Person wondering what the life expectancy of a heavy drinker is

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Heavy Drinker?

Most people realize that heavy drinking is not doing much for their overall health, but did you know that drinking excessively can shorten your lifespan? Learning what the average life expectancy is of a heavy drinker may give you the push you need to get control of unhealthy drinking behaviors. 

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s drinking patterns, reach out to Recovery Ranch PA for assistance online or call 717.969.9126 today. Our alcohol addiction treatment program is designed for people at any stage of alcohol dependence or addiction.  

What to Know About Heavy Drinking 

To distinguish between moderate and unhealthy drinking behaviors, it helps to know what is considered moderate consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate drinking is defined as having up to one drink per day for women or up to two drinks per day for men. In comparison, heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than seven drinks per week for women and more than 14 drinks per week for men. 

What Is the Difference Between Heavy Drinking and Binge Drinking? 

Heavy drinking is sometimes confused with binge drinking, which involves drinking a large quantity of alcohol in a short period. A person can drink heavily without binge drinking, but both drinking patterns can be harmful. Binge drinking can also cause a person to become drunk quickly, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.  

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Heavy Drinker? 

Heavy drinking can take a severe toll on your overall health and significantly reduce life expectancy. Prolonged alcohol misuse contributes to a multitude of health issues, including: 

  • Liver damage 
  • Heart conditions 
  • Vascular problems 
  • Mental health disorders 
  • Increased risk of accidents and injuries 

The above can shorten one’s life span compared to someone who drinks only moderately or abstains from alcohol entirely. Excessive alcohol consumption has been found to reduce life expectancy by as much as 10 to 15 years. Of course, this can vary depending on how long one has engaged in heavy drinking, how much one drinks, genetic predisposition, lifestyle habits, and overall health. 

How to Get Heavy Drinking Under Control 

Recognizing the need to reduce heavy drinking is the first step toward regaining control. Here are some helpful tips to cut back on your alcohol consumption. 

Set Goals 

Choose realistic goals for reducing your consumption, such as gradually decreasing the number of drinks or drinking days per week. 

Seek Support 

Reach out to friends, family, and support groups for encouragement and assistance as you try to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. 

Identify Triggers 

Pinpointing the situations or emotions that tend to lead to heavy drinking and developing a plan to navigate them without turning to excessive drinking is crucial.  

Develop Coping Strategies 

Consider how you will handle triggers to prevent heavy drinking. This may include avoiding places or group settings where you are encouraged to drink excessively, enlisting the help of a sober buddy, ensuring there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available, and planning activities where alcohol is not the focal point. 

When to Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment 

While some people can get control of heavy drinking on their own, others may need professional intervention. Here are a few ways to know when you may need the help of an addiction treatment program: 

  • Failed attempts at reducing your consumption 
  • Negative consequences from heavy drinking, such as problems with work, health, finances, or relationships 
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to reduce or quit drinking 

Seeking professional addiction treatment will help you overcome your dependence on alcohol while maintaining your safety and comfort. 

Reach Out to Recovery Ranch PA to Get Started on Alcohol Addiction Treatment 

Once you realize the potential impact of heavy drinking on your life expectancy, you may be motivated to cut back or eliminate alcohol from your life. Recovery Ranch PA is here to support you on your journey. Call 717.969.9126 or contact our team online today to schedule an intake assessment and get started on the road to recovery. 

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