Is there a difference between having a drinking problem and being an alcoholic? As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes I am asked about this very question almost weekly. My answer is yes. I say this because, in my opinion, an alcoholic, is a person with a drinking problem they have tried to correct but can’t seem to stop.
All alcoholics have drinking problems. They drink because they have to. It has become so habitual that even though they know they drink too often and too much they cannot and do not stop. When they try, there may be some initial success – a day, a week, a month, maybe even a year – yet when they take another drink they inevitably resort to their previous drinking behavior. As reported in www.huffingtonpost.com.
It has been said that it is OK for a man to have two drinks per day and a woman one. Drinking in excess of the above does not make an individual an alcoholic. By the same token it makes them more than an occasional or "social" drinker. For me, if a man has about 14 drinks per week or four or more two or more times per week, and a woman has eight drinks in a week or three or more at least twice per week they fall into the "almost alcoholic" zone.
There are probably millions of men and women in the almost alcoholic zone. Many of them, if confronted with the above drinking guidelines, might nod. But when asked to estimate just how many drinks they actually consume in any given week, these same men and women may be shocked to realize that they do indeed exceed the recommended limits.
Of this group quite a few will argue that the recommended limits are either unreasonable, or at the very least outdated. I was part of this group for years.
If you or someone you care about falls into this group, please seek help immediately. A 12 hour alcohol class is a good place to start. If you prefer your anonymity there are online alcohol classes too.
Believe me when I say that the three-martini lunch found in shows like “Mad Men” are alive and well. As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes I have many students who say that drinking with their bosses or clients is an expected part of their job. This holds especially true for those who travel on business.
This is especially true in New York City. On Wall Street, where a “models and bottles” lifestyle prevails, those who don’t drink complain that they can’t close a deal, can’t even get into early negotiations because they won’t drink. As reported in well.blogs.nytimes.com.
Of course, sobriety and success are not mutually exclusive. Some of the world’s most successful business do not drink alcohol at all. Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Larry Ellison are all lifetime abstainers. Whether or not he wins the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney hasn’t lacked for success, either.
Still, research supports the idea that nondrinkers have a harder time climbing the corporate ladder. Multiple studies have shown that moderate drinkers earn more money than those who don’t drink, though heavy drinkers earn less than moderate drinkers.
We are now in the 21st century. There is no doubt that for some advancement and success within a company will involve alcohol. But as Warren Buffet and Donald Trump show, you do not have to drink to succeed.
Do presidential drinking habits make a difference in how you are going to vote? As ridiculous as this sounds, for many it is a major part of how people will vote. This has never been more true than this year.
2012 Presidential Campaign
Whether you are a drinker or not, who do you associate with better – Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Romney of course is a Mormon and never drinks. Obama certainly has portrayed himself as a “regular guy” who enjoys a beer now and again. In fact he was at a state fair in Iowa buying beers for fellow fairgoers. He also is a home brewer (I wonder if he brews in the White House) who has shared a couple of his personal recipes.
Alcohol should play no role in a presidential election, yet for many, just the fact that Obama enjoys a good beer is a comforting sort of bond.
This is not the first time alcohol, or lack thereof, has become a bone of contention.
It’s hardly a new tactic among politicians. Edward M. Kennedy complained about the lack of alcohol in Jimmy Carter’s White House as he prepared to challenge the president in the 1980 primaries. And it has become a pollsters’ truism in recent years that voters choose the candidate they’d rather have a beer with. That certainly was the case with Bill Clinton, who came off as a “good ole’ boy” who really liked to toss a few back. In fact, Clinton got so drunk at a party at pro golfer Greg Norman’s house in Florida that he fell down the stairs and blew out his knew – while he was in office!
George W. Bush, a recovering drug addict and alcoholic was sober, however he made sure he was occasionally photographed holding a nonalcoholic O’Doul’s beer.
We bond and trust those who are like us. I am not saying that all those who drink will be voting for Obama. However, I would bet that as a percentage abstainers are more like to vote for Romney than drinkers are to cast their ballot for Obama. Just for pondering, what percent of the Mormon vote do you think Obama will get?
