Are Your Alcohol Drinking Habits Healthy or a Problem?

Post Date: May 2015

Do you know fact from fiction when it comes to drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor? Test yourself with this quick quiz.

What percentage of Americans drink alcohol regularly?

  • 10%
  • 33%
  • 56%
  • 100%

Correct answer: c. In 2013, a little more than half (56.4%) of Americans (18 years and older) report that they drank alcohol in the past month. About a third of Americans report that they don’t drink alcohol at all.

A person’s age changes how alcohol affects them:

  • True
  • False

Correct answer: a: True.  As people age, their bodies break down alcohol more slowly. That means older people may be more affected by drinking alcohol than when they were younger, and that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of falls or impaired driving.

How much of each type of alcohol is considered 1 drink?

  • Beer:  ___ ounces (pick one: 2, 5, 12, 100)
  • Malt liquor:      ounces (pick one: 2, 8, 12, 50)
  • Wine (not sherry or port):        ounces (pick one: 5, 12, 20, 40)
  • Hard liquor:      ounces (pick one: 1, 1.5, 5, 12)

     

Correct answers

Beer: 12 ounces (5% alcohol)
Malt liquor:   8 ounces (7% alcohol)
Wine (not sherry or port): 5 ounces (12% alcohol)
Hard liquor:   1.5 ounces (40% alcohol, 80 proof)

Which of the following patterns of drinking raises your risk of health problems?

  • Binge drinking (5 or more drinks on one occasion for men, 4 or more for women)
  • Heavy drinking (15 or more drinks per week for men, 8 or more for women)
  • Any drinking while pregnant
  • Drinking by people younger than 21 years old

Correct answer: a, b, c, and d are all correct!

  • Binge drinking can lead to impaired driving, relationship violence, risky sexual behavior, and accidental injury or death. It is also associated with chronic illness over time.
  • Heavy drinking is associated with health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, liver cirrhosis, and cancer, including head and neck cancer.
  • Drinking while pregnant can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. No amount of alcohol is safe while pregnant.
  • Youth drinking is associated with school problems, accidents, legal problems, unwanted sexual activity, and higher risk of suicide and homicide.

How much alcohol is safe to drink before driving?

  • One drink
  • Two drinks
  • As much light beer as you want
  • None

Correct answer: d. None! All states in the US have set a legal limit of 80mg/dL (milligrams/deciliter) of alcohol in the bloodstream for drivers over 21 years old. But alcohol can impair your ability to drive at levels well below the legal limit. Also, it is difficult or impossible to know how impaired you are once you start drinking.  More than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2012.

It is dangerous to drink alcohol while taking some medications:

  • True
  • False

Correct answer: a. True. Many medications for common conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, and pain can have harmful interactions with alcohol. Even over-the-counter cough syrup or herbal supplements can make it risky to drink. Check with your Rite Aid Pharmacist to see if alcohol should be avoided with any of your medications or supplements.

How many calories are in:

  • 12-ounce beer (pick one: 100, 150, 200, 250)
  • 5-ounces wine (pick one: 60, 105, 140, 200)
  • 1.5-ounce liquor (pick one: 50, 100, 180, 250)
  • 6.3-ounce Margarita (pick one: 125, 280, 327, 455)
Correct answers:
  • 12-ounce beer:  150
  • 5-ounces wine: 105
  • 1.5-ounce liquor: 100
  • Margarita: 327

Drinking alcohol adds calories, particularly if you are drinking mixed drinks or drinking multiple drinks.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your healthcare provider about its effect on your health. Remember that most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics, but are still taking unnecessary health risks.

These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease.  Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary.  Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regimen.

Sources

Alcohol and Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Alcohol and Your Health, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health

Alcohol Use and Older Adults, National Institutes of Health, Senior Health: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/alcoholuse/alcoholandaging/01.html

Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts /nationwide-trends

Fact Sheets: Alcohol Use and Your Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Harmful Interactions, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm

Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

Nutrition and Your Health, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, United States Department of Agriculture:
http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/report/html/table_e3.htm

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). 2013 Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabsPDFWHTML2013/Web/HTML/NSDUH-DetTabsSect2peTabs1to42-2013.htm#tab2.41b


These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.