9.1: One-Drink Equivalents Animation Video
Alcohol is a type of drug that can cause a person to act and feel differently. People under 21 years of age, women who are pregnant, people who are driving, or people who are taking certain medications should not drink alcohol.
If an adult does drink alcohol, it should be in moderation. Sometimes people have problems drinking in moderation because they do not understand the alcohol level in different types of drinks.
Experts have helped clear up this confusion by defining one-drink equivalents for various types of alcohol. 12 ounces of beer, for example is considered one alcoholic drink.
The alcoholic equivalent of this with wine is only 5 ounces. This is because wine has a higher alcohol content than beer.
While wine has a higher alcohol content than beer, liquor has an even higher alcohol content. One drink of liquor, including rum, vodka, or whiskey, is only 1.5 ounces.
Moderate drinking, also called social drinking, involves consuming no more than one drink on the same occasion for women and no more than two drinks on the same occasion for men.
Adults who drink in moderation do not drink every day. Moderate drinking is less likely to cause harmful effects, but it could easily lead to binge drinking or heavy drinking.
Binge drinking involves consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on the same occasion, and in a short amount of time.
The majority of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is in the form of binge drinking. Binge drinking can result in many harmful effects.
Heavy drinking is drinking eight or more drinks in one week for women and 15 or more drinks in one week for men.
Heavy drinking can lead a person to become psychologically and physically dependent on alcohol. This person may feel that he or she needs to drink alcohol to feel “normal” or to function “normally”.