Drinking Beer Every Day

Is it Normal to Drink Beer Every Day?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends no more than three to four drinks per day. Other guidelines provide similar advice and acknowledge that a small amount of alcohol each day is safe.

But is it normal to drink alcohol every day? Does daily consumption of beer put your health at risk?

A daily drinking habit might be an indication of a brewing problem. People who feel the need to drink every day have a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). In some cases, daily drinking indicates AUD has already developed.

This is true even if you are not drinking to the point of severe intoxication. Some people assume that daily alcohol consumption is fine as long as they are not drunk every day. However, this isn’t the case for many people.

Alcohol affects your body and daily intake of alcohol increases your risk for certain health consequences. Drinking beer every day might not mean you are an alcoholic or that you have a problem with drinking. But in terms of your physical health, it’s a habit you likely want to curb.

If you find you are unable to drink less and not consume beer daily, the inability to break the habit could indicate a more serious problem.

What Happens to Your Body if You Drink Beer Every Day? 

Daily beer consumption affects your body in a variety of ways and causes health problems, including:

Weight Gain and Beer Belly

Beer increases caloric and carbs intake and might prevent fat burning. It also contains phytoestrogens, which may increase the risk of storing belly fat.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Excessive alcohol consumption causes a spike in heart rate, which is especially dangerous for people with existing heart conditions and high blood pressure

A 2018 study published in the April issue of The Lancet found that people who had 10 or more drinks per week died of cardiovascular disease one to two years earlier than people consuming five drinks or fewer per week. 

Having 18 drinks or more per week cut life expectancy by four to five years.

Damages the Liver

Excessive alcohol intake overworks the liver, which gradually damages it and leads to liver disease. Initially, it leads to cirrhosis and increased fat in your liver. Eventually, it causes liver inflammation and the accumulation of scar tissue.

Nerve Damage

Long-term excessive beer consumption can lead to alcoholic neuropathy. Nerve damage is associated with long periods of drinking too much, as well as nutritional deficiencies caused by over-drinking.

Memory Problems

Heavy alcohol consumption causes memory lapses. This can occur after one night of binge drinking. Long-term heavy drinking can also lead to permanent memory loss and dementia.

Sexual Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction has a higher prevalence in those who drink excessively.

The damage caused by daily alcohol consumption varies from person to person. The severity of the damage also varies based on your gender and other factors.

How Much Beer is Too Much? 

Guidelines exist to help people determine how much beer is healthy to consume. Unfortunately, these are general guidelines and don’t apply to everyone. 

For starters, the guidelines are intended to help otherwise healthy people with a low risk of developing a problem with alcohol. 

For men, the NIAAA recommends no more than four alcoholic beverages per day and no more than 14 per week. 

For women, the recommended amount of alcohol consumption is lower at three or fewer drinks per day and no more than seven per week.

Many medical experts believe it’s better to take a more personalized approach to alcohol consumption. The general guidelines are helpful for some people. However, as you get to know your body better and how it responds to alcohol, you might find the guidelines too liberal. 

Your threshold for alcohol consumption varies based on:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Medications
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Drinking experience and habits

Does Beer Have Any Health Benefits?

Despite the risks someone faces as a heavy drinker, beer offers a variety of health benefits when consumed in moderation. For example:

Beer Boosts Your Daily Nutrient Intake

Beer contains more B vitamins, folate, niacin, phosphorus, and protein than wine. It offers the same amount of antioxidants as wine. It also contains fiber and prebiotics.

Beer Might Lower Risk of Diabetes

A study published in the journal European Association for the Study Diabetes determined that moderate drinkers were less likely to develop diabetes than people who never drink. 

Male beer drinkers had less than a 20 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Beer Might Improve Heart Health

Wine is the usual choice for boosting heart health, but beer offers similar benefits. One American Heart Association study found that moderate drinkers had the slowest decline in HDL (good) cholesterol.

Beer Might Make You Smarter

Researchers from Loyola University in Chicago found that moderate drinkers had a 23 percent lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Some believe this is linked to beer’s ability to raise good cholesterol which is beneficial for brain health.

Beer Might Reduce Inflammation

One study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that hops, which are found in beer, have anti-inflammatory properties

How to Drink Less Beer 

Whether you want to reduce how much beer you’re drinking because you are concerned about addiction or solely because you want to improve your physical risks, there are several things you can do. 

For example:

Signs You Have a Drinking Problem

Recognizing when drinking beer everyday has developed into a drinking problem is challenging for some people. 

Some of the signs you have a drinking problem include:

How to Find Help for Your Alcohol Problem

If you’ve tried to cut back on drinking and you’ve been unsuccessful, it’s likely time to seek professional support. There are many treatment options available. For instance:

It doesn’t matter if you’ve developed alcohol use disorder (AUD) or you’re not sure how to reduce your alcohol consumption despite wanting to do so. There is nothing wrong with seeking treatment and feel as if you cannot control your drinking on your own.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

What is Considered a Standard Drink?

Moderate alcohol consumption is common. Many people will have a drink or two during a social outing or just to enjoy themselves. But heavy drinking and consuming too much alcohol can be dangerous and even deadly.

More than 85 percent of people who are 18 years or older report have drank alcohol at some point in their lives. Some 69.5 percent report drinking in the last year, and 54.9 percent report drinking in the past month. 

Unfortunately, while not all of these people have drinking problems, some develop alcohol use disorder (AUD). In 2019, 25.8 percent of people ages 18 and up reported engaging in binge drinking in the past month. Another 6.3 percent said that they’d engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. About 14.1 million adults in the country have AUD.

