Alcohol use disorder - drinking problem; Alcohol abuse - drinking problem; Alcoholism - drinking problem; Alcohol dependence - drinking problem; Alcohol addiction - drinking problem
Many people with alcohol problems cannot tell when their drinking is out of control. It is important to be aware of how much you are drinking. You should also know how your alcohol use may affect your life and those around you.
One drink equals one 12-ounce (oz), or 355 milliliters (mL), can or bottle of beer, one 5-ounce (148 mL) glass of wine, 1 wine cooler, 1 cocktail, or 1 shot of hard liquor. Think about:
Here are some guidelines for drinking alcohol responsibly, as long as you do not have a drinking problem.
Healthy men up to age 65 should limit themselves to:
Healthy women up to age 65 should limit themselves to:
Healthy women of all ages and healthy men over age 65 should limit themselves to:
Health care providers consider your drinking medically unsafe when you drink:
You may have a drinking problem if you have at least 2 of the following characteristics:
If you or others are concerned, make an appointment with your provider to talk about your drinking. Your provider can help guide you to the best treatment.
More information and support for people with drinking 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 Saunders; 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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