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Are You an Alcoholic?
Wall Street Journal ^ | 8 January 2008 | MELINDA BECK

Posted on 01/08/2008 7:59:30 AM PST by shrinkermd

More than 30% of Americans engage in risky drinking at some point in their lives...

...Researchers have made up dozens of screening tests over the years. According to one developed for Johns Hopkins University Hospital years ago that still pops up on the Web, I'm "definitely an alcoholic" because I answered yes to at least three of 20 questions...

But Alcoholscreening.org3 says I'm "below the range usually associated with harmful drinking or alcoholism" since I have only a glass or two of wine when I drink.

The authoritative American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV, separates alcohol abuse from alcohol dependence, based partly on the problems the drinking causes. You qualify for a diagnosis of "abuse" if you've done any one of these in the past year: drunk alcohol in hazardous situations, like driving; kept drinking despite social or interpersonal problems; had legal problems related to alcohol or failed to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home because of drinking.

You've moved on to "dependence" if you've done any three of these seven: drunk more or longer than you intended; been unable to cut down or stop; needed more alcohol to get the same effect; had withdrawal symptoms without it; spent more time drinking or recovering; neglected other activities or continued to drink despite psychological or physical problems.

...Too much, too fast means consuming more than four drinks in two hours for men, and more than three in two hours for women. That's a level that, on average, makes people legally drunk and impairs brain function. (A standard U.S. drink, by the way, is 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or a 1.5 oz. shot of 80 proof spirits, according to government agencies.)

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Society
KEYWORDS: 2buckchuck; alcoholism; brainondrugs; libertarian; livingindenial; usa
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I had trouble excerpting this article since it is long and detailed.

I do note something I dislike. That is, taking the adjective "alcoholic" and making it a noun. A person suffers from "alcoholism." A person is not a diagnosis. More than anything else, imprecise use of language perpetuates pejorative stereotypes that are not only not helpful but detrimental to the understanding and early recognition of alcohol dependence.

1 posted on 01/08/2008 7:59:30 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd
Alcoholics go to meetings....

L

2 posted on 01/08/2008 8:00:30 AM PST by Lurker (Pimping my blog: http://lurkerslair-lurker.blogspot.com/)
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To: shrinkermd
...imprecise use of language perpetuates pejorative stereotypes that are not only not helpful but detrimental to the understanding and early recognition of alcohol dependence.

Drink a couple Scotches and repeat as needed. :-)

3 posted on 01/08/2008 8:01:35 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: shrinkermd

Its a question of degree....


4 posted on 01/08/2008 8:01:52 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine (Is /sarc really needed?)
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To: shrinkermd

No, but I will be after this election is over...


5 posted on 01/08/2008 8:02:28 AM PST by Andy'smom
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To: shrinkermd
But Alcoholscreening.org3 says I'm "below the range usually associated with harmful drinking or alcoholism"

Nothing like a little rationalization to keep one going.

6 posted on 01/08/2008 8:02:37 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: theDentist
Two of my favorites...


7 posted on 01/08/2008 8:03:21 AM PST by jdm (A Hunter Thompson ticket would be suicide.)
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To: Lurker

I remember taking a similar test in college (MIT) with various members of the house I was living in.

One of the questions was “do you sometimes hang around with that drinks too much.” We responded “we ARE the crowd that drinks too much. . . “

I think there is a college dispensation or something, though. Drink wine on Friday nights and holidays . . . Scotch on special occassions.


8 posted on 01/08/2008 8:03:30 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Fred Thompson)
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To: shrinkermd

Only when I’ve got toothache...


9 posted on 01/08/2008 8:03:35 AM PST by Eepsy (The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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To: shrinkermd

Only when I’ve got toothache...


10 posted on 01/08/2008 8:03:37 AM PST by Eepsy (The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: theDentist
Care for a snort, tD?


12 posted on 01/08/2008 8:04:23 AM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3rd Bn. 5th Marines, RVN 1969. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
You've moved on to "dependence" if you've done any three of these seven: drunk more or longer than you intended; been unable to cut down or stop; needed more alcohol to get the same effect; had withdrawal symptoms without it; spent more time drinking or recovering; neglected other activities or continued to drink despite psychological or physical problems.

Or, yanked this babe outta the bar at 2am


13 posted on 01/08/2008 8:04:44 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Lurker
Classic old Dean Martin line...(and Martin was NOT a drinker, he only played one in nightclubs)

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel for the rest of the day.."

