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Women & Alcohol Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Women and safe drinking

Women and Alcohol

Alcohol can be used safely. People drink for many reasons—maybe to socialize, to feel good, to relax.

Alcohol can seem harmless. It’s legal and easy to buy. Many people drink, and most people who drink cautiously don’t develop problems. For women past menopause, a drink every other day may even help prevent heart problems. But there are other ways to prevent heart problems. So this doesn’t mean that you should start having a drink every other day if you usually drink less than this. And it doesn’t mean you should start drinking if you don’t drink at all now. Talk about it with your doctor.

Remember that alcohol is a drug, and drugs have to be treated with respect. Some recommendations for safer drinking follow. But remember, even the following amount of drinking can be too much for you if you:

  • are underage
  • are older
  • are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • have a small body build
  • have physical or mental health problems
  • take any other drugs
  • are driving a vehicle or operating any other machinery
  • have had problems with alcohol or other drugs in the past.
  1. Know how much alcohol is in a drink.
    The same amount of alcohol is in:
    • 1 beer (regular strength)
    • 1 five-ounce glass of table wine
    • 1 wine cooler
    • 1 three-ounce glass of sherry
    • 1½ ounces of liquor, liqueur or brandy.
  2. Don’t drink every day. There should be at least one day a week when you don’t drink at all. This is especially important for women. Women’s bodies are harmed more, and more quickly, by alcohol than men’s.
  3. On days that you do drink, don’t drink more than one to two drinks a day, and no more than nine drinks a week. This might not seem like very much, but remember: alcohol has more effect on women’s bodies than on men’s.

Women and Alcohol

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