A Guide to Low-Risk Drinking & Strategies for Cutting Back

A Guide to Low-Risk Drinking & Strategies for Cutting Back

What is a Low Risk Drinking Limit?

Healthy men up to age 65: No more than 14 drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks on a single occasion. Healthy women of 65: No more than 7 drinks per week and no more than 3 on a single occasion.

What is a Standard Drink?

Beer: One 12oz 5% ABV
Shot: One 1.5oz 40% ABV
Wine: One 5oz Glass 13% ABV

Should I Stop Drinking or Just Cut Down?

You Should Stop Drinking If:

  • You have tried to cut down before but have not been successful.
  • You suffer from morning shakes after heavy drinking period.
  • You have high blood pressure, are pregnant or you have liver disease.
  • You are taking medications that reacts with alcohol.

You Should Try to Drink at Low-Risk Levels If:

  • You have been drinking at low-risk levels most of the time.
  • You do not suffer from early morning shakes.
  • You would like to rink at low-risk levels.

***You should choose low-risk drinking only if all three apply to you and you do not have medications or conditions that would be aggravated by alcohol.

Strategies for Cutting Back:

  • Set a drinking goal.
  • Keep track of how much drink.
  • Get support or seek professional help.
  • Avoid Triggers.
  • Plan ahead how to handle urges.
  • Learn to say NO when you don’t want to drink.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Talk to your doctor about drinking concerns. He or she can help you make decisions based on your individual situation and risk factors. There are also medications that help reduce cravings.

What are the Effects of High-Risk Drinking?

  1. Alcohol dependence. Memory Loss.
  2. Aggressive, irrational behavior. Arguments. Violence. Accidents. Depression. Nervousness.
  3. Premature Aging.
  4. Cancer of throat and mouth.
  5. Weakness of heart muscle. Heart failure. Anemia. Impaired blood clotting. Breast Cancer.
  6. Frequent cold. Reduced resistance to infection. Increased risk of pneumonia.
  7. Vitamin deficiency. Bleeding. Severe inflammation of the stomach. Vomiting. Diarrhea. Malnutrition.
  8. Liver damage.
  9. Trembling hands. Tingling Fingers. Numbness. Painful nerves.
  10. Inflammation of the pancreas.
  11. Ulcers.
  12. In men: Impaired sexual performance. In women: Risk of giving birth to low birth weight babies and babies with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  13. Impaired sensation leading to falls.
  14. Numbness, tingling toes. Painful nerves.

High risk drinking may lead to social, legal, medical, domestic, job and financial problems. It may also cut your lifespan and lead to accidents and deal from drunken driving.
(Source: Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina)

Please feel free to reach out to us if you feel you need additional support. Dr. Bader is our Psychiatrist that specializes in treating patients that need help with high risk drinking.

We have urgent appointments available either on the same day or next day. We also have evenings and weekends available. Your treatment is highly confidential and Dr. Bader offers a kind, non-judgmental approach.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

On February 27rd, our current electronic health system will transition to a new and advanced system to better serve you: Athena. Prior to the transition date, you will be sent a registration link to create a new patient account in Athena. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist, or call our office to speak to a staff member.