Knowing how many drinks are too many can be challenging since the question is complex and every individual is different. Nonetheless, there is some important information to keep in mind as you evaluate your own standing in regard to alcohol. Remember that if alcohol consumption has gotten out of your control, help is available. Contact the qualified staff at The Right Step to access quality alcohol addiction treatment through our centers in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts. We’re available at 17135283709 or via online message and look forward to connecting you to resources that can help.
How to Determine How Much Drinking Is Too Much
Firstly, it’s important to simply note that alcohol is a toxic substance. It rapidly impairs judgment, seriously taxes the liver, and can easily trigger dehydration. Moreover, chronic heavy drinking can lead to stroke, heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and digestion issues. Thus, while different individuals have varying capacities to metabolize alcohol, drinking is not truly “safe” or advisable for anyone.
Genetic factors and even psychological traits can play a role in whether or not an individual’s alcohol use turns into a pattern of addiction. Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, is known to run in families and thus has a genetic component. It can also develop as a result of untreated mental health concerns such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. For people with a generational or personal history of alcohol addiction, the answer to the question, “How many drinks are too many?” may simply be just one.
All that being said, there are some widely accepted guidelines for drinking “in moderation.” This means drinking in a way that is less likely to lead to alcohol addiction and serious physical or mental health side effects. For female-bodied people, 0-1 drink per day is the recommended limit, and for male-bodied people, 0-2 drinks per day. Examples of one standard “drink” include:
- A 12-ounce beer with 5% alcohol by volume (ABV)
- A 5-ounce glass of 12% ABV table wine
- A 1.5-ounce shot of 40% ABV distilled spirits such as gin, vodka, whisky, or tequila
Binge drinking, which raises blood alcohol concentration to .08% or higher, can be very harmful to health, addiction potential, and overall safety since it grossly inhibits both reasoning and basic physical function. Binging typically occurs at four or more drinks for female-bodied people and five or more for male-bodied people within a 2-3 hour timeframe.
What Can I Expect From an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program?
Alcohol addiction rehab starts with detoxification since meaningful behavioral change cannot begin without physical freedom from the drug. Those in detox may have withdrawal symptoms like tremors, sweating, nausea, hallucinations, rapid and irregular heart rate, hypertension, fever, and agitation. In severe cases, symptoms can go beyond very uncomfortable and be dangerous or even fatal. These cases can include seizures that can lead to choking or grievous physical injury or a condition called Delirium Tremens, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.
Because of these factors, it’s best to detox in a treatment hospital where providers can monitor your vitals and administer fluids and medication as needed. Following this crucial phase, the work of mental health recovery and behavioral change begins. Individual counseling techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy are often highly effective as they teach skills to reframe self-defeating thoughts. If a mental health concern like depression or PTSD underlies a client’s drinking, therapists will address it alongside the substance abuse diagnosis.
Group therapy is also very impactful for many in alcohol addiction recovery. Both 12-step programs and secular alternatives that provide a similar level of structure and accountability can work wonders. A non-judgmental collective space featuring reflection, support, and mutual trust can be a game-changer, whatever form it takes.
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at The Right Step
Why wait to get the help you or your loved one needs with alcohol addiction? While drinking is extremely common, it’s nonetheless problematic for millions of Americans. Learn more about your treatment options by contacting The Right Step today. Our caring team is awaiting your call at 17135283709, and you can also reach us by reaching out online.