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How much drinking is too much during a pandemic?



It can be difficult to determine how much alcohol is too much considering the condition of everything. The idea that people slurp through this pandemic is widespread. Perhaps you've seen a famous celebrity chef mix a huge cocktail, or several award-winning actresses sing in their bathrobes with different bottles of alcohol beside them. And these celebrity pieces may not be too far from what's happening in your own quarantine corner. Normal coping and stress management tactics are limited by social distancing, so your nighttime skincare may now include a few glasses of wine. Or maybe preparing a dinner involves more beverage preparation than cooking. Maybe you've made Zoom drunk a few times.

Regardless of your situation, there is a possibility that your most recent drinking habits may cause you to pause after clicking this article. This “break” can be related to hangovers (hangovers are the worst). Or you fear that your newly discovered drinking ritual is a sign of an alcohol consumption disorder, which the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines as an alcohol consumption problem that becomes serious. In particular, they characterize alcohol consumption disorders as compulsive drinking, loss of control over how much you drink, or a strong urge to drink because not drinking alcohol feels good.

According to estimates by the NIAAA, 1

5 million people have alcohol consumption disorders and the effects of this pandemic on physical and mental health could be huge. In general, however, Nielsen data suggests that alcohol sales have increased and there is evidence that this is catastrophic. Events such as Hurricane Katrina and September 11th lead to increased alcohol consumption and alcohol excesses. So if you're wondering exactly how much alcohol is too much, it is perfectly reasonable to think a little.

"Several months of more intense and frequent drinking during the pandemic could certainly lead to increased tolerance [for some]," Kenneth Kenneth, Ph.D., director of the Clinical and Research Institute on Addiction at SUNY University in Buffalo, tells SELF . "For [others]this could lead to increased alcohol dependence and remain a problem after the end of the pandemic."

What exactly is "moderate" drinking?

As someone who enjoys a good Merlot (or a supermarket) box wine, it pains me to say that alcohol is not exactly healthy. Yes, there is conflicting research into whether moderate drinking is associated with health benefits or not, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not recommend that people who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason . So there it is. There are also numerous studies that show that excessive drinking is associated with negative health benefits.

If you are an adult participating, you should do so in moderation (you guessed it). Moderate drinking appears to be open to interpretation – and many people certainly see it that way – but American dietary guidelines define moderate drinking as no more than one drink a day (if you're a woman) and two drinks a day (if you're one Man). However, this is not a general recommendation. They also suggest that some people do not drink at all, including pregnant women, people under the age of 21, people who are recovering from alcohol consumption disorders, people who have certain medical conditions or who are taking medication that may interact with alcohol, and people who want to drive or participate in other activities that require coordination.

This could lead you to the question: Is “a drink” not a relative term? It is not. According to American dietary guidelines, an alcoholic beverage contains approximately 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. That amounts to 12 liquid ounces of beer, 5 liquid ounces of wine or 1.5 liquid ounces of alcohol. When it comes to mixed drinks and quarantine cocktails, there is a good chance that a drink will contain more than this amount of alcohol. The NIAAA therefore recommends that you find out how much alcohol is in the cocktail of your choice and limit your intake accordingly. The top? This is easier if you prepare your own drinks at home.

How much alcohol is too much (and when should you be worried)?

Okay, now that you know that moderate drinking is defined as one or two Let's examine exactly how much alcohol is too much for two drinks a day. The NIAAA believes that women are at high or excessive risk of drinking four or more drinks a day, or more than eight drinks a week. Men have five or more drinks a day and 15 or more drinks a week. Binge drinking (also considered excessive) includes four to five drinks (or more) within two hours, according to the NIAAA. And then there's something called heavy alcohol consumption that the NIAAA defines as excess alcohol on five or more days in the past month.


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