Alcohol - drinking too much; Alcohol use disorder - drinking too much; Alcohol abuse - drinking too much; Risky drinking - cutting back
Health care providers consider you to be drinking more than is medically safe when you:
Are a healthy man up to age 65 and drink:
Are a healthy woman of all ages or a healthy man over age 65 and drink:
Watch your drinking patterns more closely and plan ahead. This can help you cut back on your alcohol use. Keep track of how much you drink and set goals.
When you are drinking:
To control how much you drink:
Make an appointment with your provider to talk about your drinking. You and your provider can make a plan for you to either stop or cut back on your drinking. Your provider will:
Ask for support from people who may be willing to listen and help, such as a spouse or significant other, or non-drinking friends.
Your place of work may have an employee assistance program (EAP) where you can seek help without needing to tell anyone at work about your drinking.
More information and support for people with alcohol problems and their families can be found at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Fact sheets: alcohol use and your health. www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm. Updated April 14, 2022. Accessed May 9, 2022.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Alcohol's effects on the body. www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohols-effects-body. Accessed May 6, 2022.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Understanding alcohol use disorder. www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-alcohol-use-disorder. Updated April 2021. Accessed May 6, 2022.
O'Connor PG. Alcohol use disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 30.
Sherin K, Seikel S, Hale S. Alcohol use disorders. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 48.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening and behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use in adolescents and adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2018;320(18):1899-1909. PMID: 30422199 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30422199/.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/29/2022
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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