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How do you know you have enough to drink?
Old 01-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
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How do you know you have enough to drink?

The recent holiday season had me observing a lot of my friends and family members consuming a fair bit of alcohol. Have to admit, I consumed a fair bit myself. My concern was seeing children around the age of 12 to 15 drinking wine during family dinners. It prompted me to ask them and their parents whether they know how much their children are drinking and what is the limit their young bodies can take. In two occassions, the parents tell me they don't know and leave it to their children to decide and the children tell me that they will stop after 2 or 3 glasses. That's sounds like a lot to me for children who should not be drinking at all. Well, for me, luckily I like food more than alcohol. So, I normally stop drinking after 2 or 3 glasses for reasons (a) I should feel a bit high by then (b) any more drinking will mean I won't have room for food! If I am at a formal event, I'll take 1 glass (after food) as I want to ensure I don't make a fool out of myself.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:02 PM   #2
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I haven't had a drink since March, when I realized that Wild Turkey could have contributed to my father's perforated duodenal ulcer. I figure that I might as well learn now not to develop habits that could set myself up for later: kids, don't mix Alzheimer's with alcohol.

But my imbibing wasn't a dramatic cutoff. For at least the last couple years I've been too busy with surfing, taekwondo, exercising, writing, and other projects to spend much time getting hammered-- or trying to recover from it. Better sleep & fewer digestive issues, too.

For at least a decade before that I haven't had to track my drinking... my daughter was all too happy to keep me fully updated on that status.

Before that it was pretty binary: no more than two if I was driving, at least two if I was not.

But since you mention not drinking-- hey ClifP, we've been storing a half-dozen bottles of Napa Valley's finest for the last couple decades that now we're ready to pass on. Do you know anyone who'd like them?
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
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On New Years Eve, I had one drink. A triple shot of Metamucil. Since I don't drink alcohol this is as strong as I can handle.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:54 AM   #4
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Two or three glasses would be a sizable intake for an adult male, never mind a teen. That is a bit too liberal, even if you agree that teens should be allowed to drink on family occasions.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:42 AM   #5
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The recent holiday season had me observing a lot of my friends and family members consuming a fair bit of alcohol. Have to admit, I consumed a fair bit myself. My concern was seeing children around the age of 12 to 15 drinking wine during family dinners. It prompted me to ask them and their parents whether they know how much their children are drinking and what is the limit their young bodies can take. In two occassions, the parents tell me they don't know and leave it to their children to decide and the children tell me that they will stop after 2 or 3 glasses. That's sounds like a lot to me for children who should not be drinking at all. Well, for me, luckily I like food more than alcohol. So, I normally stop drinking after 2 or 3 glasses for reasons (a) I should feel a bit high by then (b) any more drinking will mean I won't have room for food! If I am at a formal event, I'll take 1 glass (after food) as I want to ensure I don't make a fool out of myself.
12-15 is pretty young. In many countries where people this age drink with the family at meals the wine is mixed with club soda or water, or low alcohol brewed beverages are served. One tall glass but not much alcohol. A parent that says they don't know is shirking their responsibility.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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12-15 is pretty young. In many countries where people this age drink with the family at meals the wine is mixed with club soda or water, or low alcohol brewed beverages are served. One tall glass but not much alcohol. A parent that says they don't know is shirking their responsibility.
+1 There is a vast cultural difference between us and France/Italy on the wine drinking front. There it is part of the meal for the whole family. Here, it remains illegal and is potentially a guilty pleasure for teens. I don't see how this laissez faire practice can be good. Same with the practice of letting the teens drink in the basement "under adult supervision." The adults upstairs can never know who might be unstable downstairs and they can never know who might walk out the door and get in a car.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 AM   #7
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Concerning kids drinking - - we always encouraged our daughter to drink at home, because we didn't want her drinking elsewhere and not realizing the effects of alcohol. She never wanted to drink at home, though, so she never did at all. I guess that was because drinking in childhood just isn't as common in the US as in many other countries. Maybe she thought we were kidding. Yes, usually the everyday wine (outside the US) is very weak.

