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Does drinking a bottle of wine every night make you an alcoholic?

(301 Posts)

I ask because I was having a conversation about drink with a (male) colleague and he says he drinks a bottle a night. I was a bit shock. He's quite small, shorter than me, so the men can drink more thing doesn't really apply. Do you think he's addicted?

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 21:38:44

I think someone can drink a bottle a night and be fine

Another can drink 2 glasses anight and be in misery

Not so much about the amount (or the substance) more about the driving force behind it and the reasons for doing it

whippet Mon 02-Jun-08 21:39:19

I guess it depends whether he could NOT drink if he really wanted to i.e. would he crave it?

Either way, it's not good from a health/ calories point of view.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:39:21


Not being being able to go without alcohol because you are dependent on it makes you an alcoholic.

Even if a man is smaller than you, he has a different body chemistry from you that makes it possible for him to metabolise alcohol differently from the female body.

Unless it is affecting his functions as pertains to his team at work or engaging in illegal activity because of his alcohol use, it's really no one's business whether or not he's addicted.

beansprout Mon 02-Jun-08 21:39:59

Still more units than is healthy though.

possibly not addicted in the needing a can of special brew before breakfast but a whole bottle every night (and probably more atweekends?) does seem rather excessive.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:40:45

A bottle is 10 units. If you drink a bottle a night you are drinking 70 units where the recommend is 14-16.

Your liver will give up in the end.

Yes, a bottle a night is alcoholic.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:40:51


Needing to drink makes you an alcoholic, not the act of drinking. I drink a lot but I am not alcoholic. I have no dependency.

A bottle of wine is not much, really.

Its only id he feels he needs it, that he is an alcoholic.

no punctuation at all in that sentence. sorry.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:41:19

there is some subjectivity to the government's guidlines with regards to the whole units thing, however.

Piffle Mon 02-Jun-08 21:41:54

agree with expat
not being able to go without it is the main factor for addiction, that and it affecting everyday activities.
I was immensely relieved to know I wasn't addicted.

bandgeek Mon 02-Jun-08 21:42:03

A bottle a night sounds like a lot to me. Far more units than is healthy.

I like to have a glass or 2 after ds has gone to bed, but I don't HAVE to have a glass or 2.
Think that's what defines the difference, whether you just want it or if you need it.
A friend of mine entered AA at 21. She was drinking the same amount as I was, but she NEEDED it and I just did whatever.
Being an alcoholic is about dependance I think, you need it to function or escape no matter what the amount. I think!

fishie Mon 02-Jun-08 21:42:33

also there is a lot of difference in strength, so my wee glass of puny italian vs a giant bucket of australian are very different things.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:42:35

Sorry, thought you meant for a woman but men are allowed what 24?

70 is still alcoholic for a man. He shouldn't try and give up alone either - cut down maybe - but he will need medical help

KerryMum Mon 02-Jun-08 21:42:36

does he HAVE to have a bottle of wine every night?

DSM, how much do you drink?
DP and I share a bottle most nights but we have nights off (for the liver's sake). Even that's a bit too much but maybe I'm paying too much attention to the Government's recommendations.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:44:15

A bottle of wine is not 10 units.

A 12% ABV bottle of wine equates to 8 units. There are 4 glasses of 175ml wine in a bottle, and a 175ml glass is 2 units.

So 8 units per bottle.

I don't know, Kerrymum, I didn't like to ask.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:44:50

What's all this 'needing a drink' nonsense.

Why do you think he's drinking a bottle a night - cos he needs to. He will feel so ill if he every tried (or does try) to go cold turkey. He will need a drink to feel normal. 70 units a week is alcoholic limits. Go ask your GP if you don't believe me.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:45:12

Again, the main factor of addiction is dependence and its affect on daily activities, irrespective of the whole 'units' thing, which IMO only furthers the binge drinking culture.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:45:22

Again, the main factor of addiction is dependence and its affect on daily activities, irrespective of the whole 'units' thing, which IMO only furthers the binge drinking culture.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:46:12

I went cold turkey after drinking that amount for a long time, MT.

I didn't feel ill at all.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:47:07

It varies Lyra.

Probably drink 4 or 5 days a week.
Some days only one or two pints after work.
If I am on a night out (probably twice a week, sometimes 3 times) I will drink maybe, 10 pints, 3 or 4 spirit and mixer, and usually around 10 shots over the course of the night.

If its wine, I would normally do 3 bottles between two people, and then move onto beer.

He is a bit mood-swingy. hmm
DSM, I'd be dead after that lot wink

Actually One standard size bottle of wine (750 ml) at 12 % abv contains 9 units of alcohol

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:48:35

Monkey - that is nonsense. I can drink every night for weeks, and then go for a week with no drink. I don't feel ill at all.

Drinking from dependency and drinking for pleasure are very different things, and should not be confused.

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 21:49:21

DSM that is a lot of booze

*10 pints*

I would be on the floor by 5

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:50:34

Are the British the only ones who do this silly 'count units' thing?

I've never heard of it anyplace eles in teh world.

What an unhealthy attitude to have!

A bit like the whole counting calories/fat grams thing.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:50:51

Have you tried to find a 12% bottle of wine in the supermarket DSM? I have and they are few and far between, so much that IO gave up and went homme empty handed. 13-14% are the norm.

A 175ml glass is usually classed as 3 units for this reason - you can see that on the most recent giovernment ad about female drinking.

But even a very conservaticve estimate like yours puts him 56 units a week - over double the recommended for men and a serious issue for his liver.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:51:52

What's ill got to do with it?

George Best didn;t feel ill till his liver gave out

The Italian wine I'm drinking now is 12%. Came from Sainsbury's.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:52:57

Oh right - who is in denial here? hmm

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:53:47

Yeah, expat, that's why scotland has the worse stats of alchoholism in the uk

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:53:49

Some people can drink a lot. Its not good. its very expensive being a heavyweight wink

And monkey - I have about 220 bottles of wine in my wine cellar (how posh do I sound grin its not) and the majority are 12% or less. Actually, cheaper wines tend to be of a higher percentage, which has a lot do to with the different fermentation processes.

fishie Mon 02-Jun-08 21:53:55

mt i spend hours in the supermarket looking for 12pc that don't cost £7 because i do like to have more than one glass without falling off chair. am evolving to white wine instead.

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:54:06

That not to you LST

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:54:11

I wonder how much Best was actually drinking, though?

And what it mostly was - beer, spirits, ale, etc?

Also, imagine how much £££ he's spending on booze!

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 21:55:03

yada ya DSM. Drink yourself to death for all I care. The NHS is dying under the weight of it all too.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 02-Jun-08 21:55:04

By the time you feel ill with liver disease it's probably waayyy too late.

Re the OP. Drinking a bottle of wine every night doesn't make you an alcoholic. Not being able to stop does.

DSM, I'd love to have a wine cellar. Can I share yours? wink

It is something that I wonder about too, the unit thing.
That and the whole "ooh, it is 12% proof". What is that about anyway?

I lived in a wine growning area for 10 years and NEVER heard anyone talking about %

And I agree that the amount of alcohol consumed is less important than the question of whether he needs a drink.

Surfermum Mon 02-Jun-08 21:56:34

I agree - if he's dependent on it and it's affecting his life then he's an alcoholic. Otherwise he's just drinking above the recommended levels.

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 21:56:38

Units has not much to do with the problem with alcohol in Scotland, MT.

It's the culture and the economy and the socialisation of young people.

Counting units isn't going to help, especially when it comes to youth who think they're invincible.

They're hardly going to think, 'Oh, I'm going over the recommended government guidlines for 12-year-olds. I'd better put down the White Lightning now.'


notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 21:57:30

DSM - I am prepared to wager that you have a bit of a dependence thing going on

With what you've listed as a typical night's consumption, I believe you are on your way to some serious health issues. Honestly. Heavyweight or not.

Or else you like to spin a yarn or two

madamez Mon 02-Jun-08 21:57:57

The government guidelines are rank bullshit though. They have admitted it. They MADE THEM UP: there is no scientific evidence for those particular amounts being the maxiumum you can drink in a week without your liver falling out, whatsoever.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 21:58:12

Lyra - yes you can wink

Monkey - I am not drinking myself to death hmm far from it. What a strange thing to say?

I have never been ill and, god willing, I will continue to stay healthy. I eat well, I am fit and healthy, and I have a few vices, but obesity is a bigger problem and thankfully, not one of mine.
However, I pay my tax and NI like everyone else, and I pay my membership for private healthcare, so fret ye not, my government contributions are going solely to others.

Really madamez? No scientific basis to it at all? where did you read this?

fishie Mon 02-Jun-08 21:59:24

hmm wine is very much stronger in the past few years. i have seen 15%, that is sherry not a pleasant claret.

Piffle Mon 02-Jun-08 21:59:54

I had my liver tested recently. Scanned and liver function as I was so worried.
am luckily perfectly fine.
now over the last 7 years between pregnancy and breastfeeding... 3 cans of Stella 5 nights 4 on another then maybe 1-2 on another
thats weekly 21 cans @ 2.6 units a can....
55 units almost...
I do worry about health implications and drink much less now but I do not worry about alcoholism as I feel in control of my drinking.

Fishie, things have moved on since the days of Blue Nun and Le Piat D'or grin

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 22:00:39

Oh, yes, the NHS is crumbling under hte weight of people living longer with health conditions, too, and the obesity crisis. And smokers.

Let's pillory all of them, too!


DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:01:21

Notnowbernard - its not a typical night - that would be only a few times a week. 2, maybe 3.

I can absolutely assure you I do not have any dependency issues. I never feel like I need a drink, never. I never drink alone, nor in the house. If anything, I have an addiction to socialising grin

Honestly though, I really do not have any alcohol issues. And I do not spin yarns, thank you very much.

Also agree with Expat and Madamez. (again)

expatinscotland Mon 02-Jun-08 22:01:26

i worry about my purse too much now to drink, Piffle wink.

unless someone else is paying .

That's interesting Piffle. Did you request the tests or did your doctor suggest them?

Monkeytrousers Mon 02-Jun-08 22:01:46

I think 0ver 50 to 70 units a week is pretty academic Madamez. I temp at a doctors. I send people who drink a bottle a night for detox regulalry - one drinks less than that and needs a transplant. I've said what my experience is. If people want to put their fingers in their ears and sing la la la, I can't stop them

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 02-Jun-08 22:02:29

[sits on hands]

Piffle Mon 02-Jun-08 22:06:16

and mt many non smokers get lung cancer and emphysema.
For some people as with smokers, one person can smoke 23 a day for 50 years and have lungs that are more clear and sound than her 37 yr old daughter who gave up smoking after 4 years of 14 a day..
There is always a susceptability factor.

You are sounding a bit sanctimonius MT. Is this personal for you?

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 22:07:22

DSM - I honestly don't wish to offend or speak in a presumptious way smile

I still consider the level of consumption you describe (even at "just" 2-3 times a week) quite staggering

I speak as someone who as worked with very unwell folk who drink less than you

Surfermum Mon 02-Jun-08 22:10:55

I book admissions for a detox unit and stand by what I posted.

There are some (but not many) who drink less than the equivalent of a bottle a night, there are some who have a bottle for breakfast and then continue drinking.

