Friday, July 31, 2009

[alcoholic] when is the line crossed

Delighted to be stealing my blogfriend Nikita's pic today - please follow the link and read about help for alcoholics.

Alcohol - we were having a discussion yesterday about when a person can be defined as an alcoholic. I said it's the first time you drink alone at home. My friend's mother said that her husband has a nightcap some nights.

Well, OK, so do I like nightcaps and a glass or four of wine at the meal, if I can ever remember to do it and there's no alcohol in the house just now for economic reasons so I have tea instead. Maybe an alcoholic is one who has started to use the euphemisms, e.g. for "medicinal purposes", "just a drop please" or whatever.

We all know what the full-blown alcoholic is like - the denials, the regression and so on. We know what a person who can take it or leave it is. Somewhere in the middle though is the beginnings of the alcoholic.

And what of the teenage binge-drinkers? Perfectly OK?


Kippers Dickie said...

Very difficult to define.
I once knew of a woman who came to work most mornings smelling of Sherry. And it wasn't behind her ears! Now I would say she was an alcoholic.
As I live on my own I think it would be unreasonable to forbid me the odd tipple without being branded alcoholic. I never touch alcohol before 6 in the evening...and then a couple of glasses of red wine (for my heart!)

Anonymous said...

I think that it's hard to beat the standard definition that an alcoholic... is someone who drinks more than their GP.

Tom Paine said...

Dylan Thomas settled this long ago, defining an alcoholic as "...someone you don't like, who drinks as much as you do..."

James Higham said...

Thank you, gentlemen [chuckle].

nikita said...

About teenagers drinking: NOT perfectly OK. I think part of the problem about teenagers drinking is the fact that they don't have so much to keep them busy with..hobbies etc. It's more of a culture to be "in" to drink than to take part in some sort of sport of practising a hobby of some kind. Primary schools in Y4-Y6 should do more to introduce kids to all sorts of hobbies, you can't do it in secondary, that's already too late. In secondary they should already be in a routine of taking part in some sport/hobby. Doing "nothing" is the problem and that's where the "party" starts as they are bored and parents don't really do their bit to get them interested in something from an early age. (just my observation - being 7 years now in the country as a teacher)

James Higham said...

Nikita - hi. Hope you don't mind me using your pic. You've covered this topic so well in your post.

I'm going to come back to it in a few days because it was swamped by the other today.

Lord Nazh said...

Be definition an alcoholic is someone who can't quit drinking :) if you can quit, you're ok

nikita said...

hi James, no worry at all! You're free to use images from my blog any time :)

James Higham said...

Lord Nazh - right.

Nikita - thanks.