Drinking too much can be harmful to your health. Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent. The CDC says, excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking, which is defined as five or more drinks on an occasion (within two or three hours) for men, and four or more drinks on an occasion (within two or three hours) for women. There are other forms of excessive alcohol use including heavy drinking (15 or more drinks a week for men, eight or more drinks a week for women). Excessive alcohol use leads to more than 95,000 deaths each year in the United States.
Excessive alcohol use increases the risk for violence, injuries, and motor vehicle crashes. It can also increase the risk of long-term health issues such as liver disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and birth defects.
- The CDC recommends:
- Adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting the intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women.
- There are some people who should not drink any alcohol, including those who are:
- Younger than age 21.
- Pregnant or may be pregnant.
- Driving, planning to drive, or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
- Taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications.
- Experiencing certain medical conditions.
- Recovering from alcoholism or are unable to control the amount they drink.
- Make sure you can practice recommended social distancing if you consider visiting bars, nightclubs, and other locations where people gather and drink alcohol.
According to the CDC here are the Basics of substance use:
- Stress during a pandemic can contribute to increased use of prescription medications, non-prescription medications, illegal drugs, or a return to use after remission.
- Anyone who uses opioids or illegal drugs can become addicted to them.
- Different drugs can have different adverse effects. For example, taking too many opioids can stop a person’s breathing—leading to death.