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How Many Units of Alcohol a Day Predict a Serious Detox

answered 12:20 AM EST, Mon March 24, 2014
annb3021 annb3021 painesville
when reading about the dangers of alcohol withdrawal on this site, it said that one of them is if you drink 20 or more units a day. what is a unit considered??

John Lee Says...

Hi Ann,

That's a good question and it's something that needed clarifying in the article (which has been updated.) A unit is 10 grams of pure alcohol. There are about 1.5 units in a standard drink (such as 1 can of regular strength beer, 5 oz of regular strength wine or 1.5 ounces of 40% alcohol liquor.) 20 units, therefore equals 13.3 standard drinks per day.

Of course, this is just one of a number of things to take into account when trying to predict a person's likely withdrawal severity. Since you can prevent withdrawal symptoms from getting serious with preventative medications but it's much harder to control serious symptoms once they get started, it's always better to err on the side of caution and play it safe.


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Page last updated Mar 24, 2014

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