An Alcoholic by Any Other Name is Just a Name

So I was sitting at MySideOfTheBar the other day having a cocktail and a nice chat with a chap sitting next to me. We both had ordered several drinks without actually saying much as the bartender must have seen us both as regulars.

After about my fourth order the guy next to me says, "Sir I believe you have a drinking problem."

I took a sip of my drink and thought about it for a minute when I said, "Well if I do you must also as you have been matching me almost drink for drink!"'

To which he replied, "I have been drinking Coke on the rocks."

Again I thought about what the guy was saying for a few minutes before I replied.

"I do drink a lot," I said, "However we first have to define a drinking problem before concluding thus."

Now I have always said that those of us who drink with a purpose do have some form of alcoholism. The separation of definitions to me is does your drinking cause any problems.

I went on to tell the guy I like to drink, period. I drink Whiskey, Vodka, Gin, Beer, Tequilla, Wine... and I never show up to work impared. I never abuse anyone (except maybe me in the long term) I NEVER drive drunk. I always respect my fellow bar mates. Thus no problem! I have been described by my friends as a Professional Drinker and probably am in the loosest sense of the word.

However, I know someone who recently lost his position due to "a dumb move" while at a company fuction intoxicated. Thus we can determine this individual has a drinking problem.

So no matter how you define your drinking habits (or someone elses) it is not that cut and dried when attempting to define an alcoholic or problem drinker. Or in other words never judge a bottle by the label.

The Professor


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