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What do blackouts mean?

answered 05:12 AM EST, Mon June 10, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
I have been drinking on the weekends for 15 years. I am 32 now. All of a sudden, just over the last few months, I am starting to have blackouts where I don’t remember anything for hours of time from when I was drunk. I know this is happens to people but why its just starting to happen to me now? I am not drinking any more or any differently than I used to but now it is affecting me in such a different way. Does this mean I am becoming an alcoholic? I almost never drink more than a beer or 2 during the week. On weekends I will have about a 12 pack both nights.

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton
LCSW, CADC

Blackouts are a symptom of progression of the disease of alcohol dependence.  The only way for you to know if you have progressed to dependency in the brain is to cut back to the same amount on weekends as you drink during the week.  If you drink two standard drinks as often as every day and never more, your tolerance will go back down, the blackouts will stop and you will reduce your risk for a problem.  If you attempt to drink less on weekends, but your mind (thoughts, rationalizations, excuses, etc.etc.etc) keeps telling you to go ahead and have more, then you have at least developed psychological dependence to alcohol.  This is a state in which the alcohol has taken on more importance than just a beverage.  It is you help to relax, your reward, your companion, your fun, etc. etc. etc.  A safe bet would be to stop all together if you can't limit your use to just two a day or three if you drink less than daily.  This is based on research published by the Prevention Research Institute (PRI). 

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