How Many Drinks Can You Have Per Week Before You Are an Alcoholic
Whenever you are drinking alcohol, you are always at risk of developing an addiction to the substance. This is why it is so important to keep track of the amount of alcohol you are drinking at a time. It can be incredibly easy to lose sight of how much alcohol you are actually consuming, and it becomes especially difficult the more intoxicated you become.
Before you know it, you’re going through several bottles of wine or even liquor per week. So, at what point of excessive drinking are you considered an alcoholic? In this article, we will discuss the impacts of alcoholism, the various levels of drinking, and go over when it is to seek alcohol addiction treatment for alcoholism.
If you or a loved one has been struggling with an alcohol addiction, the Recovery Team will provide the medical care and support you need to successfully overcome your alcohol addiction.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism involves the individual having such a strong dependency on alcohol that they are unable to quit drinking on their own no matter how many times they try. This chronic disease can cause painful withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, shaking, severe sweating, and nausea during extended breaks from drinking alcohol.
Alcoholism can begin to affect the person’s day-to-day life causing them to show up late or intoxicated to work and school while also failing to fulfill important obligations at home. Suffering from alcoholism for an extended period of time can also lead to long-term, possibly irreversible health risks such as heart disease, liver damage, high blood pressure, and strokes, and can even increase the chances of cancer in multiple areas of the body. Getting treatment for alcoholism can help prevent patients from developing these serious issues.
The Different Levels of Drinking
When it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages, there are a few different levels of severity including moderate drinking, heavy drinking, and eventually alcoholism. For moderate drinking, the CDC classifies this as having less than one to two drinks for men and less than one drink for women within a single day.
To clarify, this does not mean that moderate alcohol consumption is having one to two drinks every single day, but is more measured on a single-day basis. A good example of this case is someone who may enjoy having a can of beer or two at the end of a long work week. The next level up is heavy drinking which is also known as excessive drinking.
The CDC defines heavy drinking as having more than 14 drinks for men, and eight drinks for women per week. An example of heavy drinking would be people who like to go out to clubs or bars often.
Drinking anymore excessively than this can quickly lead to an alcohol use disorder if it is not already. At this stage, it is crucial to be receiving treatment in order to prevent any long terms health problems.
When Drinking Becomes a Problem
Enjoying a drink every so often is normal but when the person struggles to control their alcohol consumption and begins affecting an individual’s daily life such as causing problems at work or school as well as damaging personal relationships, this is a problem.
Alcohol dependence also causes uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that are more severe the more you drink. As soon as you lose control of your drinking patterns and depend on having an alcoholic drink to function properly, you need to seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent the substance disorder from getting any worse.
Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse
There are a few different treatment options that a patient has available to them when signing up for a rehab facility. Treatment centers offer two main programs, including residential and outpatient treatment. Residential involves a person staying full time at the facility, while outpatient involves the patient returning for scheduled sessions.
Patients will typically start out with a detoxification program where all alcohol and toxins are removed from the body. This can be a challenging stage of recovery due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that come with it.
The goal of detox is to make the recovery process smoother with less severe withdrawal. Below are a few more things that you can expect during treatment for alcohol addiction
After detox, a patient will then attend behavioral therapy sessions where they meet one-on-one with a mental health professional to talk about their emotions. The most common type of therapy used for alcoholism is cognitive behavioral therapy, and this involves discussing problematic thoughts and behaviors that often led to the individual’s alcohol misuse.
The purpose of these sessions is to replace the negative thoughts and behaviors with productive, more positive ones. This can be effective in preventing relapse in the future.
Throughout therapy, the mental health professional in a alcohol rehab facility will prescribe medication to reduce cravings or alleviate withdrawal symptoms from detox. Common medications prescribed for alcoholism include Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Antabuse.
It is wise for patients to attend self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment so that they can receive continued support for their recovery from alcoholism. These self-help groups provide a safe place for individuals struggling with a similar situation to share their stories and get the motivation needed for a successful recovery.