Translate This Page Print This Page Email a Friend Newsletter Sign-Up
Text Size : Sm Med Lg

Excessive Drinking

How Much Is Too Much?
several women having drinks
For men:
  • Excessive drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks in a short period of time, such as a 2-hour period, or


  • More than 14 drinks in a week.
For women and people 65 and older:
  • Excessive drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks in a short period of time, such as a 2-hour period, or


  • More than 7 drinks in a week.

► See Excessive Drinking is Dangerous(PDF)
Other languages: [Español][中文]

► See Alcohol - How Much Is Too Much?

What counts as 1 drink?
  • A 12-oz. glass, bottle, or can of beer or ale


  • A 5-oz. glass of wine, or a 3.5-oz. glass of fortified wine


  • A 1.5-oz. “shot” of distilled liquor or brandy (straight or in a mixed drink)
Excessive Drinking Is Dangerous
It increases the risk of many problems, such as:

  • Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
  • Hepatitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypertension
  • Enlarged heart or weakening of the heart muscle
  • Cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, breast, and colon
  • Weakened immune system
  • Pneumonia and other infections
  • Accidents and injuries
  • Committing or being the victim of acts of violence
  • Depression, dementia, and other mental disorders
  • Suicide

More Resources

Last Updated: April 30, 2013