20 votes

How do you guys deal with alcohol?

Even since my teenage years it's been a problem. They say people who start drinking sooner will probably develop alcohol problems and it seems to be the case with me and the majority of my friends. We are friends since little kids and we started drinking together when we were about 16 or 17 i think (i'm 32 now).

Every single one of us has a problem with binge drinking. I think i'm the less worse case among us since i can keep myself from drinking for days and usually have only one binge per week or less. They drink almost every day. I'm better than when i was younger, but it's still bad.

When i go out to drink i chug down +/- 3600ml (121oz) of cheap beer. It doesn't matter if it's craft/expensive beer, i will just get drunker and poorer in this case.

It's what happened yesterday. Now i'm hungover and just depressed.

How do you guys deal with alcohol? Is it a problem? Is it something you want to change or it doesn't bother you?

27 comments

  1. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
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    1. crdpa
      Link Parent
      Everything suffers when i drink. My performance at the gym, my work, my study. Everything is postponed. I've been thinking on trying 0% beers for some time now. It's not a big thing here in...

      Everything suffers when i drink. My performance at the gym, my work, my study. Everything is postponed.

      I've been thinking on trying 0% beers for some time now. It's not a big thing here in Brazil, but there are some brands. I'll remember that when i get the itch.

      A friend managed to stop drinking and it's sober for more than 3 years now. When there's a barbecue or any event he brings his 0% beer.

      4 votes
    2. Nmg
      Link Parent
      Finding out this information, along with deciding that, I honestly didn't like the taste of alcohol, was what led me to only drink it sparingly, maybe once a month.

      I think the trigger for me was reading about some recent studies on the toxicity of alcohol: there is no 'safe' dose, consuming any amount is harmful.

      Finding out this information, along with deciding that, I honestly didn't like the taste of alcohol, was what led me to only drink it sparingly, maybe once a month.

      2 votes
  2. [4]
    b55t
    Link
    Oh man, this is such a complicated topic with so many facettes. But, let's see if I can't offer some thoughts. First of all, not to one-up you, but, to put into perspective the claim of drinking...

    Oh man, this is such a complicated topic with so many facettes. But, let's see if I can't offer some thoughts.

    First of all, not to one-up you, but, to put into perspective the claim of drinking earlier making it more likely that one struggles with alcohol, I started at 11 or 12 (can't remember, badum-tishhh). Then, at 14 I told myself I needed to stop and didn't start again until 17.

    Whether that actually impacted my relationship with alcohol nowadays, I could not tell you. What I can tell you is that I drink small amounts every second day. That amount has always been within a certain range, but generally under half a bottle of wine or under 1,000ml of beer.

    I often think I drink too much, but that's because I think health-wise almost any amount of alcohol is bad. And at my age (31), I start to feel worse and worse (and lost the ability to sleep) when drinking.

    When I try to go without alcohol entirely, I am miserable, as I need it to relax. There are now two ways about it: I need some form of intoxication to help me relax. I have tried every trick in the book, I exercise for an hour a day, I eat very healthily and have a good social life. My work isn't overly stressful and I do not have money problems. I have also been in therapy for years. So if anyone tells me I do not have the toolkit to relax, I would contest that view. I do and I am still not relaxed. I am a very anxious person and worry about everything constantly. I know why (childhood), but knowing why doesn't somehow magically make it go away. I talk to my partner, whom I share a wonderful relationship with.

    I still want booze. I need it, to relax. I have tried weed, which exacerbates my anxiety so strongly and immediately, that it's not an option. I tried prescribed benzos and those are so addictive and dangerous that I quickly stopped that.

    So, I stick with my alcohol intake, as it vastly increases my quality of life. For now. I don't know what kind of price I have to pay for this later on (I am only slightly under what is considered an alcoholic according to health advice in my country (UK), where almost everyone I know is over), but I wonder whether what quality of life I gain now is worth the price. Ask me again in 40 years and I may have changed my mind.

    Perhaps try to reduce the binging? I almost never do these days, as it just makes me feel terrible. So that's one step in the right direction.

