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7 Ways to help cut back on excessive alcohol use and put a stop to binge drinking

Are you or someone you know an alcoholic? There are 7 ways to help cut back on excessive alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol abuse. Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. The CDC encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking excessively.

What is excessive alcohol use?

Excessive alcohol use can cause a variety of problems. But how much is too much?

  • Binge drinking
    For women, binge drinking is four or more drinks consumed on one occasion (one occasion = 2 to 3 hours). For men, binge drinking is five or more drinks consumed on one occasion.
  • Heavy drinking
    For women, heavy drinking is eight drinks or more per week. For men, heavy drinking is 15 drinks or more per week.
  • Underage drinking
    Underage drinking is any alcohol used by those under age 21.
  • Pregnant drinking
    Pregnant drinking is any alcohol use by pregnant women.

What is considered an alcoholic drink?

There are different kinds of alcoholic drinks. It helps to know how much of their liquid content is alcohol. Here’s a brief look at US standard drink sizes and their alcohol by volume:

  • 12 ounces of 5% ABV beer
  • 8 ounces of 7% ABV malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of 12% ABV wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 40% ABV (80 proof) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. Here are the suggested amounts and frequency for alcohol intake:
  • No one should begin drinking or drink more frequently based on potential health benefits.
  • Don’t drink at all if you’re under age 21, pregnant or may be pregnant, breastfeeding, or have health problems that could be made worse by drinking alcohol.

Strategies to help you cut back or stop alcohol use

Here are seven ways you can try to minimize or completely stop excessive drinking:

  1. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  2. Keep track of how much you drink.
  3. Choose a day each week when you won’t drink.
  4. Don’t drink when you’re upset.
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  6. Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  7. Make a list of reasons not to drink.

If you’re concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.

New York City has many free and low-cost services for those who wish to quit drinking. You can call New York City’s 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week hotline at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or visit NYC Well online. You may also go to urgent care near me for a walk-in visit or call in advance to book an appointment.