To think I don't have a drink problem?

(94 Posts)
SilverMoo Fri 08-Feb-13 08:44:50

I drink a large glass of 11% wine with dinner and have one day off a week. I get through 2 bottles a week, never more.

I can do without but I enjoy it and wouldn't really want to. I feel the same about chocolate, I could go without but like it so would rather have some, I don't think that makes me addicted to it.

Apparently I may have a drink problem, I don't think I do, I also don't think I'm in denial,

AIBU?

TroublesomeEx Fri 08-Feb-13 10:23:23

Having a drink problem isn't about the amount that you drink, it's about the habit that forms.

Obviously, if you drink excessively then that is a problem, but it's more that you can drink relatively little but it's the behaviour that accompanies it that is the real problem.

If you can choose to not have a drink, then that isn't an issue. It's a problem if you have to have a drink.

irishchic Fri 08-Feb-13 10:26:08

The amount of units in a bottle of wine depends on the Alcohol content percentage. An 11% bottle would contain around 8 to 9 units. A 13 or 14% bottle would have around 11 or 12 units.

OP i think you are fine here. The only thing i would suggest is to have one night a week off the wine, just to clean out the liver. Other than that, do not worry or listen to scaremongering!

kalidanger Fri 08-Feb-13 10:27:36

I think perhaps units/glass sized are red herrings.

See if you can stop for a month (and no 'stopping in the house but having some at a restaurant'). If you can't, you have your answer.

HeathRobinson Fri 08-Feb-13 10:29:08

According to the British Liver Trust, you should try to have 2 consecutive days a week free of alcohol.

'Take two days off. Give your liver two days in a row without alcohol every week to reduce the impact that alcohol can have on your liver and break the habit of drinking every day.'

irishchic Fri 08-Feb-13 10:31:17

I agree with the poster who said it is actually quite hard to find wine under 13% now. I know its there on the shelf somewhere, but i have to hunt through many many 12 or 13% whites before I can find a bottle at 11% or under.

Any wine i keep at home is 11% or under. If I go out and get served something at 13% i feel drunk just after 1 glass!

EuroShagmore Fri 08-Feb-13 10:33:09

I don't think you have a drink problem. You just like wine. So do I.

However, it might not be the optimum level for health. I think people here are confusing that with your question as to whether you have a problem with alcohol (by which I take you to mean an "alcholic type relationship with alcohol")

BTW, I used to drink a similar amount. Now I am ttc I have cut down radically (to one or two glasses a week, sometimes less). For a while last year I cut it out completely for several months. I missed it socially (I found I got bored and tired on a night out without the stimulation of alcohol) but I wasn't exactly climbing the walls. You sound like you would be in a similar position.

milkymocha Fri 08-Feb-13 10:43:25

I'll be honest but i do think you ate drinking too much! But if you ate happy and healthy then so be it!

A problem with alcohol isn't defined by how MUCH a person drinks, it's about dependency on alcohol.

A person can drink excessively if they choose but if they feel they HAVE to drink and cannot do without it, be it a single glass a day or two litres of vodka, that is a problem with alcohol.

The real test is how you feel if you can't have your glass of wine on the days you normally do, the one day you don't drink now doesn't count as that is part of your drinking pattern as it were.

If you feel irritable, anxious, panicked, unwell physically etc then you may have an issue with alcohol dependency.

I once worked with (she was a client) a woman who was an alcoholic - on one small glass of sherry a day. Most people don't think that's possible, it's only a tiny amount. But she was so dependent on it that she got caught stealing a bottle of Harvey's - she HAD to have that one glass so badly. She was an alcoholic.

If you really want to know whether you have a problem with alcohol don't drink for a week - and see how you react when wine o'clock arrives each night.

I used to have a glass every night until one day I ran out (still no idea how!) I realised that I was becoming dependent on that glass when I went to Tesco in torrential rain and gales to get a bottle so I could have that one glass. I stopped that day x.

Downandoutnumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 10:53:31

YANBU. I don't get why really liking wine is regarded as such a problem in itself - I wouldn't want to give up wine, but then I wouldn't want to give up coffee or bread either, and no-one's accusing me of being addicted to either of those. There's just no non-alcoholic drink that's as nice, and I love the ritual of curling up with a glass of wine and a book for half an hour at the end of the day.

Having said that, I have non-alcoholic wine (the Natureo white one isn't too foul) Monday-Thursday now as I got a bit worried about what I might be doing to my liver over the long run if I had wine every night.

Downandoutnumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 10:55:11

Oh, and I have struggled through rain, hail and snow to get more coffee when we ran out! I'm just waiting for someone to come along and tell me incredibly sanctimoniously what a terrible person I am for really wanting my coffee in the mornings.

FellatioNels0n Fri 08-Feb-13 10:56:53

Yes Folkgirl, you are right. I think some people do regularly drink what to others may seem like an excessive quantity, but (long-term health implications aside for a moment) it is how they behave when faced with the opportunity to drink large quantities of alcohol, whether they can exercise restraint/moderation and equally importantly, the way they feel at the prospect of not being able to have any at all that defines whether they have a drink 'problem' or not, to me.