There could be a slippery slope from drinking alcohol for pleasure and overdoing it. Sticking to a standard drink or two is the safest way to drink.

In the United States, a standard drink has about 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is found in 12 ounces of regular beer, about five ounces of wine, and about 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

For most people, enjoying a standard drink here and there does not have significant health consequences. For others, crossing the line is easy.

What is Moderate Drinking?

Moderate drinking generally refers to about one standard drink a day for women and about two standard drinks a day for men. For example, a woman may drink one glass of wine or beer a day. And a man might enjoy two glasses of wine or two beers a day.

The key is to keep it to a minimum, while still enjoying yourself. Because once you become drunk (or too drunk), health and safety hazards come into play.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much in One Night?

How much alcohol is too much alcohol depends on the person and a number of factors. In most states, the legal driving limit (and the general definition of “drunk”) for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 g/dL. This refers to the percentage of ethanol (in grams) in 100 milliliters of your blood.

Several factors can affect your BAC. These include, but are not limited to: 

For example, if you haven’t eaten a lot of food that day, you’ll likely get drunk faster. You may also get drunk faster than a friend who weighs more than you or who is older than you.

If/when your BAC level rises above .08 g/dL, you’ll likely start experiencing some negative side effects of being drunk. At this level, you move beyond the euphoric effects of alcohol and into the “beer goggle” stage. You start to lack judgment, and your motor skills become impaired.

If you are driving, however much alcohol it takes for you to reach the legal limit of .08 g/dL is too much alcohol. However, even if you are not driving, too high of a BAC can make you a danger to yourself and others.

It’s too much alcohol when you start to lose your inhibitions and lack control. Not only does alcohol take a toll on your health. But you also become a safety hazard to yourself and those around you. For example, many car crashes (including fatal ones) and assaults are often results of too much alcohol.

How Much Beer is Too Much?

Regular beer is typically 5 percent alcohol. Some light beers may have a 4.2 percent alcohol content. Too much beer depends on the various factors that can affect how quickly your BAC rises.

It’s considered safe for men to drink about two beers and for women to drink about one beer per day. While some people may be able to drink more beer without significant impairment, others cannot.

How Much Wine is Too Much?

About five ounces of most wines is about 12 percent alcohol. Again, how much wine is too much wine depends on a number of those same factors. But, as with beer, about two standard glasses of wine for men and one standard glass of wine for women is considered okay.

How Much Vodka is Too Much?

Because vodka (and other distilled spirits) is much stronger than beer and wine, you have to be careful that you don’t drink too much. It’s easy to find out the hard way how much vodka is too much vodka. 

About 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits like vodka is about 40 percent alcohol. Like always, pay attention to the factors that can affect your BAC.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body?

Alcohol affects everyone differently. When you consume alcohol, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase in your liver breaks it down. It metabolizes it to acetaldehyde. Then it further breaks down to acetic acid.

If you drink too much too fast, you can get drunk because your body can’t break down the ethanol at the same pace. 

Alcohol affects your body in a multitude of ways. You may experience the following signs and symptoms of being drunk:

Risks of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol intake can be hazardous to your health.

Short-Term Risks

Short-term risks of drinking alcohol include, but are not limited to, the following:

Long-Term Risks

Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a lot of harmful health conditions and health risks. These include the following:

Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can kill you. In fact, an estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related reasons every year.

Who Should Not Drink Alcohol?

You should not drink alcohol if you identify with any of the following statements:

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (Addiction)

Alcohol use disorder affects more people than you may think. Some signs of alcohol use disorder include:

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

The journey to sobriety can be tough to do on your own. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe, so it’s important that you seek medical help for addiction treatment. Fortunately, alcohol addiction treatment is readily available to help you along the road to recovery.

Reach out to your local inpatient or outpatient rehab center, or contact support groups in your area. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may also benefit you by helping you to unpack any triggers.

How Much Wine is Too Much?

How Much Wine is Too Much?

The United States Department of Health and Human Services defines one serving of wine as 5 ounces for table wine and 3 to 4 ounces for fortified wine (such as sherry or port).

As specified in the United States Dietary Guidelines, moderate drinking is two alcoholic beverages or less daily (for men) and one alcoholic beverage or less daily (for women).    

Drinking alcohol at levels above these guidelines significantly increases the risk of short-term effects, such as injuries. It also raises the risk of long-term chronic health problems, such as some types of cancer and other serious illnesses.

I Drink a Bottle of Wine a Day, Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

If you drink an entire bottle of wine every day, you are well above the U.S. government’s recommendation for safe alcohol consumption, as a typical bottle of wine contains five glasses of wine.

However, while drinking a full bottle of wine can be considered excessive when looking at moderate drinking measures, it doesn’t necessarily indicate alcohol abuse or a drinking problem.

If you think you may have a drinking problem, you should get a medical evaluation from a doctor who can determine whether your drinking habits are problematic.

How Much Wine is OK to Drink Daily?

Drinking any amount of alcohol poses health risks. However, both the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that adults of legal drinking age consume no more than one glass per day (for women) and no more than two glasses per day (for men). 

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, and not exceeding these recommendations, will decrease the risk of developing significant health problems.

Is Any Amount of Red Wine Healthy to Drink?

Many studies suggest that drinking red wine may provide health benefits. Red wine contains antioxidants that are necessary for optimal cardiovascular function. It might also prevent various chronic diseases. More specifically, the antioxidants in red wine may prevent cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and diabetes.

