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Early Warning Signs

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that men under 65 drink no more than 14 drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks per sitting. Women and men over 65 should have no more than 7 drinks per week and 3 drinks per sitting

Overall, no one should have more than I drink per hour since that is how fast your body can metabolize alcohol. However, if you have a history of problems with alcohol, even one drink may be too many. People who have a history of head and neck cancer have an increased chance of getting a second cancer if they continue drinking.

What is a Standard Drink?

These drinks all contain the same amount of alcohol. You can think of each as a "standard drink":

  • One can of ordinary beer or ale (12 oz)
  • A glass of wine (6 oz)
  • A small glass of sherry (4 oz)
  • A single shot of liquor (1.5 oz)
  • A small glass of liqueur or aperitif (4 oz)

The Alcohol Consumption Worksheet (PDF format, 7k) can help you track your drinking. Each day write down how many drinks you had, what was the occasion and how you felt that day. After a week or so, you should be able to pinpoint your basic drinking pattern. You can tell what the triggers are for your drinking and how you feel while you are drinking.

In addition, as you complete the worksheet, note the places, people or environments that seem to trigger your drinking.

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