Take a minute to stop and think about your drinking habits.
There’s nothing wrong with having a drink now and then, but if you drink frequently, make sure you aren’t harming your health or risking your future for a short-lived pleasure.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. A standard drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
Anything beyond that is considered excessive, which increases a person’s immediate risk for injuries, motor vehicle crashes, violence and alcohol poisoning.
Excessive drinking is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths every year among U.S. adults. [Source: cdc.gov]
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems and several types of cancer. It can also result in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, work problems and alcohol dependence.
Binge drinking—consuming 4–5 or more drinks within 2 hours—is the most common form of excessive drinking and happens when a person’s blood alcohol concentration dangerously reaches 0.08 or above.
1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drinks about once a week, consuming around seven drinks per binge. [Source: cdc.gov]
Most people who drink excessively or binge drink are not always alcoholics or alcohol dependent—and can reduce these short- and long-term health risks, simply by not drinking too much.
Here’s how you can be alcohol aware:
- Choose not to drink excessively— and encourage others to drink responsibly, too.
- Take a closer look at drinking and your health at RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.
- Discuss your typical drinking patterns with your doctor.
- Talk to a professional counselor, if you find it difficult to control how much you drink. Search for a provider on regence.com or use MDLIVE to schedule a virtual appointment.