Road to Alchoholism?

For the younger AA generation, some experience, strength and hope.

Road to Alchoholism?

Postby Unsure » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:26 pm

Hi,
I've only drank twice, once to the point of drunkenness, and the other time I tried a few beers. Other than that I've just had the occasional sip (literally A sip). Both times I've drank I havn't enjoyed the taste, and the experience of being drunk wasn't particulary enjoyable or negative just so-so. However lately I've been strongly craving drinking some scotch(I've tasted it before), and I'm not sure if this means I'm potentially on the wrong road. The reason this worries me so much s that I'm not someone who generally has cravings for foods, and the experience itself is odd. Furthermore, this desire has been on my mind intermittently for the last few weeks, which is even more worrying.

I plan on drinking later this week, are there any signs I should look for that will make this more clear to me. I REALLY don't want to go down a self-destructive path, and I don't know anyone with experience in this area to talk to (I come from a family of non-drinkers) so any help would be appreciated.

FYI, the last time I drank was thanksgiving last year, and I disliked the taste so much I wanted to throw up. (not the kind from drinking too much)

Thanks in advance,
Unsure 19-year old
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby Tommy-S » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:36 pm

Welcome Unsure,

It was suggested to me that IF I wondered if I had a problem (with anything), I probably did

We don't diagnose anyone in AA (that would be practicing medicine), but we do have a FREE pamphlet that helped me realize the extent of my problem. It's called "Is AA for Me?" and you can find it on AA's main site... this link should get you there:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... -aa-for-me

It's 12 Questions to ask yourself. Hope that helps.

Thanks for sharing with us... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby ODAAT » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:51 pm

Welcome, Unsure, glad you joined the forum.

It's commendable that you're looking for danger signs of being on the "road to alcoholism," but I don't see you on it based on the drinking you describe.
I don't see cause to be unduly worried about it at this point.
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby Niagara » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:01 am

Hello unsure

I can only give you my own experience, and see if you identify with any of it (or not, as the case may be)

The first few drinks I had, I was very young - 13 being the first time I got drunk, then again at 17, only a few times a year after that until it picked up pace and gradually by age 39 I was on a full box of wine a night at least.

The feelings I had for my first drinks, were not 'hey party' or 'oh this is horrible, never going to do it again', I felt like I fitted in my own skin, albeit briefly. The best description I have heard of this was 'I drank to feel right'. That explained it perfectly for me.

Always for me I never knew when to stop. I always had to have 'just one more', even though on some level I knew I'd physically had enough, it was never enough to stop me, if that makes sense. Indeed I had been known to joke that vomiting because I'd had enough just made room for more :oops:

I used the 12 questions that tommy has shared, and scored really high on it, which highlighted the extent of my problem. I also read the first few chapters of the AA big book, read a lot on here, and listened to AA speakers who talked about their experiences. All of this helped me make my mind up to see if I had alcoholism, as opposed to someone who just likes a drink. The AA big book is available online for free, if you wanted to have a read of that (just google AA big book online)

Ultimately once armed with the facts it was up to me to make the decision on whether I was or wasn't an alcoholic. Previously I thought I wasn't (denial or just simple lack of knowledge as to what alcoholism is) but when I heard about not being able to stop once started, and not feeling right in my own skin without a drink, plus the mental obsession with the next drink, I knew I had it for sure (even though my feelings were telling me something else entirely)
I had to make that decision for myself because someone else telling me I had it would put me on the defense and then I wouldn't listen.

Best of luck to you :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby PaigeB » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:47 am

Hi Unsure ~ Take a peek at Chapter 3 of our Big Book, called More About Alcoholism
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

Also in the Big Book, in the Chapter called The Doctor's Opinion it says "...the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker."

When you drink one drink or 2, do you crave MORE? Feel restless until you do get more or until you fall asleep? Note that the Dr. says this "phenomenon of craving" never occurs in normal drinkers. So next time you drink, try stopping at 1 or 2 and see how you feel. This may be the only test you need to convince yourself if you are alcoholic or not. No matter what you have drank, you don't need to go to the point of near death before you say you are an alcoholic and give it up for good. You will be welcomed among us if YOU say you are an alcoholic.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:38 pm

Unsure wrote:Hi,
I've only drank twice, once to the point of drunkenness, and the other time I tried a few beers. Other than that I've just had the occasional sip (literally A sip). Both times I've drank I havn't enjoyed the taste, and the experience of being drunk wasn't particulary enjoyable or negative just so-so. However lately I've been strongly craving drinking some scotch(I've tasted it before), and I'm not sure if this means I'm potentially on the wrong road. The reason this worries me so much s that I'm not someone who generally has cravings for foods, and the experience itself is odd. Furthermore, this desire has been on my mind intermittently for the last few weeks, which is even more worrying.

