Not everyone who consumes alcohol is alcoholic. Here are a few definitions adapted from years of research and observation. I find them useful when discussing alcoholism.
All Who Drink- take enough alcohol and anyone will do stupid/”crazy” acts.
The Moderate Drinker- can drink “normally.” They can take it or leave it alone.
The Problem/Heavy Drinker- lacks control. Marked with problems when drinking. Given sufficient circumstance or reason can stop under their own power.
The Accute/”Potential” Alcoholic- roughly 10% of the population, who metabolize alcohol different than most people. Suffer from the phenomena of craving, similar to an “allergy.” When they start drinking, they cant control the amount they take. Often these people’s drinking result in full blown alcoholism.
The Chronic/”Real” Alcoholic- they don’t have alcoholism because they drink, their drinking is a result of their alcoholism. They have the “allergy” and when they drink they cannot control the amount they take. They also suffer from the mental obsession and “insane” thinking, even when they don’t drink they are completely preoccupied with the thought of the next drink. They have a permanent, progressive and fatal illness which has no known cure. There are many types and stages (about which a whole book could be written), but all exhibit lack of control that make them physically and mentally different from the general population. The great obsession of EVERY alcoholic is that someday, someway, they will be able to drink like “normal” people. The real alcoholic suffers from unmanageability in life that has been recognized as a “spiritual malady.”
No matter the “red flags,” no one can diagnose another as alcoholic. We must admit to our inner-most selves that we are alcoholic…