You might be wondering: how many drinks a day is considered an alcoholic? If that’s the case, we have got you covered. Click here!
It may surprise you to learn that there are guidelines for what is considered moderate or heavy drinking. But the condition can take on such unique characteristics based on the person experiencing it. It’s because of this that we don’t tend to talk in solid numbers all that often. The most accurate advice still tends to be: “When you, the person, become dependent, you’re drinking too often”.
But that’s very broad and a standard number could really help somebody trying to gauge their own alcohol consumption. This is why the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture wrote the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. According to guidelines, certain criteria need to be met in order for a drinker to be considered a moderate drinker or alcoholic.
Moderate drinking, as a general rule, comprises roughly one drink per day, for women, and up to two per day for men. But where do these drinks transform into something more serious? And how many drinks a day is too many?
The NIAAA defines binge drinking as any pattern of drinking that raises the blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g / dL. In more practical terms, this usually occurs after around four drinks for women, and roughly five for men, specifically about two hours.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines it more strictly. Women imbibing four or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion, and men who imbibe five, meet their standard if they do this once in a month.
Heavy Alcohol Intake
Taking things a step further, SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on five or more days in the space of a month. At this point terms like “alcoholic” become meaningful, and a doctor may suggest seeking help.
Does that mean someone drinking booze more than the above numbers of drinks is an alcoholic? Not at all. Remember, these are symptoms of a problem, not the problem itself.
There’s evidence to link a large number of drinks to a dependency problem, but even the worst cases of alcoholism are almost always different. And every success story with alcohol addiction comes down to the individual person’s treatment.
How Many Drinks a Day Is Too Many?
Hopefully, with the help of today’s article, you’ll have what you need to understand how many drinks a day are too many. Remember: even if you feel like you “handle it better” than others, consistent binge drinking is a very clear sign of a deeper alcohol problem.
With countries around the world becoming more comfortable staying at home in recent months, drinking has grown as a trend. It’s important to recognize that, quarantine or not, an addiction always plays out the same way, physically. And the lasting results of a habit built during COVID-19 could impact your life for many years to come.
Remember: hope is just around the corner, and there are professionals who are ready to bring it to you. If you are worried you may have an alcohol addiction, seek help with SAMHSA, online or at 1-800-662-4357, as soon as possible.