About half of us experience alcohol related problems at one time or another in our lives. About 10% of us (15% of men and 6% of women) have repeated problems. Having repeated problems IS alcoholism. How do I know if drinking is a problem for me? Drinking is a problem if it is causing problems in your life. Alcohol can make it hard to concentrate at work, make you irritable, affect your relationships, cause emotional problems like panic attacks and depression, and hurt your body. Alcohol can also interfere with prescribed medicines and be dangerous when mixed with street drugs. Women who drink when they are pregnant risk hurting their baby.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that drinking more than one drink a day if you are a woman and more than two drinks a day if you are a man puts you at risk for developing problems with alcohol. Different people get into trouble with alcohol after drinking different amounts over varying periods of time. Find out more about alcohol and your health from this NIAAA publication: Rethink Drinking
Alcohol, Stress and the Brain (PDF Download) George F. Koob, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute. Underage Drinking (PDF Download) Consumo de Alcohol por Menores de Edad (PDF Download) David Gilder, MD and José Criado, PhD, Alcohol Research Center, The Scripps Research Institute