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Worried I might have an alcohol problem...

(21 Posts)
BeebleBoob Sun 09-Oct-11 19:53:05

I drink every evening, usually only a glass of wine but on Friday & Saturdays sometimes three. I don't like the idea of going a night without alcohol although sometimes I do as I just don;t feel like it. I never get drunk and don't drink in the day, could I have an alcohol problem? I drink about 23 units a week which is over the recommended amount

horMOANSnomore Sun 09-Oct-11 20:02:04

It's a problem if it's worrying you and you sound as if you're concerned.

I drink during the week as I find work stressful and look forward to relaxing with a glass or two of wine in the evenings. I don't miss it at weekends as I'm busier and less stressed. I'm going to have to cut down though as my BP is on the high side and also it's getting too expensive to keep buying bottles of wine.

horMOANSnomore Sun 09-Oct-11 20:03:48

Sorry, pressed post too soon.

Do you think you could stop or cut down easily? Could you substitute something for the wine? Shloer or similar - I sometimes do that (or small glass of lager which has a lot less alcohol).

sunnyday123 Sun 09-Oct-11 20:05:49

not sure if its a problem really - do you need the alcohol or just want it cause you like it? I drink wine most nights - again 1-2 glasses with a few nibbles while watching TV - not for the effect or to get drunk but because i enjoy it! I dont need it and could go without - i do when i need to drive or go the gym, or when pregnant etc but if i'm in then i drink similar really. Most doctors i know do too - and is something many of my friends do too! Lots of europeans drink daily - certainly not as bad as binge drinking but i suppose it depends on your reasons for it. What is the recommended amount? 14? Even so i'd say many people drink near that in one one night out as many underestimate alcohol content!

Scoundrel Sun 09-Oct-11 20:07:30

Have you tried stopping? You're not drinking that much tbh (I'm an alcoholic in recovery) and if you're stopping at the one glass, or three at the weekend then you haven't lost the ability to stop once you've started which is a big factor in drink problems. Yes, you're over the recommended limit but not by a huge amount.

If you've tried to stop but couldn't then that might be a little bit of a warning sign.

Hassled Sun 09-Oct-11 20:09:51

A glass of wine x 5 nights = 5 units. Plus 6 on the Fri & Sat = 11. I wouldn't call that a problem unless you're talking seriously big glasses.

The test is whether you can cope without - and it is meant to be a Good Thing to have regular nights off. Find a nice posh soft drink substitute for the occasional night maybe?

SilveryMoon Sun 09-Oct-11 20:10:14

I do the same. I have at least 1 glass of wine a night.
A friend of mine thinks that makes me alcohol dependent, but I'm not, I just enjoy unwinding at the end of the day. I don't get slammed ever, but can do a bottle a night if there's something good on the telly

TheBloodCountessBathory Sun 09-Oct-11 20:12:25

I probably drink similar amount to you but I definitely don't see it as a problem. If it worries you, and you're worried that you are too reliant on alcohol, then my advice would be to stop drinking completely for a week or so and see how you feel about it. I often go a week (or sometimes a month) without drinking to cut down on calories and I find that when I do have a drink again, I can only manage 1 glass so my alcohol consumption goes down.

moondog Sun 09-Oct-11 20:13:20

Doesn't sound as if you anything at all to worry about.
Wine-a life without it would be infinitely duller.

kunahero Sun 09-Oct-11 20:18:46

Yes you do have a problem.

If you can go a month without any alcohol then you are ok but it sounds like you are dependant on it to 'unwind/destress'
You need to find other ways of unwinding. Exercise, reading, dancing like a loon. Also you need to look at why youare so tense and stressed and find ways of lessening it, counselling, change job etc.

I have seen how the glass a day and 2 at weekends slowly creeps up to a couple of vodkas then to half a bottle then to job/relationship problems, health problems. It happened to my ex mil and within a year or two she was hiding bottles of vodka in the greenhouse for when she was 'gardening'.

