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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that “ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor.

Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches.” Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. The feelings elicited when an individual ingests alcohol occurs because of the way the substance interacts with one’s neurotransmitters. Binge drinking is when an individual exhibits a pattern of drinking an excessive amount of alcohol that leads to the elevation of his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to reach above 0.08% or more. Excessive alcohol use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes males drinking more than five alcoholic beverages within a two-hour period and females consuming more than four alcoholic drinks within a two-hour window. One standard drink is outlined as:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol content) 
  • 8 – 9 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5 ounces of unfortified wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor (40% alcohol content)

It is considered heavy drinking when a male consumes fifteen or more alcoholic drinks per week, or a female consumes eight or more drinks per week. Binge drinking is just one pattern of excessive drinking, but it accounts for most of the excessive drinking, as over 90% of adults in America who drink excessively report binge drinking.

An alcoholic is an individual that is diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that “alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” Alcoholics will prioritize satisfying alcohol cravings above all else, regardless of the negative consequences. Although possible, according to the CDC most people who binge drink do not have a severe alcohol use disorder. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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