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#1 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just want to know what a sane (non co-dependant alcoholism saturated family history) person would make of this?

This is about a friend I grew up with, but don't "hang" with, they live a ways away from us so there's not continual contact.

This person got a DUI and has told me that the court allowed him to go into treatment instead of jail and dropped the charge. He also claims the DUI was a wake up call and "life changing".

So he's going to AA twice a week and supposedly walking the walk and then this comes out:

"I am not totally against alcohol I still do enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and a beer every once in a while like when I eat tacos but now I will have 1 or 2 drinks instead of drinking 10-12 a night like I was."

Is it just me or is it strange/odd to go to AA and still be drinking?

It just seemed so like what?!

Navigating alcoholics and alcoholism is a huge part of my life, my extended family are all active alcoholics. I'm the only one that doesn't drink. I'm just trying to process this because I tend to believe people when they say "Oh I'm not drinking".

Sigh.

(P.S. This is not about my husband who has his own issues in this area and is doing quite well at this time.)
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#2 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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how long ago was this DUI? Alcohol is one of those things you can't just quit cold turkey. You have to gradually step down or else your body can go into shock or something like that; sudden stopping of drinking 10-12 a night has the possibility to kill a person.

It's not necessarily strange/odd to go to AA while still drinking, if that person is working on getting down to zero, and hasn't been to rehab, where they work on that first. He doesn't seem to be to be cutting down, though. By saying "I'm not totally against alcohol" he obviously isn't too dedicated to becoming sober.

And that is a problem. He can't really say it was "life changing" and then continue to drink. That's nothing more than a recipe for a relapse.

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#3 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
I just want to know what a sane (non co-dependant alcoholism saturated family history) person would make of this?
Well, that rules me out LOL! But I'll respond anyway....

Okay, last I checked, the whole point of AA was, uh, not drinking AT ALL! You don't have to be falling down drunk to have an issue with alcohol. My own mom claims to have no issue with alcohol, and only drinks one or two glasses - every day. Yet when she comes here, (dry house), by day four there is a BIG difference in her personality, and she gets headaches, and has trouble sleeping. Claims its my aircondidioning (in the summer) and heat (in the winter). Yet take her out to eat, she orders a beer, and she's magically better for the next few days. So yeah, the goal should be NO drinking period. I'd say this person is doing a classic alcoholic blowing smoke up your a$$.... But then, I'm a tad jaded....
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#4 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay the DUI is in December of last year.

I guess the thing is at first the presented with "I learned that I had a serious problem with alcohol and I'm getting help, my life is so much better without alcohol now."

And then as things opened up more he said he still drinks.

I don't know, I just have a hard time processing these shades of grey.

I think he's deluding himself personally.

I just wondered if there was some form of AA I hadn't heard of where you do the wean off approach.

I know severe alcoholics can't just quit, but he was thrown in jail so I figured he'd dried out some.

I wish I could just purge ALL of the drunks out of my life, but that'll take some time.
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#5 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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Is he actually an alcoholic or did he just make irresponsible decisions while drunk....there is a difference.

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#6 of 14 Old 10-25-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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Well, that rules me out LOL! But I'll respond anyway....

Okay, last I checked, the whole point of AA was, uh, not drinking AT ALL! You don't have to be falling down drunk to have an issue with alcohol. My own mom claims to have no issue with alcohol, and only drinks one or two glasses - every day. Yet when she comes here, (dry house), by day four there is a BIG difference in her personality, and she gets headaches, and has trouble sleeping. Claims its my aircondidioning (in the summer) and heat (in the winter). Yet take her out to eat, she orders a beer, and she's magically better for the next few days. So yeah, the goal should be NO drinking period. I'd say this person is doing a classic alcoholic blowing smoke up your a$$.... But then, I'm a tad jaded....

Agree with all of the above...and don't know many people who fit in that "sane family" category, LOL (certainly not me!) BUT...I'll answer anyway.

My answer is...all of the above.

I think your "friend" is deluding himself.
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#7 of 14 Old 10-26-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is he actually an alcoholic or did he just make irresponsible decisions while drunk....there is a difference.
Well he's used drugs and alcohol, and gotten into serious trouble previous to this DUI.

So I think he's a full blown bonified alcoholic.

It's just sad when you think someone is doing good and they're just in denial.

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#8 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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Well he's used drugs and alcohol, and gotten into serious trouble previous to this DUI.

So I think he's a full blown bonified alcoholic.

It's just sad when you think someone is doing good and they're just in denial.

That is sad, and very hard to deal with.

