FORT POLK, La. — When the Army Substance Abuse Program Prevention team teaches a class, one of the focus areas is “What is a standard drink?”
This may seem basic to some people, but ASAP has learned that many people do not have an accurate perception of their consumption because they do not know what a drink is. Why is it important? It’s important because quantity and frequency matter. How much is a person consuming and how often are they consuming are the biggest indicators of risk associated with alcohol use. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines low-risk drinking guidelines as no more than four drinks on any day for men and three on any day for women. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults of legal drinking age who choose to drink in moderation can do so by limiting their intake to two drinks in a day for men or one drink in a day for women. Most U.S. adults who drink don’t drink every day, so it’s important to focus on the amount people drink on the days they do decide to drink. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drinking at levels higher than the moderate guidelines significantly increases the risk of short-term harms, such as injuries, as well as the risk of long-term chronic health problems, such as some types of cancer. The guidelines are simply guidelines. They are tools that people can use to avoid high-risk behaviors, which can lead to high-risk consequences. However, the first step to using the tools is knowing what a standard drink is so that a person can honestly assess how much they are consuming daily/weekly.
For more information on low-risk drinking, high-risk behaviors, or general information related to substance abuse prevention contact Fort Polk ASAP at 531-2031 or visit ASAP on Facebook (@armysubstanceabuseJRTC.FortPolk).