Heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of many health problems, including liver cirrhosis, cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract, weight gain, injury, violence, and death. It can also increase the risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. Even less than heavy alcohol consumption (more than one drink per day for women and two for men) is associated with significant risks, including motor vehicle accidents, injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, some types of cancer, and suicide.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines drinking in moderation as having no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. This refers to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. A standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol and is defined as follows:

  • 12-ounces of beer
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor
  • 5-ounces of wine
  • 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.)

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, Chapter 3: Foods and Food Components to Reduce

Fire/EMS Helpline The NVFC has partnered with American Addiction Centers to provide a toll-free helpline that first responders and their families can call to get help with anything effecting their work or personal life. If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, call the Fire/EMS Helpline at 1-888-731-FIRE (3473). Learn more and access additional behavioral health resources at

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