I believe that alcoholism is a disease, I believe that most alcoholics are in denial and I believe in the 12 step programs, I’ve seen them work with family members. So I’m not trying to disagree with you on any of that.
I don’t agree with you about the counting drinks thing, though. Lots of people count calories, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an eating problem. It’s just that there’s a certain amount of calories that they’ve decided not to exceed (for whatever reason) and being aware of your consumption helps. Sure, they might overeat if they weren’t paying attention – so they do pay attention, and thus avoid the overeating.
So if you drink from time to time, and you find that 4 drinks in a night is a tad too much for you (nothing crazy, just makes you a bit queasy let’s say), then it makes perfect sense to limit yourself to 3 drinks or less at a time. It seems quite possible that one could have 4 or 5 drinks over the course of a night and not remember the exact number. So it makes sense to pay attention, no?
I just think the counting thing is pretty darn weak when compared to more obvious indications: drinking before work or before operating a motor vehicle, getting sick/hospitalized from it, feeling shaky without a drink, getting in fights, breaking the law, adultery/one night stands, causing serious rifts in relationships, etc.