Have you ever questioned the drinking habits of someone close to you, and that person refused to discuss the subject? Here are five common statements that you may hear when someone is minimizing their alcohol misuse. Talking about these statements with the individual can be a starting point to address concerns about the misuse of alcohol.   

#1: “I can stop drinking anytime I want to.”

Alcohol misuse can impair judgment and impact personal health and relationships. Having a false sense of being able to control alcohol use can cause an individual to make excuses to keep drinking.

#2: “My drinking is my problem. I’m the one it hurts, so no one has the right to tell me to stop.”

Alcohol misuse affects everyone.  The decision to refrain from alcohol use is ultimately up to the individual; however, encouraging that individual to seek services can empower the person to evaluate their decisions. 

#3: “I don’t drink every day, so I can’t be an alcoholic.”

Alcohol misuse can vary in terms of what, when, and even how much someone drinks.  It’s the effects of drinking that indicate a problem.   If drinking is causing problems with regard to your health, relationships or work you may want to consider options to address your alcohol misuse.

#4: “I’m not an alcoholic because I have a job.”

Many individuals who misuse alcohol are able to hold down jobs and provide for their families. While they may be functioning at work, it doesn’t mean they’re not putting themselves or others at risk by drinking and driving, being involved in alcohol related incidents, or engaging in abusive behaviors.

#5: “Drinking is not a “real” addiction like drug abuse.”  

Alcohol is a drug and is as damaging as other drug addictions.  Alcohol causes changes in the body and brain, and long-term alcohol misuse can have devastating effects on one’s health, career, and relationships. Individuals with an alcohol disorder may go through physical withdrawal when they stop drinking, just like someone who stops using other drugs.

The Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC) offers a wide array of prevention, intervention, and counseling services to promote the readiness of Marines and their families. The SACC takes a proactive approach to support low-risk use of alcohol and discourage other substance misuse. If you are concerned about your alcohol or other drug misuse or that of someone you care about, please contact your installation SACC.