In one study, red wine consumption decreased the blood pressure of hypertensive patients. In another study, compared with people who don’t drink, moderate alcohol drinkers had a 26% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, 35% lower risk of total mortality, and 51% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality if the alcohol they drank was mostly red wine.

Some studies have found improved health among moderate wine drinkers. However, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that these enhanced health benefits are due to wine consumption alone. These improved outcomes may be caused by other differences in behaviors or genetics between people who drink moderately and those who don’t.

Who is More at Risk of Drinking Too Much Wine?

Women generally face greater risks of drinking too much wine compared with men. 

Women tend to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking levels than men do. 

Women face these issues because they tend to weigh less and have less water in their bodies than men, which causes alcohol to metabolize slower. 

On the other hand, men develop alcohol dependency at a much greater rate than women do. About half of all men in America have alcohol-related problems of one form or another.

While men and women of legal drinking age may be able to consume wine without developing significant health problems, some people should not drink alcohol at all, such as:

  • People who are pregnant or might be pregnant
  • People under the legal age for drinking
  • People with certain medical conditions or those who take medications that interact with alcohol
  • People who are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or are unable to control the amount they drink

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Healthcare professionals use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to assess whether a person has AUD and to determine the severity of the disorder.

The following symptoms may indicate Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD):

Any of these symptoms may be a cause for concern. The more symptoms that are present, the more urgent the need for change.

If you experience two or more of these symptoms, you should seek a medical evaluation from a doctor. They can determine whether you have an alcohol use disorder or not. 

Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption (including binge drinking) poses significant health risks. 

The short-term health risks of excessive alcohol consumption include:

In addition to these immediate health concerns, excessive alcohol consumption or heavy drinking over time can cause chronic diseases and other serious health problems.

The long-term health risks of excessive alcohol consumption include:

By avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Many people struggle with alcohol problems and addiction throughout their lives. In the United States alone, about 17 million adults have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Most people with alcohol addiction can benefit from treatment. About one-third of people who receive treatment for alcohol problems have no further symptoms one year later. Others successfully reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems.

There are various treatment methods currently available, including inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. There is no universal solution for alcohol addiction, and what may work for some people may not work for others. 

To find the best treatment for alcohol addiction, speak with an addiction specialist who can advise on the best treatment options for you.

Night Sweats and Alcohol

Can Alcohol Cause Night Sweats?

Night sweats occur while people are sleeping. They are defined as repeated episodes of intense perspiration, typically enough to soak your clothes and bedding. Night sweats can happen if you are sleeping in a warm room with too many blankets. In these cases, they are generally not linked to a medical condition.

Repeated and extreme night sweats may be caused by an underlying condition, such as cancer, menopause, an infection, medications, or an autoimmune disease. You’ll likely experience fever, weight loss, localized pain, diarrhea, coughing, or other symptoms of illness in addition to the night sweats.

night sweats alcohol

Night sweats can also be linked to alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking results in severe intoxication, which may cause vomiting, upset stomach, slurred speech, coordination problems, and severe sweating. Even moderate drinking can result in night sweats. 

How Does Alcohol Cause Night Sweats?

No matter how much alcohol you drink, you may experience night sweats when you go to sleep. This is because alcohol is toxic. Your body recognizes that it is a toxin, so it tries to get rid of the substance as quickly as possible through perspiration. Alcohol also affects the nervous system and how the body regulates your heart, blood pressure, and body temperature. It widens your blood vessels and increases your heart rate, which causes sweating. 

In rare cases, alcohol-induced night sweats may be a symptom of alcohol intolerance (a genetic condition). The most common symptoms include nausea, itching, rashes, swelling, and severe stomach pain after drinking. Flushing of the neck, face, and chest can also occur if you drink too much.

Are Night Sweats a Symptom of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol is an addictive depressant substance. It has a sedating effect on the central nervous system (CNS) and brain when it enters the body. Drinking heavily and in excess over a long period changes the chemistry of the brain. This results in alcohol dependence (alcohol use disorder), which means the body has become physically dependent on alcohol. 

When a person with alcohol use disorder stops drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms occur within a few hours or days after the person’s last drink.

One possible symptom of alcohol withdrawal is night sweats. Excessive alcohol consumption can induce sweating because it negatively affects the heart and increases heart rate. As the heart rhythm becomes too fast and irregular, the blood vessels in the skin widen. This process is medically known as vasodilation (the skin becomes flushed due to dilated blood vessels, and severe sweating occurs). 

If you drink heavily and experience night sweats after stopping alcohol use, it could be a sign of alcohol withdrawal. 

Other Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal vary and may or may not include night sweats. People who develop moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms are more likely to have night sweats. 

Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening. If you develop any of the following withdrawal symptoms after stopping alcohol use, it may be a sign that you have alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Mild withdrawal symptoms:

Moderate withdrawal symptoms:

Severe withdrawal symptoms:

Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can result in delirium tremens (DTs). This is the most serious and life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal that requires urgent medical attention. Signs of DTs include, but are not limited to:

Anyone undergoing alcohol withdrawal should do so under the guidance of medical professionals in an inpatient treatment facility (detox). Alcohol addiction treatment is the most effective way to recover and abstain from alcohol long-term.  

Common Questions and Answers

How long do night sweats last after you quit drinking?

Night sweats that are caused by alcohol withdrawal typically only last a few days. However, they can last longer in some people. How long they last depend on the severity of withdrawal symptoms (ranging from mild to life-threatening).

What are some other possible causes of night sweats?