If he can cut down and give it up no problem then he isn't an alcoholic. If he NEEDS to continue having alcohol every night then he has a problem.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:12:29

I appreciate that it seems a lot. However, in my line of work, and the hours that I am out for, it really is not as bad as it may sound. I will drink those 10 pints and 3 or 4 vodkas and a bunch of shots in a period of, say, 14 or 15 hours.
Yes, it is a lot, and I do have somewhat of a reputation for being able to drink a lot. But I don't get overly drunk, and I often think that to people who don't drink much at all, it will sound staggering.

Thank you for your concern, genuinely, but I know alcoholics, and I know what a dependency is like. And I can unequivocally assure you, I do not have any alcohol related problems.

It's not the sort of thing I can confront him about really, as he's just a colleague and not a particularly close one, so I guess we'll never know.

A lot depends on how fast you drink, DSM. If you drank that amount in an evening, say 8pm-midnight, you'd be on the floor, comatose (well I would be anyway) but over 14-15 hours is a different story.

havalina Mon 02-Jun-08 22:15:07

Is that whole "only some people's livers are damaged by alcohol" thing true? I was randomly watching some programme with that Gunter Von Haagens or whatever he is called. They were teaching wayward people a lesson by showing them autopsies of people who have died by the same means iyswim.

They had a girl who was a binge drinker and showed her the autopsy of a lady who had been an alcoholic for many years. Surprisingly her liver was fine and dandy, twas vomit inhalation that killed her.

I did once read somewhere that according to genetics your liver will be affected differently, still not a good thing to drink loads mind.

Blandmum Mon 02-Jun-08 22:15:13

a bottle of wine contains around 9 units of alcohol. (depending on the alcohol content of the wine)

maximum recomended weekly amount for an adult male is 21 units.

a bottle a night puts him at 63 units a week. way over the safe level and he will be putting himself at real risk of life threatning liver damage

MsDemeanor Mon 02-Jun-08 22:17:04

That's seriously unhealthy amounts of alcohol. There is a strong likelihood it will damage your brain, your liver, increase your risk of many types of cancer. Blimey, I love wine but that's just mad. Of course people are free to drink themselves to death, I'm just really shocked that people drink that much that often (and I think I drink too much)

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 02-Jun-08 22:17:26

DSM - do you like having a "reputation for being able to drink a lot"?

Interesting havalina. My dad's family are all big drinkers. Mum's side not. Most of my dad's side are dead though...

It's not me, Msdemeanour.

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 22:20:23

I still consider the amount you drink staggering, even over the course of 15hrs

10 pints
4 spirits
10 shots

Fucking Hell

Glad you feel ok though. What work do you do?

14-15 hours? So you start at midday and carry on until 2-3am or start at 5pm and go through till dawn?

Christ on a bike what do you do for a job?

I would worry about someone that drank that much and didn't appear drunk.

MsDemeanor Mon 02-Jun-08 22:21:29

Think this is relevant - many people with severe liver disease are 'just' heavy social drinkers, not alcoholics. ohol+liver+disease+study&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=23&gl=uk

madamez Mon 02-Jun-08 22:22:56

DSM without being condescending I'd imagine that you are some way under 40: as the years go by the hangovers get worse and one tends to cut back a bit (I am over 40 and I used to drink like you do, I now drink less because I find that the icky feeling the next day outweighs the enjoyment of the night before. That's not to say I don't get hammered occasionally, just that I have more non-drinking nights now.

Without knowing the age/attitude of the OP's colleague I couldn't really comment on whether he has an alcohol problem or whether he just likes a drink but I do rather wonder if it's anyone else's business at all?

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:23:45

VVVQV - not sure what you mean. Why would one like or dislike such a thing?

Maybe you like to play chess, and have a reputation as an avid chess fan. Why would you feel anything in particular about this?

I work in an environment where people are drinking, all the time. So its not like someone working 9-5 in the office and getting pissed after work every night. Its just not the same, and you need to be more open minded about other lifestyles to understand that its not particularly abnormal.

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 22:24:56

DSM, what do you do for a living?

MsDemeanor Mon 02-Jun-08 22:24:58

Actually make that 'most people'

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 02-Jun-08 22:26:05

Chess is a hobby, no? Is drinking a hobby or past time? Educate me.

I only asked because you mentioned you had a reputation for drinking a lot and I wondered how you felt about it.

Madamez, no it's not my business, I was just wondering. Like I said, it's not like I'm going to confront him or book him into the Priory or anything.

WinkyWinkola Mon 02-Jun-08 22:27:43

Is it media sales or planning, DSM?

Only asking because out of all my friends, the ones who are the heaviest drinkers are in this field.....

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:27:55

madamez - not condescending at all, just true. I never used to suffer hangovers, at all. Now I do. It does get worse with age as well.. I certainly imagine that as the years go on, I will probably drink less and less frequently. I have no doubt about that grin

Marmaduke - I will normally begin drinking at say, 7 or 8pm and get home about 9am. But I am working during that time as well. This is an example, it is different all the time.

The people I work with all do the same. I am not unusual! And we all go home relatively drunk, but never hammered.

StarSparkle Mon 02-Jun-08 22:28:19

There is a wide specrum peoples relationship with alcohol. It is very complicated. What maybe be excessive to one person can be the norm to another. There are alot of factors involved. I find it interesting that everyone is suddenly so informed on units. Prob due to the massive alochol awareness drive by media/ government.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:28:53

VVVQV - yes, I would say that socialising, and social drinking are hobbies, yes I would.

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 22:30:39

DSM - it's not a hobby for you then? As it appears it is an important part of your working life also

Would you be able to function, or work to an optimum level if you weren't drinking? Or is it an important part of the culture?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 02-Jun-08 22:30:59

Oh yes, socialising is definitely a hobby.

What would your colleagues think if you didnt drink at all?

paranoid2 Mon 02-Jun-08 22:31:59

everyone even George best could give up alcohol for periods of time. Some alcoholics never drink during the day and have no problem waiting until the evening before consuming their units. I think the question to ask is " If you were told you could never drink again would this have a major impact on your life?

MsDemeanor Mon 02-Jun-08 22:35:25

You can easily become unwell and even die from drinking too much without ever being an alcohol or even drink-dependent. Your organs don't care! Dependency is really irrelevant to the physical health issues.

Ledodgy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:36:03

A bottle of 75 cl wine contains 6 standard wine glasses not 4 btw.

It would on mine, paranoid, and I wouldn't consider myself to be an alcoholic by any means.
It's the same as telling someone they can't eat chocolate/play football/whatever they enjoy, ever again. Of course it would have a negative impact.

bluewolf Mon 02-Jun-08 22:38:19

In A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof it is all about 'the click' when the alcoholic feels like a human being only when having drunk something. I think (A level research)

handlemecarefully Mon 02-Jun-08 22:43:10

OP - Yes

MsDemeanor Mon 02-Jun-08 22:47:54

I absolutely always fancy a glass of wine in the evening (unless I'm ill), but don't always yearn for one and am perfectly fine without. Found evening socialising really dull and tricky when I was pregnant. But in the morning, I'm always so glad when I didn't have a drink the night before because you feel so good. Hangovers are hideous.

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 22:48:33

Oh goodness - no, I do it at work for the fact that I enjoy it. My colleagues would think nothing, there are usually, on any given night, some people drinking, some not. I don't always drink at work.

I can absolutely perform to an optimum level without a drink. Again, I don't drink every day at work.

I think the word 'alcoholic' has so many connotations and sometimes becomes unhelpful for defining alcohol problems ( unless someone is choosing the word to define themselves). I have worked with many people with alcohol problems and as so many have said on this thread already, people can drink very different amounts of alcohol and be affected differently.

I used to ask people to look at their drinking in terms of the 4 L's - liver (affect of alcohol on health), Livelihood (affect of alcohol on work), Love (affect of alcohol on intimate relationships) and Law ( Whether alcohol had led to an offence - i.e. drink driving, violence etc.) People seemed to be able to consider their drinking much more honestly in this way than by looking at arbitrary amounts of units etc.

notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 23:00:05

Hope you don't feel I've been on your case, DSM smile

You do drink a lot, though, and I have met a lot of dependent people in my life sad

I would advise you to apply the brake a little? For your liver's sake, if nothing else

tiredlady Mon 02-Jun-08 23:03:53

People aren't called alcoholics any more, they now suffer with alcohol dependence syndrome. There are lots of symptoms - cravings, withdrawals,increased tolerance to alcohol, rapid reinstatement of previous drinking patterns after abstinence, prioritisation of alcohol over other activities etc. However, not everyone who is a heavy drinker will fit these criteria, but this does not necessarily mean anything. If people are drinking huge quantites over a long period of time( and I would say a bottle of wine a night is a lot) then at some point their liver will be fucked - unless they are very lucky

DirtySexyMummy Mon 02-Jun-08 23:05:45

nnb - not at all. I enjoy a lively discussion grin

I also really do appreciate your concern, as there are many dependent people who would benefit from such advice.

Thankfully, I know (and hope I have convinced you smile) that I am not in any way dependent. I have not had anything to drink for the last 3 days, for example, and the thought has not once entered my head until now. I still don't particularly fancy a drink right now though!

I tend to go through phases of drinking 4 or 5 times a week for a month or so, and then maybe only once or twice a week for another month or so, its not conscious, it just happens. I don't really feel the need to 'apply the brakes' as it were, as I don't think it is quite as bad as it sounds, given the line of work I am in, and my age. However, as I used to drink a lot more when I was younger, I am sure that over the years, it will continue to naturally decrease.


notnowbernard Mon 02-Jun-08 23:07:40


tigermoth Mon 02-Jun-08 23:26:42

This thread just goes to show how different people are - how much they drink, how much they think is safe for them.

It comes as no surprise to see that the goverment's recommended unit figure is such a guesstimate.

DSM, I admire your honestly.

I drink about a can of lager a night - I prefer lager as I am such a gulper blush. I can easily drink half a bottle of wine a night (which I think is too much for me) so I don't buy wine as a rule, and if I do, I drink a few big glasses of squash or water over the evening.

I think I could drink a bottle of wine a night without becoming dependent on it, but I would get the most screamingly awful hangovers.

Me too tigermoth, the hangovers just aren't worth it. And its not fair on DC to have a grumpy mummy because she's drunk too much the night before.

gerbra Mon 02-Jun-08 23:33:40

I don't think it's true that 'you're an alcoholic because you drink X number of units a week'.

It's all to do with why you drink and whether you need it to function. You can easily drink stupidly for 3 nights in a row on social occasions, exceed the recommended units by a long way, and not be an alcoholic.

gerbra Mon 02-Jun-08 23:35:22

Tiredlady, you said perfectly what I meant to doesn't matter whether you're classed as an 'alcoholic' or not, if you drink too much over a period of time, your liver will pack up.

KerryMum Mon 02-Jun-08 23:35:47

I think you're an alcoholic if you resort to drinking rubbing alcohol if there's no booze available.

gerbra Mon 02-Jun-08 23:38:39

rubbing alcohol? Is that like drinking lighter fuel?

MissingMyHeels Mon 02-Jun-08 23:39:23

Prior to DD, working in the media industry, being in my early 20s I would easily drink a bottle (often two) a night most nights of the week. I wasn't an alcohlic, just a pisshead who went out alot on expenses!

I think it's very circumstance dependent, I know lots of people who drink like DSM does and I used to, none of whom I would consider alcoholics!

I'm beginning to see the difference hr, between needing a drink and wanting a drink.
I can't honestly ever remember needing alcohol, but I've certainly wanted it, esp after a difficult day with DC.

