What to watch for the next time you’re drinking
Many people don’t realize how much alcohol is actually in their drink they order at the bar or at a restaurant, and not knowing can cause problems. Being aware of what you can handle and how much you are drinking can not only keep you out of trouble, it can help prevent any health issues related to healthy drinking.
A Standard Drink
There is a very clear definition of what a standard drink is, and many people may not know what that is. The definition of a standard drink is “any drink that has 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol.” However, the actual amount of alcohol may be wildly different depending on what drink you order and even where you order it. Below is a quick guide as to what makes a standard drink.
- Beer – 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol)
- Malt Liquor – 8-9 fluid ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol)
- Wine – 5 fluid ounces of table wine (12% alcohol), and 3-4 fluid ounces of fortified wine (17% alcohol)
- Cordial – 2-3 fluid ounces of cordial (24% alcohol)
- Brandy – 1.5 fluid ounces of brandy (40% alcohol)
- Spirits – 1.5 fluid ounces of hard liquor (40% alcohol)
As you can see, the amount you can drink for each kind of alcohol varies greatly. Many of these drinks may have more or less alcohol in them, so it is important to keep that in mind when drinking.
You also need to be aware of the volume of the drink – mixed drinks at bars and restaurants may have the equivalent of multiple drinks in them, although it may seem like you are drinking only one. Always be aware of what is in your drink and how much of it you are drinking.
Low Risk vs. High Risk Drinking Habits
As there are clear definitions as to what standard drinks are, there are very clear definitions of what low risk and high risk drinking means. For men, low risk drinking means that you have no more than four drinks on any given day, and no more than fourteen drinks in a single week. In order to be at low risk drinking, it is important to follow both of these guidelines, not one or the other.
For women the numbers are slightly smaller. Low risk drinking means no more than three drinks on any given day, and no more than seven drinks in a single week. Again, to stay at low risk, you need to follow both of these guidelines.
While these drinking habits help keep you safe, it certainly does not eliminate the risks of drinking. If someone drinks too quickly, has other health issues, or are elderly, these guidelines may still pose some risks. Be aware of what you can handle if you can drink at all, and always be aware of how much you are drinking.
There are instances when you should not drink at all, including when you’re taking prescription medications, have a medical condition that may be worsened by alcohol, if you are planning to drive, if you’re underage, and if you’re pregnant.
High risk drinking (also known as heavy drinking) is fairly easy to understand if you already know what low risk drinking is – anything over four drinks a day or fourteen per week for men and anything over three drinks a day or seven a week for women constitutes high risk drinking.
The Risks of Drinking
There are plenty of risks that come along with drinking, especially if you are a heavy drinker. While light drinking is good for the heart, heavy drinking can cause a wide range of issues.
Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the United States, and drinking heavily on a regular basis can quickly lead to alcohol dependency. Alcoholism not only impacts the person that chooses to drink, it impacts everyone around them.
Birth defects are also another side effect of drinking, which is why you should not drink if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. Alcohol can greatly hinder the development of the baby and may cause serious brain defects.
Aside from alcohol dependency, heavy drinking can cause many other health problems. People who drink heavily on a regular basis are at a much higher risk for heart disease, stroke, depression, sleep disorders, and many other serious health issues.
At Meridian Treatment Solutions, we provide the best treatment possible in a world class alcohol rehab facility. We have the support you need in a comfortable facility. If you or someone you love has an alcohol dependency, be sure to get in touch with us today to get them the help they deserve. Alcohol abuse is a problem that we can help fix together.