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Question:

I have been researching alcoholism, and 100% of the sites say that a major sign of alcoholism is an increasing tolerance to alcohol. I drink a few times a week, and I have been drinking since I was in high school. When I first began to drink I had, what I considered then, an annoyingly high tolerance to alcohol. I could,not that it was smart, drink up to 12 shots and be fine. I was 5’6″ tall and weighed 125lbs.

I look back and don’t understand how I did it. For the past few years, especially this last one, I have been blacking out very easily. My drinking has varied over the years. I have been drinking more lately, but again, 3 times a week at most. I now can only drink around 5 shots, if I exceed this, I black out.

People say I don’t even make a fool of myself, but I feel stupid because I can’t remember a thing. I know I become reckless and I get a little disoriented.

Why, if my drinking has increased, would my tolerance be decreasing??? I do not believe I am an alcoholic, but you may not believe that. I do not crave alcohol, I don’t “need” it to relax. I drink in social settings, only.

I have fibromyalgia. I was finally diagnosed about a month ago. Could the low serotonin levels being affecting this? Is my body trying to fight it off, like an allergy?

I have all these theories but I want an answer.

Please, I am only 20 years old. Why is my tolerance decreasing? I enjoy occasionally drinking, but I am always concerned with EXACT measurements. I want to know why my body would change so drastically and what it means…???

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Answer:

You are experience dangerous symptoms of alcohol dependence or addiction. Blacking out and forgetting are to be taken very seriously and I am somewhat surprised that you are not aware of that. The fact that you are only twenty years old and having this problem indicates, even more, how your health is in danger. In addition to damage to your liver, this amount of drinking can lead to permanent brain damage. You need to stop drinking.

Alcohol addiction has nothing to do with age. This can happen at any point in life if a person drinks heavily. Yes, you are drinking heavily and, in the recent past, you were drinking more heavily. Twelve shots, or five shots, is well beyond sensible limits. Also, the younger the drinking the more harmful the effects to your body.

You tolerance for alcohol has decreased because that is exactly what happens in the addictive process. Gradually, a person needs increased amounts of alcohol to get the same “high” effects as when they were drinking less.

What is very worrisome about your situation, in addition to the incredible amounts of alcohol you are drinking is how naive and uninformed you seem to be. Despite the fact that you are only 20 years old, I would think you would know a lot more about alcohol than you actually do.

Whatever information you have found on other health websites should not be contradictory unless you are asking the wrong questions and I suspect that is the case. There is not “exact” amount of alcohol. You are drinking too much and should not be drinking at all. There is nothing unclear or ambiguous about this.

There is help available, such as Smart Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous and others. Get help now before its too late. Am I scaring you? I hope so.

Good Luck

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