Facts About Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance worldwide, probably because it is legal, easily obtained, and socially acceptable. We hope that this page serves as a resource for those who have questions about drinking and alcohol abuse.
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
When it comes to alcohol, everyone reacts differently. Due to genetic differences, developed tolerances, and other factors, it is hard to know how each individual will handle a set amount of this substance. With this in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) have developed guidelines for alcohol abuse.
A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer (5% ABV), 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV), and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% ABV, or 80 proof). Alcohol abuse consists of two types of consumption: binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more standard drinks in a single occasion for women and 5 for men. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is considered 8 or more drinks per week for women and 15 for men. The CDC considers moderate drinking to be one drink per day for women and two for men. Anything that exceeds this guideline puts a person at risk of alcohol abuse.
Those who should not drink any alcohol include people…
- Under the age of 21,
- Who are pregnant or may be pregnant,
- Driving or participating in skills requiring coordination,
- Taking certain medications which interact with alcohol,
- With certain medical conditions,
- Recovering from alcoholism, or who cannot control their alcohol intake.
What is an Alcohol Problem?
The phrase “alcohol problem” refers to any type of condition caused by drinking which can cause yourself or others direct harm. In other words, alcohol abuse.
Originally, these issues all had separate diagnosable criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also called the DSM-5, has done away with separate diagnoses of occasional binge drinking, dependence, and addiction. Instead, all of these issues are now categorized as alcohol use disorders, and may be ranked as mild, moderate, or severe in nature.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is an Alcoholic?
One of the most difficult things about alcohol is that this substance affects everyone differently. While some alcoholics might stumble and fall down after drinking all day, others may seem to function normally. However, certain symptoms and behavioral patterns can help you to identify alcohol abuse in a loved one, even in the earliest stages. If your friend or family member exhibits any of these signs, we encourage you to seek help.
- Excessive drinking (drinking a lot very often)
- Frequently drinking to the point of intoxication
- Risky behavior when drunk (driving, unprotected sex)
- Finding bottles and cans in hidden places (drinking in secret)
- Spending a lot of money on alcohol (financial problems)
- Failing to keep up with work, school, or relationships
- Signs of poor hygiene and advanced aging (dry skin, wrinkles, weight loss)
- Broken blood vessels on the face
- Yellowed skin and eyes
- Lingering smell of alcohol
Am I an Alcoholic?
Many people may begin to find that their drinking has changed over time. They may go from consuming alcoholic beverages socially to binge drinking at home several nights per week. It is important to catch this dependency early, before health problems arise. We encourage you to take a self-test for alcohol abuse or to contact our admissions team for a complimentary assessment.
Help for Alcohol Abuse
At Augustine Recovery, we’ve spent years helping people to find recovery from alcoholism. Our team members are standing by to help you, too. Whether you need assistance for yourself or a loved one, you can trust our compassionate staff and evidence-based treatment model. For more information, contact Augustine Recovery today.
Recovery Is One Phone Call Away
If you’re ready to face your addiction to alcohol, or if you have questions about alcohol addiction for a loved one, give us a call at (904) 217-0480. You can speak directly to one of our alcohol treatment specialists and learn more about our facility, our professional staff, alcohol treatment options, insurance, and more.