KerryMum Mon 02-Jun-08 23:50:17

an old and ex and actually dead friend would drink rubbing alcohol if nothing else was at hand.

gerbra Mon 02-Jun-08 23:56:01

god kerrymum, that's sad. Was that a while ago? I'm kind of thinking supermarket booze is so cheap now there's always an alternative to rubbing alcohol...might be wrong though...

Pruners Mon 02-Jun-08 23:56:45

Message withdrawn

Pruners Mon 02-Jun-08 23:59:00

Message withdrawn

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 00:05:06

And imagine how much heavier her purse would be if she cut back, Pruners!

Immagine what they spend on 2 bottles a night.


KerryMum Tue 03-Jun-08 00:05:16

oh yes it was eons ago. 20 years ago maybe? egads. she lived with me best friend (who is still my best friend). He caught her at it. On a few occassions. No booze in the house (I think he had done one of his sweeps) so she drank that. That happened on a few occassions. I'm suprised it didn't kill her straight out but supposedly you build up a tolerance. unseemly.

there's an alcoholic on our estate now. She pisses and shits herself and falls down the stairs and sets the house on fire passing out with lite fags.

those are alocholics.

barbamama Tue 03-Jun-08 00:08:35

My sister and her partner drink at least a bottle a night each. They would refuse to even consider that they were alcoholics or even "had a drink problem". Having spent some time with them recently I would say however that they definitely do have a problem. They do hold down jobs but ANY spare time is spent sleeping (as they are up late drinking), she has become obese (though doesn't eat a lot), he has high blood pressure, they have no motivation to do anything other than stay in their flat drinking. They both look really unhealthy. To me, if your drinking habit does that to you, you have a problem.

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 00:09:28

Do you really think it is sad? That they have a hobby, or interest that they enjoy so much?

I don't. The elderly couple across the road from me love gardening and washing their car. Not my cup of tea, but they do it together, almost daily. I also know that they go to bridge together twice a week, and he boules, and she goes along.

I can't imagine they would want to contemplate the idea of not being able to do any of these things any more, and not sure why it would be sad that they enjoy it.

Some people enjoy a few drinks together, some enjoy chess, some enjoy eating takeaways, some enjoy potholing, some enjoy bungee jumping.. some things are dangerous/unhealthy, some are not.

Why do people judge so much what other people choose to do with their own lives? I honestly cannot understand it. What other people do really, really does not mean a thing to me. I hope they are enjoying themselves, and that is as far as my interest goes.

Until someone looks like they may need help, for god sake leave them alone! Live, and let live.

copingvquietly Tue 03-Jun-08 00:10:32

iv drnuk a hel ofa ltot tonigtsad

Pruners Tue 03-Jun-08 00:12:38

Message withdrawn

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 00:13:56

With the credit crisis on, if you can afford it, go for it whilst you can! wink

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:16:59

Hey coping, I've drunk a fair bit too sad

DSM, was the 'sad' in reference to my comment? I meant it was sad to drink rubbing alcohol in the absence of booze in the house. Hope that didn't come across wrong, I'm the last person to be remonstrating about alcohol!

I think drinking socially, if you can take it or leave it when you're not out, is a blissful state to be in!! This is how I used to be and how I long to be again.

I'm not the 'alcoholic' that Kerrymum describes (poor woman Kerrymum sad) but I do feel dependent on alcohol. I guess that's the difference.

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 00:21:20

No gerbra - it was to pruners smile

Pan Tue 03-Jun-08 00:21:39

I doubt if anywhere you'll find a def. of an alcoholic.

The analysis that I come across quite often is the 4 indicators of the effect it is having on your life i.e. health,wealth,work, and relationships.

Never miding defs. of 'alcoholic', if these things are adversely affected by your consumption, then you have a 'problem' and an unhealthy relationship with alchohol.

3 of them are pretty clear earlier than the 4th, health. One's liver is a pretty fantastic thing, but even that will collapse in time to come.

Pan Tue 03-Jun-08 00:24:38

also, bear in mind, people who 'drink too much' ALWAYS under-report their consumption.

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:27:08

I'm guessing the poor woman Kerrymum talks about on her estate is your typical alcoholic that ticks all the boxes.

I think it's quite dangerous to use the term 'alcoholic' as you can think 'well, I'm not pissing in the street, I'm okay then'... 'I'm holding down my job and relationships, I'm okay then'.

At the end of the day though, if you're drinking too much, your liver and god knows what else will pack up, 'I'm not okay then'

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:28:10

And I'm not talking from the moral high ground, I drink too much. Just don't want anyone to think I'm preaching smile

BoyzntheShire Tue 03-Jun-08 00:42:17

dsm is making me pine a little for the days in which i was a heavyweight. oh the fun i used to have... the amounts you mention dont sound all that much to me. not for a night out when youre used to drinking.

my nan was an alcoholic. a v elegent one, not like KM's ones at all. v sociable and upbeat. she would have her first glass or two by about 10am. died of cirrhosis of the liver at 70. nasty way to go, but to be expected really considering the amount she put away. was a broken heart that killed her really tho (long story).

was worried about my mum for a bit. she was doing a bottle or two of red a day/night and half a bottle of jack daniels every day. as a basic. more on nights out. she has reeled in a bit since then, mind.

im always aware it could become a problem for me, but havnt felt it to be so, so far.

Monkeytrousers Tue 03-Jun-08 00:43:21

The degree of reletavism in this debate is frightening.

Don't trust the govenment. Dont trust the NHS. Great. Lets hear you say that when you need them. fools

BoyzntheShire Tue 03-Jun-08 00:44:55

gosh mt, you sound v saintly. i bet you never do anything remotely unhealthy.

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 00:46:03

Sorry mt? hmm

Whoever said don't trust the NHS? hmm

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:46:05

In defense of relatevising it, it is on record that one of the guys on the board responsible for setting the unit limits, later admitted that it was purely an 'educated guess'. It was based on nothing more than that. (I've actually seen the footage of him admitting this!)

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:46:54

and actually, I don't think anyone has done that on this thread, I just wanted to point that out...

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 00:55:37

It is widely known that 'units' are not actually based on anything scientific. They were created as a guideline for the masses.

It is actually based on the following equation - mlxABV/1000.

But as noone does that (come on, do you?) then they just round it up, to a measure of spirit being 1 unit.

However, lets compare say, Archers and Absinthe.
A 25ml measure of Archers would equate to only 0.6 of a unit, whereas a 25ml measure of Absinthe, would be 1.6 units.

Yet they are both classed as one unit.

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 00:59:46

Oh my god DSM, you have just gone from being Dirty Sexy Mummy in my imagination to bearded, stooping, professor with spectacles and a while coat grin

Point well made though, I hasten to add...

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 01:00:22

whITE coat blush

BoyzntheShire Tue 03-Jun-08 01:00:23

are you in the music industry dsm? ive er 'worked' in the music industry of sorts and the amounts youve quoted dont seem excessive to me. theyd knock me on my arse in about 3 seconds these days... lol

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 01:02:48

gerbra - I promise, I do not look how you sounded! But I hold a liquor license and know these random facts.. normally useless, however, occasionally comes in handy grin

And boyz - yes wink

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 01:03:17

How you sounded? hmm

Clearly, I meant how you described.

gerbra Tue 03-Jun-08 01:04:22

I didn't think so grin

BoyzntheShire Tue 03-Jun-08 01:11:19

and how much do i want to be sitting on the roof at pacha right now? thinking about popping down the road to the mezzanine (via my time machine obv as twas only short lived) [sigh]

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 01:13:30

Pacha Ibiza?

BoyzntheShire Tue 03-Jun-08 01:22:41

yup. miss it.

DirtySexyMummy Tue 03-Jun-08 01:28:23

You'll be pleased jealous to know that I am off there in 3 weeks


slim22 Tue 03-Jun-08 03:10:18

whatever the amount, i think if you feel you need to take a little something everyday in order to relax, then there is a problem.

I speak from the other side of the fence, having been on "detox" due to pregnancy/BF.
I always enjoyed my wine.We would drink a bottle with dinner about every other day.I becomes a habit before you know it.

I have nothing against indulging and will certainly do the minute I stop BF.
But limiting alcohol definitely boosts energy levels and somehow forces you to find ways to relax in every little occasion of the day/evening (in a bath, with a book, playing cards,talking etc,,,).
I find alcohol every night, even in small amounts isolates you in a mood of your own.You just feel like you want the kids in bed so that you can sit down with that well deserved drink. does not feel right.

slim22 Tue 03-Jun-08 03:13:18

Oh of course, I forgot, leaves more time and energy for sex smile

Can he go without alcohol for a day/week/month without being bothered about it? Can he have just one or two glasses of wine and be ok about not having any more?

The generic advise is "If you think you have a problem, then you probably have".

Have you tried talking to your male friend? If he is defensive, then he is likely to be aware that he is drinking too much already. You could offer to help him, but it's got to be his own choice....

Pregnantpenguin, I don't know. I can't really ask him these questions. He's a colleague rather than a friend so I'm not really the one to 'help' him, if he needs it.

morningglory Tue 03-Jun-08 11:29:07

Does anyone know what the statistics for liver disease in France is? My ILs are definitely not alchoholics, but they do drink, as do many people in their region of their age, an aperarif + 3 glasses of wine (very small glasses) with lunch and dinner everyday. If they go out, they will drink more than that. Definitely not excessive, but it is a daily thing. Just curious.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:32:05

Have you tried talking to your male friend? If he is defensive, then he is likely to be aware that he is drinking too much already. You could offer to help him, but it's got to be his own choice....

I would be offended if a colleague tried to talk to me about my drinking, tbh, PP, unless it was affecting my performance at work.

And I don't even drink!


Because unless it is affecting one's work it is no one's business what a person does in his/her spare time so long as it is not illegal.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:34:17

Trust the government?

You've got to be joking, MT!

Those people can't organise a piss up in a brewery.

This seems to have really touched a nerve with you, as Piffle pointed out earlier.

Any particular reason why?

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 11:40:18

some people are more affected by alcohol than others but you have no way of knowing who that is

if any individual is uncomfortable with their alcohol or cant not drink they may be an alcoholic

i reckon that people know if they have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol

they just very often dont want to admit it

but as to judging someone else it just isnt worth going there really

though i do agree that as a society/community it is soemthing worth looking at

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:42:19

I think it's worthwhile to work on why so many feel they need to turn to booze to cope with life.

But no one in government is really interested in doing that because it's going to bring some very inconvenient truths out in the open.

Expat/Lyra - I thought that you had set up this thread because you were worried about him and were planning on talking to him. Sorry if I misunderstood.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 11:44:45

its quick and easy and cheap basically

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 11:47:55

Lots of stats here

LONDON, Jan 5 (APM) - Britain has seen the biggest rise in mortality from liver cirrhosis in western Europe following a two-fold rise in UK alcohol consumption over the past 50 years, a report in The Lancet reveals.

Within the UK, Scotland now has one of the highest cirrhosis death rates in western Europe, at 45.2 per 100,000 in men and 19.9 per 100,000 in women, says the report, written by Professor David Leon of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Dr. Jim McCambridge of King's College, London.

They based their findings on data of 14 countries from the World Health Organisation mortality database.

Although many European countries still have higher cirrhosis death rates than the UK, the authors stress that these countries' rates are going down whereas the UK rates have "risen steeply and are now on a par or have exceeded the western European average".

In absolute terms, Austria has the highest cirrhosis death rate in western Europe at 43.5 men per 100,000 population. That compares with England and Wales (14.1), France (28.1) Germany (33.6), Italy (26.5), Spain (25.1) and Sweden (13.5).

