How Much Is Too Much?
- 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.
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► 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
- 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
Last Updated: April 30, 2013