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  1. #1
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    The fine line between alcoholism and love for beer

    It would not be accurate to say, "my name is Keith and I'm an alcoholic".

    It would, however, be more accurate to say, "my name is Keith and I'm a beer-aholic".

    I love beer. I want to drink beer until the day I die (which I hope is a long time away). If I'm bed ridden and an old fart in the hospital, I hope my loved ones will smuggle me in a beer, even if I'm not supposed to drink one.

    I don't drink to get drunk...although I guess you could say I walk a pretty fine line at times. I just love beer.

    I'm single, and have noticed its easier to drink less beer when I've got a significant other in my life. I would imagine that if I had a family, I wouldn't drink much as I drink now, which is pretty much every night, but its kind of hard not to, considering my season of life (almost 40, going on 25).

    Do I think I'm dependent on beer? Yep. I say that because its pretty hard not to go to bed without drinking a beer. Or two. I guess that's kind of a bad thing, but I think things could be much worse. Then again, maybe I just really like beer.

    Anyway, just thought I'd get your thoughts on the matter. I really don't want to quit drinking beer, EVER. I wouldn't mind cutting back a bit, which I'm currently working on now (I'm trying to limit myself to two beers a night during the week, and eventually going down to 1 beer a night), but at the same time, its not an "urgent" thing either.

    I know that there are people who might read this and think, "dude, your an alcoholic and have a serious problem", but then there are others who will read this and think, "you are a true beer connoisseur and I can totally relate".

    Well, gotta go. I'm finishing up a Samual Adams Lattitude 48 IPA as I finsh up this write up...feel free to share your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Sometimes i take week long breaks, just to see if i feel effected by it. The weeks-month breaks are a great idea, i know some guys who used to be serious alcoholics, who now drink, but do month long breaks, just to keep themselves in check and make sure it doesn't get into a problem. Alot of people use the "it's good beer" to justify it, and i don't want to get there. hope i don't.
    I probally have beers 5 nights a week, and should go for less, i got 5-10lbs or so to get down to race weight.

  3. #3
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    Psychostick - Beer Song

    I like beer 'cos it is good
    I drink beer because I should
    if there was a song to sing
    I sing it and beer you bring
    I drink beer when I am sad
    ''cause the beer it makes me glad
    now there's nothing left to say
    so lets go drink beer

    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    ... and Stuff

    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    let's go drink some BEER

    BEER

    when its warm it taste's real crappy
    but cold beer will make me happy
    when I throw up on the floor
    I can go and drink some more
    they say beer will make me dumb
    it are go good with pizza
    now that we have drunk some beer
    let's go drive a car

    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    ....and stuff

    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    Beer is good
    let's go drink some BEER

    Beer

    ooooooooooo

    uh dude.. I think you've had enough
    ...No

    lets go drink some beer.

    I am drunk, drunk is me, I am drunk, wheee
    I am drunk, drunk is me, I am drunk wheee
    i am drunk, drunk is me, I am...

  4. #4
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    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas
    Sometimes i take week long breaks, just to see if i feel effected by it. The weeks-month breaks are a great idea, i know some guys who used to be serious alcoholics, who now drink, but do month long breaks, just to keep themselves in check and make sure it doesn't get into a problem. Alot of people use the "it's good beer" to justify it, and i don't want to get there. hope i don't.
    I probally have beers 5 nights a week, and should go for less, i got 5-10lbs or so to get down to race weight.
    Especially after a long weekend of good times, I like to take a week off (I'm doing it right now). If you find yourself really wanting a drink every night, even when you're alone, that's a bad sign. I think there are many people who could be considered "functional alcoholics" out there, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebeer
    Do you crave beer because the hoppy aroma is food for the soul? Are you more interested in the interaction between malt and hop than getting a buzz? When you drink a beer do you think about the brewing process and how one achieves a soft caramel note, or are you thinking about altering your current state?
    Can't it be both?

  6. #6
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    Do you crave beer because the hoppy aroma is food for the soul? Are you more interested in the interaction between malt and hop than getting a buzz? When you drink a beer do you think about the brewing process and how one achieves a soft caramel note, or are you thinking about altering your current state?

