Definition of Alcohol Use, Abuse and Dependence (Alcoholism)

In addition to alcohol dependence (alcoholism), experts are now defining alcohol use by levels of harm that it may be causing. This information is useful to determine possible interventions at earlier stages. The following categories of alcohol use and abuse use a definition of one drink as;

  • In the USA – 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (a jigger) of 90-proof liquor.
  • In metric terms – 1 can of medium beer, 1 nip of spirits, 100 gm wine. One standard drink contains 10 gm of alcohol.

Moderate Drinking.

Moderate drinking, particularly red wine, appears to offer health benefits.

Moderate drinking is defined as equal to or less than two drinks a day for men and equal to or less than one drink a day for women.

Hazardous (Heavy) Drinking.

Hazardous drinking puts people at risk for adverse health events. People who are heavy drinkers consume the following:

  • More than 14 drinks per week or 4 to 5 drinks at one sitting for men.
  • More than seven drinks a week or three drinks at one sitting for women.
  • Frequent intoxication in either gender.

Harmful Drinking.

Drinking is considered harmful when alcohol consumption has actually caused physical or psychologic harm. This is determined by the following:

  • There is clear evidence that alcohol is responsible for such harm.
  • The nature of that harm can be identified.
  • Alcohol consumption has persisted for at least a month or has occurred repeatedly for the past year.
  • The individual is not alcohol dependent.

Alcohol Abuse.

People with alcohol abuse have one or more of the following alcohol-related problems over a period of one year:

  • Failure to fulfill work or personal obligations.
  • Recurrent use in potentially dangerous situations.
  • Problems with the law.
  • Continued use in spite of harm being done to social or personal relationships.

Alcohol Dependence or Alcoholism.

People who are alcohol dependent have three or more of the following alcohol-related problems over a period of one year:

  • Increased amounts of alcohol needed to produce an effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms or drinking alcohol to avoid these symptoms.
  • Drinking more over a given period than intended.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut down.
  • Giving up significant leisure or work activities.
  • Continuing drinking in spite of the knowledge of its physical or psychological harm to oneself or others.
Advertisements

One thought on “Definition of Alcohol Use, Abuse and Dependence (Alcoholism)

  1. Pingback: WHAT IS ALCOHOLISM? « Alcohol Self-Help News

.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s