Q. I'm a 40-year-old recovering alcoholic who has not had an alcoholic drink in more than four years. Bizarrely enough, that last drink of mine was a store-brand mouthwash resembling Scope.
This last-ditch effort to resort to some form of alcohol that wasn't a "real drink" was what convinced me that I was a hopeless alcoholic. Though I had tried many times to tell myself that I could control my drinking–sometimes going months without a drink–it was that last gulp of generic Scope that finally made something click firmly in my thick skull that I should at all costs avoid drinking anything with alcohol for the rest of my days.
My life is now lovely–and I have Scope to thank, at least in a tiny part. It's pretty darned clear that only an alcoholic would drink mouthwash. If you know somebody who's doing it, you might want to very gently steer him to the nearest AA meeting. There he will meet others who, in their darkest hours, have also gulped mouthwash.
A. Thank you for sharing your story. You were smart to recognize that drinking mouthwash is a serious sign of addiction. Others may not. We heard from one grieving widow: “My husband died in February from drinking store-brand Listerine. He had been on a drinking binge for about four weeks. He walked off a loading dock.
“We're not sure yet if the fall or the mouthwash killed him. All I know is that my heart is breaking. I tried so many times to save him, but I couldn't. Drinking mouthwash is deadly. I advise anyone with this problem to PLEASE get help!”