    Sounds to me like you appreciate more than the alcohol in beer. As a homebrewer I have many beers on tap, and rarely does a day pass without sampling something. An advantage of kegged beer is that I can pull a 1/4 or 1/2 beer...which gives me a taste but doesn't really deliver much alcohol. Also, I often keep an Ordinary Bitter or Mild Ale on tap...these are traditionally in the 3% ABV range and make drinking a pint or two on a work night no issue.

  7. #7
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    I find this to be a thought provoking post as I often find myself wondering how much and how often is too much. I usually drink one beer maybe 2-4 nights a week but I would probably drink more if I wasn't so conscious of what I perceive to be the "dangers" of drinking too much. My grandfather died of alcoholism and my mother was for a very long time a heavy drinker so I'm very aware of where this "habit" can take you. But with that being said I genuinely enjoy drinking a good beer.

    In conclusion it's probably like a lot of things in life; enjoy in moderation
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  8. #8
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    Good post. I love beer too, and I drink it alot, but I am no alcoholic. If I don't have access to good beer, I will not drink. I don't drink wine, liquor, or bad beer (unless it's at a friend's house and I don't want to be rude).

    I just really like beer. A lot. I wouldn't even care if beer made me drunk or not... I just love the taste and what goes behind the brewing process. I would say I have a beer around 5 nights a week. Some days more than one, some days not.

    I understand your post completely, because I love beer too.

    I think a true alcoholic would switch drinks to another alcoholic beverage if theirs was not available. It sounds like you are like me. I drink water when I can't have good beer.

  9. #9
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    Well Geta you are on a fine line. I have a family full of alcoholics, have worked in rehab in a hospital, and do like a good brew more often than not.
    Saying things like "hard not to go to bed without", "drink less with a significant other" and "don't drink to get drunk" dings a couple bells in the addictions playbook and "never wanting to quit " " and the" I LOVE beer " thing establishes a relationship above a casual intrest in an addictive substance.
    You got a problem? Maybe, but it seems like you are aware of your situation. If you drive after you drink could be a big problem. I would never pass judgement on others drinking, but some signs are showing up in your statements/analysis. Just keep up with your thoughts, at least you are not in denial, which is the worse of the problems. Great post by the way.

  10. #10
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebeer
    Do you crave beer because the hoppy aroma is food for the soul? Are you more interested in the interaction between malt and hop than getting a buzz? When you drink a beer do you think about the brewing process and how one achieves a soft caramel note, or are you thinking about altering your current state?

    Very good post. Alcoholism is just as much about the reason you drink as it is the amount you drink.

    Ask yourself:

    Can I function in social groups without a drink?
    Do I drink to relieve stress or deal with problems?
    Do I drink just to get buzzed or drunk?
    Does my drinking affect those around me in a harmful way?

    I grew up in a household where my father drank up to 9oz of gin or Vodka every night. He would then proceed to verbally abuse my mother behind closed doors where no one else could see it. My mom finally left him because he would admit to his problem, go to AA for a few weeks and then decide he was not an alcoholic, and go back to what he was doing. After the divorce he went off alcohol for 28 days and pronounced himself cured, though he still drinks, and I can only hope that my Step-mom does not get verbally abused behind closed doors the way my mother did. My Father was, and most likely still is an Alcoholic.


    I have enjoyed many types of alcohols over the years, but I do not enjoy any more then a good craft beer.

    I drink 1-2 times a week, and occasionally get buzzed because the beer I tend to drink is near or above 10%.

    Once per week a group of friends get together to try new Craft Beers and play boardgames, we typically try anywhere from 4-8 different beers in the evening depending on how many people attend, and normally we each get about 5-8oz of each selection.

    I am not an alcoholic, I am a beer snob.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  11. #11
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    Mmmm...Beer.

    Also a home brewer -


    I took a Month off of drinking a year ago with a buddy because we were both drinking what could have been considered too much on too regular of a basis. We took off February because it was the shortest. Honestly I thought I'd have a harder time with it but it wasn't too bad. Missed it mostly with meals. I almost always drink beer with dinner and lunch too if available.

