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Health Agencies Update
April 22 2009

Rethinking Drinking

JAMA. 2009;301(16):1647. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.538

A new Web site created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) aims to help individuals identify whether their levels of alcohol consumption put them at risk of developing alcohol dependence and help such persons develop a plan to change their drinking habits. On the Web site, called Rethinking Drinking (http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/), the NIAAA defines low-risk drinking as no more than 4 drinks on any single day or 14 drinks per week for men, and no more than 3 drinks on any single day or 7 drinks per week for women. About one-quarter of those who exceed such limits already has an alcohol use disorder, according to the agency, and the rest are at increased risk of developing such a condition. In addition to guided assessment of one's drinking habits, the Web site offers interactive tools, such as a calculator to determine the alcohol content of a mixed drink.