What is alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse refers to using alcohol in an unhealthy way. This can include heavy drinking or binge drinking.
Too many people don’t know what’s considered alcohol abuse. They believe their drinking is safe and healthy because they can’t see the effects. But experts have determined what’s considered unhealthy drinking and guidelines for consuming alcohol. The National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism define heavy drinking as:
- consuming more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks per week (for men).
- consuming more than 3 drinks a day or more than 7 drinks per week (for women).
In addition, binge drinking is defined as:
- drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines binge drinking as 5 or more alcoholic drinks for males or 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past month.
Even with these guidelines, it’s still possible that you’re consuming too much alcohol or that alcohol is negatively impacting your life. If alcohol is causing distress to you or someone you know, this may be considered an alcohol use disorder, even if you drink within the set guidelines.
Signs of alcohol abuse
You should know the signs of alcohol abuse and report them to an addiction specialist to get help right away for yourself or a loved one. These are the most common signs of alcohol abuse:
- Blacking out experiencing short-term memory loss while drinking
- Irritability and extreme mood swings
- Drinking to relax or to relieve stress or pain
- Choosing drinking over other responsibilities and obligations
- Secretly drinking
- Feeling hungover when not drinking
- Slurred speech
- Problems with memory
- Being unable to quit drinking
- Engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving
Effects of alcohol abuse
The signs of alcohol should not be taken lightly, as misusing alcohol is dangerous for the abuser and people in their community. In fact, binge drinking is the most deadly form of alcohol abuse. Injuries, car accidents, and sexually transmitted diseases are just a few of the risks of alcohol abuse.
Teens and young adults are often at higher risk of alcohol abuse, especially binge drinking. And binge drinking often leads to problems with alcohol dependence later in life.
Find treatment for alcohol abuse in Houston
If you’re worried that you or a loved one abuses alcohol, talk to the addiction specialists at Mallard Lake Detox Center, a luxury rehab in Houston. We offer personalized alcohol treatment programs in an upscale environment, including:
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment
- Medically assisted detox
- Holistic treatment
- Personalized care plans
- Equine therapy
Get in touch with us today. We’re here and ready to talk to you 24/7. To get started, call 936-800-8025 or complete our contact form.