    I don't consider drinking a couple a day even if you never skipped a day for the rest of your life alcoholism. If you drink more than a 6 pack every day maybe. 12 Pack...probably.

    That being said I can drink a 6 pack or equivalent pints a day for quite a few days in a row.

    Beer is amazing.

    Whiskey is also good.

  12. #12
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    You can't pigeon hole alcoholism into a yes or no problem. The label does not matter, nor do your motivations, nor the fact that you prefer one type of alcohol vs. another. Just because someone has a drink to loosen them up at a party, or one to settle them down after a rough day, does not make them an alcoholic. Drinking for the pure enjoyment of a beverage doesn't prevent you from being an alcoholic either.

    The real question, for me at least, is how much time, money and energy am I putting into consuming alcohol, and would I be happier if I pointed all or some of that time, money, and energy in another direction? Several of us told our stories in the "Drink less support thread" which you can find below in the forum. I won't repeat mine or detail my journey into sobriety because its all there to read, but I'll say here I feel much better spending most of my nights sober. I still have beers from time to time, although now I feel it in the morning even after one. It's not a hangover, it's just not the great feeling of waking up when I haven't had any alcohol. The positive effects have really rippled through my life. I've had people ask me what's going on because I'm happier, more energetic, and I'm getting great results from my workouts.

    For me there was no question that I am an alcoholic. I still maintain that certain social situations are greatly improved by alcohol. My goal for those events is moderate consumption and I've found it surprisingly enjoyable. However, the nightly brews, mealtime brews, sunny afternoon brews, rainy day brews, cool evening brews, post ride brews, and all the other varieties of "just because" brews have all been traded in for activities which for me are more fulfilling.
    Just because you read a book it don't make you conscious. - MC Lush

  13. #13
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    I really don't drink much (alone), especially beer; but when with friends I do drink and its fun to do so!

  14. #14
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    I love beer just as much, if not more than the next guy. Heck, I have 6 - 750 ml bottles of The Bruery's "Three French Hens" in my fridge as we speak, been there for months (they are bottle conditioned, so they only get better with age, up to two years), and I can't get myself to drink them, they are so good, but they only made them for winter 2010, so when they are gone they are gone..... :-( I love quality beer.... that being said, I would caution you to take a minute and look at your drinking habits.

    Last year about this time I was havine about 3-6 beers a night, nothing great, Buddy-Lee (Bud Light), Simpler Times (Trader Joe's brand, 6.2% ABV at $2.99 a six pack) and I was consuming that rate about 5-7 days a week. Didn't think much of it, I just liked the taste of beer. I didn't think I was an abusing it or anything (i had been doing that for about 4-6 months).... but my wife thought I was having a little too much. I didn't get drunk, I didn't get crazy, I just would relax and enjoy. But I took some time off of beer after my wife said that. Now I have maybe 2 beers a night only 3 nights a week, but now I buy good stuff. I go to Total Wines & More and spend quality time looking at the single bottles that you can buy from craft brewreys ($3-$10 a bottle) and that is the way to go. I still once in a while when we get togther with friend or neighbors will indulge a bit more, but that is a social thing.

    So I believe you can enjoy beer, many times a week, but up to a 6 pack a night is concerning. My family has speratic spots of acholics, so I try not to walk any "fine lines".... just my 2 cents.... THink what those around you would think if you told them your consumption...... Enjoy!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214
    Good post. I love beer too, and I drink it alot, but I am no alcoholic. If I don't have access to good beer, I will not drink. I don't drink wine, liquor, or bad beer (unless it's at a friend's house and I don't want to be rude).

    I just really like beer. A lot. I wouldn't even care if beer made me drunk or not... I just love the taste and what goes behind the brewing process. I would say I have a beer around 5 nights a week. Some days more than one, some days not.

    I understand your post completely, because I love beer too.

    I think a true alcoholic would switch drinks to another alcoholic beverage if theirs was not available. It sounds like you are like me. I drink water when I can't have good beer.
    Thanks for the reply. I wonder if I would still drink beer if it had zero alcohol in it. I absolutely love the taste, but I at the same time, I don't get the same feeling from a Mountain Dew.

