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Ideas on controlling drinking

Old 06-22-2015, 11:11 AM
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Ideas on controlling drinking

All,

New to the forum, but was suggest to post here for answers for the following problem:

All,
Looking for some direction as to where to get ideas and/or help to prevent a relapse or alcohol problem from reoccurring with a special friend, whom I'm with... here's the details:

I divorced my wife of 40 years a few years ago because of her alcohol problem that we tried solving for about 20 years without success. After many councilors, expensive full time programs, etc., etc., nothing worked and I gave up. We parted friendly and we remained very good friends after the separation and divorce. We always cared for each other. The years preceding the divorce were difficult,

I did get involved with another woman and came close to making it permanent, but ended up with some issues that couldn't be solved, we parted several months ago.

My ex wife had been sober for the previous 16 months, however, she occasionally had some wine with friends. She had totally quit the binge drinking and remained sober (by definition, I mean not under the influence). I reconnected with her and because of our caring for each other, we are going to try to finish our lives out together. We've been together now for over 3 months, and had only one scare (had two drinks), but otherwise, I've had no issues.

She is still concerned when we talk about it, but we have decided to put the past ugliness and fighting behind us permanently and go forward with a positive future, but we clearly agreed that the alcohol abuse cannot return.

So far, so good.

I'm also a drinker, but a moderate light beer drinker, and don't ever get high, and as time goes on, I'm consuming less and less. I've told her, if my beer is ever and issue, I'll not drink. She does not have an issue with this.

So, here's my question: Where can I go, or what forum can I post in to get information and knowledge that will support her with her soberness? She wants the option to have an occasional glass of wine. Right now it's about twice a month. I want to be positive with her, but I am cautious and concerned about any future problems. I don't want to threaten her or give ultimatums, but be there when or if she needs support to make her succeed. I know that the wine could be an issue and could invite a relapse. I've read that her success with that is around 10%, which is small. But that's better than not being with her at all, so my goal is to work with that and be supportive enough to help her so that it's not a problem.

I'm not a fan of AA, or a lot of the larger organized methods. I feel the best success is getting her to accept the issues and risk (which she has so far).

She has also dramatically changed her whole live in the time we've been apart. Her outlook is better, health and physically condition is better, and she is more active. She has volunteered for some things which has helped a lot. Right now, she is looking for more volunteering.

We also spend time together. We allow for an hour or more when we get up with coffee, and dinners and relax after with tv or just relax watching the sun go down. We do dinner out once a week or more, do outdoor activities like kayaking, walking, etc.

Sounds pretty good, and it is. Just want to keep it that way.

Also, looking for alternative ideas, perhaps hypnosis, medication to prevent drinking, and other things that could be an option.

Comments?
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:47 AM
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I would think if she really wants to make it work she can give up the 2 glasses of wine a month. That would be simplest.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sg1970 View Post
I would think if she really wants to make it work she can give up the 2 glasses of wine a month. That would be simplest.
Agreed, but right now that's not going to happen. She feels that she can enjoy a glass of wine at dinner in a social setting and it will not be an issue. I'd much prefer she stop all together. We've talked about it and I'm not going to push it, as she has been successful doing this for 16 months. (Certainly no guarantees).....

However, if she continues, my goal is to help her make it successfully, and that's why I'm here.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:17 PM
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Why don't you both make a pact to not drink at all, zero? If it's truly not a big deal for either of you, this would be easy, right? No one else cares if you drink wine in a social setting, or if you drink iced tea or water.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by March1234 View Post
However, if she continues, my goal is to help her make it successfully, and that's why I'm here.
Welcome March. I believe googling "harm reduction alcohol" or "controlled drinking" may help you find the answers you're looking for. We don't talk much about moderation here on Sober Recovery because most, if not all of us, are focused on complete abstinence. Of course, everyone is welcome here, and I hope you stick around, but you probably won't find many discussion here that will help you.

You could also google "Stanton Peele". He writes about addiction and has been supportive of harm reduction in some of his writings; although, his work is primarily concerned with abstinence. However, he does believe that some problem drinkers can regain control of their drinking.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by March1234 View Post

I divorced my wife of 40 years a few years ago because of her alcohol problem that we tried solving for about 20 years without success. After many councilors, expensive full time programs, etc., etc., nothing worked and I gave up.
...
My ex wife had been sober for the previous 16 months, however, she occasionally had some wine with friends. She had totally quit the binge drinking and remained sober (by definition, I mean not under the influence).
...
I'm also a drinker, but a moderate light beer drinker, and don't ever get high,
...
So, here's my question: Where can I go, or what forum can I post in to get information and knowledge that will support her with her soberness?
...
Also, looking for alternative ideas, perhaps hypnosis, medication to prevent drinking, and other things that could be an option.
...
from my computer dictionary:
"Abuse:
noun |əˈbyoōs|
1. the improper use of something : alcohol abuse"

Well, doesn't it make sense that the healthy proper use of alcohol is to feel the effects of alcohol on the mind and body, to whatever degree, and to not get into trouble while enjoying the high?

