Positive aspects of drinking
Negative aspects of drinking
Most of the harmful effects of alcohol come from drinking too much. How much is too much? That varies with age, sex, size, how tired we are, and what we've had to eat, previous drinking experience, and genetics.
One common guideline is to limit yourself to one drink an hour, because that is the average rate at which our bodies absorb alcohol. However, people who weigh less or are unaccustomed to drinking are more likely to be noticeably impaired even when drinking at this rate. When we start to feel lightheaded, dizzy, or less coordinated, we are already impaired and at risk of injuring ourselves or others.
Here are some ways to enjoy a drink without its negative effects:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, looking into the potential benefits of alcohol, recommend that those who can safely drink not drink more than:
A "drink" is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. These all contain the same amount of alcohol--your brain can't tell the difference between a beer and a shot.
There are many good reasons to choose not to drink.
Here are some important reasons not to drink:
Sometimes we may feel we are the only person at an event who isn't drinking alcohol. Choosing to drink soda over beer is not something we need to defend. If you feel awkward, you could:
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