A 8 Hour Alcohol Class Reveals Drinking Problem

by: Mike Miller

This is the third in a series of blogs examining the nature of social drinking. Most specifically, we are exploring the role of social drinking on subsequent drinking problems.

If you missed the previous two entries, I encourage you to go back and read them before moving on with today’s writing. Following is the story of one of my former students who called herself “Party Girl” when introducing herself to the class. “Party Girl”, who we will refer to as Emma, insisted that she did not have a drinking problem. After reading her tale, you decide for yourself.

Emma’s Story

Emma is a 28-year-old legal secretary. She is originally from Canterbury, England, is single and enjoys social drinking.

For Emma, social drinking is going out with friends or getting together with others four or five times per week. Sure they drink at each gathering, but sometimes it’s just a few glasses of wine or a couple of margaritas. It is not like they get totally hammered every time.

Are you starting to see a problem here? Emma has been drinking four or five times per week for almost a decade. She admits to getting drunk maybe once a week. When questioned further she admitted that maybe three or five drinks at a time.

She was startled to learn in her 8 hour alcohol awareness class that all of those were binge drinking episodes. Would you say a person who engaged in binge drinking three or more times per week for 10 years would have a drinking problem? Emma sure didn’t think so. I welcome your thoughts? Care to relate your drinking patterns for us all to assess?