Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bottle trouble?

I used to be a problem drinker, and then gave it up for three years because of medication I am on. Lately, however, I have been stressed and got drunk again on a particularly emotional day. All went well, and the blacking out and random injuries were not present (though I did have a monster hangover for three days... ouch) but now I am concerned.

Now that I know I can get drunk on my medication, I feel like I may start using it as an emotional crutch again. My drinking was partially responsible for my college career's demise and the loss of many relationships, but I maintain that I am not an alcoholic, just someone who has issues dealing with their problems and uses substances as a way to get by. Am I in denial or is there some way I can drink without letting it get out of control?

Troubled in Texas

Dear Troubled,

Let's review what you've told me. You used to be a "problem drinker," which caused you to stop attending college and lose friends or family ties. Now you're feeling stressed and using your medication to get drunk. The tie in all of this appears to be stress or changing situations, and none of it appears to be positive. You realize that it is affecting you emotionally too.

A person who uses substances to get by may be addicted to them. Despite the signs, you don't seem willing to admit that you may have a substance abuse problem. It is possible to drink responsibly, but because of how you're using your medication now, I don't think you will drink a healthy amount if you try it alone or in social situations.

You're the only one who can get you help, but you can't get help until you're ready for it. When you are, start here.

Aunt Amy

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