    If you actually are troubled by your alcohol intake, the obvious answer is to seek help.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      crdpa
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I really don't know if i drink to relax. There was nothing out of the ordinary yesterday that made me hit the booze. It's just a day that my brain goes "i'm drinking today". I think it's a...

      I really don't know if i drink to relax. There was nothing out of the ordinary yesterday that made me hit the booze. It's just a day that my brain goes "i'm drinking today". I think it's a craving.

      I had a lot of problems with anxiety in the past, but these days it's mostly ok. There's nothing really pressuring me to drink and i certainly don't need it to relax on a daily basis. I can manage my days ok without it.

      And because it's a binge, it doesn't improve my quality of life. It makes everything worse the next day since without i was doing fine. Maybe it's just a bad habit that has it's roots deep because it comes from way back.

      The only time alcohol improves something for me is when i drink a little before sex to relax. I can perform better psychologically speaking. I live too much in my own head when it comes to sex.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        b55t
        Link Parent
        That makes sense. I find that with alcohol, or food, just doing it to fill the time or because you are bored is one of the biggest traps. I have found that my thinking of it goes down if I keep...

        That makes sense. I find that with alcohol, or food, just doing it to fill the time or because you are bored is one of the biggest traps. I have found that my thinking of it goes down if I keep busy. Programming was what did it for me :)

        1 vote
        1. crdpa
          Link Parent
          You are spot on about this. I'm learning shell script on udemy and i plan on learning Go next. As a Go project i want to do a CLI music player for Linux. I think i'll focus more on this because...

          You are spot on about this.

          I'm learning shell script on udemy and i plan on learning Go next. As a Go project i want to do a CLI music player for Linux. I think i'll focus more on this because when i'm on it, it takes the whole evening and i rarely think about going out or anything else.

          1 vote
  3. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
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    1. [2]
      crdpa
      Link Parent
      Good luck on your journey! Yes, i think alcohol is the only drug that can kill you when you stop.

      Good luck on your journey!

      Yes, i think alcohol is the only drug that can kill you when you stop.

      3 votes
      1. xstresedg
        Link Parent
        Good luck on both you and @Fin's journeys! While I've never been a person with drinking problems up on the forefront, my issue used to be with drinking til I blacked out (12-18 beer, a dozen...

        Good luck on both you and @Fin's journeys!

        While I've never been a person with drinking problems up on the forefront, my issue used to be with drinking til I blacked out (12-18 beer, a dozen drinks, and more). I still drink, but rarely and no more than 6 beer/drinks.

        3 votes
  4. vakieh
    Link
    I drink quite a bit, but will also go without for weeks at a time and only really notice when I head to an event and start up again. I have a brother who is an as-yet-unadmitted alcoholic. We both...

    I drink quite a bit, but will also go without for weeks at a time and only really notice when I head to an event and start up again.

    I have a brother who is an as-yet-unadmitted alcoholic.

    We both started drinking early-ish, around 14-15, and rather heavily over our teenage years. The thing I think was part of the difference (besides the chemical/genetic differences I'm sure exist) is he was in a particular sporting crowd that linked alcohol with winning. My friends and I drink (and drank back then), but more to do with things like birthday parties, new year, 'It's Friday' parties, etc. Pretty close to the same amount when we were younger, and we both ended up regretting it ending up in hospital or waking up in the bush, but where I 'grew out of it' he has yet to.

    It might be bad talking about this with addicts around, but I have had net positive from alcohol all up. Sure, the hospital visits weren't great, but they ended up doing no lasting damage, and I managed to avoid getting eaten by dingoes. I use it as inspiration, I use it to bring people together socially, I've met my current (and as far as I can remember all previous) girlfriend while completely hammered, because I have exactly zero hope of working up the balls to flirt sober, and I have secured multiple jobs, promotions, and especially new clients/making sales by heading down to the pub. Sober me makes good on the promises drunk me has the social skills to make.

    6 votes
  5. [7]
    simpleisideal
    (edited )
    Link
    I think a large problem with something like alcohol addiction is not taking things seriously until it's too late. Taking the attitude "I can stop if I want to, but right now this makes me feel...