    There were a couple of times I've tried to cut back on beer by drinking wine instead - or even "light" beer like Coors or Bud Light, but it just wasn't the same, so I switched back to good quality craft beer.

    I'm not to the point where I would drink water instead of a beer, but there have been times where I cut myself off and drank water instead of another beer. Its interesting how thirsty beer makes you, and I think that's part of the reason you keep going back for more. Kind of funny how easily even tap water will go down after a couple of beers!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebeer
    Do you crave beer because the hoppy aroma is food for the soul? Are you more interested in the interaction between malt and hop than getting a buzz? When you drink a beer do you think about the brewing process and how one achieves a soft caramel note, or are you thinking about altering your current state?

    Sounds to me like you appreciate more than the alcohol in beer. As a homebrewer I have many beers on tap, and rarely does a day pass without sampling something. An advantage of kegged beer is that I can pull a 1/4 or 1/2 beer...which gives me a taste but doesn't really deliver much alcohol. Also, I often keep an Ordinary Bitter or Mild Ale on tap...these are traditionally in the 3% ABV range and make drinking a pint or two on a work night no issue.
    Thanks for the reply. Mostly I enjoy beer for the flavor, not so much the brewing process, the smell, color, pour, or other things the really hard core beer drinkers like. I definately don't drink beer to alter my current state, but on the same token, I drink beer to relax, which is usually late at night before I go to bed, while watching a tv show or movie.

    I tend to keep a pretty good variety on hand - its very diffucult for me to keep a six pack of just one kind of beer in the fridge - typically I want to have at least two, if not three to five different varieties in the fridge. I often eat a small amount of cheese in between beers to cleanse my pallet.

    I usally keep Samual Adams Cherry Wheat in my refrigerator, which is great by itself, but also mizes well with other beers. If you are ever in the mood for something different, combine Samual Adams Cherry Wheat with a dark beer, such as Guiness, or New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. It also mixes well with regular wheat ales, such as Goose Island Urban Wheat, which works well for people who don't typically enjoy fruity beers, but don't mind a slight fruity taste or smell. Samuel Adams Blackberry Weis is also something that mixes quite well with other beers.
    Last edited by getagrip; 05-25-2011 at 01:10 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H
    Well Geta you are on a fine line. I have a family full of alcoholics, have worked in rehab in a hospital, and do like a good brew more often than not.
    Saying things like "hard not to go to bed without", "drink less with a significant other" and "don't drink to get drunk" dings a couple bells in the addictions playbook and "never wanting to quit " " and the" I LOVE beer " thing establishes a relationship above a casual intrest in an addictive substance.
    You got a problem? Maybe, but it seems like you are aware of your situation. If you drive after you drink could be a big problem. I would never pass judgement on others drinking, but some signs are showing up in your statements/analysis. Just keep up with your thoughts, at least you are not in denial, which is the worse of the problems. Great post by the way.
    Thanks for responding. Yeah, no question I'm "addicted" to beer, but I think my beer consumption habits are quite different than your typical alcoholic. 90% of my beer drinking is done late at night, before I go to bed, and I'm usually watching a movie or tv show when I drink - maybe the Ultimate Fighter or The Office or a movie. So, beer and a movie is how I usually wind down.

    I totally avoid driving drunk, and for the most part, don't drink at the bars, partly because that atmosphere doesn't appeal to me - I really don't understand why so many people spend almost as much on one drink at the bar as they would on a six pack at the grocery store. If I do go to the bar, I try to keep it under two beers, and again, my intention is to never get drunk, partly because of some "Biblical" beliefs I have about not getting drunk.