Do you have any dc?

BeebleBoob Sun 09-Oct-11 20:26:11

It depends what you mean by needing it. I could go without but wouldn't want to as I like the way it makes me feel, I would be a bit bored & a bit stressed without it but I could physically go without.

rabbitstew Sun 09-Oct-11 20:28:10

Well, those who think 11 glasses of wine = 11 units are clearly either drinking low-strength wine in a small glass, or are seriously misguided. You sound much more realistic about what you are actually drinking and, whilst drinking more than the recommended amount, don't sound like you have a genuine drink problem. You could drink less, you just don't really want to and clearly aren't convinced enough of the long term health benefits to make the effort. As for the risks in the long term, nobody can tell you what they are for you - some women will have problems with comparatively relatively low levels of alcohol and others won't. The "experts" have decided that 14 units should be pretty safe for everyone. Any more than that and the experts can tut tut at you if you do get any problems, because they did warn you, but it's relatively unlikely at the levels you are drinking that they will be able to pin all the blame on your drinking, even if they apportion some of it to that!

BeebleBoob Sun 09-Oct-11 20:32:01

I am very healthy otherwise, eat very good fresh homemade food, excerise, don't smoke or take drugs & stay out of the sun so life is pretty dull apart from my wine! I'm quite tall aswell so maybe that means I can drink more units?!

HooverTheHamaBeads Sun 09-Oct-11 20:33:07

If it genuinely adds up to 23 units then IMO that is defo too much.

BeebleBoob Sun 09-Oct-11 20:34:15

Yes, I do the online nhs alcohol calculator and it is usually 23 a week

horMOANSnomore Sun 09-Oct-11 20:35:22

I'd like to add that I saw my gp recently and he asked how much alcohol I drink.

When I told him I have 8 or 9 glasses of wine a week, he said 'Is that all?' smile

TheSecondComing Sun 09-Oct-11 20:36:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rabbitstew Sun 09-Oct-11 22:53:57

TheSecondComing - I presume when you say you are ok, you mean that if and when someone tells you that your drinking has already harmed your health and you ought to stop or cut back significantly, you will be able to stop drinking, rather than that what you are doing isn't harmful.

TheSecondComing Sun 09-Oct-11 23:00:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grumpla Sun 09-Oct-11 23:23:03

I used to have at least two drinks most nights (more like four on the weekends) blush when I was young, foolish and could sleep a lot more. I was conscious that this was too much, but as it was nowhere near my student consumption sort of kidded myself it was okay. Gave up apart from a glass of wine once a week / fortnight whilst pg and actually found it surprisingly easy to do so once I had a 'reason'.

I did start drinking again quite regularly once I had DS, but as I had to deal with a baby in the night I swiftly realised that the "relaxing" evening aspect of the wine was far outweighed with feeling groggy in the night / morning even if I had only had one drink!

So now my 'normal' mode (when not pg) is probably one or two drinks, two or three times a week. I drink a lot more tea, decaff, juice, squash etc instead. I sleep a lot better. I have lost weight. I don't lie to my doctor about my alcohol consumption any more.

It sounds to me that your 'dependence' on the booze is more a psychological one than a physical one at the moment. If it makes you nervous, why not attempt at least one day a week without drinking and see how you feel? You could try to replace it with a hot bath / walk / other treat and see how that goes? Just changing your timing e.g. tell yourself you'll have a glass of wine with your dinner at 7pm rather than before at 6pm - by the time food is on the table you might not 'need' the wine in the same way! - might help break your routine a bit.

ImperialBlether Tue 11-Oct-11 19:02:38

Have you actually measured the wine?

A bottle of red wine is supposed to have ten units.

Are you drinking more than two bottles over the whole week? I know it's difficult to judge if you are sharing a bottle, but perhaps try having your own bottle(s) and seeing how long they actually last you.

Virtually everyone who drinks more than once in a while will underestimate how much they are actually drinking.

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