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Is there such thing as alcohol resistance?

Old 01-06-2011, 12:06 PM
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Is there such thing as alcohol resistance?

My girlfriend is not an alcoholic nor am I, but it seems that she never is affected by consuming large amounts of alcohol. At most she has felt buzzed from the alcohol but this is after 9 or 10 drinks. She is 5'6 and 115 lbs so obviously her body should not be used to that amount of alcohol. We have been together for almost two years and I have not seen any signs of her abusing. My cousin is in recovery so I know what the effects are and what to look for, but she is not exhibiting any signs. Is there such thing as a natural alcohol resistance and if so, how can we know when too much has been consumed to avoid damaging her liver?

Thank you for your time
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:14 PM
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From personal experience, I developed a very high tolerance, and after 20 years it only took about 10 beers to blackout. (Used to take 20 at least)
There could be a natural resistance, but in order to be sure there is no liver damage, I think you would need to see a doctor.
That is a large amount of alcohol for someone her weight.

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:17 PM
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Thank you for sharing However is there a way to know if she has a natural resistance to it? As I explained to my knowledge, she has never abused. She does have a family history of depression and is taking medication which I would think would decrease the resistance.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:19 PM
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de·ni·al   /dɪˈnaɪəl/ –noun An unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable.

"At most she has felt buzzed from the alcohol but this is after 9 or 10 drinks."

Dude, God bless you and welcome to SR, but your entire post is practically the textbook definition of an alcoholic. What normal person of any size consumes 9 or 10 drinks in one sitting? No normal person. Only alcoholics do this.

Take care, spend some time reading the sticky posts above, examine how and why you found this website in the first place, and revisit your idea of what is, and what is not, an alcoholic.

Take what you want and leave the rest,

Cyranoak

P.s. You and I both know that alcoholism exists at a higher percentage than "regular society" in the law enforcement community. In addition, you are probably exposed on a regular basis to people much further along in their alcoholism (citizens) and/or who are high-functioning alcoholics (co-workers), and this may be clouding your judgement relative to your personal life and this woman who you love. This is not just hot air-- I know this from personal experience over a period of 10 years.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:20 PM
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She probabaly shouldn't be drinking any alcohol so the medication works ok.

If she's drinking 9-10 drinks in an evening, that's a ton.. and to me would indicate a lil red flag when it came to her relationship with alcohol.

A doctor can answer your questions, we cannot.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:40 PM
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Is there a way for you to know? I'd say no.

Is there a way to increase resistance? The short answer is yes.

However, I wouldn't call it "resistance" but rather adaptive.

Alcohol is metabolized by enzymes in the liver. The production of a specific enzyme can actually be increased in chronic drinkers. It would follow that the body of a chronic drinker is able to supply a higher level of a specific enzyme to metabolize the alcohol.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:12 PM
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I'd say your friend is a person who can really hold her liquor--in other words she has high tolerance. You've been together almost 2 years.
What about her drinking habits before you met?

Even if she should have "some" natural resistance which I doubt, I'd consider 9 or 10 drinks too much alcohol even for a 6' tall/ 200 lb man who hasn't built tolerance.

I'm married to an alcoholic. I'm not a physiologist or medical doctor.
I encourage you to read and study everything you can so you know what your are dealing with. You are already doing that or you wouldn't be here. Believe me and so many others here, you don't want to wait 10 years to start understanding where you stand.

Drinking on antidepressant medication is a big no no. "Don't drink alcohol while taking this medication" is usually written on the label. It's there for a reason. I assume you are aware that alcohol is a depressant.

Is your girl friend's history depression caused by alcohol?

Last edited by Verbena; 01-06-2011 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Add last sentence
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:31 PM
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P.s.

How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

I have been going since 2003 and it is the single best decision I have ever made in my life. Ever. And I'm 45.

Try six meetings, some different, before deciding if it is for you. Also, keep an open mind, fixate on the things you like rather than on potential reasons to not like it, and see what happens.

Good luck my friend,

Cyranoak
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:34 PM
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You would have to see a doctor to get answers about liver damage. The only way to know is to run tests. If she continues to drink at that level she would have to repeat the tests to monitor that.

She isn't experiencing natural resistance, she has built up a tolerance to the alcohol.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:44 PM
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I have never heard of "alcohol resistance" so not sure how to answer that. What I do know is that my family seems to carry a gene that permits them to consume large quantities of alcohol at a time, myself included. We are all definitely alcoholics, whether they can provide evidence to the contrary or not.

