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Honesty.

The First Step
to Better Health.

The first step to a healthier life is being honest with your doctor about drug and alcohol use.

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Know the Limits

Start to understand addiction by reviewing the safe limits of alcohol consumption.

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5 Questions
to Consider:

Before talking to your doctor, review these 5 questions about drug and alcohol use.

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Binge
Drinking

Learn about what binge drinking is and the risks associated with it.

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Why be Honest with Your Doctor

Research shows that the earlier high-risk drinking or drug use is identified, the lower the risk of suffering negative health effects becomes. People who exceed the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption face increased health risks, such as depression.

Before Talking to Your Doctor

5 questions to consider
before your next visit:

Question 1:

How ofen do you have a drink containing alcohol?

Question 2:

How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day?

Question 3:

How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?

Question 4:

How many times in the past year have you used an illegal drug?

Question 5:

How many times in the past year have you used a prescription medication for non-medical reasons?

Click the link below to download a printable PDF, which you can take with you to your next appointment.

Download PDF

Know the Limits

Men

Women

Moderate
Drinking

2 drinks/day

1 drink/day

High-Risk
Drinking

5 drinks/day or 15 drinks/week

4 drinks/day or 8 drinks/week

Heavy
Drinking

15 or more drinks/week

8 or more drinks/week

Don't drink at all if you are under age 21, pregnant or may be pregnant or have health problems that could be made worse by drinking.

Low Risk Drinking Limits*

*CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-scheets/moderate-drinking.htm

How Much is Safe?

Low Risk Drinking Limits*

Maximum # of Drinks per Day

Maximum # of Drinks per Week

Healthy Men

4

14

Healthy Women

3

7

All Ages Over 65

3

7

No drinking if driving, pregnant, or under 18 years of age.

*CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-scheets/moderate-drinking.htm

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is associated with unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning; violence, suicide, and many health problems.

NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.

Men

Women

Binge
Drinking

≥ 5 drinks
in 2 hours

≥ 4 drinks
in 2 hours

How Much is a Standard Drink?

12 fl oz
Beer, Wine Cooler, Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade

Beer

about 5%
alcohol

8.9 fl oz
Malt Liquor

Malt Liquor

about 7%
alcohol

5 fl oz
Table Wine

Wine

about 12%
alcohol

3-4 fl oz
Fortified Wine (Thunderbird, Mad Dog 20/20)

Beer

about 17%
alcohol

2-3 fl oz
Cordial Liquor, Schnapps

Beer

about 24%
alcohol

1.5 fl oz
Brandy (Cognac, Hennessy, Courvoisier)

Beer

about 40%
alcohol

1.5 fl oz
Liqour (a "Shot") (Vodka, Gin, Scotch, Whiskey, Bourbon, Tequila)

Beer

about 40%
alcohol

Facts About Addiction

Nearly

1 in 10

Americans, or almost 23 million people, are addicted to alcohol and drugs.

More Than

2/3

of Americans with an addiction abuse alcohol.

The Top

3

drugs that cause addiction are marijuana, opioid (narcotic) pain relievers, and cocaine.

Resources

Maryland Crisis Connect, Call 211, Press 1. The hotline is available 24 hours/7 days a week to provide support, guidance and assistance on how to access Substance Use Disorder services and current mental health crisis services.

Maryland Crisis Connect

Wondering if you have a drug or alcohol problem? Take the NCADD quiz to find out more about the role drugs and alcohol play in your life.

Take the Quiz

BeforeItsTooLate combats substance abuse in Maryland through education, prevention, treatment, interdiction, and recovery. For more information about preparing for your next appointment with your doctor visit beforeitstoolate.maryland.gov.

Before It's Too Late