- This topic has 7 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 5 months ago by Anonymous.
- August 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm#27667AnonymousInactive
Whats the difference between being addicted to alcohol and alcoholism? I’ve been addicted to things other then alcohol, alcohol is the one that caused problems for me in my life. The other night in a meeting this subject came up, old timers didn’t want anymore talk about addictions. Wanted it left as a diease and further discusion would have just anoyed more people. Anybody out there that can shed more light on this for me?August 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm#106383AnonymousInactive
Alcoholism is addiction to alcohol, and alcohol is an addictive drug. But many in AA have historically resisted labelling it as such, because it opens the gates to talk about other addictions. When addiction to other drugs was less prevalent, talking about them was a no-no. I think some people don’t like to hear it because they use prescription drugs for anxiety and such, which can be either legit or abuse.
I’ve been sober a long time, but see limitations with AA literature. For one thing, the medical understanding of alcoholism has changed a lot since the 30’s. Abstinence is still seen as the way to go in most quarters, but alcoholism starts much sooner than was the understanding when the Big Book was written. We’re already alcoholics when it’s still fun, because our system has abnormally adjusted to getting drunk, which most people don’t find pleasureable.
Placing alcohol in a different category than drugs is cultural, not scientific. Watching football while having a few doses of downers doesn’t have the same ring to it.
The book I like is called Beyond the Influence, which is pretty thorough.
Curiosity is not a character defect. Good luck!August 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm#106380AnonymousInactive
The book I like is called Beyond the Influence, which is pretty thorough.
The first book..
“Under The Influence” is what finally got me to quit
Amazon carries both.
Here is a link full of information…
Welcome to 12 Step National Meetings shagggy….:banana:August 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm#106382AnonymousInactive
I think that alcoholism is being addicted to alcohol, just another way of saying it. AA keeps the focus on alcohol rather than getting into other issues, that is part of AA’s strength. You go to AA to learn how to live life without drinking.
The lessons may be transferrable to other areas of life or to other types of addictions, but it is ingrained in AA that the whole thing there has to be kept to alcohol. I find that AA people defend this and get quite annoyed when people try to talk about other addictions.
Fair enough really, a drunk, is a drunk, is a drunk … somewhat different to other types of addicts, IMO. Many issues with alcohol are quite specific, it is a socially accepted and well regarded drug for one. Alcoholics are not regarded in the same light as heroin users for instance just for that reason. Heroin users are given more empathy.
There is a group called NA where you are welcome to consider other things.
peace and love,
Brigid 🙂August 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm#106381AnonymousInactive
In N.A. we say that thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. I do both programs and tend to believe that thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many alcoholics to relapse. I know people who would not even consider shooting heroin or snorting coke, but can’t seem to let go of the idea that some day they will be able to control their drinking again.
I was never offered heroin so I never got the chance to get addicted to it, but I see little difference from me going to the liquor store at lunch for two shots of vodka to make it through the afternoon and an addict getting a fix.
I also believe that once we have put down whatever our drug of no choice was and moved on into recovery, it just doesn’t matter what we used to use when it comes to working the steps or sharing our experience, strength, and hope with each other.August 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm#106385AnonymousInactive
I am an alcoholic, but not a drug addict. By that I mean that with drugs other than alcohol I have the power of choice-I can take them or leave them. I had a bad speed habit at one time, in conjunction with alcoholism. In fact, I used the speed to manage alcoholism. Eventually I got real sick and strung out on speed and it became a real problem. So I quit. Not without some physical withdrawal, but I walked away from it and have went back. That was six years before I stopped drinking. Alcohol was a big problem too, but I couldn’t quit for any reason.
And while alcohol may be an addictive drug, it seems to be selective. If ten people start to do heroin or smoke crack, all ten will become addicted physically. Take the same ten people and have them drink heavily over a period of time, and only a few will become alcoholics. Just drinking alcohol doesn’t make a person alcoholic anymore than just taking drugs makes a person a drug addict.August 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm#106384AnonymousInactiveshagggy wrote:Whats the difference between being addicted to alcohol and alcoholism? I’ve been addicted to things other then alcohol,
Alcohol is the one that caused problems for me in my life. The other night in a meeting this subject came up, old timers didn’t want anymore talk about addictions. Wanted it left as a diease and further discusion would have just anoyed more people. Anybody out there that can shed more light on this for me?
First off, I don’t agree with the whole “disease model” and I am not out to say it is wrong, I am just saying it is wrong for me. I see my alcoholism as a chemical dependence that I developed as a result of my over use of alcohol to avoid my problems. That is simply MY ES&H, and I know it differs greatly from the views of others. Please accept me as I am, same as I accept you.
There is a lot of discussion about being a heavy user and being an alcoholic. The difference as it appears from the literature and my understanding is that heavy users are probably dependent on the substance, but are able to control its impact on their life. The addict, unlike the heavy user, has lost the ability to limit their use or to moderate the consequences of their use.
For instance, I have a buddy, big lug of a guy and total redneck… Despite that he is totally loveable and means nothing but the best to all around him. He operates a company, is married and happy and has lots of interests and friends. He drinks, on average, six beer per day everyday. Some would say he is an alcoholic. He does not think so. He enjoys himself. It does not affect his very successful company, his relationship with his wife, friends, family, etc.
In contrast, when I drank, I drank to the point of passing out each and every night. I continued to work, but I was not functioning well (read it was interfering in my cognative ability to work), I had no life outside of work, I was alone and miserable. I had no friends. I was alone and miserable.
The difference between this big lug and me is that he still has a life and enjoys life, I did not and was not enjoying life. He has control and can say, no thanks, had enough. Much to my surprise, I’ve actually seen him do it. I could not have done that. Once I started it was load ‘er up and let ‘er rip. Towards the end that had changed, but so had I. I no longer wanted to run and hide in my little closed up world. I wanted to have life and to be part of life.
Hope this helps.
PS, I know my opinion may cause a :usa: but that is my opinion so I am at :Meditate: with my opinion and do not wish others harm or offense.August 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm#106386AnonymousInactiveleviathon wrote:He operates a company, is married and happy and has lots of interests and friends. He drinks, on average, six beer per day everyday. Some would say he is an alcoholic. He does not think so. He enjoys himself. It does not affect his very successful company, his relationship with his wife, friends, family, etc.
This sounds like my drinking career. I drank on average 1 bottle of wine a night, every night. I only drank “my” label and only if it was the right temperature (at least for the first one).
Unfortunately there was an exception, if there were two of “my” label in the house, I drank them both. If there were three, I’d likely crack open that third one, although I probably wouldn’t be conscious to finish it. Never ever touched the other stuff in the bar.
While my life was pretty good, a lot of energy went into making sure the supply was there and making sure (while sober) that there was never too much available. I believe that if alcohol is adversely affecting your life, in any way even if it’s just an extra trip to the store, it’s alcoholism. And without recovery work, it’s more likely to get worse than better.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.