This is a reprint of an earlier post. It still works.
People sometimes have questions concerning their drinking patterns and whether they might constitute signs of alcoholism. Typical among them are the issues of drinking alone, to relax, to “kill the pain,” and so forth. Many of these could apply to the non-medical or recreational use of drugs, as well as most process addictions.
First of all, lest drinkers object to being lumped together with drug users, let me point out that alcohol (ethanol) is a drug, and that drinking beverage alcohol is recreational drug use. Ethanol is not only a drug, it is one of the most lethal ones when used to excess. Simply withdrawing from alcohol, once addicted, can be fatal without medical supervision. So drinkers who like to tell themselves that they’re better than people who use drugs need to think again. The only differences are that their drug is cheaper, more easily acquired, and legal.
There is a quote attributed to one B. Franklin: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Certainly, there is nothing wrong with a couple of beers at the end of a hard day, and for 80 to 90% of the population, that’s all that drinking amounts to (if they bother to drink at all). But pointed questions need asking if we become uncomfortable when denied the beers. Continue reading