SADD -- now my son thinks I'm an alchoholic


“Do you drink because you have problems? To relax?”

Is not about social drinking or relaxing with a beer after you’ve just shingled the roof. Look at the context. It’s asking if you need to drink to relax. Do you control stress with alcohol? Do you use alcohol to cope with your “problems”? Not at all the same thing as wanting to be mellow before hitting the dance floor.

Sometimes I want an ice cream cone because it would make me feel good. It’s yummy. Sometimes I want a beer because it would make me feel good. It’s fizzy. Very different than needing a beer, craving a beer, or thinking “I feel bad and stressed out. I need a shot of tequila for that warm fuzzy feeling. Or a couple of beers to ‘take the edge off’ my day.” That’s what that question means. Is alcohol an essential component of “relaxing” or “dealing with problems”? It is suggesting that if alcohol is a primary coping mechanism for you, you may wish to stop and think about that for a minute. The questions are designed to encourage you to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol.

Maybe I’m not understanding this properly, but I think the OP was freaked out more by the fact that her child wanted the punishment to be much longer than the OP would consider appropriate. That is a little weird.

A short TV prohibition for doing something you’re not supposed to do without permission and behind a parent’s back is reasonable, but for a kid to think his crime was so bad that he is asking said parent to “please extend my punishment until mid-August” is a little disconcerting.

Ilsa, I proposed no TV until June 1, then HE said it should be longer, so I proposed July1, then he said it should be longer, then I said August 1, then he figured 3 months from now would be August 11, so he said it should be until August 11. I also think this is quite long. But I agreed, since he proposed it.

And although it may be legal many other places, it’s not legal here in the US, but for me, the main thing is that he knew it was something he was not allowed to do, and he did it anyway.

Thanks for the link, that will be helpful.

Just to add: one of the stories that was told at this assembly was about a family where the parents were heroin addicts. Then the kids started smoking pot, they told someone at school, the authorities were called in, the kids were removed from the family and the parents were sent to prison. And my son thought this story was analogous to our family, because my drinking was supposedly alchoholism and teh analogy was that the parents did it, then the kids did the same thing.

So whatever words were actually said in the assembly, he came away comparing me to a heroin addict. I’m really not happy about that.

I’m afraid that I disagree with you Astro.

I drink an average of two glasses of wine a night, nursed over about a three - four hour period.
I don’t feel “buzzed”.
Of course, YMMV.

Good grief.
So much fun dealing with fall out from scare tactics :smack:

The maximum recommended amount of alcohol for a man is 21 units per week, 14 for a woman, this is increased to 28 units/21 units if there are alcohol free days.

For a woman, drinking more than 4 units of alcohol in 6 hours or less (5 units for a man) constitutes binge drinking, and should be avoided.

You’re supposed to drink a glass of red wine regularly, it’s good for your heart.

Teetotalers don’t live as long as moderate (defined as 5-8 units per week) drinkers, but they both live longer than heavy drinkers.

A unit of alcohol is half a pint of beer, 25mls of a spirit, a standard size glass of wine, or a small glass of port, sherry or other fortified wine.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a “buzz” from alcohol, as long as it’s at an appropriate time (evening, weekend) and in an appropriate place (ie not at work), you’re not flying a plane, driving a car or operating heavy machinery.

A “buzz”, would be tipsy, light-headed and more out-going. It would not include throwing up, fighting, passing out, or self-destructive behaviour.

When it comes to alcohol, the AA have a few things right, it’s not the amount you drink that makes you an alcoholic, it’s the WAY you drink and how it affects your relationships with other people. If you can stop at one or two, you’re not an alcoholic, if you aren’t dependent on it, you’re not an alcoholic, and if your relationships and social life are not adversely affected by your drinking, you’re not an alcoholic.

Perhaps it’s the “drink” aspect. If I order a martini, the damn thing will last me at least two hours probably longer, because it’s something you sip and savour over a generous period of time. My father, an alcoholic, would order a martini and “drink” it. I mean glug-glug-glug, gone in less than five minutes like a glass of water after a marathon, drink it.

