How Many Drinks Per Week Are Too Many?

too many drinks per week

Recent research showed that most adults in the United States reported drinking alcohol in the previous month.[1] Many people drink alcohol as part of their daily lives. People may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, beers at a game, or after-work cocktails with co-workers. Most celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions with alcohol. 

While most people can drink in moderation, about one in three adults in the United States drinks too much, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[2] Regularly drinking too much alcohol can lead to social harm and serious health complications, including addiction. 

Many people who drink too much require professional treatment to regain control over their alcohol abuse. To get the help you need, you must understand the guidelines for moderate drinking and know how to find high-quality substance abuse treatment.

So, how many drinks per week are too many? In this article, we’ll talk about how to recognize an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and the steps you should take to get back on track. Reach out to the Moving Mountains Recovery specialists for more information about our alcoholism treatment programs. 

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to severe short and long-term health complications. Because of this, the CDC recommends limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two per day for men.[3] 

A drink is defined as:

  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% ABV)
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits like rum, vodka, and whiskey

There are various unhealthy drinking patterns, including binge and heavy drinking. The CDC defines binge drinking as having four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five for men.

Heavy drinking means drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol during a week. For women, drinking more than seven alcoholic drinks weekly is considered heavy drinking. For men, heavy drinking is defined as having 15 or more drinks in a week.

Heavy drinking has been linked to a higher risk of certain medical conditions and substantially raises a person’s risk of developing an addiction to alcohol

You must be aware of your alcohol consumption to avoid having too many drinks per week. Remember that a standard drink from a bar or restaurant could contain multiple servings of alcohol, and keep track of how much you are drinking at home. Be honest to get an accurate count of how many drinks you consume per week. 

The Dangers of Having Too Many Drinks Per Week

Regularly consuming too many drinks per week can put you at risk of severe, sometimes life-threatening consequences. Here are some of the most common dangers of heavy drinking

Risk of addiction

After a prolonged period of heavy drinking, your body may become dependent on the presence of alcohol. If you try to stop, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. While many withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, some people experience seizures, loss of consciousness, delirium, and other life-threatening symptoms. 

Health risks

Heavy drinking increases your risk of accidents and injuries due to intoxication. You are also more likely to develop heart disease, liver disease, some kinds of cancer, mental illness, high blood pressure, stroke, and other chronic conditions. 

Social harm

Heavy drinking can lead to relationship strain, job loss, and isolation from friends and family members. Drinking too much can cause changes in your behavior that test your relationships and negatively impact your community.

Damage to your appearance

Heavy drinking can stress your body and negatively affect the way you look. Alcohol prevents your body from absorbing proteins and vitamins properly, which can wreak havoc on your appearance over time. Drinking too many drinks per week can cause rapid weight gain or loss, bloating, thinning hair, dry skin, brittle nails, and premature aging. 

What Steps Can I Take if I Have Too Many Drinks Per Week?

First, you must recognize that you are drinking too much and have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Think about the four Cs of addiction:

  1. Control: Addiction takes away your sense of control over your drinking. Do you find it hard to stop drinking when you want to? Can you choose not to drink if you want?
  2. Compulsions: Addiction can make you act impulsively around alcohol. Do you feel compelled to drink, as though you have no choice? 
  3. Cravings: People with addiction may experience cravings for alcohol. Do you think about alcohol a lot and crave it when you’re not drinking?
  4. Consequences: People with addiction continue to drink despite the negative effects they face because of it. Have you experienced a health condition, accident, loss of a job or a relationship, or other negative consequences because of your drinking and are still unable to stop?

If you recognize these signs of addiction in your own behavior, you must seek addiction treatment as soon as possible. 

But even if you do not recognize any of these signs, you may still have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Regularly having too many drinks per week or engaging in another type of problematic drinking could signify that you need treatment and support to get back on track. Seek the help you need to regain control over your life before your drinking causes serious harm.

Get Help Now

At Moving Mountains Recovery, we understand the seriousness of alcohol addiction, especially since it is the most common addiction that our clients struggle with. The objective at Moving Mountains is to help clients recover in a safe and comfortable environment, with an abundance of peer and clinical support. 

We have therapies available to empower clients through their own recovery while uncovering their passion in life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Our staff is equipped and ready to help with any questions or concerns. Make the life-changing phone call today.

Contact the Moving Mountains Recovery staff today for information about our holistic alcohol rehab programs.

References:

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1120-excessive-drinking.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm
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