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At-risk Alcohol Use


At-risk alcohol use occurs when the amount of alcohol you drink increases your risk of health problems. You may be drinking alcohol regularly or all at once (binge drinking). In men, at-risk alcohol use is having more than 14 drinks per week, or more than 4 drinks at one time. For women, it is more than 7 drinks per week, or more than 3 drinks at one time.


Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Brief intervention therapy:

A healthcare provider meets with you to discuss ways to control your risky behaviors, such as drinking and driving. This therapy also helps you set goals to decrease the amount of alcohol you drink.

Avoid alcohol:

You should stop drinking entirely, or at least decrease the amount you drink. Alcohol can damage your brain, heart, and liver. It also increases your risk for injury, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Alcohol is dangerous when you combine it with certain medicines.

Manage stress:

Learn ways to manage stress. Deep breathing, meditation, and listening to music may help you cope with stressful events. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to manage stress.

Do not drive if you have had alcohol:

Make sure someone who has not been drinking can help you get home.

For support and more information:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    Web Address:
  • National Clearinghouse on Drug and Alcohol Information
    Phone: 1- 800 - 7296686
    Web Address:

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You need help to stop drinking alcohol.
  • You have new symptoms since your last visit.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
  • You have trouble breathing, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.
  • You have a seizure.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about At-risk Alcohol Use (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

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