Alcohol Moderation: Meaning and Myth

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Many alcoholics believe that they can moderate their drinking, but is moderation a possibility?

Is moderation meaning the ability of control to people that are not educated on the subject?

There are many myths in the alcohol industry that entice alcoholics to continue drinking, and even encourage minors to take up drinking.

What is Moderation Meaning Today?

Moderation, in the matter of alcohol, is to monitor how much you are drinking and ensure that you are not going overboard.

Moderation is essential for self-control, and you can find yourself in dangerous situations without it.

Every person’s tolerance is different, and it is hard to say what people should drink, but how much alcohol is too much?

Keep in mind that by drinking too much, you will start to build a tolerance to alcohol and will need more in order to become intoxicated.

How to Moderate

There are some general guidelines that everyone should follow when drinking alcohol, which can be helpful to those that would like to know about how many drinks in a bottle of wine they can consume.

According to The American Heart Association and The Department of Agriculture and Department of Health & Human Services:

  • Women should not have more than 1 drink per day.
  • Men should not have more than 2 drinks per day.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s guidelines are a bit different:

  • Women should not have more than 3 drinks per day.
  • Women should not exceed 7 per week.
  • Men should not have more than 4 drinks per day. 
  • Men should not exceed 14 per week.

Consumption guidelines differ by country.

It should also be noted that the exact quantity of a “drink” will be different for all beverages.

Some standard portions for alcohol are as follows:

  • Beer: 12 ounces
  • Malt Liquor: 8 ounces
  • Wine: 5 ounces
  • 80-Proof liquor: 1.5 ounces

Consequences of Alcohol

Alcohol affects you in various ways. They can be avoided with moderation or by simply not drinking at all.

Long-term alcoholism also has many effects. Things like damage to the body and the mind inevitable with long-term use. 

Your digestive system can suffer from alcohol, and alcohol can even affect your mental health.

A major consequence of alcohol is becoming a functioning alcoholic.

A functioning alcoholic maintains a normal appearance in everyday life but suffers from alcoholism.

Fuctioning alcoholism has many signs. Signs such as using alcohol to cope with problems, denial, and dependency are just some of them.

Common Myths

  • The occasional drinker will swear that they know what their tolerance is

There are many factors that contribute to tolerance such as alcohol content, body weight, gender, and how much you’ve eaten that day.

One cannot truly know their tolerance because it is constantly changing.

  • Most drinkers think that they are in control of their decisions when intoxicated, can become sober at will, and can drive while drunk, but this simply is not true. 

Alcohol impairs your judgment and rationality, making it impossible to be in complete control.

Alcohol can also cause your vision to blur, and your motor skills will suffer from impairment.

It is also impossible to become sober at will because the alcohol will remain in your body for several hours.

  • Some women think that it’s acceptable to drink the same amount of alcohol as their boyfriend, or any male for that matter.

Men are generally larger and have more water in their bodies than women do. Women retain a higher blood-alcohol concentration from a drink than a man would.

  • Many people talk about alcohol causing cancer being a myth.

There has been evidence that consuming more alcohol increases the risk of causing various types of cancer such as head and neck cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer.

Alcohol also impairs the body’s ability to break down essential nutrients that are useful to combat cancer such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

How Can I Better Myself?

Not seeking help is a problem that many high-functioning alcoholics suffer from, and there are many things that people who suffer from alcoholism can do in order to better themselves.

  • Acknowledge that you have a problem.

A major problem that most addicts suffer from is refusing to accept the fact that they have a problem or an addiction.

Acknowledgment is important for both the alcoholic and the people that you are confiding in.

By acknowledging the problem, you allow people to help you, and you can enable yourself to receive treatment that you otherwise would not receive if you were claiming to not have a problem.

  • Talk to family and/or friends.

Talking to someone that is close to you is, for many people, a lot easier than talking to a stranger in a doctor’s office.

Loved ones are people that you trust, and they would be more than willing to help you with your problems.

  • Find the root cause of your problem.

Rather than using alcohol to cope with your problems, discover with loved one’s ways that you can eliminate the problems.

In many cases, alcoholics over-think about the things that they are trying to run from, thus resulting in the use of alcohol to forget about them.

  •  Seek a therapist.

While talking to family and friends is great for your mental health, therapists are trained to assist people with any issues.

A therapist will help you to find the reason for your alcoholism and will help you to find options that you can do to help yourself.

  • Eliminate alcohol from your life.

The best thing that you can do to fight alcoholism is to stop drinking alcohol.

Replace alcohol with water and healthy foods, which will make your body feel better, resulting in giving you a better mood.

  • Become an active person.

It is usually hard for addicts to quit the things that they are addicted to, but one of the best ways to quit something is by remaining active.

Filling up your time with activities such as sports or hobbies will help you to keep your mind off of things while also being productive!

Start Treatment by Contacting Us

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we provide professionals that can help you with any of your problems and can help you with the moderation meaning. Contact us on our website. You can also contact us by phone at (866) 319-6126.

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/alcohol/alcohol-fact-sheet

https://www.medium.com/@gidmk/the-myth-of-moderate-drinking-6c05687179d7

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2013/09/03/are-you-drinking-too-much-the-myth-of-moderation/#5a5d53392dfc

https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/specialfeatures/alcoholmyths.aspx

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.