Sometimes mild night sweats do not have an underlying cause and are nothing to worry about. Frequent and severe night sweats, though, may be caused by an underlying health condition. They can be a side effect of taking certain medications or menopause. Autoimmune diseases, cancer (such as lymphoma), and infections can also trigger severe night sweats. It is best to seek medical advice if you are concerned.

Can drinking alcohol cause hot flashes?

Yes, alcohol can trigger hot flashes. This is because alcohol causes vasodilation (blood vessel expansion), which leads to sweating and makes you feel warmer. Red wine is especially linked to hot flashes, but this varies.

How are night sweats different from hot flashes?

Hot flashes are typically related to menopause. These flashes are sudden feelings of extreme body heat that can occur during the day or night.

Night sweats are different from hot flashes because they only occur while sleeping. They also result in severe perspiration, often soaking your bedding and clothes (to the point where you have to change them).

Can alcohol intolerance cause night sweats?

Alcohol intolerance is a genetic condition that makes it difficult for the body to break down (metabolize) the toxins in alcohol. Flushing of the neck, face, and chest after drinking is a common symptom of alcohol intolerance. This condition can also increase your heart rate and cause an overheating sensation in the body, resulting in night sweats.

How to Stop Drinking

Alcohol and its Effects

Alcohol is one of the most commonly consumed drugs in the world. It’s also one of the most socially acceptable drugs to use.

Many people use alcohol to stimulate themselves socially, to “take the edge off” when they’re stressed, or as self-medication for anxiety or insomnia. 

ARH Drunk Man with empty bottles

While alcohol may help in these short-term situations, it often creates more problems than it solves. Even moderate drinking habits comes with serious consequences, including:

The effects of alcohol are even more severe for anyone that abuses it. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can lead to liver disease, cancer, cardiac problems, and ultimately death if it goes untreated.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce or cut out alcohol consumption from your life and avoid the physical, social, and mental health problems that come with it. 

How Do I Know if I Have a Drinking Problem?

Some people, especially young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, might have trouble recognizing drinking problems. Because binge drinking has been so normalized in college and other party cultures, it can be surprising to learn that it is actually a serious form of substance abuse.

It's hard to know if you or someone you know has a drinking problem because the definition of alcohol use disorder varies from person to person. However, there is a useful set of criteria published in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), an authoritative handbook that psychologists, doctors, and mental health specialists use to diagnose patients.

To diagnose alcohol use disorder, doctors will ask if any of the following statements apply to you within the last year:

If you respond “yes” to two or three questions, you are considered to have a mild alcohol use disorder. Four to five “yes” answers is regarded as a moderate alcohol use disorder, and six or more affirmatives designates a severe alcohol use disorder.

How to Stop Drinking Before It Becomes a Problem

Even if none of the DSM-5 situations apply to you, or if you only have a mild disorder, it’s important to be mindful of your alcohol intake. This includes both the amount of alcohol you consume and your reason for consuming it. 

Taking control of your relationship with alcohol before it develops into a moderate or severe problem greatly reduces the risk of losing control and developing health complications that come along with chronic alcohol use.

Here are five tips for reducing or cutting out the amount of alcohol you drink:

Don’t keep alcohol in your house

One of the easiest ways to reduce your alcohol intake is to get rid of any alcohol in your house. Often, knowing you need to go out and purchase a drink is enough to deter you when trying to quit or cut down on drinking. 

You can purchase alcohol-free beverages such as soda water, soda, juices, or tea to replace alcohol. If you live with roommates, you can ask them to keep their alcohol out of sight instead of shared spaces.

Practice mindful drinking

Mindful drinking involves being more aware and present when making decisions involving alcohol. Alcohol is so ingrained in our culture that often we are socially expected to drink — think of champagne celebrations, victory drinks, and “pre-gaming” or tailgating. 

These cultural regularities often cause us to get caught up in the moment, and we find ourselves consuming alcoholic beverages mindlessly with friends or family members. Mindful drinking encourages people to be more active and intentional about their decisions to drink or not drink by helping them prepare themselves before drinking, consider each drink they take, and practice how they communicate with others about drinking.

Meet people in places that don’t serve alcohol

If you meet someone new or plan a first date at a bar, drinking will likely be a part of your relationship due to the precedent that was set. However, suppose you meet people in a cafe, park, bakery, or restaurant that doesn't serve alcohol. In that case, there is no precedent, making it more likely that you can have a relationship that doesn't prioritize alcohol.

The same goes for meeting old friends. If you’re trying to alter your alcohol intake, it’s best to be open and honest about it. Most people will be happy to encourage you to be healthier, and anyone who refuses to meet for a juice instead of a beer may be part of the problem.

Practice Moderation Management

Moderation Management (MM) is a non-profit organization that hosts peer-led support groups for people who would like to reduce their alcohol consumption. It was founded in 1994 as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous for people who do not have an alcohol dependence and merely wish to reduce or moderate their heavy drinking habits, rather than staying sober.

MM encourages members to set their own individual drinking goals that are appropriate for their individual situation. They have face to face meetings or virtual meetings where members help each other set goals, follow guidelines and limits, and engage in a cognitive behavioral change program.

Find a supportive community

Having support is one of the most crucial factors in reducing or quitting drinking. Whether it’s a formal program such as MM, or a group of family and friends, having a community that supports your decision can make the process significantly easier. 

It’s best to be open and honest about your relationship with alcohol. That way you can cultivate relationships with people who also choose to practice mindful drinking habits.

