Intoxication and sins



Everyone has probably experieced intoxication (referring to alcohol). Some more than others. Unfortunately Im one who experiences it more frequently than i would like because my whole circle of friends only meet when they drink and party.

Anyway to the question. I tend to get blackouts when im drunk. In these blackouts i have no recollection of what went down. So basically I migth have punched someone, behaved like a jerk, been sexually flirting or harassing and so on. But i migth also have been completely mellow and calm during these blackouts (most often the case). I also get super vivid dreams after i pass out, which are easily misstaken for actuall memories

I just do not know untill I ask the terrifying question: “Uhhh… what the hell happened last nigth?”

What i want to know here is: IF i decide to just let it go. And NOT ask anyone about what I did the nigth during these periods that i can’t remember. Will those sins be forgiven when i confess? Or should i head out on an inquisition and find out every dirty detail there may or may not be?



You are, I think, morally responsible for whatever you do while drunk – not necessarily in the direct personal sense but in the distal sense that you are responsible for your own drunkenness.

Beside drunkenness being a sin in itself, if you are the kind of person who is liable to get into trouble when drunk, then you have extra obligation to avoid it.

In terms of “do I need to find out what I did,” I would think probably not. But if you do happen to learn about something you did while drunk, or remember it spontaneously, you should probably confess it as an addendum to the confession of drunkenness (“I became drunk once, and while I was drunk I apparently did X, though I don’t remember it”).


Sounds like you need some new friends. Reminds me of a scene in Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons:

Norfolk: … I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not. But damn it, Thomas … Can’t you do what I did, and come with us for friendship?

More: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for friendship?


It is not true that everyone has experienced intoxication. I never have. :shrug: And believe me, I had a lot of “friends” in college who tried.

If you’re drinking to the point of blacking out, that is a grave sin by itself – regardless of what you do during that time.

Don’t “follow the crowd”. Be your own person. You don’t have to drink to the point of drunkenness just because everyone else is doing it.

For the purpose of Confession, confess the binge drinking and then ask the priest for guidance. You don’t necessarily need to recreate the plot of “The Hangover” and go searching for everything you did. But, surely, it should scare you tremendously to not have any recollection of what you may have done and what acts of immorality, vandalism, violence, and/or irresponsibility you may have committed. It’s not a good position to place yourself in.


When you go to confession, tell your priest exactly what you just told us. The Holy Spirit will tell him how to advise you as to how to make the best possible confession. Trust him. However, since you were brave enough to admit that you have a problem drinking, stop now. If you are already not an alcoholic you are probably headed that way. If you think you are an alcoholic or may not be able to quit seek help. Go to AA., or seek counseling. Sorry to say because I’m sure you enjoy and love your friends, but sometimes we have to make hard decisions. Choices are not always easy for us. However, I would consider that maybe these people are not the best company for you. May the Holy Spirit guide you in the right direction. Ask Him to, He will. God Love You! Brenda (Joe said it all!)


I have not been drunk since I was Baptized (the most I have drank since then was 5 beers in a row but that was because I had a bad earache and I did not want to go to the hospital, but I wanted to ease the pain. I was not drunk though) So I don’t know about confessing things while in a blackout. As to your questions… I would say you should ask a priest and then go from there.

But, do you plan to continue to drink until you black out? You say that you experience these drinking episodes more than normal because that is what you and your friends do together. I use to drink all the time. By myself, and when I hung out with friends. When I knew I did not want to get drunk anymore and I hung out with my friends while they were drinking… I limited myself to maybe 2 - 3 beers and I think 4 beers once. That is my “social drinking” limit. If you cannot do that, that is a problem. I am not calling you a alcoholic, but there is some kind of problem with drinking to blackouts. Especially since you are a Catholic and not supposed to be doing that. I was a big time drinker, and lets me tell you… you can see things differently when your friends are drunk and you are sober at these “parties” By the way, you don’t need AA to stop drinking either like some people will tell you :smiley: If someone feels it worked for them… great. But I strongly disliked it, and stopped without it. God bless.


