Most adults enjoy a good drink or two every now and then, but how much is too much? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women shouldn’t exceed more than one glass a day and men shouldn’t exceed more than two glasses a day.
Although alcohol is usually associated with having a great time, people often forget that it’s a depressant and consuming too much can lead to serious health consequences, such as liver damage and increased blood pressure, as well as various types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer.
“Drinking 15 or more drinks per week can impact your health. Women and men are at risk for cirrhosis and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and colon,” says Angela Ginn, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Baltimore, Maryland.
“But unique to women, is the increased risk of breast cancer, memory loss and brain shrinkage. Men on the other hand, have an increased risk of liver cancer and testicular function. The bottom line is, it’s all about moderation.”
Excessive drinking can also have a dangerous effect on the people around you. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 16,000 people die every year in car accidents that involve drunk drivers. Furthermore, 1 in 3 violent crimes involve alcohol.
So, how can you tell if you or someone you know may have a drinking problem? Drinking whenever you’re feeling sad or depressed, others telling you should cut back on your drinking, and not being able to stop drinking once you start are all indicators that you might have a drinking problem and should seek professional help right away.
If you or someone you know appears to be struggling with alcohol, get help by heading over the Alcoholics Anonymous website at www.aa.org.