You're not an alcoholic... but you could be an almost alcoholic - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

You're not an alcoholic... but you could be an "almost alcoholic"

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -

For many people, heading to happy hour after work or drinking a couple glasses of wine with dinner is a normal part of their week.

But researchers now say a drink here and a drink there could be the beginning of a serious drinking problem.

They actually have a new name for it. Harvard researchers call it -- not alcoholism -- but almost alcoholism. And many people who don't think their daily drink is a big deal fall into this category.

Glenyce Paul says a dozen drinks is the most she would ever drink a week, but according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that's considered what is now being called "almost alcoholic."

So what exactly constitutes an almost alcoholic? Any more than 3 drinks per day or 7 a week for women. For men, more than 4 drinks per day or 14 a week.

People we talked to say their drink count adds up quickly.

"It's easy to have two glasses of wine with dinner," says Paul.

"A couple glasses of wine a day would be ok," says Kathleen Toupkin.

One in 4 people who drink above the recommended levels suffer from alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse.

But Shelly Mowrey with Drug Free Arizona says it's not about the number of drinks, it's about the effect.

"Is the alcohol a negative effect on that person's life, driving under the influence, been in jail, lost a job, has it lead to a divorce?" asks Mowrey.

Mowrey says the reason for classifying almost alcoholics is to get people thinking about how much they drink.

"People don't tend to recognize how much they've been drinking unless they're asked," says Mowrey.

"It definitely makes you think," says Toupkin.

Paul says after decades of drinking, she relies on one sign that she's had too much.

"If you went to bed with a headache or woke up with a headache."

The Harvard researchers wrote a book called "Almost Alcoholic." They say the goal is to prevent people from becoming alcoholics, because it's a progressive disorder.

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices