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

During the pandemic, increased stress and time at home led some people to drink more than they usually do. 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 Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors reports that 28.3 million people ages 12 and up have reported having AUD.

Pandemic Drinking: Why it’s so hard to cut back

What caused us to drink more during the pandemic, and why is it hard to reduce how much you drink? Learn how alcohol affects the brain in times of stress.

Feel like you are drinking too much? Learn tricks to help cut back and reduce cravings

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.

How much is too much? Check your drinking with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, an interactive self-test
Resources and Supports for Cutting Back or Stopping Drinking
Are Women More Vulnerable to Alcohol’s Effects?
Six Ways Alcohol Affects Your 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.


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