Binge Drinking

On-Demand Vomiting: The Prequel to Choking the Gag Reflex

July 14, 2010

It was one of the top ten signs that I was becoming an alcoholic during the days of my still social binge drinking that I mastered the art of on-demand vomiting. Developed as a preventive measure to avoid getting sick in front of others (you know you have a problem when you hide it from […]

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TDA Adds to the Three A’s of Abuse: Access, Affordability, and Advertising

January 24, 2010

This weekend my good friend MPJ over at A Room of Mama’s Own tipped me off that Burger King was looking to add beer to their fast food menu. This reminded me that official TDA researcher Norm also had sent in a story from a while back that Walgreen’s was looking to stock alcohol of […]

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The TDA Alphabet Primer: B is for Blackout

November 22, 2009

Most people think of a blackout in the context of a region losing all electrical power. On the rare occasion they occur, the safe thing is to stay calm, go to ground, and congregate with others for safety while waiting for dawn or the return of power. Blackouts are considered extremely serious, and there is […]

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You Think Handcuffs Are Going to Stop This?

November 4, 2009

Stacy Goodwin is the Ohio mother shown in the video attacking Lori Osterland who was in court to face charges that she was complicit in the death of Goodwin’s daughter, 20 year-old Carri Goodwin. Alliance, Ohio, police say the Goodwin sisters and Osterland were out drinking. They believe 20-year-old Carri passed out in a car […]

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Wasted in Wisconsin

November 1, 2009

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has put together a truly excellent series that documents Wisconsin’s culture of alcohol and the pain and misery it has exacted upon the state. I have often written on the subject of What is Wrong with Wisconsin* so I thought it fitting to highlight this JS online special that focuses on […]

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Drinking to Get Drunk

August 5, 2009

original pic by nyki_m under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Italy is imposing age restrictions and new limits on drinking to combat the continued rise of abuse and alcoholism, particularly among young people. Europe has long been used as an example by proponents that a lower minimum drinking age here in the States would reduce the “forbidden fruit” symptoms of secretive and binge drinking, but recent trends contradict this line of thought.

“The problem of alcoholism is growing in Italy because we have severed the link between food and drink — now, young people drink to get drunk,” and that creates all sorts of problems for public safety and the proliferation of laws to control the situation, said Edi Sommariva, who is director general of FIPE and a supporter of the E.U. restrictions on sales venues for alcohol. ~ NYT

Notice the emphasis (mine), Italy’s culture has changed- become more like our own. No longer is alcohol tied in with a sit down meal, instead now young people just consider it an intoxicant.

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TDA on the Minimum Drinking Age in 30 Seconds

July 27, 2009

original pic by nDevilTV under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Dr. Morris Chafetz was a member of President Reagan’s commission in the 1980s that recommended raising the drinking age to 21; he now says it was “the single most regrettable decision” of his career. My first thought on such a comment is that if this is most regrettable decision of his life he can remember, then most likely the man has just gone senile. But it is this second comment that really raised my sanity-doubting eyebrow.

“Legal Age 21 has not worked,” Chafetz said in the piece. “To be sure, drunk driving fatalities are lower now than they were in 1982. But they are lower in all age groups… (snip) the law instead has resulted in “collateral, off-road damage” such as binge drinking that occurs in underage youth and crimes like date rape, assaults and property damage.~ LA Times

I guess Dr. Chafetz must believe that if they were just allowed to drink legally, the young inebriated idiots of the world would become gentle law abiding lambs. I mean everyone knows that date rape, assaults, and property crime just didn’t exist in prior to the National Minimum Age Drinking Act of 1984- back in the good old days, when alcohol made kids smart.

10 seconds left, must hurry… I oppose lowering the minimum drinking age limits because it is a known fact the earlier one starts drinking the more likely they are to suffer substance abuse issues. Game, set, match for me. Combine this with the fact that by lowering the drinking age we just put 16 and 17 year olds as next up in the queue- no doubt idolizing the high school seniors turning up a cold beer . Even more emotionally and physically immature, they will be inheriting the angst and the ills of those almost old enough to drink.

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Milan’s Minimum Drinking Age: Meglio Tardi Che Mai

July 18, 2009

Milan’s Minimum Drinking Age at The Discovering Alcoholic

Milan has imposed the first comprehensive minimum drinking law in Italy banning anyone under the age of sixteen. Stiff fines are promised for those caught drinking or enabling the now illegal behavior. Considering the rising problem of binge drinking and alcoholism among the Italian youth, I would say it’s meglio tardi che mai (better late than never).

