If you’re the kind of person who likes to sample all the different beers at breweries and always keep a six-pack or two in the fridge, you might be concerned about alcohol dependence. Is it okay to drink a beer or two with dinner every night? What constitutes heavy drinking? What puts you at risk for alcohol addiction? To learn more about how much beer is safe to drink per day or per week, keep reading.
Alcohol Consumption Guidelines for Men and Women
When it comes to drinking alcohol, it’s important to remember that it’s a drug. It’s hard to remember sometimes, but alcohol is bad for your body and can cause lifelong damage if you drink too much on a regular basis. There are many different levels of drinking, including binge drinking, risky drinking, and heavy drinking. The alcohol consumption guidelines help educate people on their drinking habits, placing them into one (or none) of these categories based on the amount they consume in any given day or week.
For men, the guidelines are as follows. Moderate drinking is defined as two “standard” drinks or less in one day. For women, moderate drinking is defined as having one to two standard drinks in one day.
A standard drink is defined as a beverage that contains 14 grams of pure alcohol, such as one 12oz beer containing approximately 5% alcohol. By this logic, a 12oz beer that’s 10% or a 24oz beer that’s 5% would both count as two standard drinks.
For men, binge drinking is considered to be five or more drinks within two hours. Binge drinking usually occurs when going out or hanging out with friends. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks within a two-hour period. The social environment can really impact the amount that one drinks.
Heavy drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks in the span of seven days. For women, heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than 3 drinks in one day or more than seven drinks in seven days.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Dependence
If you’re worried that a loved one has developed alcohol dependence, or you’re worried about yourself, here are some warning signs to look out for.
- Temporary memory loss or blacking out
- Mood swings
- Drinking alone
- Choosing to drink over other responsibilities
- Being late or absent to/for work or school
- Making excuses for one’s drinking
- Using alcohol to relax or deal with stress
If you or someone you love has begun drinking heavily, it may be time to talk to them about treatment for their alcohol dependence. When treated in the early stages of addiction, alcohol is easier to quit. There are many options for alcohol addiction treatment, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
If someone you love is exhibiting symptoms of abuse, an intervention or conversation may be necessary to bring their addiction to light.
Treatment Options for Alcohol Addiction
Dealing with alcohol dependence or addiction can be difficult, especially if you have to go through it alone. With help from us, here at Asheville Recovery Center, you’ll never be alone. Our treatment programs, including inpatient, outpatient, and detox offer you the stability and therapy needed to get your back on your feet. We teach coping mechanisms, trigger avoidance, and so much more to help our patients get and stay sober.
To learn more about our treatment options and how we can help you, call us today to speak with an addiction specialist. You no longer have to struggle with alcoholism alone. We are here for you.