What is excessive alcohol use? 7 strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking!

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer. This April during Alcohol Awareness Month, Statcare Urgent Medical Care encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much. 

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, Statcare Urgent Medical Care is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

What is excessive alcohol use?

Excessive drinking includes:

  • Binge drinking: For women, binge drinking is 4 or more drinks consumed on one occasion (one occasion = 2-3 hours). For men, binge drinking is 5 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.
  • Underage drinking: Any alcohol use by those under age 21.
  • Heavy drinking: For women, heavy drinking is 8 drinks or more per week. For men, heavy drinking is 15 drinks or more per week.
  • Pregnant drinking: Any alcohol use by pregnant women

What is considered a "drink"?

U.S. standard drink sizes:

  • 12 ounces of 5% ABV beer
  • 8 ounces of 7% ABV malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of 12% ABV wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 40% ABV (80-proof) distilled spirits or liquor (examples: gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.

  • No one should begin drinking or drink more frequently based on potential health benefits
  • Up to 1 drink a day for women
  • Up to 2 drinks a day for men
  • Don't drink at all if you are under age 21, pregnant or may be pregnant, or have health problems that could be made worse by drinking

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting.

In a 2014 study of alcohol dependence among US adult drinkers, CDC researchers found that from 2006 through 2010, excessive alcohol consumption accounted for nearly 1 in 10 deaths among working-age US adults aged 20-64.

Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  1. Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  2. Keep track of how much you drink.
  3. Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  4. Don't drink when you are upset.
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  6. Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  7. Make a list of reasons not to drink.

If you are concerned about someone else's drinking, offer to help.

New York City has many free and low-cost services for those who wish to quit drinking. You can call New York City’s 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week hotline at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or visit NYC Well online.

Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: CDC