How to Stop Drinking if I Have a Drinking Problem

For those with a moderate or severe alcohol use disorder, quitting can be a much more difficult endeavor. Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disorder that affects your brain chemistry. 

That's why many attempts to quit cold turkey fail. Many heavy drinkers quickly fall back into unhealthy patterns without the proper mindset, social skills, and coping mechanisms learned in treatment programs.

There are many different options for alcohol abuse treatment, and it's important to find the one that is most suited to your needs. Medical advice from a psychologist, doctor, or addiction specialist may help provide insight into which treatment method is right for you. 

Here are the three most popular and effective treatment options:

Support Groups

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery provide structure, accountability, and community to people who suffer from substance use disorders. They typically involve weekly or monthly face-to-face meetings, though many have gone virtual due to COVID-19.

These support groups may be enough to help someone with a moderate drinking problem and a high level of motivation to achieve sobriety. At the very least they will provide valuable resources and connections for people on a path to recovery.

However, more frequently, they act as after treatment programs that people enter after a structured rehabilitation program at a certified treatment facility. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are one of the most effective options for people with a mild or moderate alcohol use disorder. In these programs, the patient undergoes treatment at a facility, but returns home to sleep. 

They range in intensity, duration, and services offered and are often catered to the patient’s needs. Outpatient program timelines typically involve three main stages:

  1. Get sober
  2. Strengthen sobriety
  3. Thrive in sobriety

Outpatient programs are best for individuals with a high level of motivation for recovery and have additional responsibilities such as family, work, or school obligations that they cannot stop during treatment.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive rehabilitation option for those with moderate to severe alcohol use disorders. It also has the highest rate of successful recovery.

During inpatient treatment, patients sleep, eat, and undergo treatment all while living at the treatment facility.

There are typically five stages in inpatient programs:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Detoxification
  3. Psychological and medical treatment
  4. Transition
  5. Maintenance

Both inpatient and outpatient programs vary on methodologies, but most of them use a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy), group therapy, and some health and wellness counseling.

Other popular therapies include:

High Alcohol Tolerance

What Does it Mean When You Have a High “Tolerance” for Alcohol?

Alcohol tolerance refers to some people’s ability to consume larger amounts of alcohol than others before feeling its effects.

Someone with a high tolerance to alcohol requires more alcohol to feel its effects or appear intoxicated. 

Someone with a low tolerance to alcohol requires less alcohol to feel its effects or appear intoxicated. 

ARH Drunk Man with empty bottles

Gender, biology, body weight, genetics, drinking behavior, and how many alcoholic beverages are consumed all play a role in tolerance.

Tolerance can encourage greater alcohol consumption which contributes to alcohol dependence and can cause adverse health effects.

Does Drinking More Alcohol Increase Your Tolerance?

Drinking more alcohol can increase alcohol tolerance. The human body can adapt to increased alcohol use, resulting in more rapid metabolism of alcohol. A more rapid metabolism means that those who drink alcohol on a regular basis can seem less intoxicated than others who have consumed a similar amount of alcohol.

Is a High Tolerance for Alcohol Genetic?

Genetic factors influence alcohol tolerance.

For some people, low tolerance is caused by a natural lack of an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.

When most people ingest alcohol, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase helps metabolize the ethanol. The liver converts the ethanol to acetaldehyde, a substance that can cause cell damage. Another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 helps convert acetaldehyde to acetic acid, which is nontoxic.

In people with alcohol intolerance, a genetic mutation makes ALDH2 less active or inactive. As a result, the body can’t convert acetaldehyde to acetic acid. Acetaldehyde starts to build up in your blood and tissues, causing symptoms.

Individuals of Asian and Native American descent are more likely to have this enzyme deficiency. 

What is Functional Tolerance to Alcohol?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, functional tolerance is a lessened response to alcohol, that is independent of the rate of metabolism of alcohol.

Humans develop functional tolerance when brain functions begin to adapt to compensate for the effects of alcohol.

If someone is a chronic heavy drinker, they will display functional tolerance when they have a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, they’ll show very few signs of intoxication, which in other people without a high tolerance would experience slurred speech, balance issues, vomiting, unconsciousness, or even a fatal overdose.

5 Types of Functional Alcohol Tolerance

The five types of functional alcohol tolerance include:

Environment-Dependent Tolerance

Environment-dependent tolerance is an accelerated tolerance of the effects of alcohol when it is continually consumed in a familiar environment. Environment-dependent tolerance is why some individuals can consume more alcohol with a lesser degree of intoxication in a familiar environment compared to a new environment.

Environment-Independent Intolerance

Environment-independent tolerance is an accelerated intolerance to alcohol’s effects when alcohol is continually consumed in a new environment or accompanied by different cues.

Environment-independent tolerance is why some individuals feel more significant alcohol effects while in a new environment.

Metabolic

Metabolic tolerance is a tolerance to alcohol that results from a more rapid elimination of alcohol from the body. Metabolic tolerance increases with chronic alcohol consumption. Metabolic tolerance is why chronic heavy drinkers may eliminate alcohol two or up to four times as fast as moderate drinkers and therefore need double or greater amounts of alcohol to maintain the same blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Learned

Learned tolerance, also called behaviorally augmented tolerance, is learned behavior that compensates for alcohol’s impairing effects. Over time, drinkers can develop the ability to control their motor skills better while under the influence of alcohol, giving the appearance of greater alcohol tolerance.