Are the days of a three-martini lunch gone? Watching an episode of AMC’s “Mad Men” you harken back to the days of liquor in the office and long lunches where booze was not an exception but the rule.
I had thought those days were mostly in the past. I am just now finding out how wrong I am.
For many drinking during and after work is a requirement of the job. After all, the client is always right. Right?
Even as three-martini lunches and whiskey-fueled staff meetings become harder to find outside of cable TV, plenty of American business rituals continue to revolve around alcohol. Whether it’s courting a client, sketching out a deal or simply proving you’re a team player, quaffing a round of beers is arguably more vital to many jobs than nailing a round of golf.
Like the days of yore, for many, if you don’t drink with your colleagues and clients it is much more difficult to succeed.
As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes I have heard my students complain that drinking is expected as part of their job. They cannot go and meet a client for lunch and order an iced tea. How ridiculous is that?
The time is here for employers and clients alike to realize that alcohol need not be part of the deal. Alcohol certainly does not help the decision-making process. If you work in a job and are pressured to consume alcohol, perhaps you should start looking for different employment!
I have long espoused that American parents are becoming far too lax when it comes to providing alcohol for their children. I am not sure when it became fashion to drink alcohol at home with your children. While I cannot say for certain that this will cause the children to become alcoholics, I am certain it is not a good thing.
So just what is the answer? Saipan seems to be trying something a little out of the box. As reported in www.saipantribune.com.
In Saipan, parents, guardians, and other adults who are caught allowing minors-or those under 21 years old-to drink alcoholic beverages now also face a fine of up to $1,000 as part of a new law that provides much stiffer penalties to business establishments, individuals, minors, and others related to the sale and consumption of alcohol involving minors.
The provisions of Saipan’s law also punishes the minors - any minor or any person under 21 buying alcoholic beverages shall be punished by a fine of not more than a $1,000, or imprisonment of no more than one year, or both, and shall perform community service of not less than 80 hours, but not more than 250 hours which cannot be converted to a fine or be suspended.
A survey of Saipan’s public school system found that 70 percent of high school students and 53 percent of middle school students have had at least one drink of alcohol.
It will be interesting to see if the harsher punishments for both adults and minors lead to less alcohol consumption. I also wonder how use of other controlled substances will be affected by the new laws.
Just how dumb can college students be? It would seem there are no bounds!
Anyone who has ever been on a college campus or watched the movie “Animal House” knows that heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking are a regular part of college life. But this University of Tennessee student took it to a whole new level of stupidity. As reported in www.dailymail.co.uk.
Have you ever heard of butt-chugging?
Alexander Broughton almost died after undergoing a so-called alcohol enema. As a result his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, has been suspended until 2015.
As embarrassing as it is, it is no surprise that the 20-year-old Broughton has denied that that he received an alcohol enema.
When he was “delivered” to the emergency room his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.448 per cent — nearly six times the intoxication that defines drunken driving in the state. Injuries to his rectum led hospital officials to fear he had been sodomized.
One of his frat brothers admitted to police that the injuries had been caused by an alcohol enema, known among students as 'butt chugging.'
The frat was using rubber tubing inserted into the anus to administer infusions of alcohol. Because of the thin lining in the rectum, the alcohol absorbs immediately into the blood stream which obviously, is extremely dangerous.
Although not confirmed it appears he was “consuming” Franzia Sunset Blush wine.
Adding insult to injury Broughton also lost control of his bowels and defecated on himself.
Once again college students show no boundaries when it comes to idiotic drinking behavior! Could Tennessee alcohol classes help?
Do you know someone who has gotten a driving under the influence violation? Do you know someone whose life has been affected by their drinking behavior? The odds are you answered yes to both of these questions.
Believe me when I say I have no problem with drinking alcohol responsibly. This includes the occasional bender where you actually get intoxicated. I never approve of having even one drink and getting behind the wheel of an automobile. Alcohol impairs, even in the form of one drink. As reported in www.chicagotribune.com.
