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When Does Drinking Become a Problem?

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When Does Drinking Become a ProblemAbout 2 billion people across the world consume alcoholic drinks.  Drinking becomes a problem when over-consumed. Consumption can harm health as well as social relationship, but the nature and the severity of the effects depend on both the amount of alcohol consumed over time, and the pattern of drinking.

Some people have been heavy drinkers for many years. But, over time, the same amount of alcohol packs a more powerful punch. Other people develop a drinking problem later in life. Sometimes this is a result of major life changes like death of dear friends or a loved one, moving to a new home, or failing health.

These kinds of changes can cause loneliness, boredom, anxiety, or depression. In fact, depression in older adults often goes along with drinking too much.

One drink is equal to one of the following:

  • One 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer, ale, or wine cooler
  • One 8- or 9-ounce can or bottle of malt liquor
  • One 5-ounce glass of red or white wine
  • One 1.5-ounce shot glass of distilled spirits like gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey. The label on the bottle will say 80 proof or less.

It is helpful to understand the “standard” drink sizes in order to follow health guidelines. However, it also is important to keep in mind that drinks may be stronger than you think they are if the actual serving sizes are larger than the standard sizes.

Reasons to stop drinking. Check off any reasons that sounds true for you.

  • I want to be healthy by keeping my high blood sugar under (diabetes) control.
  • I want to lower my blood pressure.
  • I want to keep my liver working right.
  • I don’t want to hurt anyone by driving after I’ve been drinking.
  • I don’t want to fall and hurt myself.
  • I want to stop feeling embarrassed about how I act when drinking.
  • I want to live longer.
  • I really wanted to change for the better.

Making change in your drinking habits can be hard. If you don't reach your goal for the first time, don’t give up!

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global