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How much alcohol and how often has it to be for you to be addicted?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Friele, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Friele

    Friele Member

    Well that is a question I have come across many times these past years, and there is a whole deal to cultural habits, to how society view alcohol and drinking and of course your own tolerance.
    I find interesting to see the different definitions in society across the world, although the medical and technical definition is the same, cultural context is very different and what some people deem as an addiction , others think is a normal way of life.
    I am a world traveler and have been traveling my whole life , as many in my family do, and having family and friends scattered around the globe, it has become very clear that culture and society has a big impact on your life. Especially regarding to alcohol consumption.

    In the North of Europe drinking alcohol is very common, beer and vodka or moonshine being the dominant alcoholic types of choice. Where as in middle Europe beer and wine seems to be the choice and in the South wine and sweeter liqueurs are the norm.
    This is not all together the same in the US , not even in areas dominated by said cultures or people from north, middle or south of Europe.
    What are your input on this, and have you noticed differences in your travels or meetings with people from other parts of the country or world?
  2. KRDG1

    KRDG1 Member

    I would tend to question if the person can quit. Alcohol consumption may be a "normal" way of life, but norms are meant to change and adapt as we age and grow personally and professionally. If you can go days/weeks without a drop of alcohol and there are no changes in your personality or demeanor then I would say addition is not a problem. However, if you start experiencing signs of detoxification then it means your body requires this substance to function and therefore is addicted.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Different cultures may hold different views on what they consider to be 'normal' drink and addiction/compulsive drinking. Their sentiments though don't alter the fact that it's possible to be an addict even if you only drink in moderation or occasionally. Like KRDG, I think that the only thing that could prove someone isn't an addict is their ability to do without alcohol. Should they find that it's hard . . .
    KRDG1 likes this.
  4. Friele

    Friele Member

    KRDG1 with your definition most of the UK would be addicted, as there is the norm to go to the pub for a pint every day, at least after work, many also for lunch. But as they see it as a normal way of life and a normal thing to do, even though quite a few probably are addicted, its still a social standard that most of these people don't even think about.
    Where as in other countries that would be excessive and seen as an addiction, that is what I was trying to convey, and how do you deal with these social standards of differences ? Maybe not so hard if you are only traveling , but if you have to live there and work it will be a whole other way of dealing with it.
    And yes, I have lived in the UK, both England and Scotland.
  5. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    I know that if you drink a small dose, for about 3 days in a row you get addicted somehow (you might not feel the absence yet because it's a small dose, but at some point you are addicted). My advice, stay away from it, at least never drink it more than 3 times in a week, it's not worth it.
  6. Friele

    Friele Member

    Thank you for replying, but you are really not answering my questions. You are just drilling the one thing that stay away and do not drink every day. Which is fine to remind people about, but it is not what I am asking.
    I would appreciate if anyone took the time to read my questions and addressing them, its not about me, so just drop it, its about social standards, and about how it is different around the world.

    You can not tell everyone in your office ,or the whole company that in fact they are addicts and should stop it, when they all go to the pub every day, now can you? I do not drink every day , I did not even when I lived in UK, but I did go to the pub with everyone else every day.
  7. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    This is a hard one to pinpoint. Culturally, there are differences in the levels of alcoholism, and addiction. There are moments in my life where I have ran into individuals that would have normal work lives and perform regularly. He then goes home, sits in his lawn chair in his own backyard, and drinks until he passes out. Is he addicted? He performs daily activities normally and drinks in the safety of his own yard.

    Do I, an American think that he has a addiction problem? Perhaps. I know he is slowly killing himself. But he is not breaking the law or hurting anyone. Should I label him as an addict?
  8. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think the frequency is different in every individual and culture, as you've pointed out. There are just other cultures that value alcohol a lot more so their drinking might not seem as excessive in that perspective nor do I think it is frowned upon even if they do. I think it's just the way they handle their drinking. For example, I know the Japanese also love drinking but I know they like to do it after work and they always make sure it doesn't interfere with their responsibilities for the next day. Here, people drink sometimes until the sun rises and those people usually don't have jobs and just hang out with their drinking buddies daily, so even if they end up drinking less, technically, I think they are still a lot more problematic then those who drink more but are able to fulfill their duties.
  9. KRDG1

    KRDG1 Member

    Certainly there are a large variety of social standards and sub-cultures with regards to alcohol. I am simply saying that there is no hard set rule on what makes an alcoholic. My husband has been deemed an alcoholic and he probably only drinks a six pack a day, far less than other societies, and works every day without fail. However, he cannot do without it.
    I myself loved to drink, almost daily, but when I saw the signs occurring in my husband I chose to stop. It would be hypocritical to call him an alcoholic and I continue to drink. However, I did not have any problem with not drinking.
    The question, "How much alcohol and how often has it to before you to be addicted?" Is a complex one to answer, especially when you throw in the component of cultural norms. This is why I had originally mentioned that abstinence from the drug (alcohol is considered a drug) would be one sure fire way to determine if alcoholism was a possibility.
  10. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    There's no way one can quantify a certain physical amount to be attributed to cause drug addiction or any addiction in a human. For example, what if a human were to hypothetically to consume a whole barrel of ethanol liquor, would that directly cause that individual to become an addict and can this be measurably made verifiable? The answer is: No.

