More Alcohol Addiction Questions

More Alcohol Addiction Questions

People have numerous questions about alcohol addiction.  In this blog we consider a few more alcohol addiction questions.  The answers presented here are not meant to provide medical advice.  They simply provide information to better understand the health consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence.  Please consult your doctor or other health care provider if you or a family member has an alcohol problem.

Is There A Safe Level Of Drinking?

For most adults, moderate alcohol use- up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people – causes few if any problems.  (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)

Certain people should not drink at all, however:

  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • People who plan to drive or engage in other activities that require alertness and skill (such as driving a car)
  • People taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • People with medical conditions that can be made worse by drinking
  • Recovering alcoholics
  • People younger than age 21.

Does Alcohol Affect Women Differently?

Alcohol does affect women differently than men.  Women become more impaired than men do after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when differences in body weight are taken into account.  This is because women’s bodies have less water than men’s bodies.

Is It Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?

No, alcohol is not safe to drink during pregnancy.  It can harm the baby if a mother drinks during pregnancy.  The damage caused by prenatal alcohol includes a range of physical, behavioral, and learning problems in babies, the most severe condition is called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Is Alcohol Good For Your Heart?

Studies have shown that moderate drinkers are less likely to die from one form of heart disease than are people who do not drink any alcohol or who drink more.  If you are a nondrinker; however, you should not start drinking solely to benefit your heart.  You can guard against heart disease by exercising and eating foods that are low in fat.

If you can safely drink alcohol and you choose to drink, do so in moderation.  Heavy drinking can actually increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as cause many other medical problems, such as liver cirrhosis.

When Taking Medications, Must You Stop Drinking?

Possibly.  More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol.  These interactions may result in increased risk of illness, injury, and even death.  If you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can safely drink alcohol.

How Can A Person Get Help For An Alcohol Problem?

There are many national and local resources that can help.  The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service provides a toll-free telephone number.  1-800-662-HELP (4357), offering various resource information.  Through this service you can speak directly to a representative concerning substance abuse treatment, request printed material on alcohol or other drugs, or obtain local substance abuse treatment referral information in your State.  Many people also find support groups a helpful aid to recovery.  For help with more alcohol addiction questions search these topics:

SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Again, this information is not meant to provide medical advice.  It is presented to simply answer a few more alcohol addiction questions and help people understand the consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence.  Please seek treatment if you are struggling with an alcohol problem.


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