Alcohol Use: How Much is Too Much This Summer?

Summer is right around the corner and good times outside enjoying the beautiful weather and sunshine are near. Sometimes these outdoor events such as picnics, ball games, barbeques, holiday parties, and neighborhood functions are all opportunities for having an alcoholic drink or two. Maybe even more….? This summer, take some time to think about your drinking habits and learn some tips on lowering the amount of alcohol that you drink.

The standard size of an alcoholic drink has about 14 grams of alcohol. Types of alcoholic drinks have different amount of sizes, just like food. One drink of beer is 12 ounces, one drink of wine is 5 ounces, and hard alcohol like Vodka, Rum and Whisky is just 1.5 ounces. For men, too much alcohol use can be 5 or more drinks at one time or 15 or more drinks per week. For women it is 4 or more drinks at one time and 8 or more drinks per week. Any alcohol used by pregnant women is too much because of the risks to the unborn baby. Also, any alcohol use by those under 21 years of age is too much.

Drinking too much can lead to harmful health problems such as different types of cancer, Dementia, or heart disease. Also, many don’t realize that drinking in the summertime heat can quickly lead to dehydration and even heat stroke. Alcohol use also can contribute to risky behavior. Car accidents, falls, and drownings can happen when someone drinks too much alcohol. Also, risky sexual behavior can lead to unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Violence like homicide, suicide, or sexual assault may even happen.

Instead of fruity summertime alcoholic treats, try some tasty alcohol-free choices. As an added benefit, these drinks usually don’t pack as many calories and can help keep your summertime figure.

Four Corners Health Department encourages you to be safe this summer and enjoy all the fun opportunities that warm weather and playing outside can bring.

For more information: cdc.gov/alcohol/, talkaboutalcohol.org, and fourcorners.ne.gov.