I’m a very petite female and quite unlike astro I will NOT get a buzz from two glasses of wine under normal circumstances. Probably because, like jlzania, I consume them over the course of a long steak dinner and it will take place over a three hour period (at least). If I drank them both within the span of a half-hour or even an hour I’d certainly be a bit pie-eyed. But If you’re downing two glasses in quick enough succession to get a very noticeable fuzzy-buzz, you’re doing a disservice to the vintage. For wine or spirits you should be sipping, savouring, and appreciating over time, not “drinking”. It’s not like iced tea.

Guidelines for metabolizing alcohol (like if you’re going to be driving home after dinner in a restaurant) is to allow about an hour for every “drink”. So once you finish a glass of wine, you don’t drive home until an hour of processing time has elapsed or plan on taking the bus. You can find those specs on-line I’m sure. I know there are time charts for X-time per ounces of spirits, X-time per pint of beer, and X-time per 6 oz. glass fo wine and so on. They are VERY general guidelines. People process alcohol very differently, no two livers are exactly alike in that respect. So the onus is on you to know your own limits.

Err, while I’d love to pretend that I savour a fine vintage on a nightly basis, honesty forces me to admit that I actually am swilling cheap Chilean plonk. :smiley:
Not bad plonk, mind you, but plonk none the less.
Aside from that, I agree that the difference lies between guzzling and sipping.

irishgirl, I’d like to show your statistics to my son. Do you know of a web site we can look at , or some kind of reference to who owns those statistics/recommendations? Thanks.

Regarding certain AA groups being wacko and insisting everyone there is an alcoholic, or that all prescription drugs must be discarded: there are some pretty weird groups out there. Each has what’s called a group conscience that dictates how their meetings will be run, as well as the group’s own unique ground rules. While there is a central office-cum-clearinghouse for AA, they are rarely called upon to issue some sort of judgment in matters relating to a specific group. This is because of Tradition Four:

I have problems with certain groups, elements, and attitudes within AA, but I’ve been around long enough to know that every group is unique.

Regarding the insinuation that AA is secretly a prohibitionist organization, Tradition Ten takes care of that:

(This is also why when groups such as Rational Recovery go after AA (which is all RR seems to exist to do), they get absolutely no response from AA. Must be extremely frustrating, given the seething resentments upon which I believe that organization was founded.)

My school used to do the same SADD stuff, complete with the painted faces and black clothes. I had hoped that they would have seen the pointlessness of it by now. The last time I experienced it was my Senior year, 6 years ago.
Now, I am not a drinker. I don’t like the taste of alcohol and I never have. When I saw these kids coming back in with their white faces and black clothes, it had an effect on me. It made me want to cry.
The kids in my class though, they thought it was a big joke. They watched all of it like it was a big game and then they talked about going out to get drunk that night. It was just an inturruption to class for them.
There were a lot of things that my school did to try to make kids see the danger in their idea of fun. We had a man dying of AIDS talk to our health class, we had the mangled cars on our front lawn at Prom time, we had the assemblies, we had the visits from former and current Anorexia and Bulemia sufferers . Nothing our school did had any effect.
At least 2 people that I know of died while I was in school. I know of 1 in my year who was admitted to hospital for eating disorders. 85% of the freshman class (when I was a Senior) failed because of missing too much school. I know of at least 2 who were expelled for bringing Vodka to school in a water bottle. Many kids were sent home for coming to school drunk or hung over. We had a daycare for all the students who had kids. A couple of the girls had more than one kid.
The sad thing is that I was at the safest school in the city. The one thing we didn’t have was a murder on campus.
I know schools have an obligation to try to help kids. Sadly, for all their efforts, it’s not working.

Oh yes! Destroy everyone’s ability to distinguish between moderate drinking and a severe problem! That’s really going to serve them well when they get to college!

ratatoskK, maybe you could try asking him some leading questions that would show that you don’t really fit the definition of an alcoholic. Things like,
“Do you think I behave differently when I have wine with dinner than when I don’t?”
“Do you think I’ve ever put anyone in danger because I’ve had wine with dinner?”
“What do you think makes me stop after I’ve had a glass or two?”
“Have you ever seen me have withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have wine with dinner?”
“Have I ever been unable to do something I said I’d do because I had wine with dinner?”
“If I decided not to have wine with dinner for a week, do you think I’d go back on that decision?”

