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I am a female and I'm 19 years old. I'm 5'2" and about 145 lbs.

For some reason I just decided to look into this. To start off, I'm not the normal college kid that goes out and drinks every night or crazy parties on weekends. I run a kitchen in Minneapolis and graduated from culinary school, so I have priorities and responsibilities before I have fun.

I drink maybe between 4-8 times a month. 90% of those times, I black out. When I'm blacked out, I'm still awake and I will end up drinking more, but I am not aware of it. I do not crave to get drunk, I do not get excited or plan out the next time I drink. This is why I don't think I am an alcoholic. This has been happening to me for 5 years (I started drinking at 13). I am now very worried about what I have done to my body and I'm hoping any of you have information to help me explain why I constantly black out.

It has been with all different kind of liquors and beer, all different amounts, shots, drinks. I feel like I do not have a "drunk" stage. I go from being tipsy, to waking up the next morning wondering what happened.

Any information would help!!

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I'm wondering if you may have an alcohol allergy....

"Other side-effects include fluttering of the heart (palpitations, tachycardia), sensation of heat, headache, abdominal discomfort or a drop in blood pressure (hypotension) are related to high blood acetaldehyde levels." (from)

Could a drop in blood pressure above contribue to your passing out or fainting? Do you notice any of these other symptoms?


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You say you drink between 4-8 times a month. That implies at least once a week. You also go from being tipsy to waking up blacked out the next day, which suggests that you have good judgement until you get tipsy, and then you can't control it. Also, you started drinking at 13, when your body was not fully mature and cannot process alcohol. Not to mention, female digestive systems do not break down alcohol as efficiently as males, meaning women in general have a higher blood alcohol content from less drinks.

Long story short, you are in denial. You are probably an alcoholic. Just because you only drink on the weekends doesn't mean it is not a habit. If you have to have drinks on occasion, it is an addiction. There are many examples of functional alcoholics that still control their habit, go to work, and do not hurt anyone. Addiction often starts with adolescents who use drugs at a very young age. 13 is shockingly young. You need to be aware of you body. Doctors do not recommend anyone have more than 1 to 2 drinks in an isolated occasion, if that. The instances of cancer in women as a result of alcohol is unbelievably high, and women are more at risk than men. 

I stopped drinking 2 years ago. I drank on weekends from the age of 19 to 24. Even though I have not drank in 2 years, I am already having negative side effects from the damage I did to my body for only those 5 years. The ALT enzyme in my liver is at 93 (almost double the normal rate), and I often have bleeding when I go to the bathroom that can suggest I may have hemorrhoids. My memory is also very bad at times, alcohol cause short memory loss, probably the cause of your black outs. Do some research, take a long hard look at yourself, and decide what is important to you. By now, you will have been drinking for two year longer than I did, and at a much younger age. There is no telling the damage you have already done to your body.
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So forget the label. Anyone who can tell stories about their drinking, who monitors the number of drinks, goes through periods of abstinence to prove they can, limits the number or kind of liquor they have...has a problem with alcohol. Ask yourself honestly...can blacking out from anything be healthy? You are causing permanent brain damage among other things. I am 44 and now do not drink at all...almost a year now. Didn't drink everyday and went several years at a time without drinking at all. Now, I have panic attacks (which I always thought were in people's minds) and insecurity to an almost debilitating level. It makes full-time work difficult...stop now and don't fool yourself. Drinking is a choice. Although it was extremely difficult for me to stop and stay committed, anything is better than knowing I'm killing myself with each drink. I may as well get the gun if I decide to go back.
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I felt I had to reply to this post because too have a blackout problem and I'm sick of people, who know nothing about it, acting like they are holier than thou just because they have taken a decision to quit drinking.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or a bottle of beer:  Ever heard of "everything in moderation"?  The girl who posted her problem on the site wanted help......not people telling her she's an alcoholic.   I can tell you that I am definitely not an alcoholic.  Do you people who don't understand blackouts actually know what alcoholism is?  The girl said she doesn't crave alcohol (an alcoholic does), she doesn't plan when she'll next have a drink (an alcoholic does), she doesn't get excited about drinking (an alcoholic does).  This is a real problem.  To have a drink too fast (yes, it can be ONE drink but is usually only two or three) and then find yourself waking up is very scary.   Having sensible conversations, making your way home on a bus or train, buying things in shops - all this can be done without anyone else knowing you are in blackout because you perform these tasks in a normal fashion, but we won't remember them the next day.  We don't have a drunk period so, unlike normal reaction to drink, we can't say we've had enough because we're slurring our words, or falling over or giggling too much.  These blackouts are not to be confused with passing out - we are fully awake, and its only after a period of sleep that memories are erased (sleep meaning going home, getting into pyjamas, and getting into bed...quite normal).  It is all too easy for people to judge.  If you choose not to touch alcohol again because its killing your body, fine.  This is the age of convenience, and many foods, drinks - even sometimes the air we breathe - is slowly killing us, so good luck with keeping your body as a temple.  Hopefully in time we will understand why these blackouts only happen to certain people at certain times of their lives (I'm in my 40s, the girl who posted the message is only 20, and this only started happening to me a couple of years ago).  Maybe after reading this, those of you who know nothing about it might want to make an effort to listen rather than judge.
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I am so glad you posted this--I don't consider myself an alcoholic but I have been having these blackout problems too. I go from having a couple of normal drinks and feelin just a little buzzed to waking up a few hours later not having a clue to what happend. I went to a winery with my boyfriend and went from having a couple of glasses of wine to waking up a few hours later in bed--he didn't even have a clue that I had blacked out -I had helped carry everything in from the car, ect....I've have even had some wine at home and finished the laundry and made the bed while "blacked out" I don't have a clue how I did it. It is a very scary feeling and I am considering quiting drinking or limiting myself ---it is NOT alcholism..it really is a weird condition and scarry
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I have the same problem. I usually drink about 4-5 times a month and at first it started with blackouts and now also I get very red and short of breath. It looks like i'm having an allerigic reaction to something. I of course spoke to a drug and alcohol counselor trying to get answers to what could be causing this and he like most others said I was an alcoholic. I never drink through the week usually on a Friday or Saturday night and even when I only have a few I still "lose time". An allergic reaction could explain it all.
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I'm 32. I've never had blackouts before. Over the past few months, everytime I drink I blackout(don't remember the next morning). I don't do crazy things or make bad decisions, I just can't remember. I'm not drinking to excess it's 3-4 beers or 1/2 a bottle of wine. I'm frustrated. Do I have to stop drinking all together? I can't even get a buzz without knowing I won't remember anything from here on.
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Or she is living the typical college/ university lifestyle.. And the bleeding when going to the bathroom could be related to your drinking problem you use to have or could be STIS that perhaps you picked up when you were drinking. Please go get checked.
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At least three of the people who have posted above are functional alcoholics and they don't even realize it. The responses of a few people above are hilarious. "I only drink on friday and saturday, but I do not consider myself and alcoholic." Doctors consider drinking every weekend to be excessive and dangerous. 5 drinks is considered binge drinking. If you get "Tipsy" every weekend you are an alcoholic. Being an alcoholic doesn't mean drinking until you throw up or pass out; you are just misinformed. Alcohol is socially acceptable in most places, but that doesn't mean its safe. The cancer risks are very real, and while there may be some health benefits to a glass of red wine at dinner, there is no justifiable health benefits to a cocktail. If you have to have a jack and coke on friday, but that's all you drink, but you have to have that one drink every week, you can still be an alcoholic. Because you NEED it. 

