Screening for Mental Health Offers Three Tips for Assessing Alcohol Use for National Alcohol

Screening for Mental Health (SMH), the pioneer in large-scale mental health screenings for the public, is offering the public critical awareness information and treatment tools for National Alcohol Screening Day on April 6. The organization will utilize this annual screening and awareness day to educate the public about alcohol and substance use disorders, while providing them with beneficial treatment resources.

The following are three tips everyone can use learn more about alcohol use and their own relationship with alcohol.

1.Learn How Much is in One Drink
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the following are equivalent to one alcohol drink:

— 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol)
— 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol)
— 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol)

2.Know How Much Alcohol You’re Drinking
Moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.1

Binge drinking is defined as:

— Women drinking four or more drinks in a single occasion
— Men drinking 5 or more drinks in a single occasion

Heavy drinking is defined as:

— Women drinking 8 or more drinks per week
— Men drinking 15 or more drinks per week

Excessive drinking includes binge drinking and heavy drinking and was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64.2

3.Understand Your Relationship with Alcohol
Individuals can take a free, anonymous alcohol and substance use self-assessment at The online screening takes a few minutes to complete and provides users with information on their drinking and substance use patterns. At the end of the screening, individuals receive results and are connected to local resources in their area for more information or help. The screenings are educational, not diagnostic.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition, Washington, DC; 2015.

2 Sacks JJ, Gonzales KR, Bouchery EE, Tomedi LE, Brewer RD. 2010 National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption. Am J Prev Med 2015; 49(5):e73–e79.