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Neroli Writes:

Question:

Can you please tell me what consumption of alcohol is classified as being substance abuse? Is a man who drinks 6 stubbies a day, and maybe double that on a weekend day, showing a problem? Say, for instance, he drank 12 stubbies within a span of 8 hours…is there a problem? Is that average? Does this surpass the limits for driving? He is functioning very normally. He is of good nature, and holds a very important position in the work force. He is a great person, kind, loving, gentle, sensitive, and very caring. He has been told his consumption of beer is over the normal limit, a functioning alcoholic. Could you tell me if this is the case? It is of the utmost importance that I find out this answer as quickly as possible. Thank you for your time. Regards Neroli

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

Alcoholism is identified by professionals and medical organizations as a chronic and sometimes debilitating disease. It is often very difficult to recognize. People may appear to be functioning normally, but often times they are under the control of the addiction itself. Alcoholism is a progressive disease that may begin with only a few, occasional drinks to provide an escape. Over time it may take as many as 10 drinks to get the same effect. It sounds as though your friend does have a serious problem. In order for your friend to seek treatment, he must first admit to himself that he has a problem. Have you discussed this issue with him? Perhaps he would be more willing to listen to the concerns of someone close to him. Don’t be surprised if he fails to see his behavior as problematic. Denial is common among people who suffer from addictions. Can you identify an obvious reason for his drinking? Often times people drink as a way of dealing with problems in their lives. This may be his way of dealing with stress or even pain that he is experiencing. You need to help him understand that alcohol is only a temporary solution. This is a heavy burden for you to carry alone. Seeking help from an outside source may be a good idea. Many people benefit from therapy and support groups. There are many good sources of online support and information. I suggest checking out our listing of substance abuse resources. Best of luck, – Anne

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