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If you’re thinking about completing alcohol detox or treatment, you may be wondering about how severe your alcohol issue really is. Organizations like the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have created a classification system for this. Heavy drinking is at the highest level in this system.

According to the NIAAA, a man is a heavy drinker if he has more than 4 drinks in a day or 14 drinks in a week. A woman, on the other hand, is a heavy drinker if she has 3 drinks in a day or 7 drinks in a week.

Keep reading to learn more about the NIAAA’s classification system for drinking alcohol.

Understanding the three levels of alcohol consumption

Moderate Drinker

Most people who consume alcohol fall under the NIAAA’s definition of a moderate drinker. This is the lowest level on the scale. It involves having four or fewer drinks in a week for women and or 8 fewer drinks per week for a man. Typically, a moderate drinker will have no more than 1-2 glasses of alcohol per occasion.

Binge Drinker

Some people fall under the umbrella of being binge drinkers. This is the next level on the scale. It involves drinking large quantities of alcohol in short amounts of time. For example, if you drink enough to reach a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, then you’re technically a binge drinker. This usually requires about 4-5 drinks in a 2-hour period.

Heavy Drinker

Finally, the last level on the NIAAA’s scale is heavy drinkers. This involves consuming more than 4 drinks on any day for a man or 14 drinks in a week. For women, it means consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or 7 in a week.

What to do if you’re a heavy drinker

If you qualify as a heavy drinker, then it’s important to be proactive about your health. You’re currently at risk of experiencing a number of negative physical and mental health impacts. But you can reduce those risks significantly by pursuing substance abuse recovery support.

Regardless of whether you prefer inpatient or outpatient substance abuse programs, everybody has to begin by completing alcohol detox. This is when your body purges itself of the alcohol that’s still in its systems. And that has to happen before you’ll be ready for long-term care.

The House of The Rising Son Makes Alcohol Detox Easier

Are you ready to get started with detox? If so, consider reaching out to The House of The Rising Son. We provide personalized detox and substance abuse recovery services in the Southern California area.

With our help, you can complete your detox from alcohol in a safe, comfortable, and efficient manner. That way, you can move out of the heavy drinker category as quickly as possible and stay out of it long-term.

The first step is reaching out to one of our addiction specialists. They’re standing by to answer your questions and to help you find a personalized alcohol detox plan.