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I Am Too Young to Be an Alcoholic

Posted in Young Adults

You are never too young to be an alcoholic. Some people believe alcoholics are born, not made.  Whether or not you believe this concept, it is still important to understand: Alcholism has nothing to do with age, the number of years you have been drinking, or how "bad" it gets.  Everyone has a different bottom.  Fortunately, in the last few decades more and more young people have chosen recovery long before the most disastrous physical and psychological damage is inflicted through drinking.

In the early years of Alcoholics Anonymous you would hear a lot of horrific "bottom" stories – these are the stories of that final straw (or straws) that broke the alcoholics’ denial and refusal to get help.  Stories of lost jobs, being kicked out by family, even jail and homeless were common.  Those stories still abound, but over the last few decades there has been a movement toward "high bottoms" – not as dire or deadly, but enough to convince a young person that continued drinking would only mean greater and more dire consequences.

Denial is an interesting thing.  Many young people will hear the dire, low-bottom stories and think, "I’m not an alcoholic. I never did THAT."  

But if you truly are an alcoholic, you will eventually do something like that as long as you keep drinking.  The question is: is your bottom low enough now that you can avoid the worst consequences of abusive drinking?

The number of teenagers and young adults in the rooms of recovery clear indicates that indeed you can hit bottom without destroying your life.

So if you are considering recovery, don’t ask yourself if you are old enough. Ask yourself:  When I drink, do bad things happen?