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Old 02-08-2005, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)

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12 Beers too much?


Last night I found out that my brother may be an alcoholic. His wife called to say there was a problem. None of our family has experience with this. Please, please, give us any adivice you have on the following questions:

*EXACTLY HOW MUCH OF AN A IS HE? He drinks 12 beers a day as an average. Is this borderline or out of control?

*MUST HE RECEIVE PROFESSIONAL HELP? He and is wife are in the midst of an adoption, for a child who has already bonded with them for several months. He has no insurance and is afraid to go into an official program because they fear someone will find out and the adoption will be voided. Can he do this on his own?

*WHAT SHOULD WE DO FIRST? He doesn't think he has a problem... everyone in his "circle" thinks that drinking beer is like drinking a soda.

He is not violent, been married for 20 years, has three children, his wife loves him. We want to save him. Any advice would be appreciated.

-Tim's Sister
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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HI Tim's sister!! I'm so sorry... I am the wife of an alcoholic, and I would just like to say that if she has reached out to you - he definately has a problem. Most of us live with this disease in shame, or not knowing what to do, not wanting anyone to know... just telling you was probably a HUGE step for her, so please give her all the support you can. I can tell you are a very loving and caring person, to already have researched enough to find this place. I would recommend you and your sis-n-law reading as much on here as you can, and maybe even looking into some alanon literature. This disease is very bizarre, and impacts people in way, I've yet to understand. Unfortunately, the most difficult thing on the family is, that HE is the only one who can fix this. If he doesn't think he has a problem, he wont stop. Others will respond to this who are much wiser than me, but I just wanted to say "welcome"...and we are with you!
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry your family is hurting right now. I agree with Peaches, that if SIL said something it was very hard for her to do...
An Al-Anon meeting would be a good resource for you & your family.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease... but being an alcoholic, or at least my understanding of it, is an all or nothing deal ... you either are or you aren't.
12 beers in 4 hours would probably put you over the BAC limit for drunk driving. The same would be true for 12 glasses of wine and 12 mixed drinks (assuming it was only 1 oz of booze per drink).
No matter how much the folks around the A want to save or change the A, the only one who can do it is the A him/herself. AA helps thoses who know they have a problem and want the change.
He doesn't think he has a problem
You might want to let SIL know about this site, so she knows she's not alone.
I wish you and your family peace.
Life is too short - use the 'good' dishes!

Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway. A journey without maps. -Frederick Buechner
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Chy, alcoholic, 12 beers was my nightly dose, or nearly every night. Didn't care what people thought, didn't care how family felt, I didn't have a problem! Wrong! I wouldn't listen to what anyone had to say, I always found a way to justify it and it wasn't until I was sick of it, done, finished, couldn't keep killing myself, that I was able to seek out help.

What you all can do is seek out the support of Alanon, as it could be a long wait waiting for him to quit, and it will only get worse. *hugs*
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Stand by your SIL. She needs your help and support. I reached out also and was told by BIL that there was no problem and my AH lies because I get so angry. My inlaws have also gone against me after speaking to my AH because I can only imagine the load of bull he told them. They have not bothered to get my side even though we have known each other since I was 12 and been very close. She needs you so much right now. Don't let her face this alone. Get your hands on every book you can involving alcoholism. Best of luck and all my prayers to you and your family. Don't forget to give you SIL a hug.
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As 'belle said, there's no such thing as a "little bit alcoholic". One either is or isn't, and it's up to the drinker to decide on the diagnosis.

For you and those concerned about his possible problem, this link will help you find Al-Anon meetings:


They offer information, compassion, support and a safe environment to find some answers.

Alcoholism is a family disease, affecting more than just the drinker (as you prob'ly already know). As for "What should we do first?", you might consider doing as they say on airplanes: put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to help those around you. In my experience, this seems to work best.

I wish you peace...
Oh, yeah!!!

Recovery is not a mysterious process. The only mystery is why it took some of us so long to get here... and why some choose not to stay.
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Tim's Sister:

I'm not trying to be funny, crass, or make light of your situation but I thought I'd share this with you. I was reading your post out loud to my daughter (who's sitting at the table next to me), and her response to your question, "Is 12 beers a day too much?" was, "Is 12 pieces of cake a day too much?" And while she intended her answer to be funny, it really drives home a point. Is twelve of anything too much? Twelve sodas? Twelve pieces of pizza? Twelve chocolate bars?

My answer to your question would be yes, twelve beers a day indicates there's a problem to me. But that's just my own opinion. What matters more is does your SIL think 12 beers a day is too much? Has your brother's drinking caused her family distress? Have 12 beers a day brought chaos into her life? Have 12 beers a day prompted her to call you in desperation?

I think you already know the answer, and that's why you're here. The other posters have given you wonderful suggestions on how to help your SIS, how to help your brother, and how to get started on the road to recovery.

We are here for you. We are here for your sister. And we are here for your brother, if he chooses. Welcome to Sober Recovery. You're among friends.
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great post!!! Thanks to you and your very wise daughter!
Oh, yeah!!!

Recovery is not a mysterious process. The only mystery is why it took some of us so long to get here... and why some choose not to stay.
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome TimsSister!

Unfortunately, you can't save him, only he can do that. But your SIL can help herself by going to al-anon meetings and getting the book "co-dependent no more" by Melodie Beattie.

Hope you stick around.

FD - I wonder where your daughter gets it? Sounds like a chip of the old (sorry!) block.


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Old 04-17-2013, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)

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As a recovering alcoholic, I can definitely say 12 beers in one sitting is enough to get very drunk. 12 beers each night was my nightly routine and it ruined my health. Most normal drinkers have a couple cocktails here and there, or an occasional glass of wine with dinner. They don't drink with the intention of getting hammered. And normal drinkers don't set out to get drunk DAILY. That being said, most of us who are problem drinkers have a pretty good idea that we are pushing it well beyond healthy limits. Sometimes a loving intervention is just what the alcoholic needs. We don't mean to hurt those around us, but feel powerless to change. He needs your strength now, whether he knows it yet or not. Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is a VERY old thread, from 2005. I doubt the OP is around to read your response.
~ one breath at a time
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde
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