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:48:34

Um, expat didn't start this thread at all.

Lyra did. She just mentioned a colleague had mentioned to her how much he drinks/night.

I don't think it's true that all people who drink too much under-estimate/report their consumption, either, which was a point Pan brought up earlier.

I never had a problem or felt shame about hiding the amount I drank in the past.

I'm worried that demonising alcohol use, like smoking and food, only leads to an even more unhealthy relationship with it in the long run across society.

I've seen this happen in the US, a shame-based culture. It doesn't work, people.

Need to try a different strategy - the fire and brimstone, preaching approach just leads to the, 'Fuck it! I've already exceeded the recommended units, may as well drink the whole bottle/eat the whole cake/smoke the whole pack!' attitude.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:49:35

I wonder if the UK has more liver-related disease because of their unhealthy, binge, alcohol-is-something-that's-naughty attitude towards booze.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 03-Jun-08 11:50:02

Message withdrawn

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 11:51:01

I don't agree it does, cod.

Depends on his relationship with alcohol.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 11:51:45

you can do it on your own in your own home

you can think it is temporary until you have got over the stress/anguish/depression

it is acceptable

it is easy to carry on with your life for a lot of people

and you dont realise until it is too late that you have compromised your health

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 11:51:51

Interesting about Austria. The rates there are astronomical. Austria is turning out to be a very strange place. Not at all the image of healthy open-air, sausage-eating folk in aprons I used to have.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 11:53:51

and wine is nice and has a whole lot of interesting history culture flavour trappings knowledge and commentary to accompany it

people write about it appealingly in papers

vineyards and wine bars are nice places

it is a fantasy in a glass

the bottle feels nice

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 03-Jun-08 11:54:10

Countries who have a 'relaxed' attitude like France and Spain have a high percentage of deaths. But generally they don't have the same issues with booze filled young people causing trouble on the streets.

I didn't realise the figures were so high for Scotland though.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 11:57:44

Rates in France and Spain have plummetted mainly because they have a more, um, English/US style working day now. Fewer siestas and long lunches so much less daytime drinking. That reduction, plus no binge drink culture has been accompanied by a fall in liver disease rates. The stats come from 2006. I imagine in that time figures for Britain and Scotland have got much, much worse and France and Spain have got better.

anniemac Tue 03-Jun-08 12:06:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

This is a really interesting topic, and one thing that has been puzzling me - why are the Government suddenly so focused on villifying middle aged drinkers?

What do you think their agenda is?

girlnextdoor Tue 03-Jun-08 12:28:49

Because a) their kids tend to follow the same pattern and b) liver disease is becoming a big problem.

Many people don't know they have liver disease until it is to late- it can come on very quickly, and people now are possibly drinking more than they used to.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 12:29:13

because they get liver disease i think

and because they dont realise that knocking back wine and whiskey by the bottle is the same as drinking cider or beer down the club

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 12:30:17

they are often protected for a good while though as a good diet of fresh fruit and veg and exercise etc does enable you to drink more

Do you think it's possible to drink this much simply because you like the taste of wine, or would you say it always points to underlying issues?

OrmIrian Tue 03-Jun-08 12:33:54

Ooh does it zippi! Hurray.

Well having had something to drink every day for the last 10 days, something I never normally do, I can honestly say I feel like sh*t sad. Not to mention that a whole bottle is a lot of alcohol to be consuming every day.

anniemac Tue 03-Jun-08 12:36:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

carmenelectra Tue 03-Jun-08 12:44:45

I must be an alcholic then!grin

No, i could easily drink a bottle of wine a night, but i usually share one with dp. I Do this most nights but not all, as the evenings im working i obviously dont drink. It varies to how many nights i drink. If i was off work or on holiday i would drink every night. I dont crave alcohol, but i do fancy it, is that the same?!

I find i am worse with spirits really as i pour myself large measures and i must be well over the units. Not that im counting.

I make myself feel better by remembering that the evenings or nights im at work i dont have anything. Its very rare i would have an evening at home though with no work or no work early next day without me drinking. I enjoy it.

Pan Tue 03-Jun-08 12:46:56

expat - yes, you]

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 12:50:29

well exactly liver disease and drink related ilness is insidious ....especially if you have a comfortable fit lifestyle which plenty of people do

but eventually stiatistically it may catch up with may not...but it is more liekly it will by which time you may be unable to undo the damage

but if you do drink thejh try and eat well and exercise

but its not a panacea just may take you longer

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 12:51:08

alcohol does raise your blood pressure

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:07:45

'Do you think it's possible to drink this much simply because you like the taste of wine, or would you say it always points to underlying issues?'

It's possible he just likes the taste. It doesn't always point to an underlying issue.

And FWIW I feel it's far, far less healthy to analyse an acquaintance's lifestyle so thoroughly when it's really no one's business what he does in his spare time so long as it's not illegal and not affecting his work performance.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:10:58

i think it is a bit odd to scrutinise someone else but then of course it isnt odd on mn

it really doesnt matter whether you are an alcoholic or not becaus eyour body doesnt react any differently..if you drink too much alcoholol then there is a high chance of causing some damage

whether you could stop easily or not is irrelevant if you dont stop

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:12:26

it doesnt take that long to drink a bottle of qwine..less than three large measures in a pub and you have had over a bottle

It's not so much a case of scrutinising him. He's a grown man, he can take care of himself and whether it's a problem for him or not is not my business.
I just thought it would be an interesting discussion in general. A lot of MNers seem to drink an awful lot. I'd never discuss this anywhere I thought he might see it (he has no children so is unlikely to come on MN).

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:19:58

a lot of mners do drink a lot

i think it is the demopgraphic

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:21:19

i think its actually unproven whether drinking makes you an alcoholic

in that

you either have the propensity or not

And when I wrote: 'Do you think it's possible to drink this much simply because you like the taste of wine, or would you say it always points to underlying issues?'
I wasn't really referring to him, just people in general who drink a lot.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:22:48

well i would say it doesnt point to underlying issues yes you can drink because you like the taste experience culture vibe etc

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:23:25

Maybe they just like the taste, the way some people like to eat a lot of food or smoke cigarettes.


VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 03-Jun-08 13:24:20

"far far less healthy"?

I think that's a leetle exaggeration based on an 'off-the-cuff' thread based on a casual conversation.

I really dont think Lyra is stalking him or taking notes grin

I do find it hard to see how anyone can like the taste of most wines and all beers/lagers. They are foul (unless mixed with copious amounts of lemonade!!!). Most people I've asked tell me "you get used to it". Why would you force yourself to get used to it? That's why I can't believe that for the majority - it's a taste thing. It's certainly not a thirst thing either, is it? If it's to relax you, it's a drug thing, isn't it? Maybe those who drink a bit also smoke? Maybe it impairs taste? If it's a hobby - what do you get out of it? Certainly no end result or 'product' of your time (apart from a high??), poorer health - it certainly doesnt improve health like other 'activities'.

I can best compare drinking such amounts of alcohol in the evening to thinking "i'll have a packet of crisps/bar of chocolate". Then thinking "that's nice, I'll have another". Then thinking "well, there's only one pack left in the cupboard, I might as well finish it". Surely most people would consider that kind of behaviour on a fairly regular basis, a bit, well, excessive, no?

I should point out, I am playing devil's advocate somewhat. That said, I do find it easy because I find alcohol utterly pointless in terms of refreshment, taste and effect. I'd rather drink water.

girlnextdoor Tue 03-Jun-08 13:25:32

I think there is a fine line between drinking out of need- and drinking 'cos you like the taste! It is obvious that people drink cos they like the taste- or else why do it? But they like the effects too.

The real test perhaps is to ask- am I thinking about a drink, when I can't have one? Do I NEED a drink to relax or feel confident?

The way drink affects the body is slowly and insidiously- you might carry on for 30 or 40 years, feeling fine, then wham- fatty liver, cirrhosis etc etc- and too late.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:25:58

alcohol is very carbohydrate so it does put weight on you

some people drink instead of eating of course

which is when things can definitely deteriorate so you can diet and drink and lose weight but it isnt very healthy

OrmIrian Tue 03-Jun-08 13:26:22

I think that being able to drink anything that's available just because it contains alcohol might be a good indicator to alcoholism. Even if you aren't too keen on the taste. I once knew someone that made wine - it was totally vile, even he admitted it, but drank it because it was cheap and it got him pissed.

Thank you VVVQV. I was feeling a bit hmm at that comment.
Actually I do really like the taste of white wine. It's the perfect thing for a summer evening in the garden. I don't want to get to like it too much though.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:26:58

Well, I do think it's unhealthy because it's just brought up by the OP time and again, his drinking.

I mean, so what?

It's not illegal. It's not affecting his performance.

It may or not affect his liver, but then there's a lot of behaviours we all engage in that can shorten our lives or cause health problems.

It just appears that so many of these threads are becoming so smug and preachy.

But of course, if someone started a similar one about food and overweight it would be hard to open due to the flames and heat coming off it.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:29:08

i think most wine and beer does taste nice

it can also be a nervous habit to keep drinking in social situations especially if you have the drink in your hand

people drink because they enjoy it im sure..but enjoying it doesnt prevent you getting ill eventually

also a lot of people are addicts of all sorts of unlikely things

Expat. I repeat:

It's not so much a case of scrutinising him. He's a grown man, he can take care of himself and whether it's a problem for him or not is not my business.
I just thought it would be an interesting discussion in general. A lot of MNers seem to drink an awful lot. I'd never discuss this anywhere I thought he might see it (he has no children so is unlikely to come on MN).

And when I wrote: 'Do you think it's possible to drink this much simply because you like the taste of wine, or would you say it always points to underlying issues?'
I wasn't really referring to him, just people in general who drink a lot.

Any clearer?

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:30:54

of course smoking and drinking are very good partners

ex smokers who drink will always say alcohol is what leads them back to smoking

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:31:50

then why involve him in the coversation at all?

why not just leave him out entirely and ask, 'Does drinking a bottle of wine every night make you an alcoholic?'

some people said yes, some people said no.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:32:51

long commutes in a car and smoking are good companions. wink

In the op, I said talking to my colleague about it had prompted me to ask. It just made me think of it, that's all.
And the only reason I kept mentioning him is because people kept asking questions, like does he need to drink, which I can't answer as I'm just a colleague.
The thread isn't about him, it was just what got me thinking about the issue.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:36:41


MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 13:38:49

If Lyra had just put 'do you think drinking a bottle of wine a night is too much/makes you an alcoholic' then teh very next post would be 'why do you ask? Are you drinking that much' grin so I do think the context for her musings is valid. It's not like a single bloke will be trawling MN and think hmmm...I work with a Lyra Silvertongue - she must mean me, dammit!

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:39:54

i think there needs to be a hard look at why British people, especially Scottish, drink the way they do.

what is it about their culture, their economy and the place they live in that fosters this?

what is behind the increase in women drinking?

that sort of thing.

the current approach: units, don't do it, shame it, hide it, make it more expensive, etc. is as unhealthy as things are now.

but i only bring to this my own experience of growing up in a sanctimonious, shame-based culture - where those strategies really haven't work. shame food - greatest obesity rates on the planet. shame sex - biggest producers of porn on the planet. shame substances - soaring drug use problems.

it doesn't work. there has to be another way.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 13:40:06

And I think it is interesting. I think I drink too much and worry about it. It's also an important issue in terms of health and public purse. I don't think anyone has talked in terms of morals on this thread, unless I missed that bit.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 13:40:18

And I think it is interesting. I think I drink too much and worry about it. It's also an important issue in terms of health and public purse. I don't think anyone has talked in terms of morals on this thread, unless I missed that bit.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:41:48

i find the whole 'units' things very moralistic and unhealthy as an approach.

again, it smacks of counting calories and fat grams instead of enjoying everything in moderation.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 13:42:51

I LOVE the taste of wine actually. There is nothing like it. Water's bland, juice is too sweet... I tried non-alcoholic wine when I was pregnant, but it tastes horrible!