On our roadways anything can happen. Cars are lethal weapons waiting to be fired. DUI can and will change and possibly ruin the life of those involved.
Take the case of Marquis Adkins who had only been driving a few short months when he was arrested for DUI. The 16-year-old had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.186, more than twice the legal limit. He was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. By the time he gets out he will be a middle-aged man.
His victim was not so lucky. Marciea Adkins will never recover from the accident caused by Adkins’ DUI behavior. The 42-year-old mother was killed in the accident.
Not only was this moron drunk, but was fleeing in a stolen SUV. Even after the accident he tried to continue to flee.
Alcohol and DUI ruined many lives in this incident. These incidents happen every hour of every day.
Are you honest about your drinking habits with your physician? Let’s face it, the majority of us try to hide our bad habits not only from those we love, but also from those we entrust with taking care of our health.
As a recovering alcoholic I lied to my doctors constantly about my alcohol use. As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes my students have admitted on numerous occasions that they too are not truthful with their physicians. Some are afraid it will be placed in their medical records and cost them when it comes time to renew health insurance. Most are simply embarrassed that they drink way too much. As reported in www.boston.com.
I believe it is high time that primary care doctors screen for misuse of alcohol and to provide short bursts of counseling to those who engage in “risky drinking.” That’s based on how often and how much they imbibe and whether they regularly binge on four or more drinks at a time, if they’re a woman, or five or more if they’re a man.
Considering that few of the estimated 30 percent of Americans who qualify as problem drinkers -- which puts them at higher risk of becoming full-blown alcoholics -- get the proper screening and treatment, wouldn’t you agree?
Alcoholism is a serious problem nationally, locally and individually. We need to make sure doctors constantly monitor their patients for alcohol abuse. If we can get people to at least admit to their physicians they have a problem, perhaps we can get them the help they need such as Massachusetts Alcohol Classes from before it costs them their homes, their jobs and their families!
Just how bad is the alcohol on college campuses? I was in college more than 20 years ago and it was certainly pretty bad back then. As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes I have many students in my MIP classes who attest to how much alcohol is consumed by many college students.
Here are some very disturbing facts. More than 40% of college students engage in binge drinking regularly. This means they do not drink to lighten the mood or release a few inhibitions – they are drinking to get totally wasted! As reported in www.onlineuniversities.com.
Before you start thinking that they are just young and stupid and this is not really dangerous, keep in mind that almost 2,000 college students die each year due to alcohol-related issues. Do you think they would drink to excess if they knew that almost 2,000 would contract the AIDS virus from drinking? I bet that would deter quite a few.
On top of all this, more than 50% of all alcohol consumed by college students occurs as part of binge drinking episodes. If we cannot stop kids from drinking on campus can we at least encourage them not to binge drink? If so, just how do we go about this? I welcome your input.
This is the 8th in a series of blog entries addressing binge drinking among college students. We have reached the phase of the discussion where we look at motivators. More directly – why – despite all the information about the negative consequences associated with alcohol use – do college students continue to drink to excess in mass numbers?
In the previous blog entry I asserted that the primary motivating factor for alcohol use in college was to enrich the social experience. As reported in atlanta.cbslocal.com.
Mindset and Habit
Alcohol has become as big a part of college life as textbooks and football games. It pervades college social life.
They engage in binge drinking despite knowing that possible negative consequences include addiction, poor academic performance, violence, drunk driving, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases – the list is so long of what’s linked to alcohol abuse, especially in the late teens and early 20s.
The expectations of a college experience centered around alcohol have made class after incoming class of college freshmen see drinking as an unavoidable part of higher education.
Most kids don’t realize they’re drinking as many drinks as they are. The red Solo cups, a college party staple, have enough room for the equivalent of multiple drinks. It’s very easy to binge drink, particularly going into social situations where someone is trying to fit in.
So, what is the answer? How can we get college students to decide not to binge drink? Alcohol classes are one possible solution. They key remains getting kids to completely abstain from alcohol. How to do that is the million-dollar question.