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boron
04-18-2012, 01:09 AM
As I understand, there were AA groups who started to use the term "dry drunk" for a person who, after stopping drinking, does not make personal changes.

Is this term also popular outside AA groups? It's commonly used on the online forums, but rarely on .gov and .edu websites, so I'm aware it's not an official term.

Shadow_Ferret
04-18-2012, 01:20 AM
I've only ever heard the term used by AA. There might be a term used outside of AA, not sure what. Did you Google dry drunk?

boron
04-18-2012, 01:24 AM
I do have a feeling how the "dry drunk" is used on the internet, I also know what it means in detail...

But is it a known and used term among people in general? Or is it kinda reserved for the "internal usage?"

Snick
04-18-2012, 02:08 AM
I never encountered the term before. But I don't hang around with alcoholics.

Chris P
04-18-2012, 02:25 AM
I've not heard it outside of recovery circles, but it not only refers to a person but also to a period of time when they were not making the personal changes: "I was so angry after my divorce I went on a bad dry drunk and did some really stupid things." It's not just a bad spell, it's when the person actively stops trying to grow.

Bufty
04-18-2012, 03:05 AM
It's not a phrase I'm familiar with and it doesn't conjure up a specific image to me.

backslashbaby
04-18-2012, 03:50 AM
I know it, but I am friends with (and daughter to) recovering alcoholic(s). I don't think I see it mentioned in the mainstream that I've ever noticed.

KatieJ
04-18-2012, 04:06 AM
Alcoholism is an unfortunate part of my family - I have heard dry drunk used frequently as someone who still has the personality of a drunk (irresponsible, etc.) even while on the wagon. It also seems to imply someone who will relapse.

ArtsyAmy
04-18-2012, 04:39 AM
I do have a feeling how the "dry drunk" is used on the internet, I also know what it means in detail...

But is it a known and used term among people in general? Or is it kinda reserved for "internal usage?"

I'm familiar with the term, but I think that's so only because I used to work in social services--don't think I've ever heard the term used "among people in general."

Captcha
04-18-2012, 04:58 AM
I've never heard it, I don't think.

benbradley
04-18-2012, 05:42 AM
I do have a feeling how the "dry drunk" is used on the internet, I also know what it means in detail...

But is it a known and used term among people in general? Or is it kinda reserved for "internal usage?"
It's absolutely an AA/12-step term, but that phrase as well as a lot of other lingo from the "recovery movement" has been slowly seeping into general usage over the decades. I recall decades ago there were several movie stars "in recovery" who appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Entertainment Tonight had at least one report on some star "in recovery" without actually saying the star is a member of AA. This is in line with AA's "Traditions" which tell members not to disclose their identity in public, but anyone who knows the lingo can figure it out. And those who don't learn about "alcoholism and recovery" through hearing these stars talk about it without knowing the source is AA and other 12-step programs.

For example, here's the April 28, 1989 People Magazine cover story on Ringo Starr:
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20121043,00.html

"It got progressively worse, and the blackouts got worse, and I didn't know where I'd been, what I'd done. I knew I had the problem for years. But it plays tricks with your head. Very cunning and baffling is alcohol."
Three pages of AA's "Big Book" are read at virtually every AA meeting, and these pages include the sentence "Remember that we deal with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful!" so it's obvious to any "Friend of Bill W." that he's an AA member.

With many people "coming out" and using the lingo in public, words such as sober (meaning abstinent from drinking alcohol versus the original dictionary definition of not drunk) are more often used by the public when talking about alcoholics, and possibly even in general.

The phrase "dry drunk" was used to describe President George W. Bush during his first term, though the writers who used the term are generally out as being in recovery themselves. Here's what I believe is the original article:
http://www.americanpolitics.com/20020924Bisbort.html
This was picked up by others, mostly Katherine van Wormer who had written a recovery-related book, and apparently got a lot of attention (and perhaps book sales) from "Bush is a dry drunk" articles she wrote.

There ARE things in 12-step programs that are more often used or discussed internally and less so with the public, usually regarding the specific nature of the steps other than the first step.

Most of the AA and 12-step related sites found through Google discuss AA in only positive terms, but there are alternate views online. Here's the Orange Papers page on "dry drunk:"
http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-drydrunk.html

boron
04-18-2012, 12:22 PM
Now I see "dry drunk" might sound quite insulting (on purpose), depending on who uses it.

