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Many people use alcohol to help them relax, unwind, or socialize.

Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD, is a common condition, impacting more than 28 million people ages 12 and up. The COVID-19 pandemic increased stress and time at home, which led to more drinking behavior that has been difficult to change. When we drink so much that it creates problems with our health, relationships, and ability to function without alcohol, it may mean we are drinking too much, or could have AUD.

Women & Alcohol

Alcohol has different effects on women as compared to men, often resulting in a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems, including liver damage, heart disease, brain damage, and cancers. Learn more about how alcohol impacts women and resources that can help you cut back.

Feel like you are drinking too much? Learn tricks to help cut back or stop drinking alcohol.

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Learn how little changes to your life can help you decrease how much you drink.

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a medical condition—learn about the symptoms and the treatment.

Resources and Supports for Cutting Back or Stopping Drinking
How much is too much? Check your drinking with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, an interactive self-test
How Alcohol Affects Your Mental and Physical Health

If you or a loved one want to stop drinking but need help to do it, call the Access Line 800-563-4086.

If you are chemically dependent on alcohol and suddenly stop drinking, convulsions or seizures can occur within six to 48 hours. This can become dangerous if not medically treated. 

If you are a heavy drinker and want to quit, consult a trained medical professional or a facility that specializes in alcohol and drug treatment, and be honest about your usual alcohol intake. You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

How much is “one drink”?

Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. For example, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer – about 85% as much.

That’s why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains.

In the United States, one “standard” drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

12 ounces of regular beer

which is usually about 5% alcohol

5 ounces of wine

which is typically about 12% alcohol

1.5 ounces of distilled spirits

which is about 40% alcohol