Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Alcohol Abuse Anyone?

Last night during dinner I opened up the fridge to grab a cold Michelob Light. The twelve pack had only one bottle remaining. I said to my wife "What happened to all these beers?". She said "You drank them all". I said "I don't remember drinking all these beers." She says "That's what happens when you drink them all."
She was joking of course. What I meant was it seems like only a few days ago that she bought the 12 pack while grocery shopping. Since I rarely drink more than 2 or 3 beers in one sitting I just couldn't recall going through that many in a few days. She joking mentioned that I may be an alcoholic - which I am not (this is not merely first stage 'denial' either). I decided to take a look at what classifies a person as an 'alcoholic'. We all think we know an alcoholic or two but according to Helpguide.org they may just be 'Alcohol Abusers'.

Helpguide.org has this to say (bold comments are Buckys points):
Alcohol abuse is a pattern otherwise known as "problem drinking." The behavioral warning signs of alcohol abuse are:

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol frequently (The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has established two drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women as the limits to safe drinking) . Thank you NIAA for allowing me 2 drinks per day. Really. I know several people who, if I told them I had 2 drinks per day, would think I was a raging alcoholic. 2 per day is nice. I'll try to stick to that. But what exactly is "excessive"? Do they mean more than 2 drinks? Surely 3 or 4 wouldn't be deemed "excessive". And how frequent is "frequently"? Every other day? Once per week? Can I down 15 beers at once every 2 weeks and not be abusing alcohol? I think this needs clarification.

Drinking when it is dangerous (such as driving). Let me be clear on this - Drinking while Driving is not dangerous. Being Drunk while driving is dangerous. So I don't see why I should be branded as 'abusing alcohol' just because I'm sipping on a cold one on the way home from work. Of course I can understand the 'law' side if it - they don't know how many you've had or will have. But are you abusing it by having a few sips in the car?

Frequent excessive drinking. Is this not the exact same thing as above - "drinking excessive amounts of alcohol frequently"? I think someone ran out of things to label as alcohol abusive so they tried to toss in a duplicate.

Interpersonal difficulties with family, friends, or co-workers. I know plenty of complete assholes who do not drink. They have difficulties with family, friends, and co-workers. I know some alcohol abusers who are the most laid-back people I know. No problems with anyone. I don't buy this description of an 'abuser'.

Legal problems related to drinking. What kind of legal problems? Other than DUIs I would bet that most people who are in legal trouble have major character flaws unrelated to alcohol - such as violent temperaments, thievery, etc... So, other than DUIs what legal problems are directly related to drinking. Open container? Public Intox? You can have none of the previously described 'warning signs' and yet still get pinched for either of these if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I guess I'm just a little defensive about drinking some booze. I can exhibit self-control and moderation. Sure, sometimes I get completely shitty but not often. But I understand some people's need to label everything and turn it into a 'science'. The word 'Abuse' is just too general for me. You can 'abuse' anything if you use it more than someone else thinks you should. I think many people abuse make-up, perfume, funny ties, and the English language. I don't see focus groups or laws pertaining to this stuff.

Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a nasty disease and I won't dare make light of it. They say to ask yourself these questions - if you answer yes to more than one you are likely an alcoholic:

Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? No. In fact I have many times remarked that my drinking frequency is not meeting my needs.

Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? No. People annoy me for almost every conceivable reason except this one.

Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? No. Sometime I feel guilty for the people, I mean 'things', I do while drinking but never for the act of drinking.

Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? No. I prefer Bong Hits.

Thank God. I am safe from the clutches of Alcoholism for now.

What seems really strange to me is that we label Alcoholism as a 'disease'. Being a Miserable Fucking Prick could be a disease. Or a Slutty Hose Hound. The recommended treatments for this 'disease' are counseling, support groups, psychotherapy, goal setting, motivational training, and various other physiological hand holding. There are a few drugs out there that will curb your cravings but nothing that you can take on a 5 day regimen to kick the habit. Too bad. It would make life so easy for all those affected. The reason why there is no pill or drug for this is because alcoholism is a Mental Disorder - as defined by the professionals. I probably have several Mental Disorders but they seem to work with me instead of against me.

The effect of alcohol on the brain is a wonderful thing. Mankind has known this since the dawn of civilization. I wonder if their were 'alcoholics' back then. And ,if so, did people label them as such. The Bible makes several references to 'drunks' and abusers. In my opinion it never says "Do Not Drink, Ever!" It merely says "Don't be an Alcoholic, they are evil". I guess the writers didn't see these folks as addicts or diseased - just sinful. How dare you be hooked on a chemical substance. You shall burn in hell. Yet Jesus, while attending a wedding, miracle'd wine into "six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece" - Hey now, that's 180 gallons (23,040 ounces) of booze. A serving of wine is 5 ounces. That's 4,608 servings. How many people were at this wedding? Villages back then weren't more than a couple hundred people, at the most. Even the modern day villages in Galilee rarely top out at more than a couple thousand. So why did The Christ whip up so much booze. Why not? If I could do that a party would follow me around like a shadow. ROCK ON JESUS!


Blogger mugwump said...

I personally don't understand how people become alcoholics considering the taste of alcohol is god awful to me; especially beer. I never could acquire a taste for any kind of alcohol. It was like drinking Nyquil or something.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

I like the way Nyquil tastes. Hmm.

I answered 'yes' to many of the alcoholics questions and yet I don't think I have a problem with alcohol. Is there some kind of statute of limitations on them or something?

And the open container law has always been something that bugs me. Why should it be illegal to drink a beer but it's perfectly fine to snack on a Big Mac while talking on your cell phone and fixing your hair? Always seemed absolutely insane to me. The closest I ever came to getting into a fight was when someone tried to convince me that the open container law was a good one. That and when someone questioned my views about people who spit their gum out on the ground.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

Good point Doc. What if I was felt very guilty about drinking last year, but not so now. What if I used to drink every morning to cure a hangover, but not so much anymore. Since there is no stated statue (Seinfeld) of limitations I will define one for all of us - 7 days.

10:44 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

Oh, you've got to be kidding - you all think Seinfeld is funny and not Ray? How can that be?

And Dr. Metal, where the hell are you? You can't write all of that cool, neat, interesting stuff and then disappear for a week or more. I have abandonment issues. That's just plain cruel.

Seriously, though, Donny told me awhile back that you coach basketball - maybe you are watching all of the basketball that's been on t.v.?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

It's actually baseball this time. I'm done in FL in the sun, working with a baseball team for spring training--all expenses paid. My digs at the HoJo come with wireless Inet, but I haven't had much time to write. Only check in.

And since I've been bone dry down here for nearly seven days, that makes me definitely NOT an alcoholic with the seven day proviso.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

Oh, and I find Seinfeld hilarious. And Ray, well, I find him annoying. His nasaly voice and all.

8:08 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...

Yes, Ray does have a nasaly voice. I've never thought much about it - he uses it to his advantage, though, in his comedy. Strangely, most men I know don't find Ray funny. I think all you guys are just jealous because Ray is not only funny, but hot as well.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

The only one I like on that show is the father. His insults and one liners are excellent - but I wouldn't suffer through a whole show just waiting for his lines.

7:16 AM  

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