I care about is an addict, and I really needed to understand what he was going through. I am what you refer to as a "normal" drinker. I do like the taste of some alcoholic drinks but I can take it or leave it. I don't crave it. And frankly this forum has made me much more aware of drinking in general and how attached it is to so many social situations. I think non-alcoholics drink in a lot of situations because its the norm. Beer at the game. Wine with dinner. Drink at happy hour. Whether they like the taste or not, most people don't like to be different.

    I encourage you to read through some more of the posts on this site. Especially the ones referring to the "addictive voice", "It", "the Beast", or the ones who have been named like"Melvin" & "Mabel". The Rational Recovery website I believe has much more on this. They explain the addictive mindset much clearer.

    Funny thing though as I write this, I realize that both those who drink because its a norm and addicts not in recovery, are allowing something else to make their choices for them.

    Very thought provoking subject!

  4. #4
    JeffR1's Avatar
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    Hi ToddE. Indeed a thought provoking topic. I agree with John that a common theme here is that alcohol probably has taken more from us than we have taken from it. And, Fiona, I think, is spot on that if you drink because it is the norm, you are allowing someone else to make your decisions for you.

    I was a non-drinker for many of my earlier adult years and I was never much bothered about what others thought about me not drinking. Nor am I bothered what other people think now about me not drinking. I would go so far to say that if someone who is not dependant on alcohol feels they need to drink, or not drink, in social situations to fit in or not be judged by others has some issue with their own self-confidence and is succumbing to peer pressure. It’s like the old saying, “if everyone was jumping off the cliff, would you jump off also?”.

    Personally, I prefer not to use the term ‘alcoholic’ as it’s just another label – and people have a tendency to live up to the labels ‘assigned’ to them in life. As your post suggests, there is much conjecture and speculation as to what fits the definition of being an alcoholic.

    I suppose it really comes down to acceptance. Some people can use alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or other illicit drugs and may either become dependant or not. Some people can actually become dependant on non-mind altering substances or activities. Others may even have intolerances or allergies to certain substances. Either way, if the person does not accept that the specific set of circumstances exists for them, their issue will continue to exist for them – ie. ‘what you resist, persists!’.

    Have a great sober day everyone.

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