How Much Drinking Is Too Much?
Experts are no longer categorizing alcoholics just by the fact that they drink so much alcohol that it
affects their lives but now alcoholism can be divided into varying degrees of alcoholism. Experts are now defining
alcohol use by the level of harm the alcohol is causing. Alcohol is a drug that affects a persons mind, body, and
spirit. Although, alcohol is a legal drug, addiction is a common problem and carries with it a multitude of social
and psychological issues.
Using these new categories, it is possible to get help for the alcoholics at earlier stages. For definition
purposes the term "one drink" is referring to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 90-proof
Moderate drinking particularly red wine appears to offer health benefits. Moderate drinking is defined as equal
to or less than two drinks a day for men and equal to or less than one drink a day for women.
Hazardous (Heavy) Drinking:
Hazardous drinking puts people at risk for adverse health effects. People who are heavy drinkers generally
consume the following:
- More than 14 drinks per week or 4-5 drinks at one sitting for men.
- More than seven drinks per week or three drinks at one sitting for women.
- Frequent intoxication in either men or women.
Drinking is considered harmful when alcohol consumption has actually caused physical or psychological harm. This
is determined by the following:
- There is clear evidence that alcohol is responsible for harm to the person.
- The nature of the harm can be identified.
- Alcohol consumption has been persistent for at least a month and has occurred regularly for at least a
- The person is not alcohol dependent.
People who fall into the category of alcohol abuser have one or more of the following alcohol related problems
over a period of one year:
- Failure to fulfill work or personal obligations.
- Recurrent use in potentially dangerous situations.
- Problems with the law.
- Continued use despite harm being done in social or personal relationships.
People who are alcohol dependent have three or more of the following alcohol related
problems over a period of one year.
- Increased amounts of alcohol needed to produce an effect.
- Withdrawal symptoms.
- Drinking more than intended.
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut down.
- Giving up significant work or leisure activities.
- Continued drinking in spite of knowledge of its harmful affects on self and others.
People who drink excessively are continually unsuccessful in their attempts to quit or detoxify themselves. The
cravings and withdrawal symptoms are too severe and can include intense anxiety, shakiness, hot and cold flashes,
and nausea. Alcohol addiction and drinking too much can affect anyone and does not discriminate based on age, race,
or circumstances. Alcohol addiction is a treatable disease, but the person who is seeking treatment must be willing
to give it up entirely. Trying to treat alcohol addiction without the help of professionals is typically
unrealistic but getting quality treatment can have great rewards of sobriety in the end.
This article is to be used for information purposes
only. It is not a diagnosis, treatment or cure for alcoholism or any other physical, emotional or mental disorder.
You should always consult a health professional for proper diagnosis, treatment or cure for any physical, emotional
or mental disorder.