This means people with the disorder have difficulty controlling the amount they drink and an inability to stop even when they experience negative consequences such as missed days of work to an arrest for drinking and driving. People who are considered “high-functioning” while drinking may never experience obvious negative consequences, however, their use is still compulsive, and they can’t stop drinking on their own.
Not all people with an alcohol use disorder experience the same consequences, nor does everyone drink the same. It is a matter of what happens when you are drinking or not drinking instead of how you drink. It is also not dependent on what you drink, whether it’s beer, hard liquor, or wine.
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One standard drink as defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is 12 ounces of beer, 8 to 9 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. There are two forms of compulsive drinking that may qualify as alcohol abuse:
Binge drinking means drinking a lot in a short period. It’s not something you have to do every day or even every month. For men, binge drinking is five or more alcoholic drinks in two hours or less. For women, it’s four or more drinks in two hours.
Chronic drinking refers to those who drink as part of their daily life. If it is normal to go home and drink a six-pack daily, — that shows a pattern of unhealthy alcoholic consumption, especially if you start to feel sick if you don’t drink.