How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
Alcohol is a readily available, popular substance viewed as very socially acceptable. Many people partake in multiple alcoholic drinks a week, whether a glass of wine to wind down after a stressful day or happy hour drinks with coworkers. But at what point is drinking a problem, and what are the warning signs of alcoholism?
In the U.S., the standard drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirit. Remember that drinks can vary in alcohol content. For example, an India Pale Ale (IPA) has more alcohol content than a Bud Light beer.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services dietary guidelines, moderate drinking involves up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Problematic drinking includes heavy binge, alcoholism, and alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking, according to SAMHSA, is defined as four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men within a couple of hours. Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking on five or more days in the past month. Heavy drinking and binge drinking can lead to several health effects and medical conditions, including liver damage. Alcoholism affects your work, relationships, and mental health as well.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is also known as alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. More appropriately, it is referred to as an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder occurs when the body develops a dependency on alcohol or alcohol addiction. Those with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when heavy drinking has caused negative consequences such as destroying relationships or losing a job.
Tell Tale Signs of Alcoholism
Alcohol addiction does not just happen over it. It slowly builds and can sneak up on anyone. Recognizing alcoholism early on helps avoid more negative consequences and increases the likelihood of successful alcohol addiction and alcohol and drug rehab. Common symptoms and signs of alcohol use disorder include:
- Building tolerance, having to drink more to feel the effects
- Drinking alone
- Not eating or not eating properly
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Making excuses to drink
- Continue to drink even though it has caused social, legal, or economic problems
- Consuming more than you planned to
- Missing work or school because of heavy drinking
- Unable to cut back or stop drinking on your own, failed attempts at stopping drinking
- Becoming angry or irritated when asked about drinking habits and alcohol dependence
- Giving up social activities or hobbies once enjoyed because of alcohol abuse
- Lapses in memory from binge drinking (blacking out)
- Tremors after a night of alcohol abuse
- Alcohol cravings
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
How to Get Help for Alcoholism
There are several ways to get help for alcohol abuse disorders, including alcohol rehab, and addiction treatment varies from person to person. You can contact trusted loved ones about your alcohol abuse issues, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or call an addiction treatment center. If alcohol abuse is severe, it is highly recommended you get help through an alcohol detox program first. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be dangerous and even fatal. Still, through medical alcohol detox, addiction professionals and medical personnel can give you medication-assisted treatment to ensure your safety and comfort through alcohol withdrawal and treat physical parts of alcohol addiction. Alcohol rehab may be necessary to address the psychological and behavioral side of alcohol addiction through counseling, behavioral health therapy, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, sober living homes, and relapse prevention with new coping skills.
Alcohol Treatment Programs at Novo Detox
If you feel your excessive drinking has gotten out of control, Novo Detox can help you break the hold of alcohol addiction through our alcohol detox and inpatient rehab. Our luxury treatment facility offers evidence-based addiction treatment and holistic alcohol treatment to treat the root causes of substance abuse. If you are worried about symptoms of an alcohol use disorder, please do not hesitate to contact us at (844) 834-1777. Our addiction professionals are available to answer any questions about the treatment you may have.