14 posted on 01/08/2008 8:04:51 AM PST by ken5050
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To: MeanWestTexan

Which Course?


15 posted on 01/08/2008 8:05:18 AM PST by Poseidon
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To: shrinkermd

I better have a drink and think about this.


16 posted on 01/08/2008 8:05:22 AM PST by engrpat
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To: Pearls Before Swine

What I was thinking -

most alcoholics don’t think it’s much of a problem.

Madd members think that all non-teatotallers are alcoholics.


17 posted on 01/08/2008 8:05:43 AM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Coulter

18 posted on 01/08/2008 8:05:49 AM PST by evets (beer)
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To: shrinkermd
"A person is not a diagnosis. More than anything else, imprecise use of language perpetuates pejorative stereotypes that are not only not helpful but detrimental to the understanding and early recognition of alcohol dependence."

meaningless psychobable.

19 posted on 01/08/2008 8:05:52 AM PST by joebuck
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To: shrinkermd

Since before I was involved in politics and became accustomed to this kind of thing, I’ve alway been skeptical of this rush to make everyone an alcoholic.

I suppose if podiatrists thought they could get away with it they’d try to convince us all that we have a grave and serious toe fungus whether we believe it or not. Denial would be the first indication.


20 posted on 01/08/2008 8:06:02 AM PST by ElkGroveDan (I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of all the politics in politics.)
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To: Lurker

We meet at the local bar a lot.....


21 posted on 01/08/2008 8:06:06 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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To: Puppage
Nothing like a little rationalization to keep one going

A wise man once told me:

Rationalizations are more important than sex ... think about it, when was the last ime you went a week without a good rationalization.

22 posted on 01/08/2008 8:06:28 AM PST by tx_eggman ("Believing without loving turns the best of creeds into a weapon of oppression" Eugene Peterson)
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To: shrinkermd

Here’s the simple rule of thumb: If you’ve ever wondered if you’re an alocohlic...you probably are.


23 posted on 01/08/2008 8:06:33 AM PST by Hildy (You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep cause reality is finally better than your dreams)
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To: shrinkermd

We need to get rid of the term. There are no alcoholics. If the problem gets to be that bad you are a drunk. Face up to it.


24 posted on 01/08/2008 8:06:33 AM PST by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: shrinkermd

Eventually, everyone who has been drunk ever will be declared an alcoholic. There aren’t enough smokers left to demonize, so it’s drinkers and fat people next.


25 posted on 01/08/2008 8:07:22 AM PST by mysterio
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To: shrinkermd

I read once that if you could not give up alcohol (go dry) you were an alcoholic.

If I never had another drink I would not care so I guess I’m not an alcoholic.


26 posted on 01/08/2008 8:07:35 AM PST by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: shrinkermd
This was brought up on the season premiere of The Wire (Best Show on TV EverTM) a reporter said 120 people were evacuated from a building and her editor had to tell her that was incorrect. In fires buildings are evacuated not people.

And yes this post was mostly to pimp the criminally underwatched TV show mentioned above. :)
27 posted on 01/08/2008 8:07:39 AM PST by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: shrinkermd
Yikes. Maybe I should no longer participate in our games of taking a drink every time a dem says the word, “change”.
28 posted on 01/08/2008 8:08:26 AM PST by jennyjenny
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To: Lurker

AA is for quitters......


29 posted on 01/08/2008 8:08:41 AM PST by joe fonebone (When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout)
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To: ontap

It is really no laughing matter. I know!


30 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:06 AM PST by gunnedah
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To: shrinkermd
I've been working in a non-professional capacity with recovering alcoholics and addicts for years. This is a pretty good article, except that the following language seems somewhat too rosy. The incidence of relapse is much higher than the numbers described in the article.

"The encouraging news from the NIAAA's recent research is that many people do cut down or quit on their own. "That's the real mind blower," says Dr. Willenbring. "Only about 15% of the people who develop alcohol dependence in their lifetime have the severe, relapsing form. Most people -- 72% -- have a single episode [of addiction] lasting on average three or four years and then they go into remission and stay there. A lot of them are abstaining." For many people, that spate of heavy drinking happens in college -- the peak years are 18 to 24, says Dr. Willenbring. "Then they mature out of it and get on with their lives.""

