Usage of Alcohol and Your Health

Usage of Alcohol and Your Health

Drinking excessively might be unhealthy. Between 2015 and 2019, excessive alcohol use resulted in more than 140,000 fatalities and 3.6 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually in the United States, cutting people’s lives short by an average of 26 years. Also, among persons 20 to 49 years old, 1 in 5 fatalities were related to excessive drinking. In 2010, it was projected that excessive alcohol use cost the economy $249 billion, or $2.05 per drink.

What is a typical beverage?

US standard beverage = 12 oz. beer (5% ABV), 8 oz. malt liquor (7% ABV), 5 oz. wine (12% ABV), and 1.5 oz. 80-proof (40% ABV). distilled alcohol A typical beverage in the US has 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol in it. This much pure alcohol is typically found in


  • beer with a 12-ounce serving (5% alcohol).
  • malt liquor (8 ounces; 7% alcohol by volume).
  • 12% alcohol in 5 ounces of wine.
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor with an alcohol concentration of 80 percent (40%) (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).

What does binge drinking entail?

Binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by women who are pregnant or who are under the age of 21 are all examples of excessive drinking.

  • The most typical type of excessive drinking, known as binge drinking, is described as ingesting
  1. For females, four or more drinks in one sitting.
  2. For males, five or more drinks in one sitting.


  • The definition of heavy drinking is taking in
  1. For females, 8 drinks or more per week.
  2. For males, 15 drinks or more per week.

The majority of heavy drinkers are not alcoholics or alcohol addicts.

What is drinking in moderation?

drinking in moderation, which is defined as no more than one drink for women and two for males per day, or not drinking at all. On days when alcohol is consumed, adults of legal drinking age should restrict their intake to 2 drinks or fewer for males and 1 drink or less for women, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Guidelines also advise against the consumption of alcohol by those who do not currently consume it for whatever reason, and they advise against excessive alcohol consumption among those who are of legal drinking age.


Some individuals should not use alcohol, including those who are:

  • less than 21 years old.
  • Maybe pregnant or pregnant.
  • Driving, making plans to drive, or engaging in other tasks that call for coordination, skill, and attentiveness.
  • taking specific over-the-counter or prescription drugs that may interact with alcohol.
  • having specific medical conditions.
  • recovering from alcoholism or struggling to limit their drinking.

Hazards to Short-Term Health

The risk of numerous dangerous health disorders rises immediately as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. They include the following and are most frequently brought about by excessive drinking:


  • injuries caused by falls, drownings, car accidents, and burns.
  • Violence, such as murder, suicide, sexual assault, and violence against intimate partners.
  • A medical emergency caused by excessive blood alcohol levels is alcohol poisoning.
  • risky sexual practices, such as having sex without protection or with several partners. These actions have the potential to lead to unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted illnesses, such as HIV. 12,13
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) or stillbirth and miscarriage in pregnant women.

Hazards to Long-Term Health

Chronic diseases and other major issues, such as the following, can develop over time as a result of heavy alcohol usage.

  • digestion issues, liver illness, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Cancer of the rectum, liver, colon, mouth, throat, esophagus, and breast.
  • Immune system deterioration increases the likelihood of getting sick.
  • issues with memory and learning, including dementia, and low academic achievement.
  • mental health issues, such as anxiety and sadness.
  • Social issues, such as those involving the family, the workplace, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorders.

You can lessen your chance of developing these short- and long-term health hazards by avoiding drinking excessively.


Drinking guidelines

Although there isn’t a completely risk-free method to drink, following these guidelines can help minimize some of the risks:

  1. Don’t forget to eat. To slow down the onset of intoxication, avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  2. Take in a lot of water. Make an effort to drink one glass of water for every standard beverage you consume.
  3. Don’t move too quickly. To allow your body enough time to digest the alcohol, sip carefully. One ounce of alcohol can be broken down by your liver each hour.
  4. Avoid combining with other drugs. Caffeine might mask alcohol’s depressive effects, encouraging you to consume more alcohol than you otherwise could. You might feel more aware if you drink coffee to “sober up,” but you might also be more likely to try to drive after drinking and make a mistake. Alcohol and other drugs can interact negatively.
  5. Avoid drinking and driving. Don’t ever drink and drive. You might still have alcohol in your system, which can slow down your reaction time, even if you feel like you’ve sobered up.


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