    I think a large problem with something like alcohol addiction is not taking things seriously until it's too late. Taking the attitude "I can stop if I want to, but right now this makes me feel better than normal and I choose not to stop." I took this approach throughout my twenties and paid dearly for it in my thirties when I finally realized I couldn't stop when I wanted to. I also knew that if I didn't stop soon that it would probably kill me before 40 or 50.

    Addiction can be an incredibly powerful thing, and unless you've experienced it, it's very easy to underestimate what it takes to overcome.

    I tried a variety of things to quit. Ultimately it was a combination of:

    1. Therapy to understand why I drank
    2. The Sinclair Method (not well known in my country, US, but I found a doc that was cool enough to go along with it)
    3. Lurking on /r/stopdrinking on a daily basis as my support group. You're not alone!

    Like others have mentioned, if you're going heavy on and off, be very careful that you don't quit cold turkey after too many sustained days in a row. Learn about delirium tremens and know that it can kill you. Seek medical attention if you're ever unsure.

    The liver is pretty neat in that it's one of the few organs that can repair itself if it's healthy enough to do so. But once you cross the threshold of not healthy your chances of recovery dwindle pretty quickly. That crossover point is different for everyone so it's impossible to predict.

    Take care!

    edit: my OP incorrectly called it the naltrexone method - it's called the Sinclair Method and it uses Naltrexone

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      crdpa
      Link Parent
      The father of my ex died some weeks ago not from alcohol itself, but from a pretty bad flu. The whole family got the virus and had to be hospitalized, but they were fine the next day. Since he was...

      The father of my ex died some weeks ago not from alcohol itself, but from a pretty bad flu. The whole family got the virus and had to be hospitalized, but they were fine the next day. Since he was an alcoholic and had cirrhosis, he started puking blood and couldn't be saved. Pretty sad, guy was still young.

      There's only one doctor i managed to find here in Brazil who uses the Naltrexone method and it's far away. He works online too, but it's quite expensive. If i can't do it by myself, i think i'll save the money and seek his help.

      1 vote
      1. [5]
        simpleisideal
        Link Parent
        That is terrible; very sorry to hear. It also reminds me, another horrifying thing to learn about is esophageal varices which can lead to the uncontrolled bleeding you described. I found the more...

        That is terrible; very sorry to hear. It also reminds me, another horrifying thing to learn about is esophageal varices which can lead to the uncontrolled bleeding you described. I found the more I learned about what the typical alcholic's road looks like, the more motivated I was to find a way out.

        As for the Sinclair Method, many people are in the same position you are where they can't find a doc locally. In these cases people often resort to ordering Naltrexone online from another country. It's good to at least have your liver stats (enzymes?) monitored while you're on the drug though, as there can be complications depending on your state of health. The method itself is pretty simple though, consisting of taking the drug about an hour before drinking. It's the combined drug + alcohol that, in laymans terms, re-wires your brain to not seek out alcohol. Again, this method works best when combined with therapy. I was able to slowly taper down to nothing over the course of 3 months.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          crdpa
          Link Parent
          The two websites that people order naltrexone online does not ship to Brazil :(

          The two websites that people order naltrexone online does not ship to Brazil :(

          1. simpleisideal
            Link Parent
            It's quite frustrating how difficult it is to access considering this method was proven to be very effective in Finland long ago. I think it says a lot about how much money is in the treatment...

            It's quite frustrating how difficult it is to access considering this method was proven to be very effective in Finland long ago. I think it says a lot about how much money is in the treatment industry. At least in my country, they don't want to prescribe a simple drug if they can put you up for a month in an expensive treatment facility instead.

            John Oliver did a bit about how corrupt this is in the US, for those interested: Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

            1 vote
          2. [3]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              simpleisideal
              Link Parent
              I'm curious, were you drinking consistently when you were on the drug? Or just occasionally? I'm not saying this is you, but I've heard other people try Naltrexone and be disappointed with its...

              I'm curious, were you drinking consistently when you were on the drug? Or just occasionally? I'm not saying this is you, but I've heard other people try Naltrexone and be disappointed with its results. The problem often is they were not combining the drug + alcohol on a consistent basis. Taking the drug alone will not have the same effects.

