Alcohol and Health (NIAAA)

Do you enjoy a drink of alcohol now and then? Many of us do, often when socializing with friends and family. Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, the situation, and, of course, how much you drink.

Do you think you may drink too much at times? Do you think “everyone” drinks a lot? See below for results from a nationwide survey of 43,000 adults by the National Institutes of Health on alcohol use and its consequences.

For anyone who drinks, Rethinking Drinking offers valuable, research-based information. The first part, How much is too much?, answers these questions and more:

  • What’s “low-risk” drinking versus “at-risk” or “heavy” drinking?
  • Why is being able to “hold your liquor” a concern?
  • What are signs that drinking is causing harm?

Many heavy drinkers do not have alcohol-related problems yet and can reduce their risk of harm by cutting back. For the nearly 18 million Americans who have alcoholism or related problems, however, it’s safest to quit.

The second part of this booklet, Thinking about a change?, offers tips, tools, and resources for people who choose to cut down or quit. Success is likely for those who persist in their efforts. Even for those with alcoholism, studies show that most do recover, often without professional treatment.

What do you think about taking a look at your drinking habits and how they may affect your health? Rethinking Drinking can help you get started.

A publication from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


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