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New Website Helps People Evaluate Their Drinking Risks

Posted in Alcoholism

After determining the about 30 percent of Americans drink at levels that raise their risk of medical, legal, or social problems, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created a new website that helps people identify whether they are at risk of becoming dependent on alcohol.

By visiting Rethinking Drinking, you can evaluate your drinking patterns. For men, a low-risk drinking pattern is no more than four drinks on any one day or 14 in a week. For women, the low-risk level is no more than three drinks on one day or seven in a week. One drink is identified as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, an ounce-and-a-half shot of hard liquor, or one standard cocktail.

The website allows you to calculate your own risk by entering how many days per week you drink and how many drinks you have on a typical drinking day. It then compares your pattern to those of 43,000 people ages 18 and over, showing you where you are in relation to others in the US. The website also lists the risks of moderate and heavy drinking, ways to reduce your risk, and the warning signs that you may be dependent on alcohol. You can also find strategies for cutting down on or your alcohol intake and quitting altogether, as well as tools and resources for finding additional help and treatment.

Alcohol is involved in 60 percent of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50 percent of severe traumatic injuries; and 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents, suicides, and fatal falls. You can make a difference and help lower these tragic numbers by visiting the website, evaluating your risk of becoming dependent on alcohol or being harmed by it, and finding ways to reduce or completely abolish that risk.

Source:, Peter Ostrow, How Much Alcohol Is Too Much? May 21, 2009