Many people with alcohol problems cannot tell when their drinking is out of control. An important first step is to be aware of how much you are drinking and how your alcohol use may be harming your life and those around you.
One drink is defined as a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, a wine cooler, or 1 cocktail or shot of hard liquor. Think about:
Here are some ways to drink responsibly, as long as you do NOT have a drinking problem.
Healthy men up to age 65 should limit themselves to:
Healthy women up to age 65 should limit themselves to:
Healthy women of all ages and healthy men over age 65 should limit themselves to:
You can use the AUDIT-C questionnaire to help you decide if your drinking is risky.
People with risky drinking patterns are drinking more than is considered medically safe. People who are risky drinkers have a higher risk of going on to abuse alcohol and become dependent on alcohol.
Some habits of risky drinkers are drinking:
Your health care provider will advise you to cut down or even quit, and can help you begin to do this.
Alcohol abuseis a type of drinking that may affect how your life is going. If youhave any of these problems, you may be abusing alcohol.
You may also have early signs of alcohol dependence.
Some signs of alcohol dependence are that you:
If you or others are concerned about your drinking,make an appointment with your health care provider to talk about your drinking. Your health care provider can help guide you to the best treatment.
Some other resources include:
Bush K,Kivlahan DR,McDonellMB,FihnSD, Bradley KA. The AUDIT alcohol consumption questions (AUDIT-C): an effective brief screening test for problem drinking. Ambulatory Care Quality Improvement Project (ACQUIP). Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Arch Intern Med. 1998; 158(16):1789-1795.
In the clinic. Alcohol use. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Mar 3;150(5).
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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