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    Old 12-18-2003, 08:55 PM   #1
    Koot
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    Question Alcoholic or not?

    I have a very close female friend who drinks 8 Coors Lite beers each weekday evening in a period of 5 hours time (starting at 5:30PM and stopping at 10:30PM to go to sleep). She will also drink around 10 beers on Saturday and another 10 on Sunday. She only weighs about 105 lbs.

    I know that people who drink a lot on a regular basis don't get as high as someone who doesn't drink much but alcohol is alcohol and body weight is body weight... When I calculate her blood-alcohol percentage using 8 beers in 5 hours for 105 lbs I get a .28 blood/alcohol! Thats an extremely high B/A rating to have each and every night but she seems to be far less intoxicated than what I would think she should be. If the numbers don't lie, how can this possibly be? And what damage is she doing to herself?

    I'm afraid she's going to ruin her health by drinking so much...especially her liver, but also her mind. Shes been doing this for about ten years or more. And she drinks alone in her house so its not like its a social habit with friends. She doesnt necessarily hide the fact that shes drinking so much but she does do some rather strange things like placing a full glass of beer in her bathroom cabinet out of view but readily available as she sits in bed to watch television. She also buys large amounts of beer at the grocery store as if shes afraid shell run out. Its nothing for her to have 50 to 100 cans of beer in the refrigerator and cupboard. She rarely starts drinking before late in the afternoon even though she could if she wanted to. She says she just likes the taste and it relaxes her!

    So, does this mean she has a drinking habit? I would say yes but Im not sure. Is she an alcoholic?

    Last edited by Koot; 12-18-2003 at 08:57 PM.

     
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    Old 12-18-2003, 09:52 PM   #2
    Davidps
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Koot,
    AA puts out a pamphlet that contains 20 questions on whether a person may be an alcoholic. You probably could obtain it by calling AA in your local phone book. It basically centers around if drinking causes some problems in your life then you might consider it being a problem. Some of the questions are if the person has blackouts (can't remember drinking periods), medical problems, problems with employment and ability to maintain a job, relationship problems, etc. I can't remember them all and I'm not sure if all the above are included. But they all seem to center on whether alcohol creates a problem for you in your life. Hope this helps! Take care.
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    Old 12-19-2003, 08:34 AM   #3
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    I find that the amount of beer she drinks in a span of only 5 hours is amazing for her small size. Can someone please explain to me how a person can have a blood alcohol of .28 every single night before falling asleep but have no signs in the morning of a hangover?

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 08:49 AM   #4
    lane7eir
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    got me on the hangover thing. the big question is, once she starts drinking is she able to stop after only a few? when i was in college, i weighed 115 lbs and could easily put away a 12 pack a night. granted usually i would get sick or pass out at the end, but i repeated this cycle constantly. the only other question i would have is, is does your friend think she has a problem? it really doesn't matter if you think she does. god knows, my family and friends told me i was a lush and all i did was get po'ed and keep on until finally I saw what my life was becoming and was willing to make changes.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 09:35 AM   #5
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    I can't honestly say whether she's "able" to stop after only a few...because she always drinks at least 7 and up to 10 (most of the time she has 8) each night before falling asleep. She never gets sick (throws-up) but she does get argumentative and confrontational as the night moves on...along with an unsteadiness in her balance and that dizzy look in her eyes. But even that is not to the extreme like you would think after a 105 lb female drinks 8 beers in 5 hours and having such a high (.28) B/A. Am I mistaken that a .28 B/A is very close to passing out and a serious life-threatening level?

    I think she knows she has a drinking problem but would deny it if confronted. To my knowledge only one person has mentioned it to her and she denied having a problem and got upset and perturbed at the person. She hides her drinking well simply because she doesn't come in contact with many other people when she does her drinking.

    Last edited by Koot; 12-19-2003 at 09:41 AM.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 10:21 AM   #6
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    I think the reason why she doesn't get really, really drunk and/or sick is because she's built up a pretty big tolerance to alchohol. For example, when I first started drinking I would get a buzz off of one drink. After I drank for a while (and I don't have a drinking problem.... just pills), probably years later then the more frequently you drink, the more you are able to drink and get the same feeling. I got to where I could have 5 beers and get the same affect as if I had one or two when I first started drinking so it's all about building up tolerance.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 10:52 AM   #7
    lane7eir
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    koot-
    i don't know a formula for calculating a BAC. but here in SC .08 is the threshold for DUI which in a 120 lb person is the equivilant of approximately 2 drinks.
    anyway, your friend sounds like me. at the end, i preferred to drink at home. cheaper for one which was also how i rationalized that i wasn't a drunk. LOL! i think i also realized that if i went out, i knew deep down i would get falling down drunk and make a fool of myself. (i did do this with my co-workers not so long ago). the best advice i can give you is just to be there for your friend if whe wants or asks for help without enabling her in her addiction.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 11:32 AM   #8
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Here is a link to the chart that I used to calculate the BAC: [url]http://www.brad21.org/bac_charts.html[/url]