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:43:48

Non-alcoholic wine? I hadn't realised there was such a thing.

I love the taste of wine myself. Always have.

Not beer so much, but ale is yummy.

Spirits, meh.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:44:19

wellwomen drink because you can buy wine in the supermarket or the corner shop its not exactly a guilt trip is it

and most people do it

i dont think there are complex reasons it is just availability and cheapness and acceptability

i actually find it easier to drink less wine than to mn less tho

so easiest not to smoke then not to eat chocolate then not to drink cofee then not to drink wine and then not to mn

Minum Tue 03-Jun-08 13:44:41

I can't bear to eat a nice meal without a glass of wine, so I drink almost every day (unless we're having egg and chips wink). I feel fab, have loads of energy, and am achieving a lot at the moment, so I can't see the booze is doing me much harm. Maybe I'm in denial, but I come from a family who drink in a similar way to me, and no one has had any alchohol related illnesses, so its a risk I'm happy to take.

And I love the taste of wine, real ale and lager.

And pubs are amongst my favorite places to be, to the extent I go on my own sometimes, I love the community atmosphere.

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:45:30

it's cheap and available in Europe, too, zippi.

but you don't see the problems there that you do here.

so i do think there's more to it.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:47:45

oh i think there are problems infrance and spain with alcoholic disease

and in bars you see plenty of drunk frenchmen

but they just dont look drunk

which in fact i suspect the majority of mns who have drunk their usual bottle of wine or more dont either

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 13:50:00

i imagine people here watch more tv too

we are just slobs

expatinscotland Tue 03-Jun-08 13:52:36

But zippi, 'Britain has seen the biggest rise in mortality from liver cirrhosis in western Europe following a two-fold rise in UK alcohol consumption over the past 50 years, a report in The Lancet reveals.'

Not Europe, whose levels of disease are dropping.

There is something about Britain's culture that is behind this, and not just cheap and accessible, because it's actually cheaper in Europe to drink and very acceptable.

wannaBe Tue 03-Jun-08 13:52:41

I am shock by some of the responses on this thread.

As far as I saw it, the op was using her friend as reference, so that a discussion might be had on whether such amounts of alcohol constitutes a dependency in general, not because she was intending to encourage him in the direction of the nearest AA meeting.

I think a bottle of wine a night is excessive. I also think that just because you say you’re not dependent on alcohol, doesn’t mean you’re not. Remember one of the major symptoms of alcoholism is denial. Alcoholics rarely admit to having a drink problem until they come to the realization that they have a drink problem and seak help for it. Also, you don’t have to drink all day and all night to be an alcoholic, that’s another of the major misconceptions about alcoholism. So you can still be sobour for 2/3 days of the week and go out binge drinking every Friday and Saturday night and could still have a problem with alcohol.

As a non drinker I have always been bothered by just how normal drinking is considered to be, and how it is actually considered less normal not to drink than to drink.

I am predominantly te-total. Not because of any moral objections to alcohol, but because I just don’t like the taste. Beer, wine, all ghastly imo, unless you drown it in gallons of lemonade, in which case what is the point? But try going out with a group of friends and ordering a coke while everyone else is ordering alcohol. “oh you can’t have a good time if you don’t have a drink” is a comment I’ve heard regularly. Or “we’ll have to spike your drink one day to get you drunk” was something I also experienced when I was younger. Not drinking is like being an outcast. In the opinion of a lot of people you should only not drink if you’re driving, otherwise there must be something wrong with you.

So I think this normalizing of the need for alcohol is something that needs to be looked at before we can do something about it.

peacelily Tue 03-Jun-08 13:54:50

I love wine and when I was pregnant I missed it so muc, life seemed to have its shine taken off it. I don't know if that makes me an alcoholic or not.

All I know is that socialising in pubs is dull as shite without alcohol even if its just a couple of drinks. All of our friends drink over the recommended weekly amounts some are healthy some are not.

However I do find that if I drink on more than 2 consecutive days I'm irritable, forgetful, clumsy and disorganised (well more so than usual).

Therefore drink 4 nights a week approx, on school nights 2-3 glasses and 1 night at the weekend maybe a bit more. Have to admit though after 2 nights of abstinence I'm usually craving it a bit!!

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 14:00:16

i think a lot of it is down to personality

people who say they dont like the taste or just dont like drinking always seem to have a different kind of personality to me

like a controlled one lol

Anchovy Tue 03-Jun-08 14:05:56

What I think we are bad about is self-moderating and there does not seem to me to be a socially acceptable way of doing this..

If people are drinking too much, really the only available support is AA. Now I think they are excellent, but it involves you "surrendering to a higher power" and accepting that you cannot control your drinking. It has a strong support network, but is all a bit cloak and dagger-y, and (I think) involves looking at lots of other areas of your life.

As an analogy, after I had my first child I couldn't shift about 10lbs. I just knew that if I didn't I never would. So I did WW on-line, learned some really interesting things about food and quickly and easily(ish!) lost that 10lbs.

I would love to see some sort of - I don't know, programme, that says - you know what - drink is nice but if you are getting a bit too fond of it here's what to do - and then you cut out for 2 days a week or whatever suits you (there would be different "drink aware" programmes). So you learn how to moderate your drinking in a socially acceptable way (for example if you went out for a drink after work, you would feel quite happy going "ooh, no I'm on "Drink Watchers" and I've had my units for this week so I'll just have a soft drink" etc.

We have this all or nothing, polarised, heavyweight/lightweight view of drinking, and the middleground is uncharted.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 14:08:23

but anchovy lots of people do have the same dificulty giving up food and losing weight in fact more people have a problem with food than drink

they do try but they never succeed

OrmIrian Tue 03-Jun-08 14:09:03

That is so true anchovy. Drink is a demon! Well no it isn't. But like many things it is damaging in excess.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 14:09:46

I think we drink so much because of peer pressure, fewer social brakes (eg it's fine to vomit in the street and nobody will shun you for it - quite the contrary) and more freedom for women to do whatever we like, which is obviously a most excellent thing, but one effect is that women will do some bad stuff, like be more violent, and some unhealthy stuff, like drink like fishes (she says, as a bit of a fish herself). Our grandmothers might have felt a bit racy having a sweet sherry or a g&T and then thought, more than that is too much. We have a totally different perception of alcohol. It's like portion sizes. People 50 or 20 years ago would have looked at a bagel we'd eat today and think it was far too big.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 14:11:08

its like eating a whole pizza taher than sharing one between 4 or 5 people

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 14:12:59

Pizza Express had to increase pizza size simply because all the other chains were serving giant pizzas so people thought that was a 'normal' portion size and the PE ones weren't big enough to satisfy, but of course they were. A kid's portion is enough really.

Anchovy Tue 03-Jun-08 14:19:03

Yes, Zippi, but the analogy with weight is that the apparatus is there to help you with weight loss. (I know its difficult, by the way, and more difficult for some than others).

Using weight as an analogy, its quite socially acceptable for me to say to mates "Oh bugger, I've deffo put some weight on recently, what am I going to do to lose it?" And they will all say - Oh, try WW, have you thought of GI based stuff, Cambridge diet is good but not great for health. Its socially acceptable to say "No thanks, I'm not going to have a pudding, I'used my WW points for today/ that doesn't fit in with my diet etc".

It would be nice if it was as socially acceptable to say "Oh bugger, I think I'm drinking too much"; have an objective way of finding out; have several different options for dealing with it (in the same way that different diets suit different people); and then have the social support to follow it through. Currently it seems as though the only option is AA in a church hall somewhere with its notions of "hitting rock bottom". Why can't there be some fairly practical intervention way before then.

MsDemeanor Tue 03-Jun-08 14:26:30

I don't think that's really true though Anchovy. I often hear 'oh, I think I've had enough now' or 'I'm giving it up for lent' or 'I only drink at weekends' or 'ooh, i had a bit too much to drink last night so giving it a rest today' and that's completely socially acceptable.

flossiefumble Tue 03-Jun-08 14:34:52

Message withdrawn

Anchovy Tue 03-Jun-08 14:42:26

Yes, MsDemeanour, I agree, but following my analogy through, that's the difference between "cutting things out" and going on an actual diet system. I do not think there is anything available as a widely understood and socially acceptable "programme".

In the same way you can go to a nutritionist and get a personal programme tailored for you (and then say "ooh, my nutririonist says I shouldn't eat xx") it would be great if there were also "alco-tritionists" who worked out a plan for you, but there was no stigma etc attached.

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 14:50:27

i think a lot of people beieve that they could stop drinking or cut down and are surprised at how hard they find it

well the definition of not being able to control your drinking without outside support is that you are a n acoholic which is probably why people dont go down the route of drinkwatchers

there is a drink aware website i think which does what you suggest

Thank you wannabe and msdemeanour.
I think this has turned into an interesting debate. It made it to the home page smile

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 15:15:04

do i not get a thank you then for bumping it a trillion times with my interesting views hmm

Anchovy I think there is a website that does that
It is not promoted much though

I LOVE a drink too
Too much probably
I find it relaxing and fun

DH and I try very hard to keep each other in check, when it is creeping up we try and get it back down

It is very hard though.

I can happily drink half a bottle a night, even more happily half a bottle and another glass... I have all but given up spirits as I was having a v&t then half a bottle of wine but the v bit was getting bigger and bigger. That has helped a lot. And I try and have three nights a week off and usually manage two. I am constantly aware of how much I drink and I do consider myself to be a problem drinker. However I want to moderate it as (a) I don't really like being very drunk so drinking huge amounts in one go is not really for me (other than on occasion) and (b) I don't want to give up.

I do worry about the long term health issues though. I drank a LOT as a teenager and in my 20s. I do feel i renewed my liver a bit when pg though!

zippitippitoes Tue 03-Jun-08 15:42:03

this is an intriguing little snippet of an article on treating alcoholism with lsd

peacelily Tue 03-Jun-08 15:51:57

Hi Countess Dracula, you could've written that post about me and my dh! I did hammer the booze in my teens and 20s and me and dh do try so hard to cut down/cut back and yet I don't really like being hammered just a bit tipsy and woozy.

The porblem for me is boredom, I do find the monotony of life boring and am somewhat of a stimulation seeker, in fact I meet quite a few of the criteria for a diagnosis of adult ADD! I find having a few glasses of wine in the eve helps releive this monotony, especially after a particularly dull day at work.

Anchovy Tue 03-Jun-08 15:59:58

Yes, CD, I know exactly where you are coming from smile

DH and I have given up alcohol for a month once a year recently. It's interesting.

One of the reasons is to see how hard we find it - on the basis that if we do find it hard we need to "have a word with ourselves". Another is that it really ratchets your drinking down when you start again. Also, you realise how much of your drinking is habit (ooh - I always have a cold glass of white wine as early as decent on a Friday evening etc). Plus you realise that actually you can get through a very boring work function/a boozy night out with mates/a fantastically nice home cooked meal on a lazy Saturday evening at home/a slightly tense entire family Sunday lunch without a drink.

