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Old 06-24-2008, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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30-Day Drinking Test for Alcoholism??????

I'm new here---Been attending Al-Anon for almost 2 years because of alcoholic husband. Life before Al-Anon was unbearable. Now I'm learning about myself and what I have brought to this situation and how to deal with things better. Still have long way to go and struggle with anger issues, particularly in regards to my husband. To better try and understand his situation, it was suggested that I try Open AA meetings, which I did. I loved them! Can relate to everything said. I loved them so much I wanted to go to the closed meetings. The more I go--the more I want to go to the AA meetings.

A friend who is a recovering alcoholic felt there may be more to my desire to attend the AA meetings than just trying to understand my husband. Thought maybe "I" had some underlying alcohol issues. As we have discussed my "drinking history" it does look like I could be alcoholic. However, after I became a mother (4 kids, 16-23), I basically drank little. There have been times when I have had way too much (including at least one black out), which was about 8 years ago. Generally, I don't drink much, but when I do, it usually is more than a couple. I'm told Alcoholism is a patient disease just waiting for the opportunity to come back----and that a likely time would be when all my kids are out of the house.

**I have been told there is a "drinking" test for alcoholism. Have exactly one drink of your choice for 30 days straight, made exactly the same way. No variations, so skipping days---and that how I handle that will help to indicate if I am an alcoholic. IS THIS A JOKE????????? Could there be any truth to this. I have already taken the AA question test--and if I answered the questions as I would have prior to children, the answer would be YES. Does that change things?

I'm confused and would appreciate any input or suggestions. Thanks very much and I'm sorry this is so long!! I tend to get wordy!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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for me it seems you are trying to fill a void in your life somewhere, I would bet my life on it that your NOT an alcoholic, and for your sake I hope Im right. You probably need an interaction group to get involve in, to be a part of it, but AA is not it. You may relate to AA but at the end of the day AA meetings are for alcoholics, well closed ones anyways.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never heard of any "official" alcoholism tests like that. Seems a little fishy to me.

The Big Book of AA does suggest to anyone in doubt (and I'm paraphrasing here), that they try some controlled drinking. Though the test you describe sounds like a version of controlled drinking.

I know lots of women in AA who, while raising their children, never showed any signs of the disease. And then after their children were older they really cut loose and hit bottom fast. There have been some discussions about that sort of thing posted in here fairly recently.

In my mind, seeing as how alcoholism is a medical condition, only a health care professional can diagnose it. Alcoholism is so often compared to cancer... would you try to diagnose yourself if you thought you had cancer or would you do see a doctor? That's only my opinion. The value of my opinion? It's worth the price charged.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have never asked anyone to actually try the controlled drinking - but my sponsor said it was the only option for one guy he was working with- and it wasn't going to be the sponsee that dictated how much to drink...

Goes like this: What is your favorite drink? (Ice cold vodka from the freezer, let's say).

For a period of time, I will call you each day and tell you how much to drink - that is how much you are going to have.

So Monday - say, you can have 2 of your favorite drinks
Tuesday you can have 1
Wednesday you can have 3
Thursday you can't have a drink
Friday you can't have a drink
Saturday you can have four
Sunday you can't have any

The thing is - you never know in advance how much you are going to be 'allowed' to drink on any given day, I wouldn't even call at the same time each day to let you know, maybe I won't call at all to let you know. Say this goes on for 30 days.....how would you react?

I know what would happen to me - one of those times I would just say 'F it' and get drunk. The thought of someone calling me, telling me how much alcohol I could have on a given day was crazy - I didn't have to do the 'experiment' myself...my experience was clear that I could not control my drinking, let alone let someone else control it for me.

I think the point of it all is to see if that physical reaction in the form of a craving develops. In AA - the physical part of alcoholism is that alcohol reacts differently on the body of people affected. We (I) have an allergic reaction to alcohol that manifests itself as a craving for more alcohol - once that craving is active, there is no way to not drink if alcohol is available, mental faculties are useless. (This is outlined in the Doctor's Opinion and More About Alcoholism).

Most can do this 'test' mentally...but I have heard of it actually being done. If the person is not alcoholic - it won't be a big deal. If they are - they will drink more than rationed.