Acute 

Acute alcohol tolerance, also called session tolerance or the Mellanby effect, develops during a single exposure to alcohol. Acute tolerance means that alcohol-induced impairment is more significant when measured soon after beginning alcohol consumption than when measured later in the drinking session, even if the BAC is the same at both times. Acute alcohol tolerance can lead a drinker to consume more alcohol, wrongfully assuming that they are less intoxicated than they genuinely are.

Can Functional Tolerance Lead to Alcohol Dependence?

Functional tolerance can lead to alcohol use disorder. Because the drinker does not experience significant behavioral impairment due to drinking, functional tolerance may facilitate increasing amounts of alcohol, resulting in dependence and alcohol-related organ damage.

Negative Effects of High Alcohol Tolerance

A higher tolerance to alcohol can give a false impression of just how drunk someone is. You may think a person who is not stumbling or slurring their words is less intoxicated. However, you should not assume that individuals with a higher tolerance are better able to perform tasks that require concentration and reaction time, as if they had not consumed alcohol. The amount of alcohol consumed still affects them even though it may not appear so.

You should not assume that someone with a higher alcohol tolerance won't see the long-term effects of heavy drinking. They are still at risk for complications related to how much alcohol they have consumed in a lifetime, including cirrhosis of the liver, brain disease, neuropathy, pancreatitis, stomach cancer, or other health problems.

People with high tolerance are also more prone to developing alcoholism.

Is it Possible to Lower your Alcohol Tolerance?

It is possible to lower your alcohol tolerance. If you think your tolerance is rising, you should give your body a break from alcohol with some alcohol-free days each week.

Most people can decrease their alcohol tolerance by having an alcohol-free period.

Once you’ve lowered your tolerance, you won’t need as much alcohol to feel the effects, making it far easier to drink more sensibly. If you’ve fallen into a heavier drinking pattern, having a break also allows you to build new, more positive drinking patterns.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be addicted to alcohol, you should immediately seek medical treatment. To learn more about alcohol addiction treatment options, reach out to an addiction specialist on AlcoholRehabHelp today.

Can You Drink Isopropyl Alcohol?

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is widely used in industrial and home-cleaning products. It has potent antiseptic properties and features as an ingredient in disinfectants, skin lotions, cosmetics, antifreeze, body rubs, nail polish removers, mouthwashes, and many other products. It is also the primary component in many hand sanitizers.

While the word alcohol is in its name, rubbing alcohol is different from the ethyl alcohol featuring in many alcoholic beverages. Rubbing alcohol is colorless and bitter-tasting. It is twice as toxic as ethanol and emits an odor that is similar to acetone.

You should never drink rubbing alcohol, use it on children, or use it near open flames.

What Percentage Alcohol is in Rubbing Alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol comes in various purity levels. It can reach an alcohol percentage as high as 99 percent. However, household rubbing alcohol may go as low as 60 percent. 

Most rubbing alcohol is a combination of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and 30 percent water. Even though you may assume that high concentrations of rubbing alcohol are more effective, the 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and 30 percent water combination works better as a disinfectant. As this combination has more water, it helps dissolve more slowly, penetrating cells, and killing bacteria. The disinfecting effectiveness of rubbing alcohol drops at concentrations higher than 80 to 85 percent.

Can You Drink Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is an industrial solvent that is not suitable for human consumption. While it is possible to consume rubbing alcohol, it is extremely dangerous.

Isopropyl alcohol is created differently than ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Wine, beer, and liquor are fermented and distilled. However, rubbing alcohol is produced in a laboratory specifically for sterilization purposes.

Rubbing Alcohol

Despite this, some people, especially children, may accidentally consume rubbing alcohol. People struggling with chronic alcohol addiction may also drink rubbing alcohol or other types of alcohol, not for human consumption to reach a certain level of intoxication. 

Drinking one 500 milliliter bottle of rubbing alcohol in one 24-hour period is the same as consuming 30 beers. One 500 milliliter bottle is the equivalent of almost 17 ounces or just over one pint. Additionally, as little as 20 milliliters of rubbing alcohol mixed with water can make someone sick.

The body quickly absorbs rubbing alcohol. Approximately 80 percent is absorbed within 30 minutes of ingestion. Due to its chemical makeup, isopropanol does not metabolize as well as ethanol in the human body.

Consuming rubbing alcohol can easily lead to alcohol poisoning. People have died after drinking one pint of isopropyl alcohol. 

Side Effects: What Happens If You Drink Rubbing Alcohol?

The National Capital Poison Control Center states that those who consume rubbing alcohol may behave drunk. Industrial alcohol is extremely irritating to the stomach and intestines too.

Side effects of consumption include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Sedation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the gut
  • Bleeding in the stomach and intestines

Dangers of Drinking Isopropyl 

Bleeding, nausea, and other severe damage from ingesting rubbing alcohol may cause dehydration. This can lead to seizures and cause low blood pressure from internal bleeding and the rubbing alcohol effects as it is metabolized.

Someone who drinks rubbing alcohol may also go into shock. Isopropyl alcohol is metabolized rapidly, so that the effects will impact the central nervous system (CNS) all at once.

As alcohol is a depressant, involuntary actions in the body may reduce or stop. The heartbeat will slow, while breathing becomes irregular. The gag reflex may not work. This can result in oxygen deprivation or choking on vomit.

Poor circulation from heartbeat changes can also lead to damage to organ systems. As rubbing alcohol is extremely powerful, it can also result in internal burns. On contact, isopropyl alcohol can cause chemical burns on contact on the mucous membranes found in the mouth and nose, the back of the throat, the upper respiratory area, and the esophagus. The symptoms of these burns may lead to intense and uncomfortable pain and cramping.