    Addiction is a subjective thing, induced by subjective thinking from sensorial impressions people experience, thus it cannot be physically measured with current human technology. It's like trying to figure out why an individual think what they had said and then claim you know exactly when, why, and how you know "exactly" what caused that individual to think, as if you can read minds or something. It's ridiculous, because even the addict their self doesn't know this answer.
  11. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I have travelled extensively within the continental United States. Alcohol is excepted in society everywhere I have been. Obviously what you drink and how much is acceptable is based on a societal hierarchy. I consider myself on the lower end of that ladder, be it not the bottom. I drink beer, I occasionally go to sports bars. The people I know accept getting drunk as a part of life. Most of the cities I have been to have a slew of bars, taverns, and/or night clubs. Do the people I come across drink excessively? Yeah, a lot of them do. Are they alcoholics? Some certainly are, but it is not for me to judge.
    I will speak for myself. I drink enough beer to get drunk once a week. I consider it excessive based on people who don't drink regularly. If I compare it to people that get drunk every day, it is not much. Do I feel I am addicted? Not at all.
  12. MissManda

    MissManda Member

    I think it is really hard to determine how much alcohol needs to be consumed to be considered addicted. It would have to depend on a number of different factors, like how socially acceptable drinking is, what your own limit is, etc.
    I feel that if you feel like you can't have a good time without drinking or that you feel you can't go for long periods without having a drink, then there may be a problem.
    But again, everyone is different and everyone reacts to alcohol differently. I was raised by an alcoholic mother so my opinion may be slightly skewed.
  13. ImMrCuriosity

    ImMrCuriosity Member

    I think that the fact of "how much alcohol and how often is has to be addicted" is pretty subjective. In the way that each person is a world, and each person has a different endurance in this. Maybe I need at least 1 bottle of vodka each 2 days, but anyone else just needs 1 a day. However, this is a pretty dangerous thing, because sometimes we can't control ourselves and we keep going on drinking...
  14. Friele

    Friele Member

    Thank you all for contributing, and I do agree with you , that the limits differ from person to person.
    I also was interested to hear in the differences in culture people had experienced, as I find it varies greatly from place to place.
    It was more from a cultural stand than an amount of units I was looking for. I probably should have made that more clear in the opening post. But I hope that it all give us something to think about, I appreciate all the reply's.
  15. petesede

    petesede Active Contributor

    There are many theories about when you are addicted to something. My own personal one is when it negatively affects other parts of your life, you know it, and you still don´t fix it. I don´t think it has as much to do with frequency as it does on your inability to prevent it from hurting you.
  16. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    It all depends on the person. Some people are more indisposed to be addicted, some aren't. Some can truly handle themselves, some can't. My take on this is that if you find yourself sober, and you have this nagging feeling or sadness that won't go away until you drink, then it might be the symptoms of an addiction, and it might be a good idea to start limiting your spirits.
  17. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I have also around the world a few times, and lived in exotic locations. One of my observations was that in places where people are poor, they generally tend to drink little alcohol, for obvious reasons, such as not being able to afford it. But, more importantly, they don't drink because they have to keep everything very organised in their lives. Nobody wants a family member who wastes money on alcohol or cigarettes, instead of buying food. So "wastrels" are usually dealt with very quickly. They get cast out of their villages or communities.
  18. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I agree that no specific answer can be pinpointed and I also agree that it varies partly due to different cultures. There are some people out there who can drink every day, or most days, for years on end and then just stop with no problem. There are others who may drink socially that don't realize they are addicted until the regular socializing stops and they find themselves craving a drink every weekend. Then there are others who are addicted and they know it.
  19. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    There's no set amount that it takes for someone to be addicted to alcohol, although I would say that the frequency matters. If someone drinks enough alcohol to become drunk but only does it once or twice per week, then they probably have no problem. If someone drinks and gets drunk regularly, then they could have a big addiction problem. However, what sets it apart is a personal thing, depending upon how much alcohol affects a given person and how bad those affects actually are for that individual.
  20. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    I agree so. Once one had a taste of liquor and he/she likes it, there's no backing down. Drinking alcohol should be a mindset; there must be moderation, otherwise, one becomes vulnerable to addiction.