When you hear “heavy drinking,” do you wonder how small or large the quantity may be? Maybe you think heavy drinking entails a night of excessive drinks in a small amount of time or as a regular routine. With drinking at celebrations, colleges, and even regular nights out, the definition has actually ended up very commonly misunderstood.
Men and women have different guidelines when it comes to the definition of heavy drinking, because each gender has a different physique. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking for women is a weekly amount of more than seven drinks. Women are usually tinier, resulting in their bodies being affected by alcohol faster. Therefore, for men, heavy drinking is considered to be more than 15 drinks consumed in a week. Oddly enough, both numbers are far lower than what most people might have guessed. This could show that the country has a heavy drinking problem. Studies by the CDC back this up with the fact that 10% of adults from 20 to 64 years of age die as a result of having taken in too much alcohol. This statistic equates to 88,000 people, and almost three-quarters of them are men.
As with heavy drinking, many people are unaware of, or do not accurately know, the measurements of what one drink looks like. As explained by the CDC, one drink may be in the form of a 12-ounce can of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine in a glass, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. People are typically surprised at these amounts, as they view the numbers as too low. Heavy drinking has grown in society within the past two decades, which is worrisome because of the harmful consequences it can cause. Difficulties with your liver, throat, and other internal intestines can be negatively impacted by heavy drinking, but it doesn’t end there. High blood pressure, pancreatitis, risk for violent acts, and even alcoholism are possibilities for anyone who continues heavy drinking on a regular basis.
The Borderline Between Heavy Drinking and Alcoholism
When does heavy drinking turn into alcoholism? The difference between the two can be hard to see. The main aspect that separates heavy drinking from alcoholism is that alcoholism is a disease where the person has an allergy to alcohol. It is important to remember that if you cannot put the drink down, drink to numb feelings, continue drinking despite negative consequences, or physically are dependent on it, you may want to do some self-evaluating as to whether you might possibly be an alcoholic. If you are concerned that you have a heavy drinking problem or worry that alcoholism has taken over your life, call The Watershed today 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Alcoholism, disease of alcoholism, heavy drinking