Moderate alcohol consumption:

According to the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, moderate drinking is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

 

Binge Drinking:
  • NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.

     

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), defines binge drinking as 5 or more alcoholic drinks for males or 4 or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past month.
 
Heavy Alcohol Use:
 
SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month.
 
 
 
NIAAA’s Definition of Drinking at Low Risk for Developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD):
 
For women, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. For men, it is defined as no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week. NIAAA research shows that only about 2 in 100 people who drink within these limits have AUD.
 

 

Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:

  • Plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery
     
  • Take medications that interact with alcohol
     
  • Have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate
     
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant