Drinking a bottle of wine a day is consuming five times your recommended amount, regardless of whether you’re male or female.
If your consumption is increasing and you’re struggling to cut back, you’re not alone. In the UK, there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers with only 18% in treatment.
For confidential help or advice call us on 0808 115 6925.
How long till the alcohol wears off?
The number of units you drink will depend on the size and strength of your alcoholic drink. Generally speaking, it takes approximately one hour for every unit of alcohol to leave your bloodstream. This is dependent upon your age, weight, gender, genetic factors.
This means that a 14% bottle of red, white or rose wine, which is 10.5 units will take around 10.5 hours to wear off. However, alcohol detection tests will be able to measure alcohol on the breath, saliva and in the urine for up to 24 hours.
For a heavy drinker who may drink about two bottles of wine a day (more or less ten glasses), it can take up to 15 hours or more for the body system to fully process the alcohol. So for 15 hours alcohol will still be present in the bloodstream and the person won’t be classified as “sober” until 12 hours to 15 hours after drinking the two bottles.
Women should also be aware that alcohol will stay in their blood longer as they generally have lower levels of the liver enzymes needed to metabolise alcohol.
Another study found that for the elderly the risk of heavy drinking is higher because the body of an elderly person metabolises alcohol at a far slower rate than a younger person. So if you are over the age of 65 you must ensure you aren’t drinking the same amount you used to at a younger age.
To see how long drugs like cocaine stay in your system click here.
Your recommended allowance
The NHS advised daily allowance for alcohol consumption in the UK is the size of a medium to a large glass of wine. And it is advised that you do not drink alcohol every day of the week.
As addiction experts, we know that there is no “safe” level of alcohol, this was echoed in a recent global study published in the esteemed scientific journal The Lancet. The study found that while moderate drinking may protect against heart disease, the added risks of cancer, injuries and other disease far outweighs this protection.
Independent scientists sometimes make spurious claims that are picked up by the media – for example recently a former WHO scientist claimed that there is no harm in drinking a bottle of wine a day. When it comes to the internet, users need to proceed with caution.
Here at Castle Craig, we are not only concerned with the amount you drink, and the physical health problems this can cause, but also the reasons behind your drinking and how it affects your life, relationships, career and overall mental wellbeing.
Before diving into what the experts have to say about your drinking habits, this might be a good opportunity to press pause and look at your own lifestyle.
Ask yourself – why do you drink?
- Do you drink to forget? To avoid thinking or feeling?
- To reduce feelings of guilt and shame?
- To repress memories of trauma?
- To subdue feelings of grief?
- To treat depression, anxiety, stress?
- To forget who you are? To be someone different?
- To block out life in general and feel happy?
Our specialist therapists, like Frank O’Hare, have extensive experience in utilising evidence-based therapeutic techniques to work with depression, trauma, stress, grief and anxiety alongside addiction disorders.
Without looking deeper into the issues that act as a foundation for excessive drinking, reclaiming your internal power to cope with whatever life throws at you becomes increasingly difficult.
The goal within our alcohol rehab is to take the necessary steps to help you gain back this power, so once again you can be the best possible version of yourself – not just for yourself but for your loved ones too.
Is it a problem?
If you drink a bottle of wine or more each day, we can likely assume that you didn’t start off drinking as much. This amount has probably increased because you’re trying to achieve the same ‘buzz’ you once experienced with a few glasses.
If this sounds familiar, then you have answered “yes” to two of the symptoms of an alcohol dependency.
The term “alcoholic” is not a clinical diagnosis, when one of our psychologists assess you for a drinking problem, we look at your relationship with alcohol and whether it’s an alcohol use disorder.
We won’t ask you how many drinks or units you consume a day, but rather focus on the thoughts, cravings, reactions and consequences related to your alcohol consumption.
Read more: Understanding alcohol abuse.
For example, one of our psychologists could ask you:
- Over the last year, have you experienced times when you ended up drinking more, or for longer than you intended?
- Have you given up or cut back on activities or hobbies that were once important to you in favour of drinking?
- Have you found that you need to drink more in order to feel the effects you wanted? Or have the number of drinks consumed had less of an effect than before?
- Do you continue to drink even if it causes problems and trouble with friends, family or peers?
- Does drinking cost you more than money?
So you drink a bottle a day… now what?
Struggling with alcohol addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, we all need a little help, because no one in life can overcome hardships alone.
Castle Craig combines essential therapy techniques with research-backed programmes such as the 12 Steps and CBT that help you deal with cravings and learn to live without alcohol. Our judgment-free programmes have helped thousands of people reclaim their lives. Ultimately, the decision is yours; you can choose a risky lifestyle or you can find a life free from alcohol.
Get in touch with us, whenever you’re ready. We’ll be here to talk.
A silent killer
- On average 24 people in Scotland died from alcohol-induced illnesses every week in 2016.
- People are being diagnosed with alcohol-related diseases, such as liver cirrhosis, at a younger age.
- On average 96 hospital admissions, a day in 2015/16 were due to illnesses caused by alcohol.
Drinking a bottle of wine each day will cause liver damage. How quickly this takes effect will depend on your overall general health.
According to data provided by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, severe alcoholic liver disease is often connected to 20-40 grams of ethanol (a bottle of wine exceeds this) over 10 years.
So whilst you may not experience immediate impacts or consequences, it’s important to understand the underlying damage you are causing to your liver on a daily basis. However, it’s not just your liver you need to be mindful about…
How alcohol affects the body physically
You don’t digest alcohol, it passes rapidly through your bloodstream and travels to every part of your body!
First, it affects your brain, then your kidneys, lungs and eventually your liver.
The impact on your health will depend entirely on your age, gender, weight and the type of alcohol you choose to consume.
Older people who often drink too much are at greater risk of cancer, dementia, heart disease and even depression.
Organs that are known to be damaged through long-term alcohol misuse:
- The brain
- Nervous system
Heavy, persistent drinking also increases blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are two major risk factors in causing heart attacks and strokes. More.
How does alcohol affect the brain?
More worryingly, alcohol dulls the part of the brain that control how your body works and operates. This affects your decision-making and general functions, which makes it increasingly difficult to ensure you remain in control.
In addition to this, alcohol greatly influences your mood causing you to feel down and even aggressive. In the beginning, you might feel happy, relaxed and less inhibited, however, following a few more drinks you will begin to lose functions like coordination, vision and speech.
Quitting before it’s too late
Whilst it may feel good to relieve pressure at the time, the long-term social, physical and mental health consequences of heavy alcohol use can be a frightening reality. And as your life continues down this route, the problems that come with excessive drinking will only work to further isolate you and pull you away from what you love.
If you feel you need help with your drinking, please call our 24-Hour Helpline on 01721 728118. The advice is free and could save your life. Reach out to us.
Seek medical advice before detoxing
If you are a heavy drinker, it can be dangerous to stop drinking too quickly without proper help, this is known as “going cold turkey”. Attempting to detox yourself at home is dangerous. Get medical advice before you stop drinking by calling the NHS helpline on 111, and talk to your GP if you wake in the morning with physical withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, sweating, shaking.
If your GP recommends a medically supervised detoxification, Castle Craig can help. Our programme lasts for at least five weeks and incorporates a full assessment, medically managed detox, psychiatrist-led care, intensive psychotherapy, education on alcohol, drugs and mental wellness, fitness, and continuing care.
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | August 25, 2021