British singer-songwriter Adele says she has quit drinking, describing herself as a "borderline alcoholic" when she was in her 20s.
She joins a growing number of people who are trying to quit or reduce their drinking. But what does “borderline alcoholic” mean and is it a real thing?
It’s not all-or-nothing any more.
In the early days of alcohol treatment, people used to think of problems with alcohol as all-or-nothing. They used to believe there was something different about people who had problems with alcohol and those who didn’t. That’s how the idea of the “addictive personality” came about.
But now we think of drinking on a continuum. It goes from not drinking at all to dependent drinking. And people can move up and down that continuum at different points in their lives. The old saying "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic" doesn’t apply any more.
Watch: Your body after one year without alcohol. Post continues after video.
How much is it OK to drink?
The Australian national alcohol guidelines say healthy men and women should drink no more than ten standard drinks a week and no more than four a day. So that’s about two to three drinks three to four times a week. Most Australians drink within these guidelines.