Concerning how I know when I've had enough to drink - - that's easy for me. I choose not to drink any more, at all. I never drank very much anyway, and completely stopped drinking about 10 years ago, for the following reasons:

(1) It never was a big part of my life
(2) I get drunk extremely easily, which is why it never was a big part of my life (goodnight! )
(3) I don't need the calories
(4) I don't actually like the flavor of most drinks, so I don't get much pleasure out of it
(5) Not drinking saves money, for which I had better uses
(6) It is difficult to think of anything good that comes from drinking
(7) Drunks can become abusive, I know what that is, and I never want to be like that myself
(8) Family members have had significant problems with alcohol so it's risky for me

Of course, #8 was the main reason why I quit due to possible genetic weakness when it comes to alcohol. As for the subject matter of this thread, now I can add reason #9...

(9) I never have to worry about whether I've had enough to drink or not.

Each person makes his or her own choices in life, and I would never say that others should choose to stop drinking as I did. I do hope that everyone who drinks thinks about these things and makes their own logical choices that suit them best.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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Winter time is the only time I get a crazing for a mixed drink(bourbon and coke). The balance of the year is light beer, usually the 8oz variety at home. So although I love my med's, I manage them very well.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
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Our family (both my parents and us with our kids, now grown) have allowed young teens to have wine and other drinks at holiday gatherings and alcohol at home in moderation. I remember as a young teen having 2-3 glasses of wine at Thanksgiving one year and feeling a bit woozy - my first experience.

It has worked for us as we haven't had any alcohol abuse problems in the family.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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As part of a new year, I'm giving up drinking the entire month of January. This is huge for somebody like myself with a fairly large cellar/bunker. If all goes well at the end of January and I'm noticing I feel much better and don't miss it at all, then it will keep on going as necessary, possibly forever.

I'm getting to the point in life where I'm balancing out the effects of what this will have on my body long term and will stop completely if needed.

For reference, I'm a 1 beer a night or every other day guy, with a few more on the weekends.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
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After a few times drinking too much, I had a solid understanding of what enough is. 1 drink per 100lbs of body weight is a good rule of thumb.

Wine is the hardest to judge IMO. It's got a low enough alcohol content that one could empty a bottle into an oversized mug and drink the whole thing. It turns out, though, that is quite a few drinks!
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Putting aside the children drinking (are you in Europe by any chance?) and answering the title question, I assume most people have a mental limit that's pretty conservative. During my college years I drank way too much, many weekends. I remember having 10 glasses of scotch in one night as did my date, and I was driving (young and very stupid). I pretty much grew out of that (at the time typical for my age) behavior in my mid-20's thankfully. Being drunk and subsequently hungover lost it's appeal long ago...I like to remember where I've been, what I've said, what others have said to me and what I ate. And the novelty of drunken behavior is no longer amusing at all. YMMV

Now that we're grown-ups when we go out for dinner or a party, DW and I will have one drink (usually wine) each 95% of the time. On special occasions we might have 2 each, I cannot remember having more than that in the past few decades. Went to a NYE party next door last Saturday, we went berserk and each had 3 glasses of wine since we were pretty sure we could stumble home 20 yards. Wild & crazy...
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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I tried to keep my children from drinking without getting overwrought about it. I felt that until the early 20s their livers and brains are not fully mature physically, and I thought it was better to err on the side of restraint. I also told them there was a no fault system in force-if they or the person they might have been riding with had been drinking they should call me and I would be there or send a cab, no questions asked. Interestingly the only call I ever got a call was after my son was 30 and married. He was recruiting some Russian programmers, and got smashed doing the Russian thing with vodka. He told them that he had other appointments when their party broke up, and I went and got him.