    As far as the relational aspect of beer is concerned in my statement, I did give up drinking for a while when I was in a relationship, partly because I thought I was drinking too much (at that time, I had given up drinking about a week prior to the beginning of my relationship). It was easy to quit, however, because I was spending almost every minite of free time with my girlfriend, so by the time I got home, I was exaustd - no doubt my beer consumption habits would be different if I had more going on in my life, such as a wife and children.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bye
    I find this to be a thought provoking post as I often find myself wondering how much and how often is too much. I usually drink one beer maybe 2-4 nights a week but I would probably drink more if I wasn't so conscious of what I perceive to be the "dangers" of drinking too much. My grandfather died of alcoholism and my mother was for a very long time a heavy drinker so I'm very aware of where this "habit" can take you. But with that being said I genuinely enjoy drinking a good beer.

    In conclusion it's probably like a lot of things in life; enjoy in moderation
    Thanks for your input - its always good to be reminded of the path you DON'T want to take. That's pretty much my goal - a beer 2 to 4 nights a week, but I'm not there yet. In the mean time, I'm enjoying my every day beer consumption habits!

    I have noticed, though, that its easier to drink less beer if I start later in the evening, or if I have beer after I've eaten a meal. Also, a lot of how much I beer I drink depends on how much fluid I've taken in during the day. I find that the beer goes down rather easily if I haven't properly hydrated myself during the day.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr
    Very good post. Alcoholism is just as much about the reason you drink as it is the amount you drink.

    Ask yourself:

    Can I function in social groups without a drink?
    Do I drink to relieve stress or deal with problems?
    Do I drink just to get buzzed or drunk?
    Does my drinking affect those around me in a harmful way?

    I grew up in a household where my father drank up to 9oz of gin or Vodka every night. He would then proceed to verbally abuse my mother behind closed doors where no one else could see it. My mom finally left him because he would admit to his problem, go to AA for a few weeks and then decide he was not an alcoholic, and go back to what he was doing. After the divorce he went off alcohol for 28 days and pronounced himself cured, though he still drinks, and I can only hope that my Step-mom does not get verbally abused behind closed doors the way my mother did. My Father was, and most likely still is an Alcoholic.


    I have enjoyed many types of alcohols over the years, but I do not enjoy any more then a good craft beer.

    I drink 1-2 times a week, and occasionally get buzzed because the beer I tend to drink is near or above 10%.

    Once per week a group of friends get together to try new Craft Beers and play boardgames, we typically try anywhere from 4-8 different beers in the evening depending on how many people attend, and normally we each get about 5-8oz of each selection.

    I am not an alcoholic, I am a beer snob.
    Thanks for your reply, and sorry to hear about your father. I'm pretty much way different than a lot of what you described above in that I'm not much of a social drinker - its more something I do to relax while at home to wind down before crashing for the evening, although there are some exceptions. Part of the reason for this is that I'm Christian, and a lot of my friends don't drink, so I don't have too many "drinking buddies", so to speak,so my experience with beer or alcohol in general is quite different than the type of person who goes to the bar and gets drunk.

    Some people would call that a serious problem (drinking alone), but the truth is I'm pretty mellow, and am much more conservative with the amount of beer I'll drink when I'm in a group of people. In other words, I don't make a fool of myself when I drink (although that used to be the case when I was younger), and I typically don't like the mind altering state I get into if I've drinken too much (e.g. the room starts spinning or I notice that I can't communicate that effectively).

    Typically, when I'm around people, I won't drink more than one or two beers, which usually the wait staff will notice when I decline their offer for another beer!

  20. #20
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    Some will read this as "that guy is an alcoholic trying to justify...."

    ....but the truth is, and you'll never hear from main-stream media, is that there are many health benefits from moderate consumption of alcohol, especially wine.

    I recently saw an interview of the oldest person alive on non-public tv, and she said her secret was she drank 3 Miller High-Life's a day since she was 20. I believe she was 108

    I absolutely LOVE beer, but MHL is the one beer I will pour down the drain.

  21. #21
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I too enjoy (quality) beer more than any other alcoholic beverage. I also like red wine and an occasional margarita...

    Most nights I have a beer or two or glass of wine and do not consider that to be detrimental to my existence. Some nights I drink nothing other than water and do not feel an overwhelming urge to imbibe.

    I'd much rather sit on my deck drinking a brew instead of watching the drug of the nation (TV- breeding ignorance and feeding radiation).

