What is Considered Alcohol Abuse? When is it Simply Binge Drinking?
How much is too much? That’s a question we ask when behavior is affected by the consumption of alcohol. People behave differently when they drink alcoholic beverages, and sometimes they drink so much they risk a dangerous result. There are certain factors that affect the way people react to alcohol. Are there signs that tell us what is considered alcohol abuse?
- The amount of alcohol consumed
- How regularly alcohol is consumed
- Age of the drinker
- Physical health of the drinker
- The drinker’s family history
From the moment you take the first sip, the alcohol is entering your blood stream. Within 10 minutes the first effects appear, but what is considered alcohol abuse? You are considered to be abusing alcohol if the following apply:
- You drink daily even though it affects your health.
- You occasionally drink excessively.
- You started drinking when you are underage.
- You drink in situations where alcohol consumption poses a danger to yourself and others, such as driving.
- You drink while using other substances, such as marijuana.
- You drink even when you know you are upsetting people who care about you.
- You drink at unacceptable times, occasions, and places.
- Your drinking is affecting your job, your finances, your family obligations, and your relationships.
Although alcohol abusers are not technically alcoholics, but it is likely a dependence will develop as a result of their reckless drinking habits and negative consequences. The body is addicted when the drinker experiences strong cravings when they haven’t been drinking for several hours. Once the person crosses the line of what is considered alcohol abuse to dependency, it’s nearly impossible to go back without some professional treatment. Alcohol abusers may experience any or all of the following:
- Diminished inhibitions (leads to risky actions)
- Slurred speech
- Impaired motor skills (dangerous if person decides to drive)
- Frequent confusion
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty breathing
- Atypical behavior
How Much Is Too Much Alcohol Per Week?
How much is too much alcohol per week is not something the drinker can decide. Age, medication, and health factors all play a part in determining whether an alcoholic beverage is friend or foe to your well-being. If you have any health issues, discuss your drinking with your doctor. He or she can tell you exactly what amount is okay for you to consume or if you should abstain. The American Heart Association recommends a healthy man should limit his consumption to a maximum of 2 drinks per day, and a healthy woman should have no more than one. Health risks indicate abstinence is the best course for certain people.
- People with high blood pressure
- People taking blood thinners
- People with balance problems
- People with heart disease
- People with diabetes
- People on medications
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has determined that binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings blood alcohol levels (BAC) to 0.08g/dL. This level is usually reached after four drinks for women and five drinks for men have been consumed over a two-hour period. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) considers people following this pattern at least once a month as binge drinkers. SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking five or more times in a 30 day period.
Definition Of Alcohol Abuse
The simple definition of alcohol abuse is the use of it to excess when binge drinking occasionally or as a regular habit. People who come home from work and consume several drinks before bedtime are abusing alcohol. One drink can be considered the legal definition of alcohol abuse for a person who is underage or a pregnant woman. It can also be considered abuse for a person with health problems.
Don’t put off getting help if you or a loved one are abusing alcohol. You may not have realized until recently that you are going down a road that can destroy your future. Get help now. A simple phone call will connect you to a professional that can direct you to the right rehab facility. Take action now, and get your life back on track. Call 1-800-429-7690 today.