Some Great News About Your Drinking Problem

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Despite what your friends and family might say, you probably not this.

If you know every bartender in town by their first name, and they know yours because you’re putting their kids through college, people might have a word that they use to describe you that starts with an “B”. If the owner of your favorite liquor store has a just added a new floor his house that’s named in your honor, people might mention a certain “D” word. If you’ve already done the walk of shame twice this week, your girlfriends might toss the “L” word around.

But while you might be a boozehound, drunk or lush, research by the CDC reveals that you’re probably not the “A” word, “alcoholic”. The Washington Post reports:

Nine out of 10 excessive drinkers are actually not dependent on alcohol, revealed findings within a study released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The study is one of the first national, multi-year looks at alcoholism among excessive drinkers, and debunks the assumption that most excessive drinkers are dependent upon alcohol.

It turns out that only about one in ten binge-drinkers fit the clinical definition of alcoholism, alcohol dependence. So if you’re destroying your social life with bouts of drunk-dials, a whole lot of drunk texting and keep up waking up with people that you really would prefer not to talk to again, you might just be a binge drinker, and no less a news authority than The Onion reported back in 1999 “New Study Finds College Binge Drinking To Be A Blast“. Of course, binge drinking after college is pretty damn fun too, mostly because you can afford to drink better stuff than 18-packs of Natty Ice and Burnett’s Fruit Punch vodka.

There is a real matter of concern in the data:

The study also found that excessive and binge drinking, as well as alcoholism, was most common among 18- to 24 year-old men, with binge drinking most prevalent among people coming from households with an annual income of $75,000 or more. But alcoholism was most common among people who had family incomes of less than $25,000 and people who reported binge drinking 10 or more times in the past 30 days.

We’re going to infer from nothing but the information of this paragraph that there is a real danger of alcohol taking kids from wealthy families and turning them into broke alcoholics. There’s no greater shame than to see a kid go from loading a round of 15 Fireball shots on his dad’s credit card at the college bar descend over the next few years to scrounging change together for a 9am pint of Poland Spring vodka.

So if you love to drink, but don’t wake up every morning in a desperate battle to stop the shakes, congratulations, you’re not an alcoholic. If you happen to be part of the 3.5% of the population who are alcoholics, get help and please make proper use of public restrooms.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Beverage Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?