Simple.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmm..
My question to you is..
Do you want to stop drinking?

Welcome to our recovery community...
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Last edited by CarolD; 06-25-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Funny. I have never heard of either of those tests but I can tell you there is NO WAY I could follow that.
I am an alcoholic.
Pat, I am certainly not one that could judge whether you are an alcoholic or not but maybe you just love the fellowship of AA? I know I do!!
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would question any test that asks you to increase your usage in order to see if you need to quit.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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there is another thread about this idea on the Newcomers to Recovery Forum.

The only difference to the idea of having a drink a day for 30 days as a test to see if one can do that to determine alcoholism, is that in the other thread, a doctor defined alcoholism to his patient as: if you can go 30 days without a drink" then you're not an alcoholic.

my humble opinion??

if you are an alcoholic of the variety described in the big book of AA, you will not be able to control your alcohol consumption after having 1 drink. 1 drink will lead to the phenomena of craving another.
And, if you are an alcoholic of the variety described in the big book of AA, you will not be able to go 30 days without drinking without experiencing the phenomena of craving, so perhaps one of those 30 day tests is a good idea.

either try to drink just 1 drink (1 oz of liquor or 4 oz wine) a day for 30 days. no more than that. Are you happy or are you wanting more? Are your thoughts consumed with having your reward/drink?
or
try to go 30 days with no drink and watch your mind. is it occupied with thoughts of your drinking?

You may learn some valuable information. good luck.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you to everyone who has replied!!! I deeply appreciate the info and am very grateful for your advice!!!!

Carol asked "Do you want to stop drinking?" Well--I guess I'm having a problem with that one. To make a decision to NEVER drink again is something I am very resistant to. Maybe that should be telling me something---------

Thanks again!!!!!
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Check out the 'Just for today' concept.

Never is too difficult to comprehend.

Best wishes...! Keep coming back.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugErspun View Post
Goes like this: What is your favorite drink? (Ice cold vodka from the freezer, let's say).

For a period of time, I will call you each day and tell you how much to drink - that is how much you are going to have.

So Monday - say, you can have 2 of your favorite drinks
Tuesday you can have 1
Wednesday you can have 3
Thursday you can't have a drink
Friday you can't have a drink
Saturday you can have four
Sunday you can't have any
I know this isn't your test Adam - but wouldn't this be more a exercise in behavourial psychology?

I know people - who aren't alkies - who'd go 'eff it' at being so arbitrarily controlled - if the 'subjects' already have a suspected drinking problem, it doesn't prove much to me.

D
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know this isn't your test Adam - but wouldn't this be more a exercise in behavorial psychology?

I know people who aren't alkies who'd go eff it at being so arbitrarily controlled - if the 'subjects' already have an identified drinking problem it doesn't prove much to me.

D
Yes - this would be for someone who has a drinking problem. In AA an alcoholics are described (physically speaking only here) as a distinct entity who break out in 'craving' when alcohol is introduced to their system, non-alcoholics never experience this. No one is subjecting to this test to one who isn't willing and trying their hardest to not have more than the suggested amount.

For instance - if a Dr wants to find out if one is allergic to peanuts, what would the test be? Present some peanuts to the body of the subject and look for a correalation (rash/hives etc). Alcoholics - present the alcohol to the body (the amount is different for everyone) - and craving breaks out (just like a rash) as the correalation. Once that craving is on - the subject will not stop until they pass out or another outside force (jail maybe??) makes alcohol unavailable.

So, far the non-alkies, maybe if we say I will pay you $100 a day to allow someone else to control the amount of alcohol you take per day - they probably wouldn't say 'F it'. Right? There are some people who aren't sure if they have this allergy or not - this test will bring it out. As we are talking life and death here - let me reiterate "I have HEARD of this test being done ONCE- I have never suggested it myself, I haven't come across that case yet."

It may appear to be a behavioral test - but when the big book suggests that someone go to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking - it is a test of this physical manifestation, not of behavior. Behavior, in this case, is secondary to what is being sought out.