An old friend of mine is able to consume relatively large quantities of alcohol and appear to physically function "better" up to a certain point. I have heard of people who alcohol affects differently than others; drinking it makes them feel "normal."

I should say, LawOfficer, that people who do not have a problem with alcohol do not sit around wondering whether or not they have a problem with alcohol. Something to think about.

Regarding this:
how can we know when too much has been consumed to avoid damaging her liver?
I believe for heart health, for a woman her size, the guidelines suggest no more than one drink twice per week? Something like that. For more information about women and drinking go here:
NIAAA Publications
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawofficer28 View Post
how can we know when too much has been consumed to avoid damaging her liver?
she'd have to go to her doctor and find out. Maybe this will seem a weird question, but have you thought about why it is you searching for answers about what level of alcohol your GF can drink without damaging her health?

If she were bothered about it, I'd expect her to be searching out the answers.

Which suggests that you are worried about her drinking and she is not. So i wonder what you are planning to do with any information you find, and how you imagine that information will be received?

Is her health your only concern re the alcohol or are there other things that are niggling too?
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawofficer28 View Post
She does have a family history of depression and is taking medication which I would think would decrease the resistance.
In my younger rebellious days, friends and I would take antidepressants with alcohol (very stupid). Before even finishing our first drink, we'd feel like we had been drinking all night.

Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, as does antidepressants. Big no-no to take them together. It could literally kill you.

I'm not a doctor.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:33 PM
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I'm not a doctor, and this is only anecdotal, but...
... when one of my alcoholic friends died (in an accident), the autopsy revealed a blood alcohol content that (the autopsy report said) would have killed a normal person. The fact that my friend wasn't just conscious, but upright and skateboarding, with that BAC, the report interpreted as him being an alcoholic. I know it took more and more alcohol for him to reach the level of intoxication he was aiming for.

And yet, none of us back then thought of him as an alcoholic. He just drank a lot...
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:11 PM
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There'sa book called 'under the influence' that discusses liver function
and what you're describing.

thing to examine is -

if there's any .. ANY problems having only one or two drinks.

or any problem... not drinking at all in those situations.

ok big deal can drink fifteen in a sitting...

but what kind of effort does having NONE have?

or just ONE?

I agree with Cyranoak on this one.

If she doesn't get 'high'
then what the hell sould anyone need to drink that may for?

DOesn't add up.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:34 PM
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Lawofficer28, welcome to SR. Following is an excerpt from page 55 from Under the Influence, by Dr. James R. Milam and Katherine Ketcham.

Alcoholics, however, typically experience a dramatic climb in tolerance in the first stage of alcoholism and can often drink huge amounts of alcohol without showing obvious impairment of their ability to walk, talk, think, and react. Anyone who observes the early- and middle-stage alcoholic's drinking behavior is familiar with the fact that the typical alcoholic can drink as much as a liter of wine, a dozen beers, or even a bottle of whiskey without acting drunk.

The ability to tolerate large amounts of alcohol can develop over a period of weeks or years, depending on the individual.


I still re-read the book often and found really helpful.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:21 AM
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8-9 drinks even once a week would be considered dangerous binge drinking, let alone every day.

Bear in mind that even if she is confronted by a professional regarding alcohol abuse, she and she only is the one to decide to stop. Don't think that if a doctor tells her that she will magically stop.

A normal social drinker would typically stop well before 8-9 drinks. Someone with an alcohol problem probably will not, nor will they realice or even perceive there is a problem.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:42 PM
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Are you suggesting that she is really good at masking her symptoms, therefore is attempting to keep her stress within her?
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:47 PM
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I think some of us are wondering how often she drinks this much..everyday?couple times a week? once a year?
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:52 PM
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She does not drink very often at all due to her school and work schedule. When she does drink, which again is maybe once or twice a week if that, she doesn't drink that much. I guess I am just more focused on how her tolerance is so high even when her drinking habits are less than worrisome. But I will say Verbena I agree that her past may have some skeletons. It did take her a year to admit her previous very physical abuse from one of her exes.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:10 PM
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Under the Influence is an EXCELLENT read. It clearly explains, also, that the beginning stage alcoholic doesn't think there is a problem, nor does anyone close to him/her. They are still functioning alcoholics in the beginning stage and the only ones who will recognize it are the people on this site (or others like it) who have been through it, researched it and can now spot it from miles away.
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