Am I Drinking too Much? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions on alcohol

The reason why one has so many questions about alcohol is because it is a beverage that most Americans enjoy and is socially acceptable. However, years of studies have proved that drinking too much alcohol is detrimental for not only one’s physical health but also mental health. Here we take up the most frequently asked questions about alcohol and answer them for you.

What does getting high or getting drunk mean?

Getting high or drunk means that one has consumed large amounts of alcohol in a short span of time not giving the body time to metabolize the alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant. It gets promptly absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and the small intestines. As it depresses the central nervous system, it affects nearly all the organs of the body. Though the liver can metabolize alcohol, it can do so with only small amounts at a time. This means that a large amount of alcohol is left flowing freely in the bloodstream affecting brain function resulting in decreased reaction time, poor judgment, slurred speech, impaired cognitive functions and loss of balance.

How much do I drink?

According to the latest American Dietary Guidelines, men should limit themselves to two drinks per day and women to one drink per day. Not drinking at all has its own health benefits.

How do I know that I have had onedrink?

In the United States, one drink would consist of 14 grams of pure alcohol. This amount of alcohol can be found in the following:

  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol)
  • 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol content)
  • 12 ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol content)

So, if one has had any of the above, they have had one drink.

Does everyone who drink become dependent on alcohol?

Millions of people drink but not all become dependent onalcohol. Research has shown that people who are able to restrict themselves to the safe level of drinking rarely ever develop a drinking problem. More specifically, to drink safe and keep oneself at a lower risk of developing a drinking problem, men should restrict themselves to 14 drinks a week, with no more than four drinks on any particular day and women should not have more than seven drinks a week and three on any particular day.

What is the safe level of drinking?

Whilst a safe level of drinking has been determined for most adults, experts say that there is actually no safe limit of drinking. It is important to note that safety varies with circumstances and in certain conditions or on condition under which one should not drink at all. For instance, if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, if you’re driving or plan to drive, if you’re on medication, if you have a medical condition which could be adversely affected by drinking or if you’re a recovering from alcoholism. Additionally, those considered underage to drink as per the law should also not be drinking.

What constitutes excessive alcohol use?

Different patterns of drinking can contribute to excessive alcohol use. These include the following:

  • Heavy drinking: This defines a pattern of drinking more than 15 drinks a week for men and more than eight drinks for women.
  • Binge drinking: This defines a pattern of consuming more than five drinks for men and more than four drinks for women in a short span of time, that is, approximately two hours. This style of drinking raises the blood alcohol content to 0.08 percent or more.
  • Underage drinking: When people, below the legal age of drinking, consume alcohol, it is called underage drinking.
  • Drinking by special populations: Some people, like pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant, people on medication, recovering from alcohol addiction, etc. constitute special population and should refrain from consuming alcohol.

Seeking help for alcoholism

Heavy drinking, binge drinking, or alcohol-dependence is associated with numerous health concerns like liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, various cancers, and violent behavior. It is also associated with problems in relationships, financial stress, physical and cognitive impairment, substance abuse and development of some psychological disorders, like depression and anxiety leading to dual diagnosis or co-morbidity. If one notices that one is indulging in the above described behavior patterns once too often, then it is time to seek help.

If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction to alcohol or experiencing the symptoms of alcoholism, seek immediate medical assistance from Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline. Having access to the best alcohol addiction treatment centers, our representatives can help you connect with the most suitable alcohol addiction treatment program near you. Call our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts for further guidance.