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Young people

"But I'm too young to be an alcoholic!"

That's what most of us told ourselves when we started to suspect that something might be wrong with our drinking. At best, we thought, alcoholism was just a bad habit. At worst, it was a sign of a weak character. In both cases, we associated it with middle-aged or old people. We forgot one simple fact: Alcoholism is a disease. Like most other diseases - heart disease, tuberculosis, cancer - it can appear in a person at any age.

Alcoholism develops differently in different people. Many of us - we can see that now - have been alcoholics from the moment we took our first drink.
Not the taste of the drinks - not the malts, grapes or grain, nor does the effervescence or water content create a problem. No, it's the alcohol that's causing us trouble.
It doesn't matter how much or how little we drink. The most important question is: What does our drinking cause us? What effect does it have on our lives?

Memory loss is rarely a normal phenomenon from regular drinking. They are usually considered symptoms of alcoholism. Trying to control our drinking is in itself a sign of danger. We try to control it because our common sense whispers to us: "Beware of danger!" Alcoholism is a progressive disease. As long as the alcoholic continues to drink, the disease worsens.

There is no known cure for alcoholism. Once we start drinking heavily, we can never be sure how the next binge will affect us. We cannot be cured, but we can recover. Once we decide we've had enough, we can stop the course of the disease by learning how to stop drinking.

Very few of us know exactly who or what is the cause of our alcoholism. However, we know exactly who is obliged to do something about it. If we want to stop drinking, no one else can do it for us. The task belongs to us. In this matter, we can take responsibility just like those who are designated as adults by law.

In AA, we don't vow to stop drinking forever. We're not jumping on board for six months. We don't make a solemn promise for a year. We're just taking it one day at a time. Today. Now.
This very moment is our own special time. We don't have to look for youth in a bottle. We have youth in reality. We want to enjoy it in freedom.

In AA we find more true freedom than we ever knew existed. We have broken out of the dark prison of alcoholism that used to keep us inside. Now we are free to discover who we are, what we want to become, what we were meant to be.

Questions for young people

Alcoholism is a hard and difficult word

Alcoholism is a disease that anyone can get. No one is too young or too old to have a problem with alcohol. Young, old, rich, poor - regardless of education or social status. It doesn't matter how long or what you've been drinking. It only matters how drinking affects you.

We've put together these twelve questions to help you determine if you might have an alcohol problem.

Where is the line between regular drinking and an alcohol problem?

12 simple questions you can use to assess your drinking habits:

1. Do you drink because you have problems?
2. Do you drink when you get angry with your other friends or your parents?
3. Do you often drink alone?
4. Has your certificate deteriorated? Are you neglecting your work?
5. Do you sometimes try to stop drinking - and fail?
6. Have you started drinking in the morning before going to school or work?
7. Do you drink as if you were very thirsty?
8. Have you ever lost your memory while drinking?
9. Do you avoid telling the whole truth about your drinking?
10. Have you gotten into trouble because of your drinking?
11. Do you often get drunk, even though you had only intended to drink a little?
12. Do you feel strong and big when you can drink a lot?


If you answered yes to even one of these questions, maybe you should seriously consider what alcohol is doing to you. If you need help or just want to talk to someone about your drinking, call the AA helpline.

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