What Is Excessive Drinking?
In the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, which is known for its rich brewing tradition, it’s not unusual for people to enjoy beer during lunch and dinner. A family of four in Prague can sit down to eat goulash for lunch and wash it down with three liters of Pilsner, and they’ll drink another three liters paired with bramborák and roast pork for dinner. On a per capita basis, beer consumption in Czechia is equivalent to 3.8 American cans of beer each day, which in the United States would be considered alcohol use disorder (AUD). Despite this difference, alcoholism in the U.S. is far more problematic than in the Czech Republic, thus calling into question the definition of drinking levels.
How Much Is Too Much?
The definition of moderate drinking will always be subjective. What one person considers to be moderate drinking, another person may not because many factors can determine how alcohol affects individuals, including weight, gender, genetics, and medical conditions. According to the dietary guidelines suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, drinking in moderation means no more than 24 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or a shot of distilled spirits per day if you’re a male. For women, these quantities should be reduced by half. Anything over these quantities is considered to be too much, but it can be further classified into binge and heavy drinking.
Any time your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) climbs to 0.08 percent, which is estimated to be after 4 drinks for women and 5 for men, intoxication begins to occur even if you’re not fully impaired yet. Going over this drinking quantity will put you into binging territory, and repeating such behavior more than twice a month will substantially increase the risk of falling into AUD.
If your daily intake consistently surpasses the aforementioned definition of drinking in moderation, you’re drinking heavily, and the same can be said about going on a binge three or more times per month. There are various problems related to heavy drinking, and the worst would be fatal AUD. Neurochemical dependence doesn’t form exclusively with heavy drinking. As previously mentioned, alcoholism can start to develop after a few binge drinking sessions.
Drinking Levels Aren’t Everything
We’ve thus far discussed patterns of drinking related to intake, but there’s also the matter of external factors to consider. Anyone who engages in irresponsible or reckless behavior while drinking is in fact drinking too much. Examples of behavior conducive to AUD include drinking while driving or during pregnancy. Neglecting work, education, family, or personal obligations is also a sign of creeping alcoholism.
Not everyone is cut out for moderate drinking, and there’s no easy method to determine who can safely move to the Czech Republic and drink more than 1.5 liters of beer each day without entering the addiction spectrum. Sober lifestyle coaches, such as those who specialize in addiction recovery in Carlsbad, CA, often tell their clients that moderate drinking shouldn’t be treated as a life goal. Instead, it’s better to think about how sobriety can be embraced without having to worry about alcohol consumption at all.
If you’re concerned about your level of drinking but don’t know where to turn, a good place to start is with a rehab referral. Carlsbad residents can trust the expertise and experience of the compassionate team at Sober Lifestyle Coaching. We collaborate with several high-quality addiction treatment facilities, and we’re careful to refer clients to the facilities that fit their needs best. We know precisely what it takes to get sober, stay sober, and live the healthy lifestyle you deserve. We specialize in working with clients with active addictions as well as clients already in recovery. Our sober coaches provide encouragement, accountability, insight, and understanding through our own recovery experiences. To learn more about how we can help you or someone you love, call us at 760-300-8338.