31 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:09 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: shrinkermd
I was in my youth, but having a family has the unlikely side-effect of there not being enough time to enjoy a good buzz anymore, and this combines with being "calorically gifted"...it takes too much alcohol to get a buzz, and I don't need those calories. Funny world, eh?
32 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:15 AM PST by 50sDad (Liberals: Never Happy, Never Grateful, Never Right.)
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To: ontap

alcoholism is a sham.. its not a disease..if its a disease then so is crack and heroin.

so we need to start diagnosing crackheads with crackism. let the mknow that it isnt their fault and then get them help.


33 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:26 AM PST by abstracTT
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To: ElkGroveDan

Here’s the deal..if you’re suspected of being an alcoholic, even if you haven’t crossed that line...chances are you will. And if you stop before you cross that line...your life will be infinitely better. There’s really no down side.


34 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:35 AM PST by Hildy (You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep cause reality is finally better than your dreams)
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To: mysterio

God help me! I guilty on both fronts!


35 posted on 01/08/2008 8:09:48 AM PST by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: shrinkermd

Is a person who murders a murderer? Who golfs a golfer? Who works on cars a mechanic?

We are defined by what we do. Tough world.


36 posted on 01/08/2008 8:10:16 AM PST by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: shrinkermd

After this election all all the Live threads of debates, I may be:)


37 posted on 01/08/2008 8:10:56 AM PST by TornadoAlley3 ( UNITED BY OUR CORE BELIEFS Fred08)
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To: shrinkermd

I love booze, but it’s fattening.


38 posted on 01/08/2008 8:11:13 AM PST by Poser (Willing to fight for oil)
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To: ontap

alcoholics are merely the drunks that goto meetings.
and the majority of the alcoholics will go back to being just drunks after their court ordered meeting attendance is fulfilled.


39 posted on 01/08/2008 8:11:13 AM PST by absolootezer0 (white male christian hetero married gun toting SUV driving motorcycle riding conservative smoker)
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To: Poser

Whiskey has calories?


40 posted on 01/08/2008 8:12:27 AM PST by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: shrinkermd
I do note something I dislike. That is, taking the adjective "alcoholic" and making it a noun. A person suffers from "alcoholism."

A person affected with alcoholism is an alcoholic. I looked up the word in my Oxford dictionary, and Merriam-Webster's Online states it has been in use as a noun for over a hundred years.

41 posted on 01/08/2008 8:12:40 AM PST by FoxInSocks
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To: jdm

I “did” the Dewar’s Distillery tour at 10 a.m. Can’t drink their stuff anymore.


42 posted on 01/08/2008 8:12:42 AM PST by Ouderkirk (Hillary = Senator Incitatus, Clintigula's whore...er, horse.)
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To: Hildy

By that same logic, you could become the lost heir of Czar Nicholas II by merely wondering it.


43 posted on 01/08/2008 8:13:02 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Fudd Fan

Does FRinking count?


44 posted on 01/08/2008 8:14:01 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (CNN: Full of plants from the DNC Plant-ation.)
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To: Puppage

Hey Now...

I resemble that remark!

BIG


45 posted on 01/08/2008 8:16:01 AM PST by BigIsleGal (Love to Those on Rainbow Bridge and Luck to Us Who Aren't)
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To: Lurker

I thought Alcoholics are the ones who quit drinking and go to meetings.


46 posted on 01/08/2008 8:16:17 AM PST by CJ Wolf
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To: shrinkermd

I had some exposure to the alcoholism “business” a few years back. The trouble with the alcohol assessment and treatment industry is that it’s defined and managed by alcoholics. Alcoholics have defined what constitutes alcoholism. And many of those alcohol counselors do believe that everyone who drinks is just like them and on the road to becoming ‘dependent’... Don’t try to deny it! -that’s one of the symptoms.


47 posted on 01/08/2008 8:20:34 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: shrinkermd
Darn, I passed the test. I have to work harder.

Your drinking pattern appears to fall within the ranges considered safe for most people your age and gender, and your results do not suggest that alcohol is harming your health.

48 posted on 01/08/2008 8:20:34 AM PST by mnehring
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To: shrinkermd

It was a woman that drove me to drink and I never had the decency to writh and Thank Her.


49 posted on 01/08/2008 8:20:40 AM PST by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: FoxInSocks

Oxford dictionary or no, a medical diagnosis is a noun. “Alcoholism” is a major mental disorder found in people of varying temperaments, ability, ages and backgrounds. To use the adjective “alcoholic” as a noun falsely leads one to false assumptions about that person. Turning the adjective “alcoholic” into a noun hinders both understanding and early treatment.


50 posted on 01/08/2008 8:22:14 AM PST by shrinkermd
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