As a footnote - please understand that I come from an angle where there is a distinct difference between someone with a drinking problem and an alcoholic. The OP asked specifically about this test, which I have some knowledge on. I did not post to argue if it's right/wrong/good or bad.

It's not uncommon when meeting someone new (in AA) - "Have you ever tried to control your drinking? Tell me about it" - that usually is sufficient to make a start, but everyone is different.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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OK...still seems odd to me - there's no validity in a test that 'proves' a drinker (who apparently is, at the very least, thinking of getting a sponsor) will...drink...especially when subjected to mind games and put under stress....

the best 'test' is simply having the drink of choice there in the first place, surely?

the addition of the sponsor seems...I'll be polite...and say...unnecessary.

meh...we don't concur...whoda thunk it?
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well - like I tried to kindly explain, my post was in reply to a very specific subject not to start a debate of what defines an alcoholic or the relevance of sponsorship in regard to such. I guess the fact that I explained twice that this is strictly a test of the physical affects on the body of an alcoholic somehow escaped you. Having a bottle in front of you and taking a drink from it are two completely different things.

Mind games, stress, opinions on sponsorship with which you have no experience....give it a rest already. Was your post just to take issue with mine? It's quite tiresome...

Really.

No need to be polite - the PM button works fine, send me one anytime you like.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The amount dosent matter.... nor the time drinking takes up. I was a daily drinker, my first sponsor, was only a weekend drinker. I have known people who are in AA who were only binge drinkers. Its the effect it has on us.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The amount dosent matter.... nor the time drinking takes up. I was a daily drinker, my first sponsor, was only a weekend drinker. I have known people who are in AA who were only binge drinkers. Its the effect it has on us.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have read this a couple of times...I'm confused...nothing abnormal about that!

To the OP it would be harder for me to drink just one drink a day for 30 days than it would be to not drink at all for 30 days. When alcohol enters my bloodstream I can't guarantee my actions, which before I quit, was ruining my life. If you feel alcohol is having a negative effect on your life give sobriety a shot...things get better.

I don't feel that "cravings" are physical...for me they are mental. Put alcohol in my body and I don't want to control my intake.... Physically nothing would happen to me if I was cut off at 3 drinks...I won't explode....I will however want more...that is mental.

Adam, the test you provided seemed odd to me also...I am sure it is not something that most sponsors would recommend nor promote.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi again Pat...

The book that convinced me to quit drinking was
"Under The Influence"

Please read this link with excerpts

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html (Excerpts from "Under The Influence")
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well - like I tried to kindly explain, my post was in reply to a very specific subject not to start a debate of what defines an alcoholic or the relevance of sponsorship in regard to such. I guess the fact that I explained twice that this is strictly a test of the physical affects on the body of an alcoholic somehow escaped you. Having a bottle in front of you and taking a drink from it are two completely different things.
Mind games, stress, opinions on sponsorship with which you have no experience....give it a rest already. Was your post just to take issue with mine? It's quite tiresome...

Really.

No need to be polite - the PM button works fine, send me one anytime you like.
OK. Now I'm baffled. I guess I must be stupid.

I try very hard not to make statements on things I know nothing about.

If this is a sponsorship issue, you can call me Susan.

I looked at this test. I don't find it valid. Even looking at it again with your effect question in mind, I still don't. If drinking hadn't already had a deleterious effect, I can't fathom why they'd be there at AA.....

If you have sponsors acting this way they need to look at their motives in my opinion, because it speaks to me more about the sponsor than the sponsee. My mind games and stress comments stand.

My initial post was simply an observation. I would have replied to anyone in the same manner....
If you think I spend my days trying to bait you, Adam....LMAO.
Do I have to pointedly not reply to you now?

And if I PMed you, I'd never get off this !%^ thing would I? LOL

relax. I'm done.
have a good rest of your day
sorry for the off road excursion guys

D
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with what Dee said, that this would just be an exercise in behavorial psychology. I have always been a binge drinker and could easily force myself to have only a few drinks a day for a period of time. A few drinks would have no effect so what would this prove? If I pass this test for a month the only thing I proved is that I forced myself to control it for a month so does this mean that I'm now cured, this is just silly.
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