Pre-script: Sorry, this turned into a bit of a screed or a rant or sumpin...
My drinking was heading way into the end zone so I quit about fourteen months ago. Not too many hangovers since then, and the one or two i have had were mild. (I get some kind of odd sensation the morning after I stay up late in a social situation...specially in a bar)
Thanks for reminding me what a good time I'm having. (Especially on Saturday mornings.) Sometimes I forget...by the way Guy how do you have fun anyway? I sorta forget that too. That is a somewhat rhetorical question.
Along the way I learned some interesting things. One is: about 70% of people who quit drinking do it on their own with no "support group", or program, 12-step or otherwise. And quite a small percentage of people that start in AA actually succeed in permanently refraining from alcohol usage, possibly 10-20%. I was and remain vastly uninterested in the 12-step approach, but the fact that it's practically a cultural assumption that that's the only way to quit if you have a serious problem with the stuff, probably prolonged my drinking. As is the case with most people, I actually quit when I was personally ready--and having taken the responsibility on myself, I have a lot more invested in staying sober than if I said "I'm powerless over alcohol." I mean what the hell kind of way is that to regain control of your life? If I was powerless over alcohol, I'd still be drinking it. Since this was a conclusion I came to on my own, I was thrilled to discover that lots of people share the opinion that you can use your personal power, rather than deny it, to get past your addictive behaviour.
For anyone who wants information or help to quit or moderate their use of alcohol or other drugs, and is interested in surveying the alternatives (generally non-religious) to the 12-step approach, two good places to start are www.unhooked.com or The Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
But if you don't have a problem...well, you lucky S.O.B. ;>=
By the way, the best definition of addiction that I've encountered is "continuing a behaviour while knowing that the the negative results outweigh the positive ones." Oddly enough, this also helps one stop said behaviour if one looks at the situation rationally.