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BANGKOK 22 April 2019 07:27
Dagnabbit

What is a 'normal' drinker?

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UK guidelines for non-risk to health drinking is now 14 units a week (for men).  That is (generously) 6 pints of beer a week.

 

I personally felt this toppled into the unhelpful, and think the evidence is a bit dodgy. However 21 was reasonable, and 30 is what I follow because I like drinking, and accept the increased health risks as being quite minor (at that level only - they increase quite markedly once you go much above that).

Edited by partington

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That opening story sounded like my family, since both of my grandfathers were essentially lifetime alcoholics.  From their experience I have a guess how that might go in terms of long-term health.  

 

One of them was mentally and physically gone by the end of his 60's, a vacant shell of a person, a walking set of health problems, but then he'd smoked a lot too.  The other was a bit healthier in general and quit just a little earlier (in his late 50s versus in his 60s, and he stopped smoking way earlier).  He suffered some health problems before he died in his late 80s but nothing that seemed directly related to drinking.  He couldn't really breath normally for years towards the end, so had trouble with something simple like standing up; that probably did tie to the smoking.

 

It's an interesting question how much is too much.  Those guys could drink but they were doing all that in their free time.  People that use interference with work as a single standard would be on the same page they were on.  People need to decide for themselves what level is a problem, but it's funny how people can develop perspectives on those sort of subjects that make no sense.  I knew a guy that started drinking before noon every single day, always completely hammered by mid-afternoon, so he'd given his life over to drinking, and somehow that seemed ok.  

 

Drinking a few drinks a day might not ever catch up to you, but there doesn't seem to be much of a divide between people that want to drink a few drinks every day and others with serious problems.  If for some reason you did want to drink 3 to 4 beers every single day (or comparable drinks) that would seem to add a workload on your body, more for your liver to do, minor disruption of unrelated processes, and that many more completely empty calories in place of foods.  Even over the very long term it might not kill you but surely there would be health impact. 

 

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One large Chang is almost 3.5 units, so .three is over 10 units. Anyone who drinks in a bar regularly will know at least one person who does this at least five days a week, I know several. That is a lot of alcohol but it does not seem to cause any problems and I know they have been drinking like this for many years. Even when the Chang was 6.4 abv. My body could not cope with that level of drinking, but to them it is "normal".

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6-7  bottles of Leo every day .....   :burp:      that's large bottles ....

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On 21/02/2017 at 4:59 PM, partington said:

UK guidelines for non-risk to health drinking is now 14 units a week (for men).  That is (generously) 6 pints of beer a week.

 

I personally felt this toppled into the unhelpful, and think the evidence is a bit dodgy. However 21 was reasonable, and 30 is what I follow because I like drinking, and accept the increased health risks as being quite minor (at that level only - they increase quite markedly once you go much above that).

I think of myself as a moderate drinker and generally stick to my 21 units a week. A while ago someone asked me how much I drank each week and I had to admit I didn't really know so I determined to keep a record. For the whole of 2017 I gauged how much I drank on a daily basis with a few rules.

 

1. Only drink beer.

2. Stick to a weekly limit of 21 units or less.

3. Never drink more than two days consecutively.

 

It was easy to keep a simple spreadsheet to see my weekly totals. Only on three occasions did I go above the 21 units, my birthday and two parties and even then only by one unit each time.

 

At the end of the year I could see my total weekly and yearly consumption. I averaged roughly 14 units a week. 

 

I should say I'm a beer devotee and don't drink to get hammered but  for the enjoyment and occasionally for the social aspect.

 

I feel that 21 units is an acceptable limit for me personally as I'm quite a big guy. The reduction to 14 units was made to bring it into line with the ladies limit. No one really knows what a safe limit is other than complete abstinence. I understand each 1 unit increase over the 21/14 relates to a 1% increase in the possibility of liver cancer over the course of a lifetime.

 

Of much greater concern to me is my weight which, keeping to a beer regimen, helps of course. The greatest advice you can give a drinker is to use common sense and drink in moderation most days. If you are drinking every day you really aren't giving your liver a break. 

 

Edited by Baht Simpson

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On 2/23/2017 at 1:41 PM, rott said:

One large Chang is almost 3.5 units, so .three is over 10 units. Anyone who drinks in a bar regularly will know at least one person who does this at least five days a week, I know several. That is a lot of alcohol but it does not seem to cause any problems and I know they have been drinking like this for many years. Even when the Chang was 6.4 abv. My body could not cope with that level of drinking, but to them it is "normal".

