Alcoholism has no standard definition, but vague defining standards. It’s confusing because alcoholism itself is confusing. Mathematically, an alcohol problem happens as soon as you drink in such a manner which raises your BACK, your blood alcohol content level, to 0.08 in two hours or less. Typically, for a male that’s about five drinks and for females that’s about four drinks in a two hour drinking sitting. By standard, “a drink” is defined as a 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5 ounce shot of liquor, as is nationally recognized due to research conducted by the NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. However, what each person’s unique genetic makeup is capable of metabolizing and regulating is different.
The real point is this. If you are reading this article trying to calculate the amount of alcohol you have to drink for it to be considered a “problem” and need to figure out how to drink as much as possible without it being a “problem”, you have a problem. Alcoholism, or a “problem” with alcohol is not based on how much you drink or even how long you have been drinking “problematically”.
Your drinking is a problem when it starts becoming a problem
Maybe you’re blacking out more than you used to. The only reason you’ve been blacking out more is because you have to drink more than you ever have to get drunk. You’re not sure why this has happened. Once you start drinking, you don’t seem to be able to stop. Your health, physically and mentally, is starting to fall. Maintaining healthy relationships is a challenge. Fulfilling life responsibilities seems to get harder and harder to do. Without drinking for long periods of time, you experience some symptoms of withdrawal, like shaking, sweating, anxiety, and a craving for more alcohol.
The minute any of this starts to happen, you are being given a clear indicator that your problem with alcohol is indeed a problem. Mistakenly, many people believe there is some standardized way to know exactly when they’ve reached the problem category of drinking. As a result, their drinking is never quite problematic enough, and the problems only get worse.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a drinking problem, you are capable of changing. Everyone is. At Design For Change, we’re showing clients how to take action and change their lives, one step at a time. For more information on our treatment programs and recovery services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.