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Alcohol Abuse

About 1.5 million adults received treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) at a specialized facility in 2014 (8.9 percent of adults who needed treatment). This included 1.1 million men (9.8 percent of men in need) and 431,000 women (7.4 percent of women who needed treatment).

Do I have a Problem?

Self-test #1 (
Self-test #2  (
SAMHSA’s Tucson-area treatment locator.

Alcohol Abuse Definitions:

Binge drinking = “NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.”

Heavy drinking = “SAMHSA defines heavy drinking as drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.”

Low Risk for Developing an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) = As defined by NIAAA, for women, low-risk drinking is no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. For men, it is defined as no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week. NIAAA research shows that only about 2 in 100 people who drink within these limits have an AUD.  Even within these limits, you can have problems if you drink too quickly or have other health issues.

Nearly 88,0009 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women9) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2011, 48.0 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (72.7 percent) among decedents ages 25–34, followed by decedents aged 35–44, at 70.3 percent.

Health Benefits of Alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
Moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on health. These include decreased risk for heart disease and mortality due to heart disease, decreased risk of ischemic stroke (in which the arteries to the brain become narrowed or blocked, resulting in reduced blood flow), and decreased risk of diabetes.

Have a question or want to talk with someone confidentially?  Call us at 520-621-2493.