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New Research on What is Considered Moderate Drinking

A female researcher does work with a test tube.
Research shows safe drinking limits may be lower than previously thought.

Anyone who drinks and is concerned about their health likely knows the recommended U.S. safe drinking limit—two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women, with a weekly cap of 14 drinks for men and seven for women.

However, a new study calls those guidelines into question.

The study, which was published in The Lancet last month, aggregated data from multiple studies that included 600,000 people in 19 high-income countries.

The results were a shock to many.

The data did not show a significant difference in how alcohol affects the life expectancy of men versus women. Men cannot—as everyone thought—safely drink more than women.

What is Moderate Drinking and Safe Alcohol Consumption?

So if men cannot safely have 14 drinks a week, what is a safe limit?

The study indicated that, for both men and women, about seven standard drinks is the threshold for safe drinking. If you consume double that, your life expectancy would be reduced by an average of about one to two years. Drinking more than 350 grams—or about 25 standard drinks a week—drops life expectancy by four to five years.

Is Alcohol Ever Good for You?

While it is true that moderate drinking can reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks, the study found no overall health benefit, even to moderate drinkers.

That’s because, according to the study, even moderate drinking increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, including stroke, aortic aneurysm, fatal hypertensive disease and heart failure.

So while there is a reduced risk of heart attack, other risks effectively offset that benefit.

In other words, drinking is never actually good for you.

Addiction Treatment in Colorado

If you’re drinking more than you know is recommended, the next step is to set limits and moderate your drinking. If you can’t, that’s a classic sign that you may need help tackling the problem.

At The Raleigh House, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially, as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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