Binge drinker or alcoholic?


My drinking of alcohol has increased from just a weekend to around 4 times a week. I drink 2 bottles of vodka a week. Is this binging or an i on the verge of an alcoholic. I don’t wake up in a morning wanting to drink and I can function normally. I was just a little concerned.

Thoughts please


I can’t say if you’re a binge drinker or alcoholic.

Thinking that all alcoholics need a drink in the morning is a myth BTW.

The 2 bottles of vodka you drink a week, are they full size bottles? If so, then you are drinking way over the recommend units.

I’m not saying the above in judgment, just answering your question.

If you are concerned about your intake, then maybe think of having a word with your gp or MS nurse if you have one.

Good luck xx

Well, doing a quick sum, two bottles of vodka over four sessions is about half a bottle at a sitting - am I right?

Which does sound a lot! I’m certainly not saying I’ve never done it, but for me that quantity would be a rare special occasion (college reunion stands out as an example), and not a four times a week thing.

I don’t think it makes you an alcoholic, because I think you would need - or at least feel the urge for - alcohol every day, but I think it does place you at risk of health problems, or possibly of becoming alcoholic, if four nights starts turning into five, and then six, and so on.

I can’t tell you what you should do. I’m far from teetotal, even though drink is probably contraindicated with all the other (legal) muck I’m on.

But I don’t have many vices (well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? ), and I’m not ready to give up everything I enjoy, so alcohol is not something I’ve made any conscious effort to curb - although budget has forced some cutbacks recently.

Like you, though, I might be a bit worried if I was downing half a bottle of spirits at one time. Half a bottle of wine, yes (still more than recommended), but I couldn’t do it on a regular basis with spirits, and would be a bit concerned.

Have you consciously tried to cut back? What happened?


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Well, fi, it does sound like your urge to drink is more psychological than borderline alcoholism.
Like the others have said, it is more than the recommended quantity for a week.

My thought is that you should ask yourself WHY? What exactly do you get out of it? And, be honest with yourself.

My second thought is that for the cost of even a cheap bottle of Vodka you could get a good bottle of Burgundy (or even Merlot) and probably get more pleasure out of a single glass.

Mind you, after a month in hospital, the thought of a meal without a glass of wine is not so strong. NHS Hospitals do not serve wine with meals. What are they coming to?


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Do you suffer with a hangover the following morning - as l think anyone who can drink that amount and not suffer for it is an alcoholic. My mother was an alcoholic - so l do know about it. lt was not the amount she drank - but the fact that she needed to drink everyday - never mornings - but l think she was still under the influence when she started ‘topping it up’. Eventually, she had liver failure and was very near to death. She could not eat or drink anything by then and weighed 6st. The hospital she was in wanted her to go into a hospice as they could do no more for her. My brother brought her to stay with me - my GP said he thought she would not last the week. You have never seen such a pathetic sight. But with care and time she did survive - and now its 27 yrs on and she is 91 - and is living near me but on her own. Alcohol destroys brain-cells - and she actually does not remember anything about that part of her life. And of course never drinks alcohol now.

l think it is important to find out ‘why you feel the need to drink’. l don’t - and its not because l don’t like the taste - it is because l battle to control my body that does not do as l want it to do - and alcohol makes it even harder. Seeing people well under the influence of drink and lack of self-control l find disgusts me. Harsh words maybe - but l think it is time for a wake up call. Why when you are suffering a disease like MS - would you want to make your health worse. And l know one drink might make you feel ‘better’ but anymore you just get maudling. lt is not an answer if you are depressed it just adds to it.

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First of all Fi I think it is very brave of you to post this thread.

I agree with all that has been said above.

If I were you I would be worried that the four days drinking would eventually turn into a nightly thing and you would end up with serious health problems.

Why don’t you try cutting down and see what happens?

Really hope this helps and good luck.

Spacejacket - your reply really moved me. It must have been a traumatic time for you. I’m glad that both your mum and you have come through that bad time.

Shazzie xx

  1. if you are thinking you might be an alcoholic, it is worth going to talk to someone about it

  2. that is a lot to be drinking in a week, alcoholic or not

  3. not all alcoholics “need” a drink and they can often function in society, that is why the problem comes as a shock to many people

I would really just go talk to your gp about it

If you are asking the question you are obviously worrying. As the others have said it sounds like you are drinking more than the recommended amount, and it’s well documented that binge drinking is not good for you. Is it that when you have a drink you have to binge, or can you stop after just one or two?

i don’t know the answer, but my ex husband was a drinker, he could function normally and didn’t wake up needing a drink, or with a hangover for that matter. He drank every day, he went to the pub every evening, it didn’t matter whether he went at 7pm or 10pm he stayed until closing time. He used to tell me “I’m not an alky” and he spoke in disparaging tones about those he perceived to be alcoholic. He thought because he only drank beer, didn’t need a drink in the morning and could function normally all day he didn’t have a problem.