It worked well for us having the peer pressure of each other. Made it clear to me that I don't have a "problem" with drinking (combination of liking it and it being a habit, but nothing more than that). Found the first few days a bit twitchy but actually - gasp - found it quite easy after that.

We tend not to drink during the week (Mon-Thurs) at all now. But that is partly also the legacy of having a child who has been a fairly ropy sleeper.

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 03-Jun-08 16:35:32

Wannabe - that's exactly how I feel.

I'm considered unusual and people guffaw when I say I dont drink - as though I'm some kind of freak. Then I'm quizzed as to why I don't, as apparently drinking is the social norm. It's almost akin to in my teenage years when your teenage friends asking you if you smoke, and you feel you have to to fit in. Not that I drink to fit in.

I do get pretty fed up by the reaction I get to refusing a glass of wine though. "oh, why, are you driving? Get a cab home" or "oh, are you pregnant" or "just one wont hurt" "it will help you relax" as though I look tense or uptight (only at being quizzed re drinking). I say I don't like it and I get asked why. I mean honestly - why are people so interested to know why I dont? I do occasionally have a glass of wine, but, it's incredibly rare.

I don't need to drink to relax, or to have fun. I find laughter and conversation does that for me. Perhaps I am just a simple soul.

I did all my drinking and smoking in my teenage years. I derive intense enjoyment from doing things I enjoy - which does involve socialising amongst other things. I don't need to imbibe noxious substances in order to heighten my enjoyment - in fact I find it blurs things. Not my idea of fun. I dont think that's weird.

Elibean Tue 03-Jun-08 16:39:31

VVV, me too (for different reasons though, I overdid the teenage drinking/drugging part) and I suspect people ask a zillion questions because it makes them uncomfortable to have to consider why they DO drink.

Its good to see so many people doing just that here, though smile

IME, the people who go on and on about the fact that I don't drink are the people who are the teensiest bit worried about their own drinking (rightly or wrongly).

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 03-Jun-08 16:49:01

LOL! I know, I had to chuckle the other day when my mum bemoaned my dad's drinking habits "he drinks when he gets in from work and is still drinking wine at midnight. He'll finish a bottle to himself and he drinks the strong wine. I just drink the cheap, weak stuff - it's like drinking pear juice (what's the point then?) and I stop at 9pm and start drinking coffee"

So I pointed out that she started earlier than him though, because had her first glass of wine each day during her lunch break at work........

She wasn't impressed grin

I was a heavy binge drinker in my 20s.
I hardly drink now, and I love being near sober.
I have the odd beer or perhaps a glass of champagne or wine now (once every few weeks)
I love being in control and not drunk and obnoxious and boring and emotional etc.
I love not having a hangover and being energetic everyday.
I wish I had drunk less in the previous decade of my life.
I think most people drink way too much, but never tell them as it's not my business, but boy do people like to offer their opinion on my not really drinking much, and I am sick of the pressure to drink more, and often think of excuses not to go on nights out drinking as it really bores me now, (the pressure to drink and the continually having to justify it I mean)

VacheFolle Tue 03-Jun-08 16:59:33

I hear you VeniVV, I find the reactions to non-drinking disturbing. It's exactly like being a teenager, 'wot, u don't smoke ? well you're not in our gang!'
What makes me laugh is that the people who demonise non-drinkers tend to think of themselves as liberal-minded, modern women when in fact as a non-drinker you are treated in a similar fashion to a peadophile: i.e 'Wtf is wrong with you?' Also, the fact you can enjoy a night out, lucid, intelligent conversation, and SHOCK HORROR you can actually dance without altering the chemical balance of your brain (well some can wink + also keep your dignity i.e not flashing your knickers/being sick etc.I think that some people just can't accept that and I think that in itself is quite sad (in every sense).

VacheFolle Tue 03-Jun-08 17:04:29

Also relate to the boredom DarrellR smile

Ripeberry Tue 03-Jun-08 17:07:41

And i worry about one can of cider a night which is 3 units.
Me and DH only just manage to SHARE one bottle of wine at the weekend and even then we get sleepy with it.
Once somebody needs a drink or even thinks about it in the morning is an alcoholic.

SixSpotBurnet Tue 03-Jun-08 17:09:36

CD, you are very like me in this regard.

Ripeberry Tue 03-Jun-08 17:11:15

Problem is that some people think that teetotalers are really just reformed alcoholics and that if they have that ONE drink then they'll get ill again.
My dad does not drink as my mum does it all for him!

probablyaslytherin Tue 03-Jun-08 17:12:31

I have found this thread fascinating (thanks, Lyrasilvertongue), but have been absolutely flabbergasted at the amount some people drink - and seem oblivious or are just not worried about what it will do to their health.

Being (ahem) a more mature mner, grin I can remember when it was considered unacceptable for women to get drunk. At family weddings (of which I had to attend many in the 1960's because of older cousins) you might see the odd male drunk, but never women. That would have been completely beyond the pale. Young men were a little indulged because they were young and inexperienced with alcohol, but older men who didn't know when to stop were pitied and barely tolerated.

This was a time when if you were well brought up, you didn't eat in the street (unless it was an icecream cone) and my mother would never have dreamed of smoking outdoors.

Shortly before this, perhaps in the early 1950's, women didn't go into the main part of a public bar on their own. For those of you who remember the early days of Corrie, Ena Sharples, Minnie Cauldwell and Martha Longhurst drank in the 'Snug', IIRC.

Here is my mother's alcohol consumption for the year in, say 1960:
Half a bottle of sweet white wine with lunch on Christmas day.
A couple of whiskies on Hogmanay and ditto on New Year's Day.
One whisky if visitors or rellies came round of an evening...maybe once every 10 days to a fortnight.
An aperitif if they were out for a meal, which didn't happen very often - maybe 3 or 4 times a year.
My mother was unusual for a woman in preferring whisky to sherry.

Drink was expensive then and tho' my dad spent many many happy hours in the pub, he went to meet his male friends, mum didn't go.

The total sea-change in attitude to alcohol is a huge factor behind the alcohol related health problems nowadays.

VacheFolle Tue 03-Jun-08 17:13:07

The attitude to alcohol in this country is just plain unhealthy

I have wondered recently whether I have any kind of "problem" with alcohol - I didn't think so, but I was drinking wine pretty much every evening - we'd open a bottle to have a glass with dinner then drink the rest over the course of the evening.

A couple of weekends ago we had friends round for a roast dinner, and drank a bottle of red wine each over the course of 4 hours or so (so not downing it) - I had a cracking hangover the next day which inspired me not to drink for a couple of weeks to see if I did have any kind of dependency on it.

For the first couple of days I did have to physically stop myself opening a bottle as I cooked dinner, but I think it was more habit than anything. After that I really didn't think about it. I had one beer at my leaving drinks at work last week, and one glass of wine over the weekend.

I happen to LOVE the taste of wine - I really enjoy trying new ones - maybe because I don't buy cheap wine anymore...

I'm off out for a work dinner this week and we're going to a restaurant which has an amazing wine list, so I think I'll probably be indulging. But after that I don't think we'll go back to drinking everyday, now we've broken the habit.

Zippi, I was thanking them for this:
As far as I saw it, the op was using her friend as reference, so that a discussion might be had on whether such amounts of alcohol constitutes a dependency in general, not because she was intending to encourage him in the direction of the nearest AA meeting.

and this:
If Lyra had just put 'do you think drinking a bottle of wine a night is too much/makes you an alcoholic' then teh very next post would be 'why do you ask? Are you drinking that much' so I do think the context for her musings is valid. It's not like a single bloke will be trawling MN and think hmmm...I work with a Lyra Silvertongue - she must mean me, dammit!

But thanks for bumping Zippi. wink

slim22 Tue 03-Jun-08 19:37:15

very interesting thread.
But if anything, it has comforted the idea that generally many of us drink too much, or rather too systematically, out of habit and are unwilling to admit it.

For most it is not a problem as such but it is a slippery slope.

Wonder what you'd all think if you replaced daily half bottle of wine with sharing the occasional joint 2 or 3 times a week. surely, many more people would be inclined to think there was some sort of addiction.
Is it any different?

madamez Wed 04-Jun-08 01:01:14

Not everybody who drinks thinks that teetotallers need to be nagged or interrogated. If I am out with someone and they ask for a soft drink I just get them one. It's none of my business what they want to drink or don't want to drink. But some teetotallers can be very tiresome and make a big production out of the fact that they DOn't Drink because they are Better People. (like my Enemy who is an ex-alcoholic which he thinks entitles him to take the moral high ground with everyone who ever orders a half of shandy. Despite the fact that he, while not touching alcohol, takes a fuck of a lot of ketamine, which is one of the reasons why he is such an utter bellend).

PurpleOne Wed 04-Jun-08 02:36:01

And this is the reason why I am going for alcohol counselling tomorrow.

Sick of the shakes and the anxiety, you be surprised how it sneaks up on you...
I am an alcoholic. I consume around 150 units a week.. As soon as I try to get sober, my slep is drisrupted by shit dreams and the cold wet sweats of the night. And hot sweats in the daytime. Anxiety, pacing the carpet....

I've already seen the criticism in RL here. Told a friend I had one night sober..met with peals of hahaahahah down the phone. Nice.

But I do need to do this. For me, my health and my darling dd's.

slim22 Wed 04-Jun-08 02:39:14


wish you the best.

Elibean Wed 04-Jun-08 07:56:56

Good for you, PurpleEnd, you deserve a happier life and I promise you, its totally reachable...good luck today, and don't forget the support thread for recovering (and non-recovering) alcoholics is here too smile

swedishmum Wed 04-Jun-08 08:19:22

Best of luck PurpleOne - supposed friends can be incredibly insensitive. Must be great to be actually making a start on recovery. I'll be thinking of you.

I drink too much - out of habit I think. I've started this week by not drinking. I spend too long alone - dh works away - and often open wine in the evening after the 4 dcs are at last in bed. It's expensive too. I'll be interested to see if I can break the habit.

bergentulip Wed 04-Jun-08 08:43:48

I think my problem is that I too, like Manhattanmama, LOVE the taste of wine, the experience of drinking it, and that is why I like to open a bottle in the evenings (couple of glasses maybe a night, not every). I get really rather pee'd off if I start to notice that it is having an effect, because it means I need to stop.
And of course, after months of abstainance with pregnancy and bf, I now cannot drink nearly as much as I used to before I feel tiddly.....

I wish wine could be non-alcoholic, and then I could drink gallons of the stuff.

Definitely a habit thing though, and if you ask me, a little like, if there is chocolate lying around the house, I'll eat them, same with crisps, other snacks. Can't resist.
Same with wine, but if there is no bottle in the house, then no drink, no panic. I think if 'one' was rushing out of the house to the corner shop in desperation to get a bottle on a Tuesday evening, then it might be classed as addiction.

Great thread, Lyra. Very interesting to see how much people think of as acceptable, and how some people worry about relatively small amounts of alcohol.

But what it says to me more than anything is that this is an issue we're all quite often worried about, and there is no clear guidance as to what is or isn't acceptable, or what is or isn't safe. I would be prepared to put money on it that this is because it is impossible, because we're all physically different and deal with alcohol differently.

Making it the big baddie and villifying it will not work - look at Prohibition in the US - but what will?

I often wonder about cultures that are held up as shining examples of 'civlised drinking' such as France and Italy - just how much do people really drink there? Are they opening a bottle of wine and drinking one every night? Because if they are, then that's 4.5 units (on average) per person each night, so way above the supposed recommended levels in the UK.

