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cross the line

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by kgord, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    When does alcohol use cross the line from habit to dependence? What is healthy use of alcohol and when is it too much? I think these are questions that those of us who drink regularly have to answer. I don/t think my alcohol use is really a terms of addiction but in terms of my weight drinking less would be helpful. However, it is one of the few pleasures I feel I have..It is a stress reducer and something to lok forward to. I have cut it back a bit and only allow myself maybe one bottle per week plus a beer or two. but those of you who have cut it out....what did you replace it with?
  2. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    I think if you want to cut back and you do, then you're fine. If you want to cut back and struggle, then you have a problem to be dealt with.

    I'm firmly in the 'problem' camp and I know it's difficult. At the moment I'm taking each day as it comes and I'm happy with my progress in the last week especially.

    I haven't replaced drinking with anything really, although I am making the most of the mornings I would have spent hungover! I'm trying to get out for more walks and the cleanliness of my house has certainly improved. Are you finding you have a lot of spare time since cutting back?
  3. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    It hasn't been much of a problem to cut back. I am chiefly doing it to cut calories.
  4. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    There's definitely a fine line between a habit and an addiction. I would say that drinking alcohol at the end of a long working day is definitely a good stress-reliever. However, when your drinking habits have already affected your life in a negative way, that's not ideal anymore. As for me, I have just learned how to manage my cravings to alcohol. I guess it's about having self-control.
  5. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    If you are able to cut back and be content with that and not wanting more then I would say it isn't an addiction for you. Some people just need a drink to relax after a long day and there is nothing wrong with that.
  6. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    When it starts to interfere with your life, then you know something is wrong.
    When you give up things you normally like to do to drink. When it starts to become a major financial burden. When you binge drink (5+ drinks in a sitting) or drink very often or with regularity. When it has a negative effect on those you love. When it puts you into risky situations. When you sustain injuries or injury others when under the influence.

    These are all little signs to look out for. However, you should have a gut feeling about when drinking becomes more then a quick stress relief, a social event or a celebratory mechanism.
    If you are starting to ask the question, perhaps the answer you seek is actually in the question you ask.

    I replaced booze and drugs with God, Church and great people.
  7. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    When is it a habit and when is it a dependence:

    For me it is a habit when you only drink occasionally and not too much. Like when there is a party and you drink to have fun. You are dependent on it when you just cannot go for a day, a few days, or a week without it. There seems to be an empty void in your life when you don't drink it. And you crave it so much that you just have to have it. When it starts affecting your life negatively, i.e. your social life and career, then it is a dependence.

    If you can, why not replace it with healthier options? I don't think replacing it with soda is a great idea. If you can make healthy smoothies from fruits, then better!
  8. henry

    henry Community Champion

    To me, crossing the line drinking alcohol happens when you start drinking every day, or when it's Monday and you're already thinking how much you're going to drink on the weekend. To make it short, it's when alcohol is always on your mind.
  9. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    If you are limiting your drinking to 1 drink a day, you are fine. If you are unable to control it and have to have it you are not. You should be able to go without alcohol and not be thinking about it all the time. Try some new activity, go for a run, play soccer, tennis, squash. Join a gym. Go for a swim or read a book. Get out and do something that does not involve alcohol. Play chess, join a group. Read a book. Just do something different and take control. I used to drink a lot many years ago. I then stopped for about 20 years. Now I enjoy a drink when I go out or with family. I don't drink every day, every week or every month, but when I do, I enjoy it. I know my limits and I am in control, not the alcohol. I don't need it, don't think about it and almost never buy it. (maybe once or twice a year). I go away over the holidays for a few days and then we all have drinks every night with dinner, barbecueing etc. You must take control, you don't need it, if you do, you have a problem.
  10. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    When you can get by within a day without taking a drink, then I think it’s still fine. I used to drink (almost everyday), after work to relax. I sometimes even have a beer or two during lunch. My friends even jokingly said to me before that I’m turning out just like my dad (who was an alcoholic). But I can do without it. It’s just that on a tiring day, it helps me to unwind. I drink a glass of wine to help me sleep. Sometimes I drink tea.
  11. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    OH yeah, that is no problem. However, you know many people are binge drinkers or weekend alcoholics. I am not saying that is me at all! However, A family member (but not by blood) was like that. He would not touch a drop all week and would be drunk all weekend. He once got a DWI, I think that straightened him out a bit. I don't think he drinks today, for weight related reasons...but he may indulge at times. I don't really know...I don't think being able to skip days doesn't mean you don't have a problem.
  12. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    You don't have to be a binge drinker all at once to be an alcoholic. I think if you feel the need to have a beer every single day, you are addicted. There's drinking every once in a while, and feeling like you want to drink every day. There's no reason for that. It should be a once in a while thing.
  13. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    I agree. If one does binge drinking (on occasion), it doesn't mean that that person is an alcoholic. There was a time that I did not touch any kind of alcohol for more than a month. But then, a friend of mine celebrated his birthday and there was a lot of booze. We all got wasted. I kind of regretted it the next day though because of this massive headache I got afterwards. But we had a lot of fun so I guess the hangover was worth it.
  14. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    There are people who drink a glass of wine every day that doesn't make them an alcoholic, and I daresay the same with beer. That could be a dependence or a habit, but it doesn't make them an alcoholic.
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    There's not much difference between a habit and a dependency for a lot of people and they'll hide their addiction and pass it off as just a habit or something they just like doing.

    That's just a way of fooling yourself, and pretending you don't have a problem. Wanting something in your life and needing it are entirely different things though.

    If you need something in your life, you've become dependant on it and that's when the problem starts.
  16. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The real test to ascertain whether this person who drinks a glass of wine every day or one beer is or isn't an alcoholic would their ability to stop drinking cold turkey and not have to deal with withdrawal.

    Drinking responsibly, a glass of wine a day for example isn't bad but there's always a risk involved. When you feel depressed or stressed, would you stop after drinking one glass of wine or one beer? I think not.