He died alone from a heart attack brought on by alcohol abuse, he had varicose veins in his oesophagus which were bleeding due to alcohol abuse and unsurprisingly cirrhosis of the liver. At the time of his death he’d been drinking 18 pints a day. His body was only found when he didn’t turn up at his local pub for a couple of nights.

He was certainly alcohol dependant, is that an alcoholic, I think so. I hasten to add I left him because of the drinking, he didn’t drink because I left.

Please seek advice from your GP or an expert. Alcohol in moderation, like most things causes no harm, but in excess wrecks lives and ruins health.

You have had so many good replies to your post - and everyone is concerned - as l feel you are too that you are drinking far too much for your health and well-being.

And you have read posts telling you how destructive living with a ‘heavy drinker - alcoholic’ is.

lt is only YOU - who can go and ask for help and make the first move. l tried talking to the GP - and Alcoholics Anonymous to help our family. But we were told it is not up to us - but the person who is actually drinking. lt is up to them to take the first step and ask for help. And they have got to want to change. Sadly, l have seen how bad it can get. A lot of drinkers really hit rock bottom before they have to do something- or DIE. And often they ask for help when it is too late and the damage to the liver has become irreversible.

Hi my mother and brother both died from alcohol related diseases and it was heart breaking to see them go through that all for the sake of a drink, both denying they had a problem but both unable to get through the day without a drink , my brother was a vodka drinker but would always hide it in a glass of coke. I , like everyone else cant tell you to cut down who are we to tell you , but i think you know its too much and you just need to think how your loved ones would feel seeing you ill through drink .

Take care Katy

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Thank you for all the comments. It’s certainly opened my eyes reading some of the stories. I don’t feel I need to seek help because I can control it, I just choose not to. Today I did my grocery shopping and chose not to buy any alcohol. I’ve made the first step. I think I’ve just got into a routine of drinking so much. I got myself in it and I can get myself out of it.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Fi x

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Just a word of caution. Coming from a nursing background, those words are familiar to me so please be careful.

Good luck to you xx

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yep, no nursing background but those are words I have heard many many times from alcoholics :frowning:

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Well you don’t need a nursing background do you faula?

It’s just an area where I’ve seen the results of alcohol abuse the most, although my own father drank everyday. Long time ago now though.


couldn’t do it even if I didn’t have MS :slight_smile: had a hard enough time not rolling my eyes at customers who got the wrong sized fries, (that they ordered in the first place) lol so I am very grateful for the people that go into that field and treat people with compassion

alcoholism runs in the family big time on both sides, probably why I hardly ever have a drink and why one cider lasts me all night :stuck_out_tongue: (the one in the fridge has been there since…xmas i think lol). so those words and ones similar are very familiar and usually a big red flag that the person needs help :slight_smile:

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Be very are on a slippery slope,you know yourself you are drinking too much, i have been there myself, i have always managed to pull myself back and i dont drink at all now.

Not touched a drop since last weekend. I have no alcohol in the house and I’m not going out tonight. To be honest it hasn’t bothered like I thought it would. It’s been a good start. Hope it continues


I got to the point last year where I thought ‘is this becoming a problem?’. I could go weeks without a drink but when I did drink, I always wanted more. I have never been the kind of person who just has a glass of wine with dinner. I’m the “If I can’ get drunk, why drink?” kind of person.

My father was alcoholic so I thought better of it and quit there and then. I can have alcohol in the house and I can go to bars and clubs with drinking friends and not drink. It doesn’t bother me, but the thought of drinking again does bother me.

I think people need to wake up and realise that a poisonous drug is taxed and sold as a recreational and social aid.
It’s the world’s favourite tranquilliser and just because it’s so abundant doesn’t make it less dangerous.

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I think an important consideration is the circumstances in which you are drinking. Are you drinking alone by yourself at home or regularly drinking with others or with a partner? If with others, are you drinking on a level with them or much more? Are you at a loss to find something better to do? Is it a way of coping with loneliness. Is there a family around you? Are you unhappy with your life/situation? Forget whether you need it first thing, Would you really be able to go a couple of weeks without needing it? Would you be struggling to ward off depressed feelings? Are you experiencing any physical symptoms e.g. numb finger tips on waking, have you had your liver health checked by your doc?

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hi fi2006

your last comment was encouraging.

it’s a step in the right direction.

if you have been drinking heavily for a long time you should only stop under medical supervision.

i’m saying this because we are waiting to find out when a funeral is to take place.

this poor man, paul, was always the life and soul of the party but took it to excess.

his partner left and he got on a big downward spiral.

last week he had a seizure and died at the age of 46.

it’s likely that he had stopped drinking suddenly and this caused the seizure.

we’ll have to wait for the coroner’s report.

take care of yourself

carole x