Drinking Every Day

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The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) [1] offers the following guidelines on drinking every day. Their definitions are:

  • Moderate Drinking: 1 drink every day for women and up to 2 drinks every day for men. 

  • Binge Drinking: 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men, in a period of around 2 hours. 

  • Heavy Drinking: Binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month. 

A man is considered to be at risk for developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) if he drinks 4 drinks in one day or up to 14 drinks every week. A woman is considered to be at risk for developing AUD if she has 3 drinks on any single day and up to 7 drinks per week.


Information For Those Drinking Every Day

Men and women are not equal when it comes to consuming alcohol.  Women absorb alcohol into their bloodstream much faster than men. They also metabolize it at a slower rate. Women who drink regularly are at a much greater risk for liver disease than men. More female alcoholics die from cirrhosis of the liver than males.

Regardless of gender, alcohol enters directly into your bloodstream and affects every system in the body. For men, excessive drinking can cause a decreased amount of testosterone and can cause impotence. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant for both men and women. The small intestine rapidly absorbs alcohol, and it enters the bloodstream. Peak blood alcohol levels occur 60 to 90 minutes after ingestion on an empty stomach.

Facts about Drinking Alcohol Regularly

  • Binge drinking is more common for women than men.
  • You are classified as a light drinker if you have 3 or fewer drinks per week.
  • 5% of adults [2] are classified as heavy drinkers. This means 7 or more drinks per week for women and 14 or more per week for men.
  • 20% of adults had more than 5 drinks per day at least once in the last year.


What Drinking Every Day Does To Your Body


There are notable differences between casual drinking and having problems with alcoholism. It is important to remember that alcoholism takes many forms and there is no stereotype. So how to tell the difference between daily drinking with a friend and having an actual alcohol addiction?

Having a few drinks with friends, or a glass of wine at dinner does not mean you have an alcohol addiction. Furthermore, there is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. The term alcoholism is an addiction where the individual has a physical or psychological need to consume alcohol. Abuse is a pattern of behavior where someone drinks in excess despite the consequences. It is important to distinguish between the different types of drinking.

Men who are under the age of 65 and have more than 14 drinks in one week are considered heavy drinkers. Women of any age, or men over the age of 65, who consume more than 3 drinks a day or more than 7 a week, are considered heavy drinkers. Binge drinkers are those who drink large amounts of alcohol in one sitting. Men who have 5 or more drinks in 2 hours, or women who have 4 or more in 2 hours, are considered binge drinkers.

Are You An Alcoholic if You Drink Every Day?

If you are unsure which category you fit into, and you’re trying to determine whether you have an alcohol problem, there are signs which may help you determine if you are an alcoholic or are in danger of becoming one. These include:

  • Find yourself neglecting responsibilities or with a substandard performance at work or at school

  • Not paying attention to family members or not meeting commitments because you are drunk or hungover

  • Driving while intoxicated 

  • Mixing alcohol with medication

  • Putting your life or the life of others in danger

  • Using alcohol as a way to de-stress and relax every day, especially after an argument or particularly stressful situation

  • Drinking even though you know it upsets your spouse or family members, and fighting with those who criticize you for your drinking habits

It is normal to have a few occasional drinks with friends and family to de-stress. However, if you become physically or emotionally dependent on drinking alcohol every day to relieve your stress, you may have a problem. If you find that you are constantly thinking about your next drink, and you’ve tried to limit your drinking but never succeeded, you may be addicted.

Alcohol is a drug, and alcoholism arises as you develop a tolerance. The more you drink, the less you become susceptible to its effects. It’s important to know what happens when you drink alcohol every day. If you drink repetitively, the body begins to expect alcohol to be present in your system. This leads to alcohol withdrawal syndrome which is when the body reacts to a lack of alcohol in the bloodstream.

I Drink Every Night, Am I An Alcoholic?!


There’s no need to panic. Now that you know more of the facts, you can objectively look at your patterns of behavior when it comes to drinking. Identify your drinking habits and decide if the amount of alcohol you consume daily is at an unhealthy level. If it is, you may be a binge drinker or you are not using good judgment when it comes to your alcohol consumption. Try modifying your drinking habits, if you can do so easily.

If modifying or cutting back on your alcohol consumption is difficult, you may be likely to have an alcohol addiction. The staff at Avenues Recovery have years of combined experience working with and helping recovering addicts. If you find your daily drinking spiraling out of control, get help now before it becomes an addiction. 

Contact Avenues Recovery 24/7 for advice, support, and guidance to start your journey toward recovery and sobriety. You deserve better than a life of addiction.

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[1] niaaa.nih.gov

[2] www.cdc.gov

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