Alcoholism...disease, habit, or choice?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MovieCutter, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #1
    Just kind of curious about this idea. I mean, I drink....a lot. Every evening from 5 to 2am is filled with vodka gimlets, rum and cokes, and Caipirinhas. I just ENJOY drinking, I like the "escape". I go out with friends and have a few high end beers, and come home and enjoy a glass of scotch, a bottle of wine, or a gimlet or two. I don't wake up first thing in the morning thinking "I need a drink"...not most days anyway, but after a long day, there's nothing better than a stiff drink. I guess I was born to live on 1950's Madison Ave...

    So, my grandfather was an "alcoholic". From sunrise to sunset, he'd knock back a 12 pack of PBR and a bottle of scotch...every day and would SOMETIMES be verbally abusive towards my grandmother, but 90% of the time, he was completely aware and lucid. He worked his farm from 4am, including feeding the animals (sheep, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc) and plowing his fields with a flask by his side). Personally, I don't believe alcoholism is genetic, or a disease, but a choice, even with my family history.

    I guess, given my family history, I'd consider myself a functional alcoholic. If I could maintain a minimal level of "buzzedness", my days would go by so much better as I'm calmer and less anxious...oh well. I yearn for the days of 1950's Madison Ave. Time to start carrying a flask I guess. Thoughts?

    P.S. Currently enjoying a Caipirinha!
     
  2. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #2
    It's an addiction. It all comes down to this.... Can you control your intake or does your intake control you?
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    If you're drinking that much every day, you're well on your way if not already an alcoholic. Wanting to spend every day with an alcohol buzz is definitely a problem. Do NOT start carrying a flask.

    And please do something about this. Two of my ex boyfriends were alcoholics, and it was really horrible to watch.
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    alcoholism might not be a disease or genetic in and of itself, but the tendency towards addiction very well might be. and people tend to go with what they know more than the unknown.

    its good that you realize that you drink excessive, even though that awareness is predicated by a lot of 'ifs' and seemingly slight. i'm not going to preach to you or say that you're living in sin or wrong or anything. but from what you describe, there seems to be reason to be careful and tread lightly. it can become a disease of sorts. there's nothing wrong with a drink. but needing, or wanting it daily, or all day, are signs of a problem, imo.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    "Disease, habit, or choice?" What's the actual difference?

    Ask yourself these questions:
    Do you want to stop drinking? Why or why not? Could you stop drinking if you wanted to?

    I would think the answers should be pretty illuminating.
     
  6. j3yq macrumors 6502

    j3yq

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    #6
    +1
    If you really want to quit you can.
     
  7. MovieCutter thread starter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #7
    Wow, rapid response on this post.

    Point #1: I realize I drink more than the average person. Part of it is that my body can take it. I don't binge drink on beer. I never drink to the point of unconsciousness, and I NEVER drink and drive. I enjoy drinking to the point of "buzzed enlightenment". Never to the point where I don't remember my actions the next day or where I can't control those actions.

    Point #2: It's not a need or want, it's just an escape, more of a recreation than a need.

    Very interested to see other responses. Cheers to those who have chimed in thus far.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    It's your life. If you don't want advice, I'm not sure what the point of your OP is.

    Just so you know, your body won't be able to handle this indefinitely.
     
  9. MovieCutter thread starter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #9
    Not looking for advice. I know what my limits are. Just curious as to the opinions on the matter. It's not an addiction for me, more "recreational" than anything else. Not looking for a critique, more of what people think about alcoholism as a label whether it be genetic, disease, habit, hobby, etc...
     
  10. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #10
    To some extent that's true, but let's not forget that it isn't always that straightforward. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as "putting one's mind to it" or "deciding to quit." It's an excellent and necessary first step, but it would be unfair for us to classify the solution as that painless.

    But you're most certainly right that if anyone determines that they want to stop, should stop, or can't stop drinking, help is most definitely available and alcoholism can be overcome. :)
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    It's a disease with some genetic components. We already know this.
     
  12. MovieCutter thread starter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #12
    True, and fair enough. And I understand that I'm probably genetically/environmentally predisposed to the condition, but at least I'm aware of it, and as far as I'm concerned, until I'm putting other people in danger, which I am not, it's not a problem. I understand I can't keep it up forever, but in my mid 20's, I'm just going to enjoy it. Kidneys be damned! :cool:
     
  13. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #13
    Psst, it's your liver. ;)
     
  14. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    In my experience with addiction, that's how it starts. I hope you don't drive much or at all.
    This is coming, nonjudgementally, from a regular alcohol and cannabis user (I'm drinking a beer and about to smoke some hash right now), former user of cocaine, heroin, misc benzos. One has to be realistic about the nature of their substance use and abuse.
     
  15. Mexbearpig macrumors 65816

    Mexbearpig

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    #15
    At first I believe[Drinking] is just a choice. Then it becomes a habit and progresses more and more into something worse. But IMHO I think that alcoholism is just plain ridiculous. It's simply an addiction. That's it. I used to play Xbox a lot. You could say I was addicted. Then I played even more. Then I started to slow down a bit. Then I didn't play it for a month and only play once(2 hours) ~2 weeks.