First of let me just say that i apreciate all the answers and its cool to see your opinions.

But I see all answers has questions about the alcohol issue, I should had been more clear on the matter. :stuck_out_tongue: I have no problem with staying away from alcohol. I have gone periods of 3-4 months without a single drop no problem, but it kind of hurts my social life so i get back into drinking when i’ve had enough of not being “included”. No one wants to call that one “sober” guy on fridays you know… :rolleyes:

I am a lightweigth and can get a buzz from basically a single beer. Which is awesome for me financially, but one can only sip one beer for “that” long if you know what i mean? :rolleyes: Im prone to blackouts so i suffer memory loss the next day even if im only at my 4th beer. At that point i am still in controll of everything just abit more happy with the world :smiley:

The** PROBLEM **here is. I do not remember.
I do not think anything bad happened, but it migth have. There have been times where bad things have happened… Still 80-90% of the blackouts were according to my friends filled with harmless conversations or trying to climb up on the tabletops to sing football chants or w/e silliness you could imagine. But the anxiety the morning after is the same because; I dont KNOW :confused:

And The QUESTION here is. Is it a sin to let it go? Or should i go find out all that i can before confession? Would it be a sin to willingly hide whatever did or did not happen under the carpet and just forget about it? Should i actively try to get ahold of the information or is it just as good to let bygones be bygones? And if some bad incident exposes itself in the future ill confess it at that time instead?

As we are in the “Liturgy and Sacraments” part of the forum, and NOT “Spirituallty” or “Family Life” I would apreciate if we keep AA out of this :rotfl:
I know youre just trying to help and im thankfull, but lets keep track of that Off-topic :thumbsup:


If you can stop drinking, then your answer is simple. Talk to a priest about whether you should inquire about what you have done while blacked out, or just let it go. Our opinions cant compare to a priests advice on this matter.

Wow, you are a extreme lightweight if you black out after 4 beers :confused: Would you rather have a great social life, or obey our Lord? Ask yourself that. You can still hang out with your friends but not drink. If your friends are not going to call you to hang out because you wont drink with them, maybe they like when you drink because you entertain them when you are drunk. Bottom line, it IS a sin in and of itself to get so drunk that you blackout. If you confess drinking until you black out to a priest and he asks you if you plan to stop or not, could you say “yes, I plan to stop” Or not? By the way, not trying to be judgemental here. That would make me a big hypocrite, because like I said, I was a Big time drinker. My record was, I think, a little more than 30 beers in one day. And I was so use to drinking, I did not blackout or even have a hangover the next day.


Yes i know. Its so wierd. People told me years ago that i would grow more tolerant to alcohol but nope. I proved them wrong :smiley: The reason I posted this thread is because im sincere in ending this once and for all. To never get drunk again. Last week I had the worst blackout i’ve ever experienced and im still so scared of what happened I have not even turned my phone on. Thats why i wonder if it would be a sin to confess now, knowing there migth be a timebomb of commited sins laying around :eek: (“Willfully withholding sins from confession” -sin in mind here)

I dont completely black out after 4 beers, but thats when some memories stop showing up for “attendance”. :rolleyes: Like i forget things like if we walked to the next pub or took the bus. That mind you doesn’t stop me from chugging down 5-6 more beers which is when the real magic happens and 6 hours can get blank. Its like partying with Will Smith :smiley:

I get the WORST hangovers…every.d*mn.time. :shrug:


Just in case you did not know, they have alcoholics that only drink once a year, they have weekend alcoholics. Alcoholics are usually people who run into trouble when they drink. Some pass out and go into black outs, some want to fight, some just can’t stop with having one or two drinks. I simply wanted you to beware and not get trapped into that awful disease. I wanted to be sure that you were not in denial, BECAUSE I CARE!!! Caution!!! I realize that only you can answer those questions. Take care, we care here at caf.


It is really a non issue at this point since when going to confession a person makes a firm resolution not to let it happen again. So problem solved, question answered … right?

May God our Father give you grace and peace.


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