              Also worth noting, this is one of the reasons I believe doctors are often hesitant to agree to the method in the first place, as they would essentially be prescribing alcohol to an alcoholic. Again, I lucked out by presenting all of the info I had on the method to my doc (who'd never heard of it) and basically saying I was desperate. Luckily she was cool enough to go along with it.

              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. simpleisideal
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, it blocks the pleasure in the moment, but that's not the only outcome - it also has long lasting effects which reduce/prevent future cravings (at least in most individuals who did the...

                  Yes, it blocks the pleasure in the moment, but that's not the only outcome - it also has long lasting effects which reduce/prevent future cravings (at least in most individuals who did the method).

                  Dr. Sinclair explains it here

  6. [2]
    NeonHippy
    Link
    I avoid it. I never got into drinking, probably because I used to sneak sips from grown ups' drinks as a kid, so by the time I was a teenager it was 'been there, done that'. I'm glad I never...

    I avoid it. I never got into drinking, probably because I used to sneak sips from grown ups' drinks as a kid, so by the time I was a teenager it was 'been there, done that'. I'm glad I never acquired the taste for that stuff. It's really awful, just give me my coffee, tea, lemonade & hot chocolate, and I'm happy.

    3 votes
    1. lepigpen
      Link Parent
      Amen. I could never view it the way my peers viewed it having an alcoholic father. I like to try the basic things in life just so I can say, yeah I really don't like/need it. I properly partied...

      Amen. I could never view it the way my peers viewed it having an alcoholic father. I like to try the basic things in life just so I can say, yeah I really don't like/need it. I properly partied once and it was "meh", take it or leave it. But the one thing that always held true was I couldn't stand the actual lifestyle surrounding it.

      Everybody talks about the drinking and the fun party but nobody mentions the handful that turn into true alcoholics, or that give up some of their passions because their hungover on weekends. As a surfer it's so common to see people fall off the hobby and then you check what they're doing and they just get hammered with friends so there's no way they're waking up at dawn to get good surf.

      I can draw a terrible irony in that one of my heroes, Christoper Hitchens, who said religion poisons everything; I can make that same statement with alcohol even though he was a HEAVY drinker and smoker his entire life. And the smoking would end up taking him from this world. I mean it impairs your cognitive function and your body forces it out at a certain point, it's just poison lol

      1 vote
  7. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    Im a big guy, so the amount of alcohol I would have to drink exceeds the amount I am willing to actually drink. But I have dealt with more than my fair share of alcoholics. You see your drinking...

    Im a big guy, so the amount of alcohol I would have to drink exceeds the amount I am willing to actually drink. But I have dealt with more than my fair share of alcoholics. You see your drinking as a problem, so you should probably quit.

    Of course that's easier said than done.

    What I will suggest as an outsider to your situation is to get some help. Let your friends know that you are trying to quit. Get in touch with a support group. Heck, you might even want to hire a therapist. You've got options.

    I know I probably am not being too helpful, so I will leave you with my wishes of good luck in your efforts in dealing with alcohol.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      crdpa
      Link Parent
      Thanks! Every word is helpful and appreciated. Support group is a hit and miss thing. Mostly miss. I used to visit /r/stopdrinking on reddit, but the forced happiness there gets on my nerves...

      Thanks! Every word is helpful and appreciated.

      Support group is a hit and miss thing. Mostly miss. I used to visit /r/stopdrinking on reddit, but the forced happiness there gets on my nerves sometimes. I think i'll search for a S.M.A.R.T. forum.

      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I would highly recommend you find an in-person group. Online communities are nice, but they are rarely as strong a force as dealing with actual people face to face. There is a big difference...

        I would highly recommend you find an in-person group. Online communities are nice, but they are rarely as strong a force as dealing with actual people face to face. There is a big difference between promising a random group of people on the internet you aren't going to drink at a party and making the same promise to people you will have to see again.

        1 vote
  8. NeonHippy
    Link
    I avoid it. I never got into drinking, probably because I used to sneak sips from grown ups' drinks as a kid, so by the time I was a teenager it was 'been there, done that'. I'm glad I never...