In Milan, 34 percent of 11-year-olds have had problems with alcohol, the municipality said in a statement. Overall, 22.4 percent of boys aged 11-18 and 13 percent of girls in Italy have drinking habits that pose a health risk, according to the National Observatory for Alcohol. ~ AP

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Binge Drinking by Teens – World Wide Statistics Suggest Lowering the Drinking Age Doesn’t Help

July 14, 2009

Thank you author and speaker Lisa Frederiksen of Breaking the Cycles for this regular series sharing her decades long experience of dealing with family alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Click here to see the rest of the series.

Breaking the Cycles at The Discovering Alcoholic

One of the areas covered in the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2007 Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking is a presentation of data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs, 2003, on binge drinking by European students ages 15-16. As you likely have read, there is an effort by American university and college presidents, called the Amethyst Initiative, that urges a debate on lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. The belief is that a lower drinking age will remove the temptation to binge drink because alcohol consumption would be legal for students at age 18 (i.e., no need to drink as much as possible when an occasion arises because access will be legal and readily available).

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Wisconsin: At Least This Badger has an Excuse!

July 13, 2009

original pic by jasja dekker under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

I couldn’t help but spring at the chance to offer another back handed tribute to woeful Wisconsin and it’s sad track record of alcohol abuse and DUI after hearing about this obnoxiously drunk badger. Yep, this was a real badger, meles meles– not to be confused with the more common North American type, the drunkus fanaticus. Stoned out its mind on fermented fruit, this usually ferocious ball of fur was a dumpy lump that literally had to be swept off the pavement. And like a typical drunkard, this intoxicated badger made its strongest statement of the evening… by fouling itself.

“The animal’s stomach had turned the fruit to alcohol and the badger was, to put it crudely, drunk as a skunk,” said a police statement on Wednesday. “In addition, the badger was suffering from diarrhoea studded with cherry stones.”

At least this badger has an honest excuse, the same thing can not be said for those in Wisconsin that keep the state at the top for DUI and underage drinking and at the bottom in enforcement.

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Everybody Drinks

May 5, 2009

Thank you author and speaker Lisa Frederiksen of Breaking the Cycles for this regular series sharing her decades long experience of dealing with family alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Click here to see the rest of the series. Breaking the Cycles at The Discovering Alcoholic

by Lisa Frederiksen

Time and again, you hear students and adults say something like, “It’s normal. All kids drink.” And, often, researchers (myself included) focus on how many young people are drinking. The 2002 to 2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, for example, found that in 2006 almost one in five people aged 12 – 20 engaged in binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks on at least one occasion) in the past month and almost half had used alcohol in the past year. [Source:]

Similarly, most adults and students believe that all adults drink alcohol.

Often it is these perceptions that leave adults and young people believing they should drink or be able to control their drinking in order to successfully drink because everybody drinks. But, the perceptions and the realities do not line up.

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Alcoholic Playbook: The Last Hurrah

December 14, 2007

The names, places, and circumstances may vary, but you can be rest assured that most alcoholics and addicts follow a very predictable path. The same rationalizations, secrecy, prevarications and red herrings are used by gutter drunks to Boston bluebloods as if they were all using the same playbook; let’s call it the alcoholic playbook.

The latest news on Amy Winehouse shows that she is about to execute a play that is the bread and butter of those that have faced the fact that they have an addiction, but have either not suffered enough pain or haven’t honestly decided to lead the life of sober recovery. Amy is calling it a festive binge; I call it “the last hurrah”.

Amy Winehouse Plans Massive Christmas Blow-Out Before Heading to Rehab

Amy Winehouse to Have Festive Binge Before Rehab in the New Year

This play is used essentially as a guilt avoidance maneuver designed to accomplish two ends. It fends off those pestering for treatment by setting a future date of commitment and allows the addict/alcoholic the freedom to “enjoy” their last embrace with their beloved drugs. Unfortunately that’s the problem… they still love their substance of choice and the lifestyle in which their disease flourishes. Rehab may still be in the cards, but going to rehab without desiring recovery is pointless.

If I had to make a guess at what stage in the addiction game this play is usually executed I would say just before or after halftime. There is still plenty of time left in the game to score a full recovery, but as with all addictions the game could always be called on the account of jail or death.

Good luck Amy, you’re going to need it because in this game they play for keeps.

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