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People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on people—and throughout history, people have struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.

 

How much is too much?

No drinking is always an option.

Moderate drinking is defined as having 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men according to the Center for Disease Control.

Heavy drinking for women is defined as 8 drinks or more per week and for men, 15 or more drinks per week.

Binge drinking is defined as drinking up to 4 drinks for women or 5 drinks for men, bringing the blood alcohol level up to 0.08% in about two hours.  In Washington, 0.08% blood alcohol level is considered drunk driving!

Risks of Binge Drinking

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns and alcohol poisoning
  • Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon
  • Memory and learning problems
  • Missing classes, falling behind, doing poorly on exams and papers, lower grades
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Making unwise choices 

When to AVOID alcohol

  • If you are under the age of 21.
  • If you plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery.
  • If you have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate (like diabetes, heart disease).
  • If you take medications that interact with alcohol.
  • If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.