I’m far too successful to be an Alcoholic

For many there is a stereotypical view of what it means to be an alcoholic. They see it as drinking alcohol all the time, wrecked careers, hiding booze, poor family providers and possibly homeless and destitute.

But the latest research and the majority of expert opinion is now suggesting that only 9% of known alcoholics fall into the ‘chronic’ category whilst somewhere between 75% and 90% are ‘High Functioning Alcoholics’

These people are usually financially successful, live in nice houses, wear nice clothes and give the outward appearance of being a ‘high achiever’. The amount of alcohol they drink will be seen as irrelevant and a natural consequence of their chosen lifestyle, they cannot possibly be alcoholic because the appearance simply ‘doesn’t fit’

This type of established thinking is naive at best and potentially fatal at worst.

The danger is that unless there is a clear understanding about what alcoholism and alcohol dependence really are then the same old view will be taken. Alcoholics will be seen as people who are at ‘rock bottom’ for reasons that are obvious to the whole world. Successful people will be ‘heavy drinkers’ and couldn’t possibly be alcoholic because of the ridiculous stigma that is attached to it, usually by those without a clue as to what alcoholism and drug dependence actually are.

Would it surprise you to learn that you can drink alcohol within the recommended guidelines and still be an alcoholic?

It is entirely possible to be addicted and to be ‘successful’, although the long term outlook is not that good. The problem with alcohol is that the human body and thereby the mind build tolerance to its effects and as a result it progressively takes more alcohol to get the desired effect.  But remember that alcohol causes damage every time it enters the human body, without exception.

Continuing with this behaviour means that at some point the liver will stop functioning or some kind of cancer or other nasty alcohol related illness will develop. The NHS spends about £2.7 billion treating alcohol related illnesses every year, and its increasing.

Alcoholism and alcohol dependence is not about how much alcohol you drink. It’s about why you drink it.

 Do you have a complete understanding of why you drink alcohol?

3 comments for “I’m far too successful to be an Alcoholic

  1. Peter Hanley
    17 April, 2011 at 11:19

    Hmmm! I’m ex military. People said I was involved in the top end of technology and complexity. Submarines. I left about 20 years ago so I talk of that time. I was amazed at how much drinking of alcohol there was. Some open, some secretive. I thought some drinking was OK, some was not OK. It’s not until now that I can ask the question: “how many of us [and I include me] were alcoholic?” I hadn’t thought about it before. So yet again it could be that the targets we are given [limits of units of alcohol, numbers of fruit to eat per day, max days on a hospital waiting list, etc] are actually meaningless and maybe even misleading. For alcohol it may just be that neither the mind nor the body can tolerate alcohol, yet we convince ourselves our bodies can take it because our minds are powerful enough to cope with the upset. Seems to me we need to have more people thinking more deeply on this topic; preferably without the aid of alcohol! And for those of you still in the military, I don’t know if this applies to you [the bit about alcohol is so OK for you, you don’t even need to question it]; yet at least you’ve been given the opportunity to think about it, unlike for my time.

  2. 13 April, 2011 at 12:07

    Came to your web site through Reddit. You know I am subscribing to your rss feed.

  3. 12 April, 2011 at 09:37

    I speak as a non-drinker only consuming approximately 3/4 small glasses of wine per week with the evening meal. If I never had another drink of wine I would not have a craving for alcohol. However, over many years I have seen the effect on various relations, colleagues and friends so have made a casual study of the problem.
    I once mentioned to an ex son-in-law that a person would not know if they had a dependence on alcohol unless they stopped partaking. He said he could stop at any time but only lasted about four days and gave an excuse that he had been to a social event and was expected to dring some wine etc etc.
    I respectfully suggest therefore, that unless drinkers of alcohol stop totally for a lengthy period they will never find out if they depend on alcohol for confidence, their nerves etc .

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