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Am I an alcoholic?

answered 09:31 PM EST, Sun September 18, 2011
How much do you need to drink to be an alcoholic? I drink daily but will rarely have more than 6 beers unless it’s on a special occasion. My wife wants me to stop because she says I’m an alcoholic and it’s not healthy to drink every day. I have told her that my drinking doesn’t effect my health doesn’t effect my job and since I am not walking around drunk all the time or causing problems then there is no reason why I should have to give up one the few pleasures in my life. I work hard all day. I’m all grown up - why shouldn’t I have a few drinks after a long hard day?

Melissa Borlie Says...

Melissa Borlie M. Borlie

The current medical belief is that it's not healthy to drink more than two drinks or beers per day.

Only you can determine whether you are an alcoholic, but I can give the criteria used by AA:

  • The first question is whether you can stop drinking when you want to. Can you have two beers and stop without your mind obsessing about another one?
  • Can you stop entirely, if you wanted to?
  • The final question involves outcomes and consequences. When you start drinking, can you predict the outcome? If you intended to stop at a bar and have two beers, can you just have two and go home. Or do you close the place down? Do you not remember what happened the night before? Have you been arrested? Do you drive after having six beers?

If you are very honest with yourself, you can answer the question yourself. Professionally, I would deem your level of consumption problematic because of the amount and frequency and the fact that a loved one is complaining about your drinking.

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Page last updated Sep 26, 2011

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