If someone consumes large amounts of rubbing alcohol at once, they may experience pulmonary swelling or inflammation and excess fluid in the lungs. This can make breathing challenging and lead to oxygen deprivation.

Symptoms of Rubbing Alcohol Poisoning 

Rubbing alcohol poisoning or overdose is very likely if it is consumed. Rubbing alcohol poisoning starts to set in within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion.

The symptoms of isopropyl alcohol poisoning differ by the type and extent of poisoning. Sometimes the symptoms may not appear for some hours.

Symptoms of isopropyl alcohol poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Low body temperature
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unresponsive
  • Throat pain or burning
  • Coma
  • Hypothermia

Immediately after someone consumes isopropyl alcohol, they may feel intoxicated. They may even blackout.

A lack of oxygen and blood circulation resulting from rubbing alcohol ingestion damages organ systems. Plus, alcohol has blood-thinning properties so rubbing alcohol poisoning leads to fewer red blood cells to move oxygen and nutrients around the body.


Hypothermia is a symptom of alcohol poisoning. It is more likely to occur in individuals who ingest rubbing alcohol to become drunk. This makes a heart attack more likely. Blood sugar levels also drop, making seizures more likely.

Treatment for Rubbing Alcohol Poisoning

People who suffer from isopropyl alcohol poisoning may pass out quickly. If you or a loved one has ingested rubbing alcohol, it is essential to call 911 immediately for emergency help. While ingesting a small amount of rubbing alcohol accidentally may not lead to poisoning or death, it is still vital to receive prompt medical attention.

If you or a loved one has swallowed rubbing alcohol, do not encourage vomiting. Isopropyl alcohol is caustic, so it can lead to chemical burns to the esophagus.

Those who have ingested rubbing alcohol may develop severe central nervous system depression and breathing issues that require essential life support measures, including intubation. Individuals with rubbing alcohol poisoning may also need intravenous fluids to tend to fluid loss and treat low blood pressure resulting from vomiting. In some severe cases, potent drugs called vasopressors may be required to prevent cardiovascular collapse and death. 

Those suffering from alcohol addiction to rubbing alcohol have access to various treatment options. These treatment options include inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, which may involve detox, therapy sessions, and treatment for dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders.

Why Do I Drink So Much?

Am I Drinking Too Much Alcohol?

Drinking too much alcohol causes physical and mental health problems. How do you know if drinking is a problem for you or a loved one?

Frustrated woman drinking alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol causes physical and mental health problems. How do you know if drinking is a problem for you or a loved one?

How Many Drinks a Day is Considered an Alcoholic?

Recognizing when you are drinking too much is the first step in identifying that you need help. According to health experts, moderate drinking is defined as one standard drinking per day for women or two standard drinks per day for men. Examples of a standard drink include:

Daily consumption of more than this is excessive. It’s also excessive to binge drink alcohol. Binge drinking includes consuming four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men within two hours. Any binge drinking is unhealthy, but doing it five or more days within the last month is considered heavy alcohol use. 

Binging and excessive drinking does not always mean someone has an alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, it increases the risk of developing the disorder and indicates someone’s drinking habits are problematic. Even if he or she is not alcohol dependent or an alcoholic, they could benefit from treatment for alcohol abuse.

Why Do I Drink So Much Alcohol?

There is no definitive reason why some people drink more than others. Everyone has his or her reasons for consuming alcohol. 

The same is true when someone drinks too much alcohol or has alcohol dependence. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) does have a genetic link, but not everyone who misuses alcohol is genetically predisposed to do so. Likewise, not everyone with a genetic risk of AUD develops the disorder.

It also matters how long you’ve been drinking every day. For example, someone who drinks every day for a month might have a drinking problem, but it is far less likely the severity of their issue is as great as someone who has been drinking alcohol every day for 5 years.

Many people drink more in certain situations or certain phases of their life. Circumstantial overdrinking doesn’t mean a person is an alcoholic, but it could indicate he or she needs better coping strategies. Any time someone drinks to the point of an alcoholic blackout it is a sign that something is not right, be it circumstantial or overall in life. 

It helps to examine your motivation for drinking too much and if it’s not a one-time occasion, you might consider treatment.

Some of the most common reasons people drink too much include:

Signs You Are Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Depending on your circumstances, it might be difficult to determine if you are drinking too much alcohol. Aside from the moderate drinking guidelines listed above, you might be drinking too much if you:

There are several assessments available to help you determine if you drink too much. These include:

Self-assessments help determine if you should be concerned about your alcohol consumption. However, they are not a final diagnosis. 

You should speak to a medical professional about your drinking habits if you believe you have a problem.

What Happens When You Drink Everyday?

Possibly nothing. For example, some people have a small glass of wine every day for its health benefits. However, anything beyond a minimum daily intake of alcohol could put you at risk.

People who drink more than a serving of alcohol per day might experience alcohol withdrawal if they stop drinking. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal range from mild to potentially fatal and include:

Symptoms last just a few hours or for several weeks. The severity of symptoms depends on how long you drink every day. Essentially, the longer and more you drink, the greater the likelihood of intense withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, daily overconsumption of alcohol damages your body, especially your liver, kidneys, and brain. Younger people who drink everyday experience developmental issues. Drinking every day also interferes with work and school performance, as well as personal relationships.

Risks of Excessive Alcohol Consumption 

According to the CDC, excessive alcohol consumption causes both short-term and long-term risks, including:

Binge drinkers have less of a risk of long-term health effects, as long as they do not binge for many years. However, the risk of short-term effects is extremely high.

