January 26, 2012

Binge drinking ... or denialism?

I'm not a prude about alcohol ... but, I know that denial ain't just a river in Egypt, and that "justifying" binge drinking in the face of a CDC report when you don't have to write a column about it could be seen as "protesting too much."

Seven drinks in four hours, even as part of a wine-and-food pairing at a restaurant, seems a bit much.
Even if the CDC does, I don't think most people would consider my gastronomic evening to be binge drinking. Or, if they do, it's unlikely that they would assign it as problem drinking.
That's probably part of the problem; but, it can be countered by the old ... "If somebody else jumped off a cliff, would you?

That said, just because it was all drinking with friends doesn't guarantee it's benign, either.

Alcoholic drinking usually is drinking alone, at least a fair amount of the time; I suspect similar is true for illicit drugs. So, I'll give Brown half a point. That said, the story seems to reverse cart and horse a bit. The person who *wants* to "check out" or whatever knows what they're doing, to at least a degree, in most cases, whether the drinking or using starts alone or not There's not a "powerlessness" of the 12-step movement, at least not until after one crosses that ... invisible line.

Plus, the column is "anecdotal evidence," of course. And, if you're drinking seven drinks once a week, which four times a month is ... well .... maybe you are protesting too much.

And, my understanding of the CDC, NIH, NIAAA, etc. is that part of the definition of binge drinking is how often one drinks to the amount he does.

And, the guy owns bars; he's got financial reasons to protest the government definitions.

Plus, most people overestimate what govt/medical guidelines are for "normal" drinking, which is why, even before Das' faking of red wine studies became public, the AMA never has, and never will, tout alcohol as "heart healthy."

And, some stereotypes just aren't true, and they're not true in a way opposite to the book to whom

For example, the "moderate," "wine focused" French have a higher cirrhosis rate than the U.S. does.

I'm not a prude ... and, I know that the 12-step approach to recovery has many problems.

That said, especially through things such as noting the level of problem drinking among senior citizens, the CDC report has a lot of insight. Unfortunately, , someone like Brown reinforces stereotypes that aren't true.

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