There's another common word used in the article from the link above: imbibing. It sounds funny to me, but it seems to be a hard, dry, laboratory-like word. What's the point of this word? To sound like what?

Fallen
04-18-2012, 12:31 PM
Im-byeb-ing

Dictionary says 'to drink'

I guess I think of it like 'sponge': to soak up (like drinking)

the body imbibes delight through every pore (dictionary example)

boron
04-18-2012, 12:37 PM
Yes, but why would someone say "imbibe?" Does it sound more polite or neutral than "drink?"

Bufty
04-18-2012, 01:03 PM
No. It's not a word most folk use in everyday conversation.

ArtsyAmy
04-18-2012, 05:16 PM
Now I see "dry drunk" might sound quite insulting (on purpose), depending on who uses it.

There's another common word used in the article from the link above: imbibing. It sounds funny to me, but it seems to be a hard, dry, laboratory-like word. What's the point of this word? To sound like what?

I haven't heard/seen that word often. I think sometimes it's used in the 'laboratory-like' way you mention, but I also think sometimes it's used in a 'mock the laboratory' fashion (e.g., "We did a little too much imbibing last night. Har, har.").

Fallen
04-18-2012, 05:28 PM
No. It's not a word most folk use in everyday conversation.

I'm with Buft on this one.

boron
04-18-2012, 05:59 PM
Yes, OK, I see "imbibe" is not used in everyday conversation, so why would anyone need to complicate and say imbibe when you can say "drink" or "consume?"

The thesaurus (http://thesaurus.com/browse/imbibe?__utma=1.2094390767.1333525996.1334737061.1 334757156.21&__utmb=1.5.9.1334757218674&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1334306658.17.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(org anic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=%22healthhype%22&__utmv=-&__utmk=46967079) on dictionary.com suggests "imbibe" means "drinking heavily" and it is not used only for drinking alcohol. So you can also "imbibe large amounts of tea," right?

MattW
04-18-2012, 06:04 PM
Yes, OK, I see "imbibe" is not used in everyday conversation, so why would anyone need to complicate and say imbibe when you can say "drink" or "consume?"
It's partly used for exaggeration, and partly used in jest as pretentious language.

There's not many people that seriously use "imbibe" in conversation. But it does add a nice flair.

boron
04-18-2012, 06:11 PM
OK, I got it. I was convinced it's a pure technical term.

Fallen
04-18-2012, 06:30 PM
No, just a stylistic choice, one I personally wouldn't opt for. But I'm a simplistic writer anyway. ;)

Xelebes
04-18-2012, 06:48 PM
Imbibe is more of a legal term here, used to refer to those who have drank heavily.

Susan Littlefield
04-18-2012, 06:53 PM
Lots of alcoholism in my family as well.

A dry drunk is someone who does not drink but has the same/similar personality traits as when they were drinking. This usually happens when someone chooses to skim through a recovery program, or chooses not to do recovery at all. Dry drunk behavior does not necessarily lead to a relapse. I have a family member who has not taken a drink for almost 30 years and, while he has made some changes, he still has many of his drinking behaviors.

I don't think it's a term used outside of recovery.

Shadow_Ferret
04-18-2012, 07:18 PM
I usually imbibe on the weekends, but I imbibed last night in celebration.

Maryn
04-18-2012, 07:37 PM
None of the alcoholics skirting my realm have attempted recovery, so the term "dry drunk" means nothing to me. It's certainly not in my general vocabulary, although after reading this thread I get what it is.

I'd hesitate to use the term without explanation if you're writing for a general audience.

Maryn, social drinker imbiber

Fins Left
04-21-2012, 10:07 AM
Yes, OK, I see "imbibe" is not used in everyday conversation, so why would anyone need to complicate and say imbibe when you can say "drink" or "consume?"

The thesaurus (http://thesaurus.com/browse/imbibe?__utma=1.2094390767.1333525996.1334737061.1 334757156.21&__utmb=1.5.9.1334757218674&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1334306658.17.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(org anic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=%22healthhype%22&__utmv=-&__utmk=46967079) on dictionary.com suggests "imbibe" means "drinking heavily" and it is not used only for drinking alcohol. So you can also "imbibe large amounts of tea," right?

Imbibe was a PC way of saying "the lush is drinking" BEFORE PC was popular. I've heard it used a lot in my region, especially when refering to women who drink heavily.