And a final tip - if you want to cut down the amount of alcohol/units but not the volume of wine you're drinking, Sainsbury have launched a range of 10% wines, and they're called 10%, with rather nice, calligraphic labels. They do a 2 or 3 whites, a rose and a red. I haven't tried the red, but the others are very palatable.

(And I don't work for Sainsbury!)

zippitippitoes Wed 04-Jun-08 09:05:29

in france wine is with food not on the coffee table in front of the tv all eveing

and they do have more bottles of water on the table than wine

and the meals are not 3 minutes long

spicemonster Wed 04-Jun-08 09:08:50

Quick google search gives some info about drinking in France. It seems we really do drink substantially more than the French

15% of adult population say they drink every day but, broken down by gender, 23% are men and 8% women. 35% of total population drink at least once a week but 48% of women say they drink only occasionally.

In 2005, only 15% of adults said they had been drunk over the previous year and only 5.5% said it had happened more than 3 times. Only 7% of women said they had been drunk over the previous year.

peacelily Wed 04-Jun-08 09:09:31

Agree with Madamez, if out with non drinkers just buy them a soft drink, no question, no nagging, no nothing.

Some non drinkers are a total PITA and actively try to push for a reaction to their choice so they can harp on about it in a sanctimonious fashion. Then act all bruised when people question their decision hmm.

Thank God our culture has changed from the time probablyaslytherin mentioned!!

lullabyloo Wed 04-Jun-08 09:12:58

dh gave up drinking just over three months ago
A typical week night would involve two cans of Tennants,a bottle of wine & several glasses of scotch
Weekends he would drink a lot more

He went cold turkey & suffered no illness/side effects amazingly

tigermoth Wed 04-Jun-08 09:31:55

One thing that puszzles me, I have read that it's good to drink a glass of wine a day - doctors say it aids digestion.

So if one glass is good, it seems a bit bizarre that two or three glasses per day is dangerous. Is there no middle ground?

Can someone explain this to me?

peacelily Wed 04-Jun-08 09:37:41

Tigermoth there's a lot of evidence to suggest that moderate drinking is healthier than teetotalism. Especially if your tipple is red wine.

Good for heart health as well as digestion. I think the limits are 3 units a day for women and 4 for men. it comes back down to that unit counting thing which the whole country (including myself) is obsessed with.

afraid I can't help you with the actual physiology

zippitippitoes Wed 04-Jun-08 09:39:25

alcohol is bad in increased quantities but in low doses it has been suggested it could have beneficial wine has some thing from grape skins i think but it is a bit tenuous research in this area because there are so many factors and a bottle of dustbin wine is not the same as a bottle of bin chateau organic under the moon with no additives wine

posieparker Wed 04-Jun-08 09:40:02

That's binge drinking as it's around 9 units and most likely doing him long term damage.

zippitippitoes Wed 04-Jun-08 09:40:19

there are a lot of yucky additives in wine very often

BlaDeBla Wed 04-Jun-08 10:55:45

Apparently there is a high incidence of things like cirrhosis (sp) in France. I don't think anyone knows why some people can drink a lot without ill effects and some can't, so I reckon the 'safe limits' is a bit of a blanket and not suitable for everyone.

Alcohol is a poison, but like lots of poisons, it can be beneficial in small quantities. Oh the voice of reason and moderationgrin. With alcohol, I can drink in moderation and with reason, but equally, I can drink without moderation and without reason. Somehow I have to live with myself hmm

disneystar Wed 04-Jun-08 11:25:26

i dont drink at all never have done
i guess i cant undertand the pull of an attraction to alcohol
i went for a meal last week and someone bought me shandy i couldnt drink it it tastd vile to me
im not being negative here just a genuine question as to why some one would want to drink until they couldnt think straight

twelveredroses Wed 04-Jun-08 11:57:12

I am posting under a name change to avoid sharing personal details. My father is an alcoholic. He has only once sought medical help for this - he 'dried out' for about three weeks and the first thing he did on discharge was to buy a bottle of whiskey. Most of the time he denies he has a problem.

He has no liver disease, despite about thirty years or heavy drinking.

What he does have is alcohol related dementia (this does not make him totally demented, but he is forgetful and often confused); alcoholic myopathy which is a progressive muscular wasting disease (to do with the way alcohol affects the metabolism of protein) and finds it hard to walk (he uses a mobility scooter to go to the off licence round the corner) and this also affects the muscles of his bowel and bladder with predictable results. He also has destroyed all the relationships he ever had with friends, family and indeed my mother. He often falls in the house and lies there for some time (often in his own waste) until he is sober enough to pick himself up.

No one likes him any more. He is a pain in the arse. I used to beg him, crying and breaking my heart, to get help, and so did my mother. He has (had) a large and loving family who would have supported him and helped him and encouraged him - but he preferred to have a relationship with whiskey than a relationship with any of us. He had (has) a choice to seek help - his addiction is so powerful he's gone far beyond the 'cutting down' option and no one would expect him to stop by himself. But he threw all that back in our faces.

I don't blame anyone for developing an alcohol problem. I have seen how it sneaks up on people. But I am, I am afraid, very judgemental towards deniers and people who will not seek help - who reject the people they love and who love them.

And in answer to the OP - of course a bottle of wine a night is a ridiculous amount. It is not the same amount as my father - he gets through 6 litres of whiskey a week - but he certainly used to drink a bottle of wine a night.

madamez Wed 04-Jun-08 12:36:43

I think (as with a lot of things) people forget that human beings are very variable. People metabolise alcohol differently depending on their body mass and other health/genetic factors. People deal with stress and anxiety in different ways. And people do have a right to do stuff that's not good for them against freinds' and families; wishes because people do, actually, have a right to reject and cut off relationships with other people, if they want to. No one can or should live for other people's benefit, after all.
this is not to say that it's a good idea to drink till you've got no friends and no liver left, but that it is an individual's choice to do so.Just as it is up to an individual to decide when the amount of alcohol he/she consumes is too much. People who have had alcholic family members are sometimes phobic about alcohol (understandably) to the point that they can;t stop nagging anyone they see having so much as a single drink: this is annoying and unhelpful. More people really need to learn to mind their own business.

VacheFolle Wed 04-Jun-08 13:14:30

I am genuinely shocked that some of you know non-drinkers who like to go on about it/nag others etc... For myself and the other couple of non-drinkers I know ( most of my bestest friends drink regularly) that's the last thing you want to do, especially on a night out! IME the opposite is true as most people, who I don't know very well or have just met (my friends know better)want to ask me all bloody night why I don't drink (couldn't agree more Madamez about people needing to mind their own business grin)and whatever you say you are met with quizzical expressions, and then they forget they've asked you, so ask you again even louder who do you think is the annoying one is in that situation? hmm.If anything I just want to blend in, have fun with my friends and not get interrogated so I try to drink something that looks like alcohol and avoid the subject at all costs!

posieparker Wed 04-Jun-08 13:15:20

But madamez someone drinking 63 units of alcohol a week is never never a good situation, surely?

WheresMummy Wed 04-Jun-08 13:23:21

I've just joined Mumsnet today and have been quite surprised to read some of the sanctimonious postings on this thread. It's not a good introduction, unless you like watching train crashes. wink

I probably am addicted to alcohol, but this doesn't mean I get wasted every night. I work all day, pick up the children, make tea, do something fun, read them stories, put them to bed, do some housework, then sit down at the computer (or with a book) and have a couple of glasses of red.

I love those glasses of red, when it's finally my time.

I get up early the next morning and do it all again. Without a headache! I'm happy with this and hope noone else would see it as their business to tell me that's too much.

twelveredroses Wed 04-Jun-08 13:25:21

I don't believe in nagging either. It does no good, IME. However, no one is an island. Developing a drink problem does affect one's nearest and dearest, unless you decide to live alone, and don't want relationships with anyone. It is and was my business when my father started to drink heavily. It was my business, and my mother's business, and his grandchildren's business too, because a relationship with a drunkard is horrible.

posieflump Wed 04-Jun-08 13:31:17

twelveredroses - isn't there a way of cutting your fathe's supply off? It must cost a small fortune!

VacheFolle Wed 04-Jun-08 13:35:12

sorry if I was insensitive Twelveredroses, obviously when a loved one is destroying their life with alcohol it is very much your business too sad

flossiefumble Wed 04-Jun-08 13:37:15

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flossiefumble Wed 04-Jun-08 13:42:50

Message withdrawn

twelveredroses Wed 04-Jun-08 13:44:49

posie - how does one stop an adult obtaining drink? He has plenty of money and if he is too weak/drunk to use his scooter to go to the off licence, he will order a taxi to take him there and back (it is literally round the corner, even so - perhaps three minutes walk for an able bodied person. People always ask this - 'but why can't you stop him getting hold of whiskey'? It is not possible! He buys three bottles at a time, and hides one or two of them (my mother used to try and find them but she has given up now, as she can't keep up with hid hidey-holes). A month or so ago she discovered a hollow ornament ( a dark glass vase with a glass flower arrangement thingy on the top that uncrews) had liquid in it - funny, she thought. Then she realised what it was - a stash of whiskey. God knows how long that had been there.

He should not be driving his scooter under the influence of drink, but he does so. Fortunately, he does not have to go on the road. I wanted to get the community bobby in to talk to him about using it when drunk but my mum stopped me, as she said he (my dad) would guess I had called him in and he would go ballistic and he is horrible when he loses his temper (not violent, just vile).

twelveredroses Wed 04-Jun-08 13:48:49

flossie, you'll agree with me, then, that 'cutting off the supply' to an alcoholic is not possible...

My mum should have left my dad but it's not gonna happen now

flossiefumble Wed 04-Jun-08 14:04:24

Message withdrawn

spicemonster Wed 04-Jun-08 14:13:11

I think a lot of people drink a bottle of wine a night. That's the middle class drinkers that are the new target for the anti-drinking campaign the govt are now running. Although, as said somewhere down the thread, the whole advisory number of units is a load of bollocks. So there's not much point in saying but that's X number of units. It's meaningless.

FWIW I don't think a bottle a day makes you an alcoholic. I have had times in my life where I've probably drunk that. I've never had any problems stopping drinking when I wanted to. Does that mean I'm an alcoholic or that I was? I don't think so. What makes you an alcoholic I believe is whether the amount of alcohol you consume impacts adversely on your life and whether you can enjoy yourself without drinking. It's not about quantity, it's about the way you deal with it psychologically IMO.

BeauLocks Wed 04-Jun-08 14:14:55

Horses for courses I guess but I'd be worried if anyone in my family/circle of friends drank that much.

I can cope with 2 small (100 ml) glasses a night but no more. [wimp]

MrsMacaroon Wed 04-Jun-08 14:49:21

Functioning alcoholics are more common than your stereotypical alcoholic who can't function... just because you're able to get up for work etc doesn't mean you don't drink too much and aren't dependent on alcohol.

ots of people have relationship or friends with other heavy drinkers who would never point out your problem because that would draw attention to their own problem...

My DH gave up because once he started, he found it hard to stop. He could 'go without' but didn't have an off switch.