    I believe anyone can stop drinking(If they have the will and determination). And anyone who claims they have alcoholism are weak and are desperate for excuses. And OP it seems that you have it has a choice/borderline habit(Only read 1 or 2 posts).

    And I can somewhat relate on the relative part. Both my grandparents drink. My grandfather is always nice and polite when he drinks(Usually funnier!). Can never tell if he's had a drink or two by behavior, not so much driving... But my grandmother drinks almost all day. But it's obvious when she drinks. My other side of the family just laughs ad mocks her:(.
     
  16. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #16
    I'm sorry, but having watched people extremely close to me go through this, you're wrong. Medical science has already proven you wrong as well.

    Did you know that 95 percent of untreated alcoholics die from their disease?

    http://www.alcoholismtreatment.org/
     
  17. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #17
    If you're really interested on learning more a good source is the Australian NHMRC. They've got some reasonably good evidence based guidelines - some of the most stringent in the world. The safe limit is now no more than two standard drinks (20grams of alcohol) per day. Which isn't much. One large full strength beer is almost enough to push you over.

    Pdf's are available on this page:
    http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/ds10syn.htm
     
  18. MovieCutter thread starter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #18
    I live in the heart of Washington, DC, so I never drive unless I'm heading out of the city for some reason, under which I'm not drinking in the slightest.
     
  19. Mexbearpig macrumors 65816

    Mexbearpig

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    #19
    I can not relate to you with this. But until then, my beliefs still remain.
    No I can't say I knew that. But I'm guessing it's because they destroy their bodies by consuming alcohol, by choice.
     
  20. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #20
    In addition to the genetic component people like to call out, I personally think there's a behavioral component. My dad, whom I love more than I can say, usually has at least 3 beers at least every night, yet he's an excellent father and a dependable employee. The best thing to describe what he has is a dependence (he also smokes). Because he was the one who primarily raised me, I acquired a lot of his behavioral traits. I can see that kind of dependence predisposition in my personality, and it's for that reason I do not drink at all. I don't know that I could ever trust myself to enforce moderation or to make sure I only drink sporadically.

    I'm not sure whether you feel your habit is a dependence, addiction etc., but I felt like there was a small chance my experience may hold some insight.
     
  21. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    #21
    Really? Here's an experiment for you. Try not drinking any alcoholic beverages for a week. If you can't do that - even if it's because you convince yourself you don't want to try - that's pretty much the definition of the word addiction.

    Judging by the amount of "recreation" you seem to enjoy regularly I'm pretty sure you'll have difficulty with this experiment.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #22
    I will tell you right now you are well on your way if you not already are an alcoholic. It runs in my family and I have watch more than one person on my dads side ruin their life with alchole. Some of it started like your were as soon as you get home every day they started drinking and it speads from there. I am currently watching one guy I know life fall apart. His drinking started on just on weekends. Then it expanded to days after work and now it some times happens in the middle of the day.

    alcohol should NEVER be used as an escape and sure as hell not every day.

    If you believe you can control it prove it. Go 2 weeks with out drinking anything.
     
  23. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #23
    you got me confused with your post (see above) and your original post: "Every evening from 5 to 2am is filled with vodka gimlets, rum and cokes, and Caipirinhas. I just ENJOY drinking, I like the "escape". I go out with friends and have a few high end beers, and come home and enjoy a glass of scotch, a bottle of wine, or a gimlet or two."

    you said, you never drink to the point of unconsciousness, but if you say, you drink from 5 to 2 am, a normal person would have reached the point of "buzzed enlightenment" surely 3x over by 2 am.

    and when you go out with friends, you meant drinking beer, a glass of scotch, a bottle of wine, a gimlet or two, WITH your friends, or did you consume all that by yourself?
     
  24. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    #24
    It is a habit that is very much like smoking as it leads to disease although I wouldn't say it is a choice as somewhere along the line something happened to make you drink more that turned it into the habit.

    It is not a nice thing to see an alcoholic especially if they are abusive (not all are though, some are quite stupid and funny :p).
     
  25. instaxgirl macrumors 65816

    instaxgirl

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    #25
    Hmm, disease, habit or choice? Can I just jump straight to addiction?

    My grandfather died as a result of alcoholism. I barely remember him because my parents didn't think him safe for us to be around. I know that I'll use things as a crutch when things get bad, I have the tendency to develop an addiction/reliance/whatever. I don't know if alcoholism's genetic or if just that trait is, but either way I won't ever let myself drink alone or with any real regularity.

    That's a lot of drinking. Alcohol can be a recreation, pub with your friends etc, but it shouldn't be that many drinks and the friends should be the recreation. How old are you?

    Using anything that's bad for you as your main option for escape is a crappy idea. And it's rather difficult to remodel your life without that escape.

    I think you would have a really hard time not drinking. Try it, then tell us which of the 3 options you think it is.
     

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