Q&A: Does drinking 6-8 units of alcohol a night make me an alcoholic?

The whole question:

I drink 6-8 units* every night, but if I start feeling even slightly fuzzy I stop drinking. Last time I got drunk was 3 and half years ago, so am I alcoholic?

Most people would feel a buzz after less alcohol than that, so you have already developed a tolerance to the drug – one of the first signs of a developing addiction.

What happens if you don’t drink for a week? If you can’t do that comfortably, there’s some kind of problem, call it what you will. In any case, your level of drinking is sufficient to adversely affect your health – digestion, liver and cardiovascular systems among other things –  over the long term.

*A “unit” of alcohol is a standard measure used in many countries to quantify alcohol intake. It is usually re-expressed as a measure of beer, wine, or spirits for convenience. One standard drink always contains the same amount of alcohol regardless of container size or type of alcoholic beverage. The standard drink varies significantly from country to country, from 7.62 ml (6 g) of alcohol in Austria to as high as 25 ml (19.75 g) in Japan. In the United States, it is equal to 17.7 ml (14 grams) of pure alcohol.

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