Alcoholics cannot control their drinking. They just can’t.
It’s a difficult concept to understand for both alcoholics and their families.
Often alcoholics think they can do things to control the amount they take. It usually does not go well.
Here are a few things alcoholics and common knowledge will tell us when attempting to control their drinking.
Just Avoid the Extra Drink
Myth: It’s easy to just have one more. Your friends may be well-meaning, but accepting the offer of another drink at their expense may be all you need to have too much for the night. The best method is to simply refuse or leave the party if the pressure becomes too much.
Reality: A true alcoholic cannot control the amount that they take. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that alcoholics have an allergic reaction to alcohol. The physical reaction is like a physical allergy and we cannot control this allergy.
Sip Don’t Guzzle
Myth: You’re not less of a man if you don’t guzzle it down at the first swallow. A drink at a party may help liven your mood, but too often that translates into consuming too much. The best method is to take small sips and extend the life of a single drink.
Reality: The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that the true alcoholic is rarely mildly intoxicated. In fact, as a chronic alcoholic, these types of drinkers are usually flying through mild intoxication. Having a simple game plan such as this just doesn’t work.
Dilute Your Drink and Space Your Drinks
Myth: Crushed ice, soda water or juice helps to minimize the alcohol level. Sipping allows the saliva to dilute alcohol as does food. The ancient Romans considered drinking wine straight as a barbaric custom. They often watered down their drinks, heated, or spiced their wine. You should too. Also, once you’ve finished that first drink, you should wait 30 minutes before you have a second drink.
Reality: There is a story in the Big Book of a man who stopped at a restaurant on his way home from work. He was sober and wanted to be sober. While he ate his meal he had an idea. He decided to order a glass of milk and drop a shot of whiskey in it. He thought for sure he could control his drinking this way. He couldn’t and he ended up drunk.
Drink According to Your Size and Drink on a Full Stomach
Myth: Men can drink more than women for their muscle mass and weight, but they should limit alcohol to no more than 3 drinks, while women should limit their consumption to 2 drinks. Anything more can have dire consequences. If the party is going to be a large one, you may avoid the celebrations getting to your head by bringing alcohol-free fruit drinks. Also, the best course of action is to eat before you take that first drink at the party. Have supper at home before heading out to a party.
Reality: An alcoholic cannot control his or her drinking. They just cannot. They continuously think that they can control and enjoy their drinking at the same time. If you know an alcoholic, then you know that they cannot do either. When they are forced to control the amount they take, they are miserable and not enjoying it. And when they are enjoying it, they are not controlling it.
The alcoholic does not drink like a normal person. They also live in a state of delusion. “Normal” drinkers don’t need to make a plan to not drink. They just don’t do it. But the alcoholic does because they cannot control how much they take.