Alcohol moderation – what you need to know
I often work with clients who wish to address the way they use alcohol. Some could be said to have a drink problem, others would just like to keep things in check. Among the addictions I work with, alcohol abuse is often the most difficult to quantify. After all, it’s not as if it’s illegal. There are also many definitions of alcoholism – some quite benign.
- Annabel is a successful lawyer. Every night before she goes to sleep she has a glass of white wine. She sleeps well. If she doesn’t have her glass of wine she cannot sleep.
- Megan drinks one glass of red wine a day, just as her mother did all her life. She’s had three children and drank through each pregnancy. She’s 84 years old.
- Mike never drinks during the week. One weekend a month he takes off with the boys and binges to such excess he doesn’t remember how he gets back to the hotel.
- Steve drinks a scotch every night. It’s a large one and he enjoys it with his wife – part of a happy ritual that has bound them together in a happy marriage for many years.
Above we have probably two alcoholics, one non alcoholic who abuses alcohol, and one person who is using red wine as a means of supplementing her diet. You’ve probably figured out who is who. And yet Megan’s behavior is only differentiated from Annabel’s by intent. As you can see, this is not simple – and that’s before we even think about the clearly defined alcoholic who brings vodka to the office to add to his coffee.
There’s also the fact that for some people a glass or two of wine is not an issue at all. However, for someone else, it’s enough to intoxicate them and make them visibly drunk. It has little to do with the individuals size, contrary to common belief. A 100 lb woman really can drink a 250 lb man under the table – despite what you may have heard.
Take this simple test. If the answers to any two questions are positive, then you should be seriously questioning your drinking habits.
Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
Have you ever felt guilty or bad about drinking?
Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady?
your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
Has your work ever been negatively affected by alcohol?
To understand your relationship with alcohol more clearly, go here.
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