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Assess Your Drinking Habits: How Many Is Too Much?

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Alcohol is a large part of American culture. Champagne is the staple for joyful celebrations, red wine for a romantic evening, beer for sporting events, liquor and spirits for cocktail evenings, and “drinkers choice” for a way to relax after a long day. In general, there are not too many circumstances where alcohol is unwelcome. An increase in alcohol consumption is not only obvious in social realms, but also in the rise of alcohol related illnesses. Studies show that people with poor drinking habits may be misinformed about how their personal alcohol consumption, and it could affect their long term health.

Drinking In Moderation

According to a study done this year by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 11 percent of women and 18 percent of men are exceeding what is recommended to remain in good health. Experts believe the cause of over-consumption is people are generally incorrect about what it means to “drink in moderation,” therefore remain ignorant to the consequences of their behavior. Before examining your own drinking habits, it’s important to know how to accurately analyze them. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that women should stick to one drink per day, and men should remain at 2. One drink is considered 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.

How Much Are You Drinking?

Examining your own drinking habits helps to assess if you are putting yourself in danger of negative health risks. Ask yourself how many alcoholic beverages you drink in a given week. Think about drinks consumed at a company lunch, cocktails with friends, a glass to take the edge off of a long day, or nights of more heavy drinking on the weekends. Then, think about how long you have been drinking that way.

How Can Alcohol Be Effecting My Health?

While moderation is good, it is important to be informed of implications alcohol has even for well-meaning and responsible adults. The recommended numbers are not just given to avoid addiction to alcohol, but to keep you healthy in general. Too much alcohol increases the risk of breast, liver, mouth, and throat cancer. It also can severely damage the liver and lead to mood, psychological, and skin disorders. Also, alcohol increases blood sugar levels that can lead to weight gain and diabetes. Alcohol affects everyone differently. The onset of these issues might reveal themselves long into the future, but they also could also show up suddenly. If you believe you are at risk of developing an alcohol related disease, it’s not too late. You can change your habits, or go see a medical professional.

If you believe you may have already developed an alcohol dependency and want to get help, The Watershed has the programs you need to give you the life you deserve. Click “play” below to here from Sayan; one of our nurses who has helped countless patients assess their addictions and find healing.


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