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by Abigail Van Buren

Family's History of Alcoholism Gives Mom Reason to Worry

DEAR ABBY: I'm 23 and live with my parents -- a situation I am working to change, to be sure. When I come home from work, I occasionally like to have a glass of wine or a beer. Obviously, because I'm an adult, this should not be a problem, but every time I touch alcohol my mom freaks out.

There is a history of alcoholism in my family, so I somewhat understand where she's coming from. But I feel she needs to realize that I can have a glass or two of wine and it doesn't mean I'm getting drunk or an alcoholic. I am my own person, in control of my body, and I know my limits.

My family's view of alcohol seems to have been skewed because of our history. Abby, one glass of wine a night does not an alcoholic make, right? -- UNWINDING IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR UNWINDING: Ordinarily, I would say no. But a tendency toward addiction can run in families, and for someone with a predisposition to alcoholism, a glass (or two) of wine every night could escalate and lead to problems.

Because you live in your mother's house, try to be more sensitive to her feelings and respect them. She has experienced firsthand what it's like to live with someone who has an alcohol problem, and it isn't pretty. That's why she is so sensitive about it.

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