Hopefully that’ll help him realize that wine with dinner does not by itself constitute a problem.

The NIH addresses the issue of what a “safe” level of drinking is here. (Sidenote: I love how the age below which it’s not safe to drink anything, at all, ever, perfectly coincides with the legal drinking age in the US. Funny how that works. I guess Canadians and Europeans just develop faster than Americans do. Must be something in the water.)

Are those numbers right? This would mean 2 beers over 6 hours is binge drinking for a woman (2.5 beers for a man). Every person I’ve ever seen in a bar whose drinking has more than 1 beer every 3 hours.

2 glasses of wine over dinner is not something that’d even draw comment in sane parts of the world. I am assuming it’s a regular wine glass and not one of those 144 oz. Super Gulp cups from 7-11.

There’s a lot of ebb and fow within each group as well due to the ever-shifting dynamics of its members (from what I’ve seen of my dad’s AA colleagues). Most of the group members I’ve had contact with (admittedly few) were “average folks” working together for sobriety. And a few were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. That one “wingnut group” seemed to be an anomaly but it was quite the doozy of an anomaly.

I noticed regional differences as well. In my mom’s town (when my dad was staying there for chemo), the AA members I met seemed very somber and serious. The AA members I met in my dad’s town were always lively, fun people. They seemed to have a healthy sense of humour – serious about their sobriety but, damn, they all still knew how to laugh when a laugh was to be had!

What the heck is RR? Oh, wait, that’s a Google question, isn’t it?

I wouldn’t be worried. Your son is learning one of the important lessons a youngster growing up in America can learn: during the summer months, network TV sucks throbbing priapic syphilitic badger wangs like a fifty-cent crack whore.

Also (on a more serious note), youthful experimentation shouldn’t be punished externally unless it’s truly harmful. You should explain to him that his own conscience – the fact that he regrets his actions – is the punishment (and how adult that makes him), and the real punishment is that he feels bad, and will continue to feel bad, and that no grounding or revocation of privileges will make him feel better; it will only sugar-coat the guilt. If he wants to do something purgatory, perhaps you can suggest that he tell his friends what he did: that he drank without permission, did not enjoy it, and felt horrible about it. This will not only help him work through his (deserved) guilt, but will bring about a positive change and hopefully let others learn through his experience.

As for an actual punishment, the following lecture should do the trick:

“I’m disappointed in your poor judgement. Period. But I am very proud that you were able to admit your mistake, and I am glad that you’re of strong enough character to feel bad about it. I’m happy that I can trust you to come to me even if you’ve made a bad decision. Try to make better choices, but don’t ever be afraid to tell me if you’ve made a mistake.”

So, how many people after a really shit day at work, after getting fired, after flunking a final exam in college, haven’t felt that ‘I’m really stressed out right now, gonna go to the bar and chill out and deal with this tomorrow’ and then gone through with that plan?

Then again I suppose if that same person who had the really shit day at work, got fired, flunked a final exam in college were to go home and absolutely totally need that prescription Valium that day, that’s fine, but if they needed to have a couple drinks and then deal with the stressor when they’d calmed down a bit, that’s alcoholism?

That’s the thing I find so freakin hard to understand. People need prescription drugs to deal with an extremely stressful day, so doctors write prescriptions out. Someone needs a beer in the same way, and suddenly it’s a horrible disease they need a program to handle, all because of the chemical composition of the temporary stress reliever.

I agree that it should not be a means to permanent stress relief, but somehow I find it easier to take if a person I know gets fired, goes to the bar and has a few, and then starts looking for a new job rather than goes running for the Valium, because I consider the effects of Valium to be that much more intense - after all, that’s why it’s by prescription, right?

So if the primary coping mechanism is to grab the doctor prescribed Valiums, should you still stop and think about that for a minute? (Australian)

Here’s a good start.

Meanwhile half of the students can’t find their own country on a map, right? :rolleyes: I’m glad I’m not still school age and I’m glad I don’t have kids!

Ask your son for a cite.