    Last edited by Koot; 12-19-2003 at 11:33 AM.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 11:39 AM   #9
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    I guess you're right about bulding up a tolerance...but the tolerance is so huge it's hard to believe yet there's no other way to look at it. She must have a huge tolerance. I'm just afraid her habit will get worse and she'll do damage to her body, which may already be happening.

    Any thoughts on whether her habit will get continuously worse in the years to come? Also, drinking this much each and every day, do you think she's already done harm to her body (liver, mind, etc.)?

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 12:40 PM   #10
    lane7eir
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    of course her body will be damaged. fortunately for me, my liver panel came back functioning well. my dr told me for the amount of time i had been drinking (18 years) my liver was probably a little fatty, but abstinance will cause it to regenerate itself. however, prolonged abuse will lead to cirrhosis which in turn leads to liver failure as well as other organ damage. there are tons of medical sites for physical effects of alcohol abuse.
    the mental anguish caused by this disease is unreal. alcoholism took over my life very quietly as i'm sure others on this board will testify to. i am not willing to die a miserable death of a drunk like my grandmother whom i can't even remember since she died when i was a toddler (i have only heard pieces of her story from my dad). i will probably never be able to make reparations for the hurt i have caused my family & friends, all i can do is ask their forgiveness. today i feel good about that. months ago, i would have hidden in a bottle of merlot.
    i really hope your friend finds peace with herself this holiday season. who knows, maybe she will hit her bottom and decide to try to change her life.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 01:14 PM   #11
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Thanks... I hope she will too...but I have my doubts that will happen. It's a sad thing that is happening to her.................

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lane71501
    of course her body will be damaged. prolonged abuse will lead to cirrhosis which in turn leads to liver failure as well as other organ damage. the mental anguish caused by this disease is unreal. alcoholism took over my life very quietly as i'm sure others on this board will testify to.

    i really hope your friend finds peace with herself this holiday season. who knows, maybe she will hit her bottom and decide to try to change her life.

    Last edited by Koot; 12-19-2003 at 01:15 PM.

     
    Old 12-19-2003, 02:53 PM   #12
    Davidps
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Koot,
    Alcoholism is a progressive disease that can only get worse if not treated. I watched my older brother die from cirrhosis at the age of 44 and it was not a pretty sight. His stomach area continued to bloat and at the end the liver could not even process pain medication from the damage. It's probably one of the many reasons that I haven't had a drink of alcohol in 13 years. I knew I did not want to die in the same way, but was headed in that direction. I hope your friend hits bottom real quick before the liver and other organs start to go, not to mention the mental and emotional anguish the disease creates. My prayers are with her and she is very fortunate to have a friend like you. You might want to consider an intervention where you have a meeting with all her family and friends and confront her about her problem. In many instances, I've seen it work! Take care. You are a rare friend and I hope she appreciates you!
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    Old 12-21-2003, 12:37 PM   #13
    openseason
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Koot: You only need one question to know if she is an alcoholic. Does she always drink to intoxication once she begins drinking? If yes then alcoholism, its that simple.

     
    Old 12-21-2003, 01:58 PM   #14
    Koot
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    No, I can't say that. When she is out at a function and is drinking she won't drink to the point of being intoxicated while at the function. Also, she will not begin drinking until late in the afternoon when at home...but she sure drinks alot every night (8 or 9 beers in 5 hours) every single night for a 105 lb female. And that amount, in such a short period of time, equates to a .28 BAC, which I find amazing to have every single day...day after day after day. I've never calculated it but it would be interesting to know what her BAC is the next morning after sleeping 8 hours. It still must be somewhat high...but I don't know.

    Koot


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by openseason
    Koot: You only need one question to know if she is an alcoholic. Does she always drink to intoxication once she begins drinking? If yes then alcoholism, its that simple.

     
    Old 12-21-2003, 05:34 PM   #15
    openseason
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    Re: Alcoholic or not?

    Koot you state that "you cant say that", but then you say she is a a BAC of .28 every day. She is intoxicated 4 times over at that point, even if she does not act intoxicated. She most certainly is an alcoholic un my opinion. However she will not realize it until she tries to stop drinking.

     
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