Alcohol Abuse Signs and Symptoms
It can be hard to tell if someone has been drinking alcohol. If someone shows one or more of the following warning signs, they may have a problem with alcohol.
The USDA defines moderate drinking as:
Two alcoholic drinks
a day for men
One alcoholic drink
a day for women
It's important to note that alcohol effects each person differently based on factors that can include weight, general health and family health history. Even within the USDA moderate drinking definition, alcohol abuse can occur if it is consumed too quickly or if other underlying issues exist. Men and women should know the USDA guidelines and consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
Quick Facts About Alcohol
One drink can make you fail a breath test. In some states, people under age 21 can lose their driver's license, be subject to a heavy fine or have their car permanently taken away.
- Alcohol is a drug. Mixing it with any other drug can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol and acetaminophen--a common ingredient in OTC pain and fever reducers--can damage your liver. Alcohol mixed with other drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, fainting, heart problems and difficulty breathing. Mixing alcohol and drugs also can lead to coma and death.
- Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, because it reduces brain activity. If you are depressed before you start drinking, alcohol can make you feel worse.
- Beer and wine are not "safer" than liquor. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half-cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcohol can make you drunk and cause you problems no matter how you consume it.