If you can't have a drink without your personality changing for the worse then you have a 'problem' in my eyes, even if you are not actually alcohol dependent. Likewise if you can drink in moderation every evening at home, but are incapable of knowing when to stop when you are on a night out, until you either pass out or are very ill. It happens to us all from time to time, but if it happens you you all of the time then it's really not good, is it?

Having said that, people who are not drinkers at all have a funny idea of what 'too much' is. My SIL was getting quite in a stew about my BIL starting to drink wine most nights - she thought it was quite unacceptable and a sign of impending. But he was never having more than a glass, or two at the very most.

I agree it can creep up on you though. I think if you are opening a second bottle between you on a week night then it's time to reign it in a bit.

FellatioNels0n Fri 08-Feb-13 10:57:53

impending doom, sorry.

2 bottles a week.........I don't think that's excessive!!

It is not an excessive amount but it is whether you are reliant on those two bottles a week or not. If you can honestly say you are not then you have nothing to worry about.

Just for clarity when I say I stopped, I mean I stopped my daily glass of wine, I didn't stop drinking (perish the thought). I could feel that I was becoming dependent on it. Stopping was so hard - which for me was another indication that I was more dependent than I thought.

I didn't want to be dependent on something. I still love wine, just not every day.

Springdiva Fri 08-Feb-13 13:09:47

Yes, I love my teatime large G+T, doubt very much I'm an alcoholic but do wonder whey I 'need' it. It is a bit more than habit and a bit more than just a treat. But I can munch a chocoloate bar which is a treat but then if there isn't one there it doesn't bother me.

Though having said that I do get fidgety if there is nothing sweet in the house, resorting to honey on toast in an emergency, so I think there is a small dependency there, for sugar and alcohol.

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 13:12:32

As others have said, it's not really about how much you drink, it's the relationship you have with drinking. If someone you love asks you to stop for a good reason (e.g. they'd rather you weren't going to bed tipsy, they worry about your health) and you say "no" then effectively you are putting your desire to drink above their feelings. Equally if you see there negative effects on your health - your teeth are stained, you are more tired, you're getting more colds etc, but you'd rather drink than be healthy you also need to have a think about why that is. I'm very dependent on tea but can't drink it at the moment due to low iron and the need not to take tannins so I absorb as much as possible from my iron tablets. It's annoying the life out of me, but I am willing to stop drinking tea as I know it's better for my health.

I rarely drink and don't get much pleasure out of it. It might sound odd but all I can think of is that it's literally poisonous and that my body has to struggle to deal with it. I don't mind doing that once in a blue moon if I'm really in the mood, but the thought of doing it every night or most nights is very offputting for me - it seems inevitable that it will have pretty persistent low-level health effects to be taking in quite a large quantity of poison every night. Not that it's going to destroy your liver or anything but that it'll make you tired, and make your system generally have to work harder to maintain a "normal" level of activity. I'm a total lightweight though - one glass of wine makes me feel dog rough the next day - so perhaps I'm more sensitive to the effects. I simply couldn't manage a large glass of wine most nights, it would make me feel very bad indeed.

SilverMoo Fri 08-Feb-13 13:27:33

Thanks for all the input, I actually had to see my doctor today for something unrelated and asked her, she said it was in the upper limits of the guidelines so it is increasing my risk of things and obviously it is better not to drink, but she drinks about that much too...

I guess the thing is is that it is all about increasing the risk, it's not a cut and dry thing and everyone will be different (body type, size, genetic factors, lifestyle factors etc) so they have just gone on what they have and made a 'guideline' but who can say!

Number of units depends on abv, most wine is 13.5%, a bottle of this is 10.25 units. 20.5 per week. That is above the recommended limit & they do suggest 2 alcohol free days per week.

If you could do without it, then that's ok. Perhaps try for a month, or lent is coming up?

I was worried at the end of last year so tried & managed a -mostly- dry January. It made me feel less worried & saved a few quid.

It sounds to me like a routine habit which is (although against health advice) IMO harmless, habits can quickly escalate. Keep an eye on it.

By the way silvermoo what kind of -pointless weak squash- wine are you drinking that has you so certain it's 8.6?

It would help if I could retain all the information from the OP wouldn't it?!

My excuse is I'm currently exhausted & running a fever, but coughing too much to sleep!

SilverMoo Fri 08-Feb-13 15:09:24

I drink cava, I used to drink red wine but I find it a bit strong nowadays. Sparkling wine and champagne always give me a little 'buzz' whereas red wine makes me feel a bit groggy

ToomuchWaternotWine Fri 08-Feb-13 15:25:05

That would be too much for me, I am tall and well built but feel the effects of more than a glass of wine these days so tend to only drink on occasional nights out, never bother at home. If I drank 6 days out of 7 I can guarantee I would feel more tired, groggy, headachey queasy than I could cope with every morning, so I just don't, but that me not you.

As others have said, if you feel you need it, that's when alarm bells need to ring! Can you try cutting down to 14 units, 2 dry days and see how you react?

CinnabarRed Fri 08-Feb-13 15:36:27

May I just arf at "it's not cut and dry"?

SilverMoo Fri 08-Feb-13 15:44:28

CinnabarRed - Ha! I thought that as I was writing it blush

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