Nobody moves towards addiction of their own free will; it is just that they lose control over their consumption over time and fall in a lethal trap. However, before hitting rock bottom, those slipping into addiction should ask: how much of something is too much? It is when you do not know where to draw the line that addiction gets hold of you. The most common case of crossing the line happens with alcohol as too many people go from social drinking to addiction without realizing that they are doing so.
So, how much alcohol in a day is really too much to get your warning bells ringing?
What Determines Appropriate Alcohol Consumption Levels
Every individual reacts to alcohol in their own way. A lot of individual factors like weight, height, medical history and gender play a role in how much alcohol a person can take without becoming vulnerable to addiction. Other lifestyle factors, like how much you eat, sleep and exercise, also have a huge impact on how your drinking is going to affect you. There is also the fact that alcohol content in different drinks varies and can amount up to different alcohol consumption levels. In order to establish a standard for alcohol consumption, alcohol content is typically measured in units; one unit contains 8 g. or 10 ml. of pure alcohol.
How Much is Too Much?
Based on the alcohol units, the standards drawn for sensible drinking limits are:
- Three to four units of pure alcohol content in a day for men who drink regularly
- Two to three units of alcohol for women per day
- After a heavy drinking session, at least 48 hours should be given to the body for recovery
Typically, due to the personal factors involved, there is no guaranteed limit to how much alcohol is safe every day. However, the key is to keep within these recommended levels so that you are at a low-risk of getting addicted. Moreover, these limits usually apply to healthy young adults and not to young people, people with specific medical conditions, and pregnant women.
Another misconception is that if you do not drink at a given day, you can cross the limit of your daily consumption the next day and it would not matter. The fact is quite contrary, however, since a daily limit is determined based on daily factors, having no relationship as to whether you drank or not the last day.
How Many Glasses of Alcohol Does That Make?
To make it easier for you to understand, this means that for men, four or fewer standard drinks are allowed in a day while they can drink a total of 14 drinks in a week. For women, three or fewer drinks are allowed in a day and no more than seven drinks in a week.
Now these guidelines were presented by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. However, what you should know is that you have to keep up with both daily and weekly limits. So, for instance, if you are a man and you drink four standard drinks every day, you would end up drinking 28 drinks in a week, which is twice the amount you should be having weekly. You need to balance out your daily drink intake to ensure that you are keeping within the weekly limit as well.
Is Low Risk a Good Thing?
You should always remember that a lower-risk of getting alcohol addicted does not mean that there is no risk at all. Since the effect of alcohol on every individual depends on their own personal factors like age, gender and health circumstances, there are some people who are still at risk of getting addicted even when they are within these limits. There are instances where people are better off without drinking such as when they have to drive, when they are pregnant or when they have certain medical conditions to deal with. So, whenever possible, you should always try to avoid alcohol.
If you are currently drinking more alcohol than these specified limits, it is better for you to check whether you are addicted to it or not. Try cutting down on your alcohol or giving it up completely to figure out if you still have control over your drinking. If not, try getting help to avoid hitting rock bottom with alcoholism.
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