  22. #22
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    Quality beer is my vice. It is the one thing besides cycling that I NEED to have. Am I an addict? Probably not, but I'd be a cranky s.o.b. if I weren't allowed to have it. It isn't the fact that I need the buzz or crave the alcohol, I just really enjoy the depths of flavor and the craftsmanship behind a quality brew. But that buzz can be nice to help decompress after a rough day at work.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas
    Sometimes i take week long breaks, just to see if i feel effected by it.
    I've been taking at least one week a year off of any kind of alcohol for the last 20 years or more. I want to know if I have developed a physical dependance on the stuff, and figure this is a good way to find out. Physical withdrawal from alcohol can kill a person and is a really nasty experience. If I develop physical addiction, I want to know sooner rather than later. I accept that I have a mental reliance on alcohol, as I have wine or beer most days in the evening. That probably defines me as an alcoholic to some clinicians, but for now I'm OK with it as I have a great job and a great relationship with my wife and kids.

    FWIW, I drink a lot more wine these days than beer. As I've become older, I find that I not only enjoy it more but it is also easier to keep my weight in check.

  24. #24
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    You can't pigeon hole alcoholism into a yes or no problem. The label does not matter, nor do your motivations, nor the fact that you prefer one type of alcohol vs. another. Just because someone has a drink to loosen them up at a party, or one to settle them down after a rough day, does not make them an alcoholic. Drinking for the pure enjoyment of a beverage doesn't prevent you from being an alcoholic either.
    I am guessing this might be in reply to my post.

    I drink at social gatherings, but I can also attend a social gathering and not drink and still be the same person. You are more likely to be an alcoholic if you CANNOT function without a drink in your hand at a social gathering.

    The same goes for needing a drink to relax at the end of the day, if you MUST have a drink and are looking forward to that drink and would not be able to cope without it.

    I do not think the OP is alcoholic because he enjoys a good craft beer at the end of the day, but if it were impossible for him to go a day without he might have the beginnings of alcoholism.

    I related a personal experience about my father, he never got slobbering drunk, but he was certainly and most likely still is an alcoholic.

    Once you have lived with one you have a greater understanding of the subtleties of Alcoholism.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr
    I am guessing this might be in reply to my post.

    I drink at social gatherings, but I can also attend a social gathering and not drink and still be the same person. You are more likely to be an alcoholic if you CANNOT function without a drink in your hand at a social gathering.

    The same goes for needing a drink to relax at the end of the day, if you MUST have a drink and are looking forward to that drink and would not be able to cope without it.

    I do not think the OP is alcoholic because he enjoys a good craft beer at the end of the day, but if it were impossible for him to go a day without he might have the beginnings of alcoholism.

    I related a personal experience about my father, he never got slobbering drunk, but he was certainly and most likely still is an alcoholic.

    Once you have lived with one you have a greater understanding of the subtleties of Alcoholism.
    It certainly wasn't a dig at you. FWIW my family has a long history of addiction. My brother in on crack. My dad has been on Xanax since before I was born, and drinks every day. I have a long history of binge drinking... a long history of lots of other stuff too but booze has by far been the worst for me. We all do it for a lot of different reasons at different times. It's something I have put a substantial amount of thought into.

    I do agree that there are certain signs which strongly indicate an alcohol problem, abuse and neglect of family being at the top of the list. What I was trying to get at is the idea that "having a great relationship with your wife" and a "good job" doesn't mean you're not drinking too much. Neither does really enjoying beer. Furthermore, even being able to cope without a drink doesn't mean you're not drinking too much. If, given the option, you always choose to drink at a social event or after work, then why does it really matter what you could or couldn't do?

    I'm definitely not telling anyone how much they should be drinking. I just think the questions that need to be asked are more comprehensive. You have to take an honest look at the opportunity cost of your particular volume and style of consumption and decide if it's worth what you're giving up to do it. That can be a tough thing to do, especially if you've been buzzed for so long you forgot what you gave up.

    You have a good looking dog BTW.
    Just because you read a book it don't make you conscious. - MC Lush

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