It sounds like your special friend abused alcohol on the excessive side for a long time as it caused a lot of trouble for you two.

But, what about the idea that you are improperly using alcohol, therefore abusing alcohol, on the wasted attempt side of drinking - you are "a moderate … drinker, and don't ever get high".
So, your decades long beverage expenses seem to have been spent to no avail, as I understand the logic of drinking alcohol.

It seems like your special friend is trying to "use" alcohol as you do - drink alcohol and "never get high".

What are the details of the "scare (had two drinks)"?

What was scary? Exhibiting the effects of enjoying the pleasure of alcohol? Showing being "high"?
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FeenixxRising View Post
Welcome March. I believe googling "harm reduction alcohol" or "controlled drinking" may help you find the answers you're looking for. We don't talk much about moderation here on Sober Recovery because most, if not all of us, are focused on complete abstinence. Of course, everyone is welcome here, and I hope you stick around, but you probably won't find many discussion here that will help you.

You could also google "Stanton Peele". He writes about addiction and has been supportive of harm reduction in some of his writings; although, his work is primarily concerned with abstinence. However, he does believe that some problem drinkers can regain control of their drinking.
Thx for the resources, will read them... already googled them and have a ton of sites to look over.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
from my computer dictionary:
"Abuse:
noun |əˈbyoōs|
1. the improper use of something : alcohol abuse"

Well, doesn't it make sense that the healthy proper use of alcohol is to feel the effects of alcohol on the mind and body, to whatever degree, and to not get into trouble while enjoying the high?

It sounds like your special friend abused alcohol on the excessive side for a long time as it caused a lot of trouble for you two.

But, what about the idea that you are improperly using alcohol, therefore abusing alcohol, on the wasted attempt side of drinking - you are "a moderate … drinker, and don't ever get high".
So, your decades long beverage expenses seem to have been spent to no avail, as I understand the logic of drinking alcohol.

It seems like your special friend is trying to "use" alcohol as you do - drink alcohol and "never get high".

What are the details of the "scare (had two drinks)"?

What was scary? Exhibiting the effects of enjoying the pleasure of alcohol? Showing being "high"?
Thx for the reply... a bit confused as to some of your comments......

As for getting "high", there's no reason that someone can't drink and not get (or want) a high.... I can't remember the last time I was high, let alone drunk (but I've been there).

I don't believe either one of use wants to get high. However, the scare of her two drinks just got me concerned that it could go to three or four..... or worse. But didn't. I guess I'm a bit gun shy, after the past. We are newly back together and I want that to work. That's why I'm here.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by March1234 View Post
Thx for the reply... a bit confused as to some of your comments......

As for getting "high", there's no reason that someone can't drink and not get (or want) a high.... I can't remember the last time I was high, let alone drunk (but I've been there).

I don't believe either one of use wants to get high. However, the scare of her two drinks just got me concerned that it could go to three or four..... or worse. But didn't. I guess I'm a bit gun shy, after the past. We are newly back together and I want that to work. That's why I'm here.
I too am a little confused as to why you would want to drink alcohol and not feel any effects of alcohol.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I too am a little confused as to why you would want to drink alcohol and not feel any effects of alcohol.
Some people enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Others may drink one or two drinks per day for health reasons (the French Paradox); however, I believe any possible rewards are outweighed by the risks.

Personally, I drank for only one reason--to enjoy the high, but others have different views.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:11 PM
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March, it would be irresponsible of me to not point out there is very good chance that your ex-wife will return to full-on problem drinking. Most people do not succeed at returning to controlled drinking. Are you prepared to once again deal with her possible return to alcoholic behavior?
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FeenixxRising View Post
Some people enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Others may drink one or two drinks per day for health reasons (the French Paradox)
March is a moderate beer drinker who doesn't ever get high. I'm unaware of moderate beer drinking for health reasons.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:32 PM
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March, unfortunately we As who have developed alcohol dependency are rarely able to moderate, or can only do it with super-human effort. I'm not just parroting some AA doctrine here (never went to AA) but relating my own and others' experience. Once the connections are made in the brain you never lose them, and moderate drinking just acts as a maintenance dose that eventually escalates into excess drinking.
Your EXW will gradually or even quickly increase her intake. She may well be doing it right now but hiding it from you.
This is not to say don't get back with her, but do go in with your eyes open or you'll be surprised and devastated by what happens next.
From what I've just posted, you can see that 'supporting' her however kindly meant, becomes irrelevant against the chemistry going on in her brain.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I'm unaware of moderate beer drinking for health reasons.
Really? There are moderate drinkers who drink wine responsibility, and they do so for the health benefits attributed to resveratrol and other compounds in the wine.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post

