Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 38

Thread: Should we banish the words alcoholic and alcoholism?

  1. #1
    I would love to be wrong. Yogagirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    5,651
    Rep Power
    140837

    Should we banish the words alcoholic and alcoholism?

    http://www.hipsobriety.com/home/2014...ause-no-one-is

    Don't get me wrong - like all drugs, I believe that alcohol is addictive, that addiction is a progressive disease, that some people are wired a bit differently and more vulnerable to addiction, etc. I'm not refusing scientific fact or what is. I just firmly believe that we've created a separate disease called alcoholism and forced it upon the minority of the population willing to admit they cannot control their drinking. That instead of looking at how insane it is to consume the amounts of alcohol we do in this country on any level, we've instead systematically labeled anyone who can't hang in that insanity as having the problem.
    It is the only drug in the world where, when you stop taking it, you are seen as having disease. Because it's the only socially accepted drug, because most of us consume, and because we have come to believe that there are "normal" drinkers and there are "alcoholics", because it is self-diagnosed - essentially all the above - it is literally the only drug in the world where you get a label and a lifetime disease once you admit you need/want to stop. I never had a problem when I was out 3 or 4 nights a week putting back the same amount as my friends. I never had a problem when I was doing Ski Shots with my coworkers or when I stayed out until 4am in New York before heading into the office at 9am. I didn't have a problem as I finished my third or even fourth glass at my friend's wine bar and caught a beer with her after. But when I stopped and tapped out, when I said "I can't do this anymore" was the moment I had a problem? Let me be clear on the insanity of this - when I drank, I did not have alcoholism. When I said I cannot drink, I became an alcoholic.
    Interesting read. I don't agree with all she has to say but having "alcoholics" in my family I am often reminded of how pervasive and acceptable drinking is in our society. I quit drinking often. Sometimes I just feel I've been consuming too much booze; sometimes in an effort to lose weight; sometimes as a sort of self check that I can stop. I go anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and I always dread telling people. I have actually walked around a party holding the same untouched glass of wine for 2 hours just so I don't have to say I'm not drinking.

  2. #2
    Wishes reality was like comic books tpatt100's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    39,598
    Rep Power
    457000
    I generally don't like the taste. People generally drink to get a buzz like marijuana but marijuana is generally frowned upon
    Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.


    Ann Landers

  3. #3
    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The British Columbia
    Posts
    20,853
    Rep Power
    246172
    I think she is defining herself too much by other people's terms. I used to drink pretty much every weekend until 2am, 30+ years ago before I had kids and responsibilities. I used to smoke a lot of weed too. I quit both because something better came along basically, and I lost interest and/or had to shift my priorities. It was fun while it lasted but I didn't ever see myself as an alcoholic. I still only drink once or twice a year, alcohol is something I can take or leave. Not my problem what anyone thinks about that or wants to call it. I absolutely was (psychologically) addicted to weed, until I stopped and then it wasn't an issue. No way do I say I'm addicted to it now, 30 years later.

    Stopping drinking doesn't make one an alcoholic, I don't understand that. Alcoholism causes one to want/need to stop. It's when you want to stop drinking and can't, or set boundaries for your drinking and habitually cross them that is the indicator of the disease. The author can call it what she wants but that doesn't change anything that's going on, and because addicts/alcoholics are masters at denial and manipulation, giving them a linguistic alternative isn't helping IMO.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

  4. #4
    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    I Wish I Knew
    Posts
    103,204
    Rep Power
    715793
    Like most things, everything can be taken to an extreme. Some people have a problem with alcohol while others don't. People need to choose their own boundaries.

    Drinking isn't something I do on a regular basis. Rarely during the week unless I am on vacation and only on the weekends if I go out to dinner or am in party mode with my GIRLfriends.

    I don't like beer (or wine) so you will never find me having a casual glass of it during the week.

    I don't think drinking alcohol is a problem unless you have a problem with it.

  5. #5
    Full Sponsor TapToTalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    30,207
    Rep Power
    523888
    Where I think she has it wrong is that not all alcoholics stop on their own. Some need interventions as much as any other addiction.

    Where she has it right is that people who beat the addiction are considered ex-addicts. Whereas, if they decide to stay clean in our culture because they have an addiction, they will say they won't drink because they are an alcoholic, not an ex-drinker.

    So, I get the point. But, it's another example of getting too hung up on commonly accepted terminology because it hurts a particular person's feelings. She can come up with an alternate term.

    But, a lot of her article makes it sound like society has an alcohol problem and we should should all stop and make it socially unacceptable (again). If we would all stop, then she'd never be in that uncomfortable situation again. Umm, no....

  6. #6
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    85,571
    Rep Power
    648791
    She sounds exactly like my sister, a recovering alcoholic for more than 20 years - anyone who abuses alcohol even once is an alcoholic in her mind. Except it's not true. I went through her active drinking years and I could not understand how she could not just.stop.drinking.

    So just as someone who is not an alcoholic doesn't understand how someone can't just stop drinking, someone who has that addiction can't understand how it's not the same thing that they experience. I drink wine socially and I am absolutely not addicted to alcohol. I have come to understand addiction, largely because I was addicted to nicotine for 25 years.

    If she doesn't like the term "alcoholism" itself, then she's free to call it "drug addiction." Or does she think we should eradicate the term addict from our vocabulary too? I think my sister says she's a recovering addict whose drug of choice was alcohol because she'd take whatever she could get her hands on when alcohol wasn't available.

    I don't understand her point, though, that it's the only drug that you're seen as having a disease once you stop taking it. That's not true at all. Addiction is a disease. Period. Makes no nevermind what drug you're talking about and that you've stopped taking the drug of your choice.

  7. #7
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    85,571
    Rep Power
    648791
    Quote Originally Posted by TapToTalk View Post
    Where I think she has it wrong is that not all alcoholics stop on their own. Some need interventions as much as any other addiction.
    My sister didn't stop on her own. My family packed a bag for her, did an intervention (looked just like what you see on that show Intervention), then we drove her to a rehab center three hours away and dropped her off for a 30 day program.

    I'm so proud of her that she's been sober ever since. Interventions don't always work out that way, particularly 20+ years ago before people understood addiction as much as they do now.

  8. #8
    Wishes reality was like comic books tpatt100's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    39,598
    Rep Power
    457000
    I couldn't be an alcoholic, whenever I get the spins then a hangover I don't drink for years after that
    Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.


    Ann Landers

  9. #9
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    85,571
    Rep Power
    648791
    I just read through the article and I have no idea what she's trying to say. If she just chose to stop drinking on her own, then she isn't an alcoholic. This makes no sense:

    Let me be clear on the insanity of this - when I drank, I did not have alcoholism. When I said I cannot drink, I became an alcoholic.
    No, that's not the definition of alcoholic.

    Honestly, sounds like she's in denial or something. She doth protest too much.

  10. #10
    Being it, y'all! Lizzie Beth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    12,254
    Rep Power
    274703
    I'm wondering if she means that when you will no longer drink socially, people assume you're an alcoholic?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •