Can a 19 year old be an alcoholic?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Can a 19 year old be an alcoholic?
4
Sun, 09-22-2013 - 1:30pm

Can someone who is only 19 be an alcoholic? I think my friend's bf has a drinking problem but everyone keeps saying he is too young to have one and that it is probably just immaturity.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2013
Mon, 09-23-2013 - 9:47pm

Hi zcat,

I think it is possible that a 19 year old can suffer from the disease of alcoholism, or atleast a serious alcohol abuser.  Say a kid began drinking at 16 and hit it hard from the beginning.  As his drinkng increased he became addicted and needed more and more as his tolerance increased.  Bingo-but there is no winner.  Now, his/her tolerance lessons and he or she has a problem.  Help is available for anyone at AA.  There are now age limits.  I came into AA at age 35 but should have probably been there at 22.  I suggest the family contact an alcoholism treatment center and ask about an intervention.  There is no guarantee but it could save a life.  We are here for you.  Please let us know what happens. 

In friendship,

Paul

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2013
Tue, 09-24-2013 - 9:14am

The message, by me above, contains a typo error.  "There are now age limits." Should read "there are no age limits (in AA)."  I am sorry.  May I use my age as an excuse, I am 80.

 

In friendship,

Paul

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 09-30-2013 - 6:49pm

Yes, it is possible.  Being a heavy drinker at 19 doesn't mean that you ARE an alcoholic, but being young does not mean that you can't be an alcoholic. 

I would suggest your friend go to Alanon.  You can't tell the BF whether he is, or is not.  But your GF can find someone to talk to.

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2002
Wed, 10-30-2013 - 8:17pm

Hi Zcat...and the best answer I know to that question is YES.  Alcoholism is not about age, or even how much you drink.  It is about the inability to stop.  I was drinking at 19 and maybe I could have stopped, but I didnt see any reason to.  Denial is a big part of addiction.  I kept on making excuses for my drinking for years...until when I tried to stop, because alcohol was not working any longer, I found that I couldnt.  Then and only then did I look for a solution to alcohol.  Maybe he can still stop, but just does not see it as a problem.  Maybe he is still having fun with it.  I dont know.  I do know that it can lead to alcoholism, and it can be the start.  I dont think this happens to everyone that drinks....and maybe it wont happen to him.  I do know that a person can be alcoholic at 19....and that is all I know.  I think his girlfriend will just have to decide if she wants to continue in a relationship where alcohol is so important.  There is good information on the web for her if she desires to look at it.  Tell her to come here if she has questions....not that we have answers, but we have enough experience here to show her where to look.  Thanks for this question...it is an important factor in life today.  God bless.....

Alcohol, Addictions & Recovery. It's a long way down, but only 12 steps UP