Does somebody who has seven or more drinks at least three days per week have a drinking problem?

The question is in the title. The question is subjective, so I’m not putting it in General Questions. Answers don’t have to be yes or no.

Let me verify that what is meant is:

Four days out of the week, the person drinks nothing. Three days of the week, the person does drink. Any one day that the person does drink, he drinks about 7 alcoholic beverages.


In reality, the person tends to drink more than this. However, I do not know exactly how much he drinks, so I am offering a lower threshold for his drinking level.

While there are probably days where he does not drink a ton, I am fairly confident that on at least three days per week, he drinks at least seven drinks.

My question can’t quite be what I want it to be because it could only be so if I knew exactly how much this person drinks. But your summary is a decent start - your assessment of that particular drinking schedule would be a good start.

I’m not looking for simple yes/no answers here, so an examination of drinking levels in that vicinity would also be useful.

Sounds kind of heavy to me. It could be a drinking problem, I guess the measure would be whether it is negatively impacting the person’s life, or the life of his family.

I have tried to discuss this issue with his other friends, but they always have impossibly high standards of evidence for me to meet to demonstrate that it damages his life. He has had blackouts, he has acted really weird, he has cursed loudly. I have seen him passed out in his bed in his business suit because he got impossibly hammered at an accountants’ party.

He’s an alcoholic.

I used to be a psych nurse and worked a lot with abusers of various substances. I have also had spells of drinking far too much, in fact most people would have labelled me an alcoholic. I don’t believe in the medical model of addiction I think it is a behavioral problem unrelated to genes or other changes wrought by the abused substance.

My one unquestionable sign that substance abuse has gone too far is blackouts. I will happily tell anyone that has had more than one blackout that they have a big problem and they need help. Prior to that you may choose to check what negative impact the abuse has on someones life. Once they reach the point of frequent, even occasional blackouts I think they are fucked without getting off the stuff.

I would think seven+ drinks would prompt most people to cross the threshold from ‘buzzed’ to ‘drunk’.

Getting drunk three times a week = in clinical terms: lost in the sauce.

I agree with this. From what you say later, it sounds like this particular person does have a drinking problem, but I wouldn’t say that any person who fits the OP’s description necessarily does.

He is definitely drinking more than is a good idea. I’d say that quantity is a good warning sign, and that if he is not already a problem drinker, he is playing with fire.

But I think “alcoholic” is not something that is so easy to quantify. There are alcoholics that only drink once a year. There are people who drink every day who are not alcoholics. It’s not simply a matter of amounts.

The big questions is- is the drink controlling him? Does he drink more than he plans to? Is he missing work or not doing his job properly? Is he secretive or defensive about his drinking? Is he hurting relationships with his friends and family? Does he have a social life beyond his drinking buddies? Can he have fun at non-drinking events? Does he get anxious or feel other mental or physical symptoms when separated from alcohol? Has he built his life around alcohol? If you offered him a free cruise to the Caribbean, but it was dry, would he go?

I have lots of heavy drinking friends- most go out several times a week and drink large quantities. Some are problem drinkers, some are not. The problem drinkers want to stay out when everyone else has stopped drinking, bring drinks home, etc.

Can he abstain from alcohol for about a month or so, without getting really really difficult to live with? If he can’t, he has a drinking problem.

One reason that I believe that he has a drinking problem is that when he and some other of my friends are in my apartment and he’s been drinking too much and I calmly and quietly ask him to stop drinking, he doesn’t.

I think my friendship with him is going to be ending soon because of this.

I can drink a 12pack and still be coherent. I don’t drive or anything but I can still carry on a conversation with out slurring my words. In fact, I doubt you would even know I was drunk unless you smelled it on me or made me do that “walk heel to toe” thing cops do to suspected drunk drivers.

Having said all that: Do I think I’m an alcoholic? Of course I do. I don’t however get too worried about it because the way I see it:

The kids want for nothing. They get to wear whatever “cool” clothes that are in style these days etc…

I’ve got a healthy 401k (All things considered with the economy being what it is.)

I’ve been a top rated employee with my company for 17 years. (since I was hired to be precise)

I would say I have a healthy social life but hell, all my friends are alcoholics too so I guess that doesn’t mean a whole lot.

Anyway, I’m not sure if these are things to gauge your life by but that’s how I justify it in my head.

Also, drinking is just fun to me. It’s not a chore. Which is something I’ve been told is an indicator of an addict.

Seven drinks? Depends on his alcohol tolerance.


Yes, in the sense that he’s probably run out of beer.

Seriously, though - that would worry me.

I don’t think you can say someone has a drinking problem unless their drinking has become a problem. If he isn’t missing work, or destroying relationships, stuff like that, then it isn’t a problem. If someone wants to spend the time between Friday night and Monday morning (for example) absolutely hammered, but gets to work on time and is otherwise happy and satisfied with life, what business is it to anyone else? Once someone decides, on their own, that their drinking is a problem, no matter how much they drink, then they should make efforts to stop. If they cannot stop, there are plenty of programs available to help. I’ve gotten drunk and passed out in dress clothes; so what?

If all his other friends don’t see a problem, and he doesn’t see a problem, then there is no problem. There isn’t some magical number you hit and “Aha!” you’re an alcoholic. If he drinks too much for you to be friends with him, then that’s a problem, but it’s your problem. Tell him he drinks too much for your taste, and quit hanging out with him. Or say you only want to be around him when he’s sober. Maybe he’ll cut back, maybe he’ll decide you’re being judgmental and quit hanging out with you; either way, problem solved. That’s as far as you can take it though, in my opinion. People mind each other’s business too much.

What is a “blackout”? Do you mean drinking to the point of physically passing out or is it the inability to remember parts of the inebriated period the next day?

He binge drinks 3 days a week? Yah, he has a problem and if he takes Tylenol for the headache I’m sure he has on his non drinking days his liver is probably shot, or well on it’s way to being so.

Passing out and blacking out are different. Blacking out means events have been blacked out, that is, you don’t remember them. More than one black out ever in life equals a problem? I keep forgetting that this board is wing of the Anti-Saloon League.