There is a wide spectrum of drinking problems but if you're not daft, you will treat alcohol with a bit of respect generally...

wheresmummy - I'm afraid mumsnet is VERY opinionated and yes can be sanctimonious
However I don't see it on this thread
Have you tried babycentre wink
everyone is ver nice there

posieparker Wed 04-Jun-08 18:58:38

Wheresmummy is a name change, noone would post like that first day, surely???

spicemonster Wed 04-Jun-08 19:01:03

I dunno - depends on how close she was to flouncing I suppose. Perhaps we should have directed her to flouncers' corner wink

ps while I'm posting on this thread, I do think that a bottle of wine a day is a bit excessive. Should have made that clear in my earlier post.

zippitippitoes Wed 04-Jun-08 19:05:35

i dont think anyone has suggested a couple of glasses of wine makes you an alcoholic in fact i think people have mostly said its nothing to do with quantity its all to do with whether you are controlled by alcohol

i dont have the off button either, i also drink too quickly especially if i have to stand with a glass in my hand and/or meet new people

i also lose track if people refill my glass or buy rounds

but basically i like the experience

but i am pretty good most of the time now and do a lot less it is tea time get some wine

that is because i gave it up for a year and lost lots of weight

but i do have mental health problems which do make it more difficult for me it is all bound up with moods as well and a genetic dispotion i think

WheresMummy Wed 04-Jun-08 22:11:21

No name change, but I'll flounce off to somewhere with beautiful music, hearts, flowers and marshmallows. And red wine.
I'll come back next time I want a fight. wink

Disneystar, if you've never been drunk there's no way of describing it. Being a bit tipsy can actually be very pleasant but being completely pissed can be bloody awful.
Twelveredroses, such a sad story about your dad. Six litres of whiskey a week is a hell of a lot. Has he no interest at all in stopping?

Wheresmummy, it's not all fights on MN. Stick around for a few days before you decide whether you like it or not smile

Ripeberry Wed 04-Jun-08 22:43:53

I've never been drunk as i either fall asleep (especially with red wine) or i feel very sick. Not fair!
Or you could say, very lucky!

tigermoth Thu 05-Jun-08 09:03:49

wheresmummy, I thought your first post was spot on

Lazycow Thu 05-Jun-08 13:10:49

Something no-one seems to have mentioned really is that a bottle of wine a night must have a fair whack of calories in it if nothing else. So in order to keep from putting on weight you would need to cut back quite a bit on food. If you didn't you would put on weight. That means you would be getting quite a lot of your daily calorie intake from alcohol instead of proper food.
That is of course over and above any damage the alcohol itself will do

So whether he is an alcoholic or not I cannot say but a full bottle of wine every day is too much to drink for anyone if they want to maintain a reasonably healthy diet.
A small glass or two (max) on a daily basis is fine. A whole bottle is not really.

The thing that would worry me and would make me feel that perhaps he may be an alcoholic is that he needs to drink a bottle. If the bottle were bigger would he NEED to finish that too. Anyone who NEEDS to finish something be it a packet of bisucits or a bottle of alcohol has the real potential to become an addict.

AggiePanther Thu 05-Jun-08 13:18:32

He could be exercising to work off the calories

Lazycow Thu 05-Jun-08 13:23:39

Yes but that is quite a lot of exercise to work off every day. I've no idea how many calories in a small glass of wine but say 150,. As was pointed out earlier a bottle is about 9 glasses. That is 1,350 calories just in wine every day. You need to do a lot of excercise to use that xcess up every day.

Lazycow Thu 05-Jun-08 13:26:51

Actually I looked that up and wine is probably nearer 100 cals for a small glass but that is still 900cals - which is a lot.

AggiePanther Thu 05-Jun-08 13:28:35

600 cals ..there are 6 x 125ml glasses (small) in a bottle I think smile

Lazycow Thu 05-Jun-08 13:34:20

I still think one bottle a day is too much.

If I were to say I was eating 600cals a day of junk food every day, I'd rightly be told that this was not a good idea from at 'healthy eating' aspect. Wine is not only 'empty calories' the alcohol in it is actually not good for you in large quantities.

Double the reason to restrict intake to a couple of small glasses a day over the week.

AggiePanther Thu 05-Jun-08 13:43:24

Just for the record - I do agree that it's probably not healthy - don't think it makes him an alcoholic though

Lazycow Thu 05-Jun-08 13:44:57

As said I'm not sure it makes him an alcoholic either but as others have said if he is finishing the bottle because he finds it difficult to leave any then he may have the potential to be an alcoholic even if he isn't one at the moment.

motheroftwoboys Thu 05-Jun-08 16:36:21

My DH is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for nearly three years with the help of AA and following many detoxes and one long, final stay in rehab. There is the WORLD of difference between an alcoholic and a heavy drinker. It is all in the luck/bad luck of the draw. Some (few) alcoholics are born that way - usually 2nd or 3rd generation (like George Best) - basically they should never start drinking. Some people, aware of this risk, never ever do have a drink. Bit like the women who have many relatives with breast cancer who have a masectomy (just in case). A heavy drinker can carry on doing so for year and may, nor may not, end up damaging their liver. Just like a heavy smoker may or may not end of lung cancer. An alchoholic cannot do without a drink and suffers from physical symptoms (which can and do kill) if they refrain. This is why a "real" alcoholic should never detox/go cold turkey without medical supervision. It is also naive to think of a stereotypical alcoholic, there are many functioning alcholics out there who hold down good jobs but they will probably fall over the edge at some point where it totally takes over their lives. AA teaches that an alcoholic either stops or dies. Not a great choice. My DH seems to have managed grin although, as they say, it must always be a day at a time. It is socially limiting living with someone who doesn't drink but at least he is alive!!

Monkeytrousers Thu 05-Jun-08 20:16:45

A friend of mne drinks a bottle, maybe more as they buy those cartons from the supermarket and don't drink in measured glasses, a night. She never has a headache but does sometimes feel a creeping nausea, she calls it as the day progresses but which is never bad enough to put her off having another drink when it's 'her' time after work and kids. The definition of a functioning addict.

She knows it too. Occasionally will say that she knows she shouldn't be drinking as much but mostly just avoids the issue. Her partner drinks with her so their is no incentive for either of them to stop or even cut down. She has said before that she wouldn't know what they would talk about in their free time if they didn;t have a glass in their hand in common.

I know she worries though as she refuses to go to tyhe doctors abotu anything. She has a terribly bad back and rather than go get a referral to a hospital physio she goes to a private osteopath, which isn't helping. She's just too scared there will be somehting wrong and also that she wil;l haveto admit to the doctor how much she drinks and smokes.

Funny thying is it could save her life as it's probably the only thing that would get her to face things without lying to herself.

She has two young kids. I do worry about her and them.

FairyTaleEnding Fri 06-Jun-08 10:29:23

Hi, I'm new on Mumsnet but as I've recently stopped drinking this feels like a good thread to kick off with ...

Like a lot of posters, I drank a lot during my twenties and slowed down in my thirties when kids arrived. Couldn't cope with the combination of hangover + and early mornings + dependents needing caring for. A few years ago a couple of my friends went into AA and it started our whole social group thinking about their drinking. We all drank to a certain extent, but it was noticeable that some seemed to know their limits where others just kept going. Clearly it was a problem for some but not others, and a lot of that was down to attitude.

I was determined not to give up 'forever', so started cutting down and giving up for extended periods. I always found that total abstinence was relatively easy - as with smoking and food, I'm an 'all or nothing' personality - but cutting down was just a joke. Still, I hung in there, not drinking for months at a time and then finding, once I'd given myself permission to get down off the wagon, that I drank in an unhealthy way. I'm convinced that it's not so much about whether you can 'go without' a drink or not, it's about how you think about it. I can control my drinking, but it's always on my mind. So I've stopped, although I still read threads like this and question whether I was right to do so or not. But I'm happier not drinking, and I think that's the bottom line.

I'm aware I've banged on about this for far too long, but thanks for the opportunity, as it's been whizzing round my head for months ...

ScotsLassDownSouth Fri 06-Jun-08 11:23:51

Up until a month ago I was a bottle of wine a night girl (at least). I recognise the "creeping nausea" Monkeytrousers describes.
Anyway - a month ago I stopped. Completely. The first few days were hell - blinding headaches, trouble sleeping. But - a month on, I have lost 8lbs in weight (no dieting), my skin is plump and clear and my hair seems to be thicker.

Trouble is - I like my wine. I want to crack open a bottle of Chablis on a Friday night and enjoy a glass or two of red with Sunday lunch - but I'm scared if I start again I'll go back to my old ways. Help! How can you enjoy a couple of bottles at the weekend without going back to a bottle a night? I don't know if I can . . .

FairyTaleEnding Fri 06-Jun-08 22:27:32

Sounds like you have a similar problem with the 'off button' as I have ... Don't know if controlled drinking is any better, to be honest, and that's why I found it easier to stop altogether. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Auntylisa Mon 09-Jun-08 09:05:52

There are different ways of being an alocholic, its not all about frequency; you can not drink for weeks and then have a binge; it's all about your ability to control (or rather not) your relationship with it. In reality, most people with drink problems don't think they have one and lie to themselves about there intake and dependency. Also, you can be a high functioning alcoholic and hold down a job and family. hmm.

Auntylisa Mon 09-Jun-08 09:25:13

oh, i realised that looked like i was calling fairytaleending an alcoholic! I wasn't. I was sort of replying to an earlier thread not realising it has all moved on. The thing about drinking is the off button; problem with alcohol is that it buggers your judgement so you dont realise when you should be using that button; I am coming round to feeling that since i had my little one that i am better off not drinking at all as when i get the opportunity to go mad and act like a condemned man at my last meal! I grew up in the north east where its a big binge drinking culture and i cant seem to shake that as my way of dealing with alcohol. I either drink one glass or go mad.

ElenorRigby Mon 09-Jun-08 12:54:20

Sparklefish wrote...
"There is a wide specrum peoples relationship with alcohol. It is very complicated. What maybe be excessive to one person can be the norm to another. There are alot of factors involved"

IMO and experience the spectrum is thus
Teetotal<---------------->Hopeless Alcoholic
Total Control <----------->Total loss of control

Most lie between the two extremes.
IME drinking a bottle of wine a night is not alcoholism, but it is dependency. Limiting to a bottle of wine means the person still has some control.
An alcoholic loses all control.
Both are in the area of problem drinking though.
My mother was an alcoholic. When she drank it would be 24/7. She would drink a bottle of vodka and pass out for hours. Then wake up and go find where the next bottle of vodka was stashed. What time she drank at was immaterial to her, time no longer mattered. She would wake up at 4am down a bottle and sleep til 1pm, night or day it didnt matter.
She was admitted to hospital several times and told she was going to die. That didnt matter. My sister got pregnant she was told she wouldnt see her only grandchild if she kept drinking. That didnt matter. She threatened my dad with a knife and physically attacked myself and 2 brothers. She attacked hospital staff to get home to her vodka when she came round in hospital. The police and ambulances were regulars at mum and dads house. None of that mattered to her.

There is a world of difference between a problem/dependent drinker and a fully blown alcoholic ime

Floweryapron Thu 08-Jul-10 18:43:26

A bottle a night is only too much if it's making your life worse somehow. If you're enjoying that bottle of wine and it makes you happy then I recon you'd be needlessly depriving yourself not to. Loads of things want to kill you and one of them will eventually, and when your'e 90 and peeing yourself in an OAP's home will you really look back on your life and think 'Goodness gracious, I'm glad I gave up that bottle of wine every day that I enjoyed so much all those years ago in order to live to this grand old age'
I don't know why people feel guilty all the time about harmless things like this, it's mad. Imagine trying to prise a bottle of red from a French grand-mère, she'd punch you in the face, after she'd put her fag out.

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