I plan on drinking later this week, are there any signs I should look for that will make this more clear to me. I REALLY don't want to go down a self-destructive path, and I don't know anyone with experience in this area to talk to (I come from a family of non-drinkers) so any help would be appreciated.

FYI, the last time I drank was thanksgiving last year, and I disliked the taste so much I wanted to throw up. (not the kind from drinking too much)

Thanks in advance,
Unsure 19-year old


Hi Unsure and welcome.

Have you ever been to a Young Peoples AA meeting? The ages in those AA groups range from 14 to 40 and it might be helpful if you attended one just to sit and listen to what the various member's closer to your own age share about their own experiences with drinking. If you call your local AA hotline they can help you find a YPAA meeting in your area.

There is also a documentary film entitled "Chalk Talk on Alcoholism" which is narrated by Father Joe Martin, a long time AA member who originally filmed this documentary for the Navy back in the 70's. It's still considered one of the best films on alcoholism by treatment professionals and is probably available at your local video store.

In general, people who are normal drinkers don't worry about whether their drinking may be alcoholic. They enjoy drinking socially or having a drink before bedtime and never get into any trouble with their drinking habits. If you are worried about where your own limited experiences with drinking may be leading you, it's really more productive to inform yourself with all the facts you can to ease your concerns rather than continue to worry about it. No one in AA can tell you whether or not you're an alcoholic or a normal drinker. That is something only you can decide. If you want to stop drinking and can't, we can help you with that part... :)

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby positrac » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:45 am

Hey Unsure being 19 sucks and yet you are supposed to live life to the fullest because you are an adult!

By the time I was 19 I knew I was that guy who couldn't not drink and was totally not trust worthy while drinking and would ruin everything. By 22 it was over and I knew it and I so felt like I was cheated in this life.

Peer pressure is hard at your age and you have to make a stand for what you believe no matter what others think. I can't guide you in either direction on your post and what I can say is if you don't need to drink I think you'll find life is so much better without it and I can promise you that the money saved not drinking will be spent on something else you'll remember the next day.

I've been at this life of sobriety for over 25 years and so you do the math you'll find I am that old person who can't relate with youth...... Ya think? I remember my last drink and the whole event except when I kept blacking out. What I found out about 5 years ago from an old co-worker is my group I worked for held a vote on whether to fire my ass or let me stay and oddly enough they let me stay. I was so humble by that gesture I called the two remaining people I knew and thanked them for taking a risk on me and that it has paid off. the world is really a small place and one day you'll really understand that and please don't forget it either.

You have choices and you really need to find out what you stand for because the road to alcoholism is a really bad way to go and it takes a lot out of us in the end if we live to tell our tale.


Be safe.
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby ODAAT » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:54 pm

Tommy-S wrote:We don't diagnose anyone in AA (that would be practicing medicine), but we do have a FREE pamphlet that helped me realize the extent of my problem. It's called "Is AA for Me?" and you can find it on AA's main site... this link should get you there:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... -aa-for-me

It's 12 Questions to ask yourself. Hope that helps.


I wonder what OP would score on the 12 Questions. Maybe a 1? Or a zero?

Answer YES or NO to the following questions.

1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: "Just try not to drink today." (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)
Yes No
2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking-- stop telling you what to do?
In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.
Yes No
3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink cocktails. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.
Yes No
4. Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking "socially."
Yes No
5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.
Yes No
6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse -- never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.
Yes No
7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
Yes No
8. Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
Most of us used to have a "few" before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. And if drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.
Yes No
9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came into A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn't stop.
Yes No
10. Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
Many of us admit now that we "called in sick" lots of times when the truth was that we were hung-over or on a drunk.
Yes No
11. Do you have "blackouts"?
A "blackout" is when we have been drinking hours or days which we cannot remember. When we came to A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.
Yes No
12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Yes No
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby ann2 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:40 pm

I scored 4 and I am an alcoholic. I agree though that 2 dr king experiences may be too few for the purpose of this quiz.

What I like to pass on is that there is no nutritional need for alcohol. If someone doesn't drink, for whatever reason, there's nothing wrong with him or her.

Ann
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Re: Road to Alchoholism?

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:46 am

In the chapter "We agnostics" the authors ask us just 2 questions:

if, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.



The first part is the obsession of the mind and the second part is the physical craving. We could frame a qeustion from the Doctors opionion:

Are you at ease when not drinking? Or are you restless, irritable and discontented when not drinking? (Spritiual Malady).

When I work with people I just stick to these 3 questions.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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