Finding Help For Alcohol Addiction

Help is available to help people with an alcohol addiction or those who drink too much but have not yet developed a disorder. Support and treatment options include:

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

What is a DUI?

A DUI, also known as DWI in certain states, is a criminal charge for drunk driving. DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and refers mainly to the influence of alcohol, but it can also refer to other drugs, such as cannabis or opioids. 

DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and refers to intoxication from the same set of substances covered in a DUI. Furthermore, anyone operating a motorized vehicle of any kind can be charged for this offense, including the use of motorized watercraft, lawnmowers, and non-motorized bicycles.

DUI and DWI parameters differ from state-to-state. Penalties and consequences are also different, depending on which state you are in when you commit this violation. 

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

The length of time that a DUI or DWI will stay on your record depends on state laws, but it will most likely stay on for years to life. Even though it will remain on record for this long, it will not technically “come off” of your driving record. 

What really happens is that each state sets a specific period after which a prior conviction for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated is not considered if a subsequent case were to occur. 

Consequences of a DUI on Your Record

Aside from the immediate consequences, such as fines and jail time, there are longer-term consequences of having a DUI on your record. These include:

dui wood letters md 201

A first DUI arrest is usually treated as a misdemeanor, but subsequent DUI convictions will likely result in felony charges and are treated as serious criminal offenses. 

In some instances, usually due to a prior DUI offense, this can be charged as a felony offense. The consequences of a felony DUI charge may result in losing the right to vote. However, this varies by state; not all felons lose this right. You may also lose the right to sit on a jury, own a firearm, and a DUI will create difficulties finding employment. 

Does a DUI in One State Show Up in Another State?

In short, yes. If someone is charged with a DUI and convicted outside of their home state, the DUI will follow the individual home. Most states participate in the Driver’s License Compact Nonresident Violator Compact to share information about driving records and history. This is independent of a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) background check. 

If someone is charged with a DUI in their home state, and then decides to move to another state, their license will still be suspended in their new area of residence. The offender

cannot obtain a new license until the suspension period is satisfied from the state of conviction. 

Legal help may be needed in expunging previous DUI criminal convictions. Throughout the United States, numerous law firms and law offices focus solely on DUI laws and fight to avoid DUI convictions.

A DUI defense attorney or DUI lawyer can provide everything from legal advice to criminal defense for new DUI charges. DUI lawyers are also helpful in seeking the expungement of DUI cases. 

How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Works

How Does Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the progenitor for a number of 12-step programs, is a therapeutic treatment option for those with alcohol substance use disorder. Alcoholics Anonymous, more widely referred to as AA is based on twelve traditions focused on spiritual progress. 

A.A. World Services, Inc was founded in 1935 by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson. Sister Mary Ignatia joined later on. Together, they worked to create a simple program that encourages the acknowledgment of God, admitted defects of characters, and a change to one’s general way or manner of living. 

Narcotics anonymous was founded in 1955 to help people suffering from all addictions and substance abuse disorders, including drug abuse and gambling, in addition to alcohol. They use the same twelve steps for their program.

AA Meeting Format

AA meetings follow the same overall format but there are minor differences between AA groups. The overall format is as follows:

Alcoholics Anonymous

The Introduction: The speaker will introduce themselves and declare themselves an alcoholic. 

The Serenity Prayer: The speaker will lead the group in reciting the serenity prayer.

The Mission Statement: The speaker goes over the rules and viewpoints of AA. Namely, that the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to quit drinking. AA is also entirely neutral and as such neither opposes or endorses any political or cultural viewpoint. The singular focus of AA groups is to help alcoholics stop drinking. 

The Big Book: A member of the group will be chosen to read chapter 5 from The Big Book; a manual written by founder Bill W. Chapter 5 is titled "How it Works" and deals with the spiritual goal of AA, I.E. spiritual progress as opposed to spiritual perfection. Furthermore, chapter 5 also covers the 12 steps of AA. 

Introduction and acknowledgment: In this section, an AA group encourages new members and visitors to introduce themselves. It also allows time for acknowledgment of sobriety anniversaries. 

Organizational activities: AA groups go over events that concern either the group or AA as a whole. 

The 12 Promises:  A speaker will read the 12 promises of AA, which are as follows: 

Ourselves.

The Closing: The members of the AA group will then open the floor for anyone with a “burning desire to speak.” If no member has such a desire they will then repeat the serenity prayer and end the meeting.

How to Get Started with AA

The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to quit drinking. However, completing AA requires rigorous honesty, and a release of old ideas. According to AA, they’ve seen only the occasional person fail. They refer to such unfortunates as being unable to manage their own lives and unable to develop along spiritual lines. 

AA groups don’t expect perfect adherence to the principals of the program, nor do they claim to have it themselves. AA is a program of recovery that focuses on support and understanding from the very start 

Alcoholics Anonymous world services are available in 180 countries. This means there are likely local AA groups in your region that are open for membership. There are two primary methods of sign up.

Online: Online meetings are available for those that chose not to or cannot meet in person. Online sign ups allow continued AA activity during sickness or potential sickness. 

In person: Signing up in person can be as simple as attending an in person meeting. Meeting in person can foster a stronger connection and commitment to the principles of AA. 

Do You Have to Pay for AA?

AA is a non-profit organization. They are sustained by internal donations. These donations are limited to 3,000 per year per member. As such, anyone that fits the aforementioned requirement can attend an AA meeting.