I remember in the mid 50s a campaign against children drinking in France. I believe Prime Minister Mendés France was behind it. It was reported that little children were showing up for school hungover. I think Italy had a similar thrust-remember the song from Bocaccio 70, Bevete piú latte? (Drink more milk)



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Old 01-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #14
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Buddy of mine in Riyadh had a couple T-shirts:

1) I don't have a drinking problem - I drink, I fall over - no problem.

2) Everyone needs something to believe in - and right now I believe I'll have another beer.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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My son is 12 today and not yet 100 lbs. He would be legally drunk. This is normally determined based on weight, but age should also be considered here. Check out this chart:

Blood Alcohol Level Chart | Are You Legally Drunk? | BAC Level | drivinglaws.org
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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I tried to keep my children from drinking without getting overwrought about it. I felt that until the early 20s their livers and brains are not fully mature physically, and I thought it was better to err on the side of restraint. I also told them there was a no fault system in force-if they or the person they might have been riding with had been drinking they should call me and I would be there or send a cab, no questions asked. Interestingly the only call I ever got a call was after my son was 30 and married. He was recruiting some Russian programmers, and got smashed doing the Russian thing with vodka. He told them that he had other appointments when their party broke up, and I went and got him.

I remember in the mid 50s a campaign against children drinking in France. I believe Prime Minister Mendés France was behind it. It was reported that little children were showing up for school hungover. I think Italy had a similar thrust-remember the song from Bocaccio 70, Bevete piú latte? (Drink more milk)


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My experience is Western Europe and Latin America do not have nearly the problem with teenage drinking compared with the US and UK, especially binge drinking.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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My experience is Western Europe and Latin America do not have nearly the problem with teenage drinking compared with the US and UK, especially binge drinking.
True, and IMHO it is all part of the culture.

I've told this story before so forgive me for telling it again ...

While working in France at a company production location, the cafeteria ("la cafèt") was for both the office personnel (me) and the plant/production folks.

At the cashier line, wine (cheap "vat wine") was offered where one in the U.S. would see a coffee urn.

While I would not get any (I knew it would affect me the rest of the afternoon), the production workers would get more than a few glasses (but only pay for one). How? They would fill their glasses (more than once), quickly gulp it down and then proceed to refill and pay for the final glass ..

The interesting thing is that I never saw any of them show any "impact" of having a few at lunch (Déjeuner) while I wo*ked there.

If it's part of the culture, it seems to have less of an impact - or so it seems....
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #18
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I'm a big guy but I figure I metabolize away about 1 drink an hour. So if I am at a party for 3 hours and have 3 drinks (1 serving per drink - no Long Island Iced Teas ), I'm probably ok to drive (if I feel ok and not too tired).

For these 12 to 15 year olds the OP references, they may be fine after 2 or 3 glasses of wine if those are actually 4-5 oz glasses and not bigger and they are consumed over the course of a few hours. Pounding down 3 glasses at a 30 minute or hour meal seems excessive in my book for these age kids.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #19
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I did not expect the numbers in the linked chart. I see that it is treating a drink as 1oz of 40 proof (opposed to the 1.5oz measure we americans love to use). Still, the chart suggests I could drink 4oz of bourbon and be legal to drive. I don't even think I could ride a bike after having that much.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #20
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My boys had wine available every day on the table having been born and raised in Italy. Of the 3, only the youngest drinks regularly.... he also was the only one who went to boarding school in England. :face palm: I am hoping now that he is working in the United Arab Emirates that this habit may be somewhat curbed. The kids now in Italy are drinking a lot more than ever before. I am talking central and southern Italy, because teenage drinking and the drunk driving that goes along with it, has always been a problem in northern Italy. Add the drugs, talking heavy chemicals here not pot, and saturday nights have become very dangerous for young people.

Anyway, I drank a glass of lovely red wine at Christmas, I leave my drinking to special occasions. I gave up drinking for a few years due to a health issue, now resolved, and just never got back into it. Sort of lost the taste.

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