    I avoid it. I never got into drinking, probably because I used to sneak sips from grown ups' drinks as a kid, so by the time I was a teenager it was 'been there, done that'. I'm glad I never acquired the taste for that stuff. It's really awful, just give me my coffee, tea, lemonade & hot chocolate, and I'm happy.

    1 vote
  9. lazer
    Link
    I used to drink socially, especially in Australia when clubbing and drinking is just something you did with your social group. I never really liked the taste, though. About four or five years ago...

    I used to drink socially, especially in Australia when clubbing and drinking is just something you did with your social group. I never really liked the taste, though. About four or five years ago I decided to just not do it anymore - the taste just isn't worth the lost braincells, and I don't need to be drunk or tipsy to have fun.

    1 vote
  10. PepperJackson
    Link
    This is a crazy complicated topic. I do not have first-hand experience, but I can mention a few things from my uncle's experience. He said what really helped him turn everything around was talking...

    This is a crazy complicated topic. I do not have first-hand experience, but I can mention a few things from my uncle's experience.

    He said what really helped him turn everything around was talking to his primary care physician. Unfortunately, it took an attack of acute pancreatitis to convince him to do so, but he said his doctor was very interested in helping him quit. His provider referred him to a therapist, encouraged him to go to AA, and prescribed Naltrexone. It can take an army to overcome the urges of the mind. I think the fact that you are considering that something isn't right makes me think that you should bring it up to your doctor! Get some people on your team and you can quit if you want.

    1 vote
  11. retiredrugger
    Link
    Keeping a disciplined schedule is what helps me best eliminate binge drinking, for example, if I want to go lift the next morning I know that my lift will be horrible and it will interfere with my...

    Keeping a disciplined schedule is what helps me best eliminate binge drinking, for example, if I want to go lift the next morning I know that my lift will be horrible and it will interfere with my progress. Simply being aware of how I'm going to feel the next day and the level of interference it's going to bring to my week is often enough just what it takes for me to stop drinking.

    I hope it works out for you!

    1 vote
  12. OilyDog
    Link
    I had my first drink when I was 12 years old. By the time I was sixteen going on a night out would mean taking my personal bottle of hard liqour. On vacation I would drink daily, more than 1000ml...

    I had my first drink when I was 12 years old. By the time I was sixteen going on a night out would mean taking my personal bottle of hard liqour. On vacation I would drink daily, more than 1000ml of hard liqour a night.

    I developed a serious problem with alcohol right from the get go. I could never really control how much I drank, and I was a very different, aggressive person when I was drunk.

    Later I took other drugs. I'm an addict and in the end, the substance is not important as long as I have something that fills the hole, makes me numb or high..

    I'm 27 now and almost seven years completely sober and clean. Before I got to stop, things were very dire for me. I would not have stopped if it still had worked or had been fun.

    What enabled me to quit was seeking help. Here in Germany we have many resources for that. But what helped me make it stick was AA/NA. The meetings are free of charge (except for voluntary donations by the members) and the only requirement for going there is a desire to stop drinking/using. Nothing needs to be signed, no commitments are made. Usually you can find a meeting in any larger city around the world, sometimes several.

    Here is a meeting finder: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa/world/1

    I wish you luck and to find a way to enjoy your life more, whether it is with or without alcohol.

    If you or anyone else wishes to ask me something, go for it. I'm an open book.

  13. Happy_Shredder
    Link
    I like alcohol. I like the varieties, and their various tastes. It can cool you down or warm you up. A cold one's a great way to unwind after a hard week. Sometimes it's nice to go out with mates...

    I like alcohol. I like the varieties, and their various tastes. It can cool you down or warm you up. A cold one's a great way to unwind after a hard week. Sometimes it's nice to go out with mates and just forget about everything for a night. Sure there are health consequences, but there is a scale. Drinking large amounts every day or binging every week has serious consequences. I used to work with a bloke who drank himself to death in his mid 30s.

    Drinking compulsively --- doing anything compulsively, potentially --- is dangerous, because you're not in control. If you're in this scenario, then maybe find some help. There's plenty of it.