March is a moderate beer drinker who doesn't ever get high. I'm unaware of moderate beer drinking for health reasons.
It's nothing new, studies have suggested that one to two drinks per day of any alcoholic beverage helps curtail heart disease and strokes (males, less for females). However, IMO there is a fine line between drinking habits that may be healthy and drinking habits that are very unhealthy.

"More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. (4) The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk.

The connection between moderate drinking and lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women. It applies to people who do not apparently have heart disease, and also to those at high risk for having a heart attack or stroke or dying of cardiovascular disease, including those with type 2 diabetes, (5, 6) high blood pressure, (7, 8) and existing cardiovascular disease. (7, 8) The benefits also extend to older individuals. (9)

The idea that moderate drinking protects against cardiovascular disease makes sense biologically and scientifically. Moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol), (10) and higher HDL levels are associated with greater protection against heart disease. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked with beneficial changes ranging from better sensitivity to insulin to improvements in factors that influence blood clotting, such as tissue type plasminogen activator, fibrinogen, clotting factor VII, and von Willebrand factor"


Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:08 PM
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I think that gets largely debunked when you factor in increased risks in other areas of your health, never mind increased risks of other sorts (DUIs happen for many people at 2 drinks). Last time I looked into it, there was a raging debate as to whether or not the claimed cardiovascular benefit was in fact real.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:15 PM
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My apologies, I've just read GerandTwine's post again and I see he was pinpointing beer. I was referring to wine.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
I think that gets largely debunked when you factor in increased risks in other areas of your health, never mind increased risks of other sorts (DUIs happen for many people at 2 drinks). Last time I looked into it, there was a raging debate as to whether or not the claimed cardiovascular benefit was in fact real.
To be clear, I'm not advocating this and I don't mean to appear as if I want debate the benefits of moderate drinking (or the lack of). However, GT wondered why some people would want to drink alcohol without getting a buzz, and I gave a reason why some people may want to consume a little alcohol each day. Whether that activity is actually healthy is not relevant to GT's question and besides the point, as it only matters that some people may believe it's healthy to have one or two drinks each day and they then act on that assumption.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by FeenixxRising View Post
To be clear, I'm not advocating this and I don't mean to appear as if I want debate the benefit of moderate drinking (or the lack of). However, GT wondered why some people would want to drink alcohol without getting a buzz, and I gave a reason why some people may want to consume a little alcohol each day. Whether that activity is actually healthy is not relevant to GT's question and besides the point, as it only matters that some people may believe it's healthy to have one or two drinks each day and they then act on that assumption.
There may be correlations, but I'm kind of a stickler on method. Only double blind studies eliminate all other factors. I couldn't find any such studies. So, in my book it's still wishful thinking.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:52 AM
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I wish you luck, March1234. SR doesn't really deal much with moderation since it's false hope for most of us. I have read (but not studied in depth) some research that suggests that problem drinkers can learn to drink in moderation. The issue is that the line between 'problem drinker' that can be 'converted' to social drinker and the drinker who cannot is very blurred. It can be hard to tell without a lot of study. In the meantime the subject is liable to die from alcoholism. To most of us alcohol is a poison who's lethal dose we can't be sure of. If you knew something would kill if you if you took enough of it but didn't know how much was enough, why would you ever ingest that again?

It sounds like your ex-wife (and perhaps you) are in denial. It's possible that she'll be one of the "lucky ones" that can white knuckle a glass of wine at dinner twice a month, desperately wishing it was more and simultaneously wishing she could stop. But I tried that approach over the years and failed every time.

The only people that worry about being able to drink are alcoholics. If it was really no big deal why drink at all? I like scallops a lot, but if for reason I developed a deadly allergy to them I wouldn't risk ever eating one again. I'd be mildly bummed out but that would be the end of the matter. If you caught me sneaking a scallop now and then despite my knowing it could be fatal you'd rightly think I was insane.

But that's the insanity of alcoholism. It works its way into your brain and makes you think there's no life without booze. In reality that's the opposite of reality. Sober life is freedom, not deprivations. So long as that pipe dream of moderation is there most of us can't heal and move on with our lives.

I hope you and your ex-wife's case is the exception. I was in a similar situation with my ex-wife but I was the drunk. Nothing got better until I gave up and quit for good.
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