This is not an allergic reaction or some unfortunate condition. Alcohol exposure over long periods of time results in a shrinking of the hypothalmus in the brain. This is the brain's memory center. This is why you see some homeless people who are talking to a wall and have no idea where they are - they have alcohol pyschosis due to brain damage from alcohol. While blacking out is not as extreme, you could say these are the beginning stages of such a condition. If you are 40 and have never experienced this until now, it probably means that it took drinking steadily over a long period of time for you to reach this point. If you are 20, it means that you have done a lot more damage in a much shorter period of time. Even if you don't think you are an alcoholic, if you are having problems with memory loss when you drink, the solution is simple: Don't drink. If you aren't willing to quit drinking completely, then you are probably an alcoholic.

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You automatically assume that because I once was a binge drinker that also makes me sexually promiscuous. And the stereotype of college being about getting drunk is what causes students to screw up their GPA and drop out before graduation. Not to mention, the majority of college students are underage, and a large amount of colleges have dry campuses.

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Look I'm going to straight up and honest as possible. You say you have been doing this for five years now? And up to once or even twice a week? Look an alcoholic doesn't have to plan or get excited to go drink. The thing that all alcoholics have in common is that when they start to drink there is no telling when they are going to stop. Your only 19.. And you said this is going on for 5 years? That's a long time. There is a chance that you might not be an alcoholic. But remember if you are actually one which it sounds to me as you are.. Your not going to admit it even to your self unless your totally honest. And there seems to be some people on here that are functioning alcoholics who don't see a problem.. Of course they don't. Remember this is just my opinion and mine only. No one can tell you if your an alcoholic or not remember that. The only one who can really help you with that is you. Remember there is a wide variety of alcoholics around and it's not just the homeless drunk planning each day when and how they are going to get there next drink. And ps if you have to control your drinking then it means it's already out of control.
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I drink once you every few months and blackout every time. You are allergic to alcohol. Plain and simple.
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Having come across this thread as a result of research i have been doing for my masters degree on molecular health I felt that i had to write something here, no so much in the form of a lecture of "look aty how muhc i know", but for the simple fact that this young lady has asked for some help towards her problem, and some idiotic people have used it as a way to lable her as an alcoholic, which is totally unfair, and untrue.

The simple thing of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with you, it is quite a common thing, it does by no means mean you are an alcoholic, or even allergic to alcohol.  Ethanol that is contained in alcohol is metabolised within the body, all chemical reactions have receptors and receptor sites, like a key fits into a lock.  Once some of these sites are activiated, they can act as switches, increasing or decreasing activity at those sites, for example Naloxone hydrochloride binds with the receptor sites to reverse the opressive factors of heroin on the central nervous system.  What im trying to point out in the simplest is that blacking out from alcohol is just the effect it is having on the areas of your brain that encode short term memory and itstransition into long term memory, it has a depressive effect on that certain area and function.

i hope if nothing else this just helps displell the label of alcoholic!!!

 

Regards, Matt

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An alcoholic is, "Someone who doesn't have control of their alcohol intake at all times once they start."  You don't have to drink everyday.  I would suspect that you don't have 100% control in every instance once you start.  Probably better to not start.

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