I just asked as I do know some people who had really poor impulse control so once they got that under control, alcohol wasnt an issue. However, for an alchoholic, it obviously is!

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#9 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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I'll try to be clear in my discussion but there are so many dynamics that come into play.

I think people can be all levels of addicts and whether or not they use a little or a lot is really of no circumstance (except when they really start to hit bottom and get arrested or lose jobs or lose families, etc...)

So your friend who may or may not be an alcoholic, it seems is attending AA out of an obligation to the courts and at the same time has narrowed the scope of his drinking.

So in AA terms he is not working a program (because I believe the program really requires that you admit you are powerless over alcohol). Not that he isn't gaining perspective or tools in order to cope with his problems, but if he is an alcoholic than he is still in denial and time will tell how attending AA meetings, but not working a program will pan out for him.

If your friend is attending AA without a court order than he will in short order either quite drinking altogether or stop attending meetings. They don't go together.

I think it is promising that he is attending meeting as maybe he can relate and identify with some people there. I know he won't get a sponser without quiting drinking and you won't get very far in AA without a sponser either.
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#10 of 14 Old 10-28-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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I agree with aspenleaves.

AA would not advocate use of alcohol by an alcoholic ever. In fact they even at times recommend ppl not take certain meds and that kind of thing.

There are some ppl who do beleive in moderate use in recovery but those ppl are not in the AA program and they are in the minority. For example ppl who recover from eating disorders HAVE to learn to eat again. They simply can not avoid food. The question is really can an alcoholic use alcohol moderately and remain in recovery. Then you get into questions was he really an alcoholic to begin with or did he just abuse alcohol.

It sounds like a self-justifying slippery slope to relapse to me. But I don't know your friend.
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#11 of 14 Old 10-28-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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There are people who can not have one without going crazy... those are your quintessential old school alcoholics. There are lots of people who have/ have had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, even abused it terribly, used it to self-medicate, etc. who can go on to be okay with 1-2 drinks every so often. But in my (uninformed) opinion, they do not belong in AA. Perhaps s/he gets something positive out of it and keeps going, but the whole point of AA is sobriety by the strictest definition. Not everyone needs that to stay healthy.
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#12 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Well he's used drugs and alcohol, and gotten into serious trouble previous to this DUI.

So I think he's a full blown bonified alcoholic.

It's just sad when you think someone is doing good and they're just in denial.

well, my brother got two duis when he was in college/post college. He also used drugs occasionally.

However, he is not an alcoholic - as evidenced by the fact that he occasionally drinks (no drugs) but he does not have a drinking problem or really any major dysfunctional problems. Instead he was a stupid early 20something who had no concept of his own mortality.

With some people the problem is they are addicted to the alcohol. With others, the problem is not the alcohol, per se, but with judgment, impulse control, lack of responsibility, etc.

In other words, the dude at the dinner party who drinks too much and gets a DUI on his way home may or may not be an alcoholic - he may be a macho idiot who underestimated his tolerance. The lady who secretly brings her own vodka to drink at the dinner party is an alcoholic.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#13 of 14 Old 10-30-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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I am a recovering alcoholic, and I can say right now that his drinking WILL get back to the level it was once at. The very fact that he can't seem to quit drinking entirely, even just for awhile to get his life in order, says that he has a serious problem.

He may well be on the path to recovery, but only if he is able to be completely abstinent. Does he have a sponsor? They are immensely helpful. He really needs to be attending meetings every day. They strongly recommend 90 meetings in the first 90 days. If he says he doesn't have time to go everyday, ask him how much time he spends drinking every day, and use that time to devote to sobriety.

The thing that is important to remember is that this is his journey. Encourage him to read the AA literature, to get a sponsor, to attend meetings frequently. He will not quit drinking until he decides enough is enough. It might take serious legal, health, marital, occupational, or other types of consequences, but he will either get there or he will be miserable. Good luck to him.
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#14 of 14 Old 11-06-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I agree with much of what Aspenleaves said. It's possible to attend AA and (like with LLL) take what works for you and leave the rest behind. While some of what he is hearing at AA may resonate with him, other things may not.

If you take a hard look at statistics, AA isn't a terribly effective program. The relapse rate is very high. It's clear that completely abstaining from alcohol isn't always the perfect solution. And I think far too many people are labeled as alcoholics, when really they're just suffering from lack of self-control. *I* believe there is a difference.

I know a few people who are former AA/OA/NA members. Most of them now drink occasionally and have no issues with it. While the strictness of AA works for some people, it is VERY difficult to stick with such a strict program for the rest of a person's life. And many people don't need to be so strict in order to stay healthy.

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