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Do I really need to give up drinking?

Q: I am 27 year old, married for two years and having a son of 5 months. Everything is just perfect between my wife and me except that I can't convince her to let me drink once or twice a week. She comes from a family of strong-headed teetotallers and any mention of a leisurely drink infuriates her. I want to tell her the difference between a hardcore drunkard and an occasional one but she just wont listen. I don't want to give up drinking because it helps me to relax. I drink absolutely moderately, just 2-3 drinks or 1-2 beers per session. The lack of understanding and harmony in this respect often leads to bickering and eventually a full fledged quarrel and sometimes to mild violence. Then I feel dejected and guilty that for a few drinks I am spoiling an otherwise perfect relationship. But I see no point in giving up drinking altogether as well.

A:It is interesting to note the various reasons for drinking. However, it all depends upon the reason. It sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish the craving and desire from just occasional drinking. Researchers have proposed various criteria for addiction, and one of the easiest tests to differentiate is to answer these 4 questions otherwise known as the CAGE questionnaire, and subjectively place yourself in a category. Alcohol dependence is likely if the person gives 2 or more positive answers:

  • Have you ever felt you should CUT down your drinking?
  • Have people ANNOYED you by criticising your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or GUILTY about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first think in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (EYE-opener)?
  • Self evaluation and then action towards resolving the problem is the best solution.


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