An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Can someone be addicted even if they don't drink often?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Brem, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. btalivny

    btalivny Active Contributor

    An addiction is a chemical change that occurs in the brain. Due to this technicality, it is possible for anyone to be addicted to a substance even though they do not come in contact with it in excess.
  2. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    You don't have to have an addiction to alcohol for it to be a problem.
    It clearly sounds like your friend may not be addicted but does have a problem.
    Plus this is also how addictions start.
  3. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    I think so I often hear people say "I'm not a drunk I only drink on the weekends." My reply is simple "That's how it starts, and when you say only weekends well when you drunk from friday to Sunday non stop son you got a problem. So don't fool yourself in to thinking just because you don't drink everyday you don't have a problem. This doesn't apply to everyone that does this however.
  4. henry

    henry Community Champion

    A lot of people drink out of boredom, me included. The thing is, that if you get used to entertain yourself only by drinking, it could certainly lead to alcoholism. Tell him to buy a Playstation. Video games kind of did the trick for me.
  5. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    He definitely has a problem because he is jobless yet takes his money to buy beer. There are so many other things he could be spending his money on. I, too, think that he would drink more if he had a job. He is definitely showing the signs of addiction. Sad when people think that they need booze to have a good time. Just keep being there for him. He is lucky to have a friend who truly cares about his well being.
  6. p4lse

    p4lse Member

    Yes, people can be addicted even if they drink occasionally. It leads up to being a problem that you won't be able to have fun without actually drinking. This would eventually be a serious issue if not treated.
  7. eveliner

    eveliner Senior Contributor

    By addiction, I personally understand something that you can't fully control and you overdo it. If he drinks alcohol every now and then, he should be fine. I wouldn't consider it an addiction since we all crave to satisfy some of our inner desires from time to time. It's perfectly fine!
    But yeah, you're right... if he had a job, he'd probably consider buying less and actually stopped drinking.
  8. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    So true. It reminds me of people who say they're just "social smokers" for instance - but they'll still be smoking 5 days a week or so! I think it doesn't necessarily matter about whether people are drinking all the time - if they have a problematic relationship with alcohol such as binge drinking, for instance, then they should probably take stock and assess why they're doing that and how to move forth from it.
    karmaskeeper likes this.
  9. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    It is often in the worst times financially that someone can scrape together money for alcohol, even if there is no bread in the house, there is always a way to find money for the alcohol or drugs. Alcohol is not a solution to problems but someone needs a helping hand to note that.
  10. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    I believe that you can be addicted psychologically even if you don't drink every day, although you might not be physically addicted where you would go through withdrawals. Psychological addiction could cause you to make dangerous or irrational choices in order to obtain alcohol. I would consider binge drinkers to have a problem with alcohol, even though they might not be drinking every day or every other day.
  11. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    Hi Brem. So sorry to hear about your friend. While he does look like he has an alcohol problem it doesn't seem like he has developed full alcoholism. It seems like he is walking down the road to alcoholism, and is still in time to turn back before he becomes fully addicted to alcohol. You definitely need to talk to him and maybe let him know of any anecdotes from other people here in the site. Let him know he as a friend in you and maybe put in a good word so that maybe he can get a job. Maybe with less time to kill on his hands he will drink less.
  12. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think you should mainly tell him that you care and you are affected by his drinking problem, and hopefully that would put some sense into his head. Also emphasize that he will just be wasting his money buying alcohol all the more because he doesn't have a job. Emphasize to him that he will just be wasting his money if he buys alcohol.
  13. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    I am not sure about that. I almost try to act as a drunk. It seems to me i cannot get addicted. I have been drinking for several months every day and i just stopped. maybe because i do not drink too much but still the drink i take is very strong and my reasons are not important now and some may say i am not a normal person but i really needed to drink. Now i do not consume at all but who knows maybe i will feel the need again. Probably i will but somehow i never get addicted. It is not the first time for me to do this.
  14. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I am in somewhat of a similar situation. I have no regular job, and it is boring as all get out around here. Maybe take him out to have some fun...go to some free stuff...and tell him he doesn't always need beer to entertain himself or have good time. He may not be happy with his life situation in general and beer is a coping mechanism. Tell him he doesn't need to make it the focus of his life.
    greybird29 likes this.
  15. greybird29

    greybird29 Active Contributor

    Having no job and so much time on your hands to drink and be alone, bored, depressed and so many other mixtures of emotions that exist in any number and variety of combinations at any given time. If your friend “wants” to and is capable of working and “chooses” to take the time to get a job and go to work yes he will have more money to buy alcohol yet he will have less time to drink it.

    If he has a place to stay, warm, food and provided money for beer, then why bother getting a job when it is not a necessity? They must choose to work make money or not. Best wishes in your journey of life.
  16. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Well.. let's take the word "addiction. Being addicted to something means that you crave that certain thing for the better part of your concious hours, which leads to you getting out of your way to get something. As long as you feel like you can do just fine without drinking then you're not addicted.
  17. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    Yes, it is possible to be an addict when you do not drink alcohol often. Addiction is a mindset, not a judge of frequency. I agree with @maryannballeras. If, whenever he gets some money, his first priority is alcohol, that's a telltale sign of addiction. Have you talked to him recently? Is he getting better?
  18. I think that it can be possible for someone to be addicted to alcohol even if they drink very seldom. You don't have to have something that often in order to be addicted to it. Yes, having something excessively like alcohol can lead to a full-blown addiction. However, having an addiction to something does not have to be for something you have everyday. You can have a drink or a food on a special occasion, and become addicted to it as you're eating or drink it.

    Say you only have a skillet cookie from Chili's like once or twice a year. This is one of my favorite desserts, which is why I am using it as an example. Sometimes, my thoughts about it cause me to feel addicted to it. I don't have it often, but when I do, I feel the addiction kick in.

    It's the same as alcohol. You can have one of your favorite drinks, then order multiples of them just to have fun. I also think he drinks alcohol out of boredom. You really should find a way to educate him on the effects of excessive drinking. It can happen to anyone in any situation, which is why awareness is very critical. In the meantime, help him find a good job. Best of luck!
  19. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    He does not have a job, but whenever he gets money, instead of saving it, he drinks it away. That sounds like a problem. The thing is, maybe he drinks rarely. But frequency isn't the point sometimes -- for example, if he worked hard and got a drink every now and then, at the frequency he drinks now, it would probably be very normal and not be seen as a problem. Because the drinking would be 'on the side', a rare reward as a irregular side-pleasure to an otherwise full life. But without a job, it seems to be the first thing he thinks about, a compulsion. Replace drinking with gambling: if the minute someone gets money, the first thing they do is gamble, isn't that worrisome?

    Yes, it is. And so, even if it's just a mild compulsion, or the very beginning of a pre-addiction, it should be addressed seriously.
  20. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    This is a tricky one... I think that if this person develops a strong dependence to alcohol... to the point that anytime something goes wrong or the person feels frustrated over something and they head towards the bottle... that is not good news. Because if someone often uses anything like that as an emotional clutch, then there is big chance the person is an addict, even if they don't drink often. I'd be mindful of that.