Determining how many drinks per week is considered an alcoholic is hard to know. The primary reason is that the development of alcoholism – more formally known as alcohol use disorder – depends on many different components. Common components associated with the development of alcoholism often include type of alcohol, gender, body type, problems caused by drinking, tolerance, and physical dependence. Rather than determining how many drinks causes an individual to become an alcoholic, it is better to understand how alcohol plays a part in everyday living.

Understanding an individual relationship with alcohol often yields far greater benefits than simply determining a number of beverages per a specified period of time. If you’re concerned about your alcohol consumption, it’s critical to get outside perspective. Contact our online alcohol treatment center directly at 720-650-8055.

alcoholism standard drinking

What is Considered to be Normal Drinking?

Socially-accepted drinking behaviors often vary, making it difficult to determine how many drinks per week is considered an alcoholic. A person, for example, may feel that it’s normal to consume more than eight drinks per week. Others may find it normal to binge drink with friends every weekend. 

Determining responsible behaviors for all individuals can be difficult. It is also hard to determine what is considered abnormal drinking behaviors. A common method used in the field of Abnormal Psychology to determine appropriateness of all behaviors is the four D’s of Abnormal Behaviors. The four D’s of Abnormal Behaviors include:

  •     Danger
  •     Distress
  •     Dysfunction
  •     Deviance

Aside from these, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specific measures to determine moderate drinking amounts.

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the Dietary Guidelines recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed. The Guidelines also do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

What do the Four D’s of Abnormal Behavior Have to Do With Drinking?

The Four D’s of Abnormal Behavior is a simple guide an individual can use to gauge the severity of any behavior. Alcohol use is a potentially problematic behavior. Examining the level of danger alcohol may cause on friends and family. Knowing the level of perceived distress alcohol places on relationships, the body, and employment. Noticing the impact of alcohol on daily activities such as hygiene, maintenance, and self-care. Determining if alcohol behaviors have become socially acceptable or unacceptable. These are all important components to consider when determining if alcohol use has become a problem?

Is Daily Drinking Problematic?

Along with the Four D’s of Abnormal Behaviors, knowing what behaviors are problematic can be tricky, but it is a critical part of understanding the differences between alcoholism and casual drinking.

Casual drinking is commonplace in the United States and over 70% of American adults over the age of 18 state they have consumed or abused alcohol within the last year. Approximately 40% of Americans report alcohol use or abuse within the last month. Some common problematic behaviors include:

  •     Loss of control over a substance.
  •     Continued use despite problems.
  •     Lack of pleasure in hobbies.
  •     Health Problems
  •     Decreased mental well-being
  •     Continued use despite problems.
  •     Large amounts of time and energy in obtaining, using, and recovering from a substance

What are the risk factors pertaining to how many drinks per week is considered an alcohol? There are many diseases associated with excessive alcohol use. Drinking a fifth a vodka a day, for example, carries extreme health consequences.

whats considered alcoholism

Can Weekly Drinking Make Me an Alcoholic?

The occasional use of alcohol is a highly-accepted form of substance use. The use of alcohol is widely accepted and depicted in movies, television, magazines, media, and several social media platforms. The portrayal of alcohol use through these large platforms often minimizes the problems that arise with alcohol use, and highlights the camaraderie and social benefits involved with the use of alcohol. The current public image of alcohol use can have both positive and negative effects. Common positive effects of alcohol if used moderately can include:

  •     Increased social interaction
  •     Relaxation
  •     Less Mental Stress
  •     Reduction in physical pain
  •     Possible reduction in heart disease or other medical problems

What Are the Health Risks of Regular Drinking?

Research has shown the aforementioned benefits are possible, however proper limitations and moderation of alcohol use is critical. Unfortunately, properly limiting alcohol consumption can be quite challenging and the appropriate amount of alcohol can change from person to person. Alcohol use can quickly change to be problematic without limitations. Problematic outcomes from alcohol consumption include:

  •     Liver disease and/or other medical problems
  •     Unhealthy relationships
  •     Legal problems
  •     Difficulty with maintaining employment
  •     Increased emotional distress

Does Regular Alcohol Use Always Turn into Alcoholism?

Not all regular alcohol use is problematic. It is common to have a glass of wine or beer at dinner. The alcohol culture in the United States often seems to promote such regular use of alcohol. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine what causes one to be an alcoholic. Research examines the potential for biological and social aspects of alcoholism. It is an ongoing study with little output at this time.

Does Having Alcoholism in My Family Put Me at Risk?

Yes. Research has shown a strong correlation between alcohol use in family history and the potential for an individual to develop alcoholism or alcoholic tendencies themselves. Exact reasoning for this is still unknown, but research has shown both a strong biological and social connection. Many often refer to the bio-psycho-social model to better understand why mental disorders may become intergenerational. Answering the question about nature vs. nurture is challenging, but does provide good insight into potential rehabilitation treatment methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and many more..

How do I Know If I am Becoming an Alcoholic?

Look for problems that may be due to alcohol use. It is important to assess problem drinking behaviors. Many consequences from problem drinking habits can occur and can have a significant impact on health and quality of life. AspenRidge has made it easy to begin taking the steps to assess for problem drinking.

how many drinks is considered alcoholic

AspenRidge REACH – Online Alcohol Treatment

AspenRidge REACH provides care through virtual programs that incorporate individualized and group sessions. Through secure video conferencing, AspenRidge REACH can assist those struggling with daily alcohol consumption problems. 

Battling with alcohol abuse is difficult and can produce a range of health issues and life concerns, including losing a job, facing legal troubles, and causing ruin to relationships. AspenRidge REACH offers support at a time when it’s needed most. We can address mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, and trauma. We offer a wide range of treatment modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic care, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and more. Our programs are designed to be customized to each client. 

We offer a few online alcohol treatment options, including:

To learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment programs, contact us directly 24/7 with questions and concerns. Call 833-90-REACH.