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At what stage of alcoholism does moderation become impossible?


At what stage of alcoholism does moderation become impossible?

Old 04-07-2016, 06:20 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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You've started 3 threads here on SR in as many years Chris and each one seems to ask the same question - are you an alcoholic? There is no hard and fast rule, nor a "stage" nor a clinical definition/diagnosis. You simply need to decide for yourself if drinking is causing problems for you, and if you would be better off not drinking.

Take a look at these other threads of yours and notice the similarities. It's very common for an alcoholic to try and reason or classify themselves as a non-alcoholic and somehow cling to the hope that we can still moderate.



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Old 04-07-2016, 06:49 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I passed through all of those stages. I thought I could moderate when I was at stage 1. Pretty soon I was at stage 2, then 3 and then 4....and I was shocked that I fell so far. If you are truly an alcoholic you can't moderate. It just gets worse and worse.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:50 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I think a more telling division might be whether one is drinking for escape or not.
I use my father and myself for example: my dad enjoys a glass of white wine probably once a week. He likes the way it tastes with certain foods. He sometimes gets a glass at a restaurant, and if it's not very good, he doesn't finish it (What?!). He also doesn't re-order another brand.

Myself, I ALWAYS drank for escape. When I was young, it was to escape the possibility of boredom. As I grew older, I added every emotional state I could as reasons to drink. I tolerated beverages I didn't like the taste of without batting an eye. -And now that I've quit, slippery moments are never about missing the taste. They are about missing the effects of a solid buzz.

I believe that true moderation doesn't involve rationing or counting. If it is an effort, you're already on the continuum and would probably serve yourself best by quitting.

It's simple (in theory).
It works.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:12 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I'd say, moderation becomes impossible at the alcoholism stage of alcoholism.

The problem with questions like this is, they presume there's some point when you know you have a potential problem and can make a wee adjustment to the amount or the occasion or style of drinking. That's not the way alcoholism works. An alcoholic either doesn't know or doesn't care about the problem until it's too late -- it's gone way too far to makes adjustments.

Some continue to lie to themselves that this or that will change things, but once the mental pathology takes hold, it's not much use. Then you admit that the only hope for a longer or better life is by quitting.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:36 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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During my first year sober, I spent a lot of time pondering whether I was "really" an alcoholic, and what stage I was in. I compared myself to others, took endless online tests. It was very easy to believe that I could possibly moderate someday, because I hadn't yet had any big dramatic consequences. But I kept not drinking, because it seemed to be improving my life.

Now I realize that all those thoughts were really the product of the addicted part of my brain, that wanted to keep drinking. Now it doesn't matter to me whether I was technically an alcoholic or not, early stage, middle stage -- none of it matters. Because I like myself and my life better sober than I did as a drinker, so I'm gonna stay sober.

That addict in my head still occasionally likes the idea of a drink, but she's been fired as manager of my life.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:16 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Looking back, I can see that 95% of my drinking was such that I drank to get drunk. Early on, it would be weeks or even months between binges but the end result, the vast majority of time, was getting stupidly drunk and then being hungover. Sure, there have been times when I've just had one or two but if I'm being honest there was often a feeling of irritation that I wasn't drunk during those times. It almost felt pointless to drink just one or two.
As for stages? If at any stage it's creating problems in your life, then it's too much.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:05 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Moderation- some say it's possible
some say it's not.

I really don't care..... I'm just no drinking
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:16 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post

That was me in my mid-20's through around 40. I drank a lot in college and built up a tolerance, but it was weekend binge drinking only, and once I left that environment I was a light occasional drinker with much lower tolerance for years. Over those years my drinking did slowly escalate to weekend binges again, but I was past 40 before it became an addictive thing.

I don't buy into the stages either. We humans like to create divisions and boxes for people and things, but they can lead us astray when we're really looking at a smooth continuum. If drinking is a problem for you, stop and it will stop being a problem, and meanwhile you will enjoy life on it's own terms.
Me too. Drank heaviest in my 20's and 30's, then slowly tapered back. But still couldn't handle stress or deal with my feelings and emotions until I quit entirely. It's such a bad way of coping.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:58 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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I was never a "normal", or moderate drinker. My husband was a problem drinker when he was younger, and from the outside looking in I'm sure he looked like an alcoholic. But as he grew older and matured, that behavior leveled out. That didn't happen for me. To me, that's once of the big differences between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic. I don't think I ever stood a chance of NOT being an alcoholic-save never starting to drink in the first place.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:05 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I drank as much as possible...I could never get high enough...

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Old 04-09-2016, 07:07 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
There are many stories of people who were heavy drinkers in their younger years but learned to drink moderately later in life. Their drinking habits may have looked like alcoholism, but today they can have two drinks with dinner and stop with that. Their tolerance has also returned to normal after being much higher when they were drinking heavier. For them, it's safe to say they did not cross the point of no return.

The stages I am going by are as follows

Stage One: Pre-alcoholic (binge drinking, increasing tolerance)
Stage Two: Early alcoholic (blackouts, anxiety if alcohol not available, further increase in tolerance)
Stage Three: Middle alcoholic (Alcoholism becomes more obvious, job performance suffers, alcohol is brought into inappropriate situations where it otherwise wouldn't be)
Stage Four: Late alcoholic (Drinking becomes an all-day affair, end of job/relationships, health problems set in)

At one point on that timeline do you think moderation is no longer possible? I would say anybody who has reached stage three or four has no choice but to never touch another drop, but what about stages one and two?

My guess is it would largely depend on the individual.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:22 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I was at stage 1-2, I suppose if I REALLY tried to moderate I might be able to, but I didn't drink to have one or two- I wanted more and more
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:37 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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The question isn't at what point did we, the question is did it happen for you?
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:46 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Found out the hard way.

I could return to a moderate use as to my/my peers old use. But my physical dependence line has been crossed and too far.
I think if you question you have a problem is one thing... if you have to conscious moderating, that's another thing. If you've been physically dependent yet another.

Just don't drink. It takes less contemplation.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:55 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Fabela View Post
I was somewhere between stage 1 and 2 and I am not going to try moderation at all. I don't believe I can do it.
me too
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:42 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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I could never understand why anyone would want to drink in moderation in the first place. Right from the start I drank to get hammered, for the buzz. The concept of moderation made no sense to me.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:10 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I honestly think I never had it in me to moderate my drinking or drug taking.

I agree with Dee. From my very first drink the whole point was to get drunk and that didn't change for almost 40 years. I believe either I was born an alcoholic or became one long before my first drink.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:28 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by mm222 View Post
I was never a "normal", or moderate drinker. My husband was a problem drinker when he was younger, and from the outside looking in I'm sure he looked like an alcoholic. But as he grew older and matured, that behavior leveled out. That didn't happen for me. To me, that's once of the big differences between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic. I don't think I ever stood a chance of NOT being an alcoholic-save never starting to drink in the first place.
In my early 20's I partied and drank lots. Looking back, i can't believe how much I drank or how I did it. I've matured and my partying phase is over. My husband however is a different story.
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