 

Of course it will cause them problems, drinking excessively is something that catches up with you later in life.  Same as smoking.

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50 minutes ago, Baht Simpson said:

I think of myself as a moderate drinker and generally stick to my 21 units a week.

 

The vast majority of alcoholics I've met in 29 years of AA thought of themselves as a moderate drinker.  Maybe you are.  I don't claim to know. 

 

I just know that I was a very poor judge of my own place along the continuum.  And that I surrounded myself with people that made me look real moderate.

 

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36 minutes ago, dfdgfdfdgs said:

Why don't you try not drinking completely for a month.  Find something more beneficial to do.  Fruit juice, smoothies, lots of other flavoured drinks all taste as nice/nicer than alcohol, really they do.

Or just avoid bars altogether 

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36 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

The vast majority of alcoholics I've met in 29 years of AA thought of themselves as a moderate drinker.  Maybe you are.  I don't claim to know. 

 

I just know that I was a very poor judge of my own place along the continuum.  And that I surrounded myself with people that made me look real moderate.

 

Statistically I am a moderate drinker as evidenced by the figures in my post. The whole gist of my post is that you need to measure your  own drinking habits. If you don't it becomes a steady slide.

 

I know it's harder for some people than others. I'm lucky that I don't have a compulsive nature which helps. There are so many factors to consider, but one thing's for certain, if you don't keep track of your consumption you're opening the door to problems without necessarily realising it.

 

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9 hours ago, Baht Simpson said:

The whole gist of my post is that you need to measure your  own drinking habits. If you don't it becomes a steady slide.

 I disagree - IMHO this is completely unnecessary for normal drinkers who enjoy a drink regardless of how much they drink. The essential point for normal drinkers is that having a few drinks does not affect any aspect of their lives. I'm glad to say that after almost 30 years of trying to drink normally  I now completely recognise that my relationship with alcohol was abnormal and for me the solution was to quit. This means no spreadsheet either, a mighty relief!

 

11 hours ago, dfdgfdfdgs said:

To the drinkers, and the bar-goers, I'm not trying to preach, and you can do whatever you like, it's none of my business, but I'm just curious what you actually get out of it.  I know having a drink or two can make you loosen up and have more fun, and that's great once a week when you're in good company, but there's a difference between that and sitting slouched over a bar every day, with a bunch of other 'like-minded' expats, all of whom are almost immune to the effects of alcohol.  All that is doing is slowly killing you.

 

Why don't you try not drinking completely for a month.  Find something more beneficial to do.  Fruit juice, smoothies, lots of other flavoured drinks all taste as nice/nicer than alcohol, really they do.  I hear a lot of people say after a hard day there's nothing better than having a cold beer.  Well there are, alternatives are just as refreshing.  Society is overexposed to alcohol in general and thus it is normalised and almost used as a substitute to water, when it should be seen as a occasional treat.  I think people associate beer with happy times from their past, and thus it remains their go-to drink.

 

I bet after a month, you will wonder why you drank so much beer before.

So logical, but there is nothing logical in either becoming an alcoholic or in recovering from that state. Plus for many people alcohol means great fun and does not involve any form of harm. As a recovering alcoholic I have no right to spoil other people's party because I can't handle booze myself. As Voltaire said: il faut cultiver votre jardin: you have to take care of your own garden, meaning I shouldn't be concerned about yours.

 

 

Edited by gerryBScot
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59 minutes ago, gerryBScot said:

 I disagree - IMHO this is completely unnecessary for normal drinkers who enjoy a drink regardless of how much they drink. The essential point for normal drinkers is that having a few drinks does not affect any aspect of their lives. I'm glad to say that after almost 30 years of trying to drink normally  I now completely recognise that my relationship with alcohol was abnormal and for me the solution was to quit. This means no spreadsheet either, a mighty relief!

 

 

Lol. I wasn't suggesting everyone should use spreadsheets. I only did it as an exercise. My point is that without knowing defined safety limits and understanding your own personal limits you are risking over-drinking but seeing yourself as a safe drinker. 

 

Alcohol limits are published for a reason. Without understanding what they mean they are useless. It's wrong to preach but fine to provide facts and enlighten, as I'm sure Voltaire would agree.

 

Kudos to you for winning your battle.

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