A friend has a weird drinking problem I want to get a read on. She doesn't drink often. Maybe once a month or less but when she starts drinking she can’t stop. She drinks too quickly and (cont)

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Hard to say if she is or isn’t. However, it’s not about how much or often you drink, it’s about what drinking does to you. You can be an alcoholic and only drink once a month. Also, a key sign is that once an alcoholic starts drinking, they rarely can stop...


Your “friend” has a binge drinking issue


I can clearly tell she can’t stop. Almost like sugar where she literally craves it once she starts. She then exhibits toxic behavior. Often embarrassing. She also does this in situations when other aren’t drinking that much so she’s often the only one as drunk as she is. She will then talk crap or fall. Do things that people do when they’re drunk but it’s not appropriate because it’s not that type of vibe.
Do you’ll think she’s an addict? Especially given that she doesn’t drink often and can very much stay away from alcohol when she wants?

If you do think she’s an addict? Do you ever think it’s possible for an addict to get their addiction in control? Are they able to drink in moderation socially and not exhibit behaviors that made them an addict?

Thanks D1 that’s helpful. What’s your view on getting it under control? In your mind is quitting cold turkey the only option?

This sounds like a very dangerous situation. It’s like someone with alcoholic tendencies cranking it up to 11, but very infrequently, which means there is no tolerance being built up, which means alcohol poisoning becomes a very real possibility (or DUI, or jail, or any number of unsavory things I don’t care to think about). I doubt this person would accept a “cold turkey” remedy, since they don’t have enough prior incomprehensible demoralization examples to accept that they have a problem.

1) Do they see it as a problem? 2). Have they expressed a desire to quit or cut back? 3) Have they suffered any serious repercussions?

Thanks for your insights.
So she does recognize there is a problem. But she classifies it more as a behavioral issue. She has been able to continue drinking socially but control the drinking and the behavior successfully thus far. But I don’t know if continuing to drink is a viable option and if she will relapse and something terrible will happen like M1 suggested.
Essentially I wonder if an alcoholic can even get their problem under control without quitting cold turkey or is that the only option?

Yes- it’s been a journey. She decided there is a problem because she isn’t in control and it’s impacting her life which is the definition of addiction. So that’s a step in a positive direction. She decided to limit herself to 2 drinks to keep it in control. It worked for a while but she relapsed recently. She’s decided to quit altogether because the other approach didn’t work. Only time will tell if she is able to stay sober. I have distanced myself from the problem. As much as I care about her, it’s her life and it’s her decision to change. It was impacting my life so I had to take a step back.

Lol it’s not me. If I was this aware of the problem I wouldn’t think it was a problem.

Friend might have a metabolic issue in addition to a mental / behavioral problem. She should talk to her doctor about it

I could never consistently “get it under control” or moderate. It was really only through enough examples of bad things happening (and an unrelated family tragedy) that I had the ability to recognize and deal with the problem.

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