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Alcohol has been around from the beginning of recorded human history, and we’ve had a love/hate relationship with it ever since.

Guidelines for alcohol consumption

The guidelines for healthy alcohol consumption for women is no more than 1 shot of hard alcohol, or 12 ounces of beer, or one 5-ounce glass of wine per day. For men, it’s no more than 2 drinks a day. Anything beyond this poses a risk for both adverse health effects and addiction. Yet consuming in moderation probably isn’t anything to worry about. Addiction expert Frederick Woolverton, Ph.D., states that “A glass of wine to take the edge off isn’t a problem and can even be psychologically healthy.” (Combe, 2017, p. 233)

What does a liquor’s “proof” mean?

Proof is simply the percentage of alcohol volume multiplied by two. So a 100-proof liquor is 50% alcohol by volume.

People often think that beer is less potent than liquor, because vodka may be 80-proof whereas a beer is only 3.5%, or 7 proof. Yet because people drink a lot more of the latter than they do the former, it tends to even out. Each 12-ounce bottle of beer is equivalent to 1 ounce of hard liquor. So drinking two beers is like having a double shot of bourbon. Malt liquors, meanwhile, can range from 5.6% to 8% alcohol by volume, compared to 3.5% for beer. Because they are cheap, look like beer but yet deliver higher concentrations of alcohol, they can contribute to alcohol abuse.

Additional information on alcohol:


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