Author: James Anderson

How to Figure Out if Moderate Drinking Is Too Risky for You

moderate drinking

To understand how much alcohol is too much, it may be helpful to know the definitions of excessive drinking. However, it’s important to keep in mind that naltrexone will not prevent you from becoming inebriated or drunk from alcohol. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover alcohol misuse screening and counseling. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking. Learn more about how Ria’s program works, or talk with us by scheduling a call today.

The Guidelines also note that not drinking alcohol also is the safest option for women who are lactating. Women considering consuming alcohol during lactation should talk to their healthcare provider.4 Learn more about breastfeeding and alcohol use. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more. Drinking too much alcohol too frequently is unhealthy and can lead to liver disease, weight gain, and alcohol use disorder (AUD).

How do I know if it’s okay to drink?

If you are concerned that either you or someone in your family might have a drinking problem, consult your personal health care provider. The legal limit for drinking is the alcohol level above which a person is subject to legal penalties (e.g., arrest or loss of a driver’s license). Decide how many days a week you’ll drink and how much you’ll drink on those days. It’s also a good idea to have some days when you don’t drink at all.

  1. Knowing your personal risk based on your habits can help you make the best decision for you.
  2. For women, this typically happens after about four drinks in two hours.
  3. Gallstones and type 2 diabetes are also less likely to occur in moderate drinkers than in individuals who drink no alcohol at all.
  4. Technically, the only truly safe level of drinking is not drinking at all.
  5. However, it may take some time before you feel like yourself again.

Repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure. Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, any alcohol use by people under the age 21 minimum legal drinking age, and any alcohol use by pregnant women. “The fundamental issue is who is in the comparison group,” says psychiatrist Sarah Hartz of Washington University in St. Louis. In 2018, when Hartz and her colleagues compared thousands of moderate and very light drinkers (one or two drinks per week), the advantages of moderate consumption basically disappeared. By 2022 the World Heart Federation stated that alcohol did not protect people. These risks seem to cancel out evidence of alcohol’s cardiovascular benefits, which was weakened anyway when researchers did more nuanced studies.

Science around Moderate Alcohol Consumption

And according to the WHO, half of cancers in Europe linked to alcohol are caused by “light” or “moderate” consumption. If you don’t drink alcohol, there’s no reason to start. If you choose to drink, having only a moderate (limited) amount can lower your risk for health problems caused by drinking. Some people shouldn’t drink at all, like people younger than 21 years, people who are pregnant or might be pregnant, and people with certain health conditions.

moderate drinking

Find a health center near you and ask about alcohol misuse screening and counseling. Talk with a doctor or nurse if you’re having a hard time cutting back on your drinking. Planning ahead can help you manage situations when you might be tempted to drink too much. Think ahead about how to say “no” if someone offers you a drink. Keeping track of each drink may help you drink less overall. You can also make notes in your smartphone to keep track of your drinks.

Risks of moderate alcohol use

Scientific American maintains a strict policy of editorial independence in reporting developments in science to our readers. Heavy drinking also has been linked to intentional injuries, such as suicide, as well as accidental injury and death. Drinking alcohol is a health risk regardless of the amount. People who have had problems with alcohol in the past may want to consult a doctor or therapist for help regulating their behaviors around drinking. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor.

Knowing your personal risk based on your habits can help you make the best decision for you. When you stop drinking alcohol entirely, even as a moderate drinker, you allow your body and mind a chance to heal. However, it may take some time before you feel like yourself again. Moderate drinking differs between men and women, according to health authorities like the CDC and NIAAA. The effects of alcohol consumption can also differ greatly based on a person’s physical composition, regardless of sex or gender identity.

What health problems are associated with excessive alcohol use?

But good evidence shows that drinking high amounts of alcohol are clearly linked to health problems. Drinking alcohol in excess can negatively impact your health, including almost every part of your body. High alcohol consumption is not considered safe, and has the potential to damage vital organs, as well as affect your behavior and mood. The opposite of moderate drinking is either heavy drinking or binge drinking. Binge drinking is behavior that raises blood alcohol levels to 0.08%.

Weight gain is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Alcohol may interact with certain blood pressure medications. It may affect the level of the medication in the body or increase side effects. Drinking moderately if you’re otherwise healthy may be a risk you’re willing to take.

That usually means four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men. Many people drink alcohol as a personal preference, during social activities, or as a part of cultural and religious practices. People who choose not to drink make that choice for the same reasons.