People drink alcohol all of the time. It’s a substance that is legal and consumed daily by thousands of people. Are binge drinkers alcoholics? Are heavy drinkers alcoholics? Is everyone an alcoholic? How much is too much?
It’s impossible to know if you’re going to fall in the loop hole of addiction until it actually happens. Sure, you can take some guesses, write down the probabilities. Is there a history of drug or alcohol addiction in your family? Are you about to consume something highly addictive? Are you educated on alcohol, drugs, and addiction? Addiction is a chronical disease that anyone can have. It can start at any age, but most of the time addiction starts before the age of 18. Is there an alcohol limit we should be standing against? Is there such thing as too much alcohol? How much is too much alcohol, when you’re binge drinking or if you’re an alcoholic?
We are in a society that encourages alcohol and drinking. When you’re 12 or 13 and you see your mom pour Captian Morgan in her diet coke, you want that too. When you see your dad get a beer from the fridge, you start wondering what it tastes like. Or you overhear your older sister on the phone talking about a party tonight. Inside your young and immature mind, you want to be an adult. You want to go to parties and have mixed drinks. You want to have a beer with Dad and go to the liquor store.
When you’re finally of age, the first thing on your mind is having your first legal drink and buying booze at the store. You can’t wait to go bar hopping later that night and get shit faced with all your of-age friends. This is normal, right?
Binge Drinking vs. Alcoholics
Many people would consider those who binge drink to be alcoholics, but it’s actually not true. Most binge drinkers aren’t alcoholics.
Binge drinking is defined by drinking more than four (for women) or five (for men) drinks in about a two-hour time span. But a lot of people who do binge drink are at local dive bars or a holiday party with their friends.
Alcoholics are defined by drinking more than one glass a day (for women) or more than two glasses (for men). It can also mean more than 7 glasses (for women) or more than 14 glasses (for men) per week. This much drinking can be harmful to you and to others around, and it’s important to understand the dangers of drinking too much. How much is too much?
Tolerance- Drinking more alcohol in order to get buzzed or get drunk.
Physical dependence– When tolerance is created, alcoholics create a dependency with booze and need to continue drinking so they don’t experience painful withdrawal.
Cravings- When you are drinking alcohol, you just want more of it. When you’re not drinking, you crave it and can’t wait until you can put your hands on a glass again.
Compulsive drinking- Once alcoholics begin drinking alcohol, they cannot stop. They want more and more. They can never have just one drink.
How Much is Too Much?
Someone who moderately drinks should drink up to 1 glass a day for women and 2 glasses for men. It’s also highly recommended that you don’t start drinking if you don’t already.
Is Beer or Wine Safer Than Liquor?
One is not safer than the other. A bottle of beer, a mixed drink, and a shot contain almost the same amount of alcohol. It’s the amount of alcohol consumed by the person that matters, not the kind of drink the have.
You Should Not Drink Alcohol if…
-You are pregnant or may be pregnant
-If you struggle with addiction/can’t control the amount you drink
-If you’re taking certain prescriptions that interfere with alcohol
-People with certain medical conditions
-Anyone who is planning to drive or start an activity that requires coordination or skill
-Anyone under 21 years old
How do you Know if you Have a Drinking Problem?
If you feel like you’re consumption of alcohol is affecting your health, education, family, relationships, or social activities, it might be time to seek help. You could also be fully functioning and exceeding in life, but drink constantly; might want to seek help as well.