What is Moderate Drinking?

The USDA defines moderate drinking as:

  • Up to two drinks per day for men
  • Up to one drink per 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, abuse can occur if alcohol 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:standard drink

  • 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.

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers
Every year Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment helps thousands of adults and teens get their life back on track and gives renewed hope to those who care about them. With 50 years of treatment experience, our specialists take the time to understand of the specific needs of each individual. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual's substance abuse and mental health history. As the largest provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway has 11 treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment programs are not one-size fits all, but unique treatment plans that give an individual the highest chance for a successful outcome. With insurance acceptance and a track record of success, Gateway Treatment Centers help thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment each year, and find the hope they need to live again.

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