How Much is Too Much When it Comes to Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol can lessen tension, reduce inhibitions and ease social interactions. And you can drink safely – but drinking too much can be harmful physically, emotionally and economically.

“There are many cultural misperceptions about consuming alcohol that make it harder to identify when someone is struggling. Generally, people overestimate what is considered normal drinking patterns, which contributes to continued and potentially increased use,” said Liz Woodford, substance use disorder program director at New Directions Behavioral Health. “The earlier an individual or a family member can recognize the signs and seek help, the better chance they have to improve their health and quality of life.”

Signs there may be a problem may include:

  • Frequent or uncontrolled drinking episodes
  • Getting in trouble with the law or being injured due to drinking
  • Problems at school, on the job or with relationships because of drinking
  • Using alcohol to decrease anxiety or sadness
  • Needing more alcohol to feel its effects

The decision to seek alcohol treatment for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult, but important step. Simply identifying what type of treatment is needed and what is available can be tough.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, licensed clinicians can partner with you to assess your needs, develop a plan of action, explore treatment options and connect you with resources in your community.

New Directions provides behavioral health benefits for most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members.

Visit to learn more about treating alcohol addiction and other substance use disorders.

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Photo credit: sturti

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