How Much Is Too Much? The Line Between Alcohol Use and Abuse

Girl Sits In A Depression On The Floor Near The Wall

What is normal when it comes to alcohol consumption? Is one glass of wine okay? What if you have a glass of wine every single night? What if you change that to a beer or a mixed drink? What if you have a cocktail before dinner, a glass of wine with your entrée, and then a digestif with dessert? How much is too much, and at what point does your level of alcohol intake translate into an alcohol use disorder?

‘Normal’ Alcohol Use

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the following is true about what is recommended in terms of “normal” or regular alcohol intake if safety is a concern:

  • Moderate drinking is defined as one drink for women and two drinks for men per day.
  • Women who drink three or fewer drinks in a two-hour period or seven over an entire week are at a low risk for developing an alcohol use disorder.
  • For men, the recommended limitation is four or fewer drinks per day and fewer than 14 drinks over the course of a week.
  • Of those who follow these directives, only about 2 percent exhibit the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder.

Bear in mind, of course, that certain circumstances or conditions require abstaining from alcohol entirely. These include:

  • Whenever you plan to drive or operate any sort of vehicle (e.g., bike, boat, etc.)
  • When you take medications that interact negatively with alcohol
  • Having an acute or chronic medical disorder that will be negatively impacted by drinking
  • Being pregnant or trying to become pregnant

Check with your doctor if you have concerns.

Alcohol Use Disorders Can Be Treated

Binge drinking, chronic drinking, alcoholism – there are various alcohol use disorders that fall on the spectrum. Each person will experience them differently, but in all, patients who are living with any alcohol use disorder will:

Does any of this sound familiar? If you feel that your drinking is causing you problems, and you are unable to stop or moderate your drinking on your own for any length of time, treatment can help. Contact us today at the number listed above and find out how Axis can help you stop drinking today.