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How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk? Breastfeeding and Drinking Alcohol Chart. Breastmilk Alcohol Calculator.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk? Alcohol and breastmilk don’t mix well, and various risks are associated with consuming alcohol while breastfeeding. Nursing mothers need to be aware of these risks and take precautions to ensure the safety and health of their babies.


How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk?

Mothers who are breastfeeding would do well to research how long alcohol remains in breast milk before deciding whether or not to drink. Several variables determine how long alcohol stays in breast milk. What you must know is as follows.

  • Alcohol metabolizes at different rates in different people. The elimination time for one standard drink of alcohol is approximately two to three hours. However, this varies from person to person based on their weight, metabolism, and the number of drinks they’ve had.
  • Consuming alcohol at the right time is essential. It’s best to wait an hour after drinking alcohol before starting a breastfeeding session. The alcohol in breast milk can be eliminated from the body and the system by waiting until it has been metabolized.
  • Some breastfeeding mothers “pump and dump” their milk after partaking in alcoholic beverages. Instead of giving the milk to the baby, it is discarded after being pumped. The elimination of alcohol from the body cannot be sped up by pumping and dumping, however. It’s better to wait for the alcohol to be metabolized normally before starting up again.
  • If you drink alcohol while breastfeeding, experts say limiting your intake to no more than one drink per day is best. The amount of alcohol in breast milk can be reduced by consuming no more than one standard drink daily and giving the body enough time to process the alcohol.

The effects of alcohol on breast milk can vary from person to person due to differences in metabolism. For individualized advice on alcohol consumption while breastfeeding, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider or lactation consultant. To ensure your and your baby’s health and well-being, they can make tailored recommendations based on your specific situation.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding?

Alcohol in breastmilk can lead to impaired motor development, decreased milk production, and increased drowsiness in infants. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol in breastmilk as much as possible while breastfeeding. Although some experts discourage consuming alcohol during breastfeeding, it’s crucial to be aware of the details and make a knowledgeable choice regarding alcohol in breastmilk. If you are a new mom concerned about alcohol in breastmilk, read on for essential information and peace of mind.

Breastfeeding and Drinking Alcohol Chart 

The below breastfeeding and drinking alcohol chart can help nursing moms understand how long they should wait after drinking alcohol before they can safely breastfeed their baby.

Alcohol in Breastmilk Chart:

This chart is just an example. The time it takes for alcohol to clear from breast milk may vary depending on the factors described below.

Alcohol DrinksWhen Can You Breastfeed
1 DrinkWait for 2 to 3 hours before breastfeeding
2 DrinksWait 4 to 5 hours before breastfeeding
3 DrinksWait 6 to 7 hours or until you do not feel the alcohol. You may pump to relieve engorgement before breastfeeding. If tipsy when pumping, dump the saved milk.
4 DrinksWait 8 to 9 hours or until you do not feel the alcohol. If tipsy, hold off breastfeeding.
Bookmark the above breastfeeding and drinking alcohol chart so that you can be reminded of how long does alcohol stay in breastmilk and when it is safe to breastfeed with alcohol use.

The chart for alcohol in breastmilk is helpful for breastfeeding mothers to estimate the duration required for alcohol to leave their breastmilk after drinking. This chart estimates the safe time for breastfeeding based on the mother’s weight, the timing of alcohol consumption, and the number of drinks consumed. The focus is on alcohol in breastmilk.

Nursing mothers should be aware of the amount of standard drinks they have consumed and the time elapsed since their last drink to utilize the alcohol in breastmilk chart. The amount of alcohol in breastmilk is affected by the consumption of a standard drink, typically defined as a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Calculator 

Use the below breastmilk alcohol calculator to determine when it is safe to feed your infant. A breastmilk alcohol calculator is superior to a breastmilk alcohol chart as it can provide more precise wait times.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Calculator 


lbs

Estimated Time Until Your Breast Milk is Alcohol Free

Please enter your weight & number of drinks above, thereafter click "Calculate".

Breastmilk alcohol test strips, also called alcohol strips for breastmilk, are utilized to measure the alcohol levels in breastmilk. These strips can be used to test for the presence of alcohol in breastmilk and provide quick and accurate results. Breastmilk can contain alcohol as low as 0.02%, and there are ways to detect it to ensure the safety of nursing infants.

The chart for breastfeeding and alcohol consumption is designed to assist nursing mothers in estimating when it is safe to breastfeed again after consuming alcohol. Using alcohol test strips for breastmilk when consuming alcohol is the most effective method to confirm that breastmilk is free of alcohol.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Guidelines

So, when can I drink alcohol while breastfeeding? Moderate alcohol consumption by breastfeeding moms does not harm their nursing infant. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), excessive alcohol while breastfeeding can result in developmental delays and decreased milk production. However, they suggest consuming 1-2 drinks per week is safe. In addition, it is recommended that women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or engage in binge drinking refrain from breastfeeding until the alcohol has been metabolized from their breastmilk. To reduce the presence of alcohol in breastmilk, it is recommended to wait 2 hours after consuming alcohol before breastfeeding, discard milk after drinking, or feed the baby with stored milk during the alcohol elimination period.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Dangers

Alcohol and breastfeeding can be controversial topics to discuss. The presence of alcohol in breastmilk is not recommended while breastfeeding. Consuming alcohol can have negative effects on the baby through breastmilk. Here are some risks related to alcohol in breastmilk while breastfeeding:

  • Slower breast milk production: Drinking alcohol can temporarily affect the hormones that regulate milk production, which can cause a decrease in milk supply and potentially lead to problems with breastfeeding.
  • Lower breast milk quality: Studies have shown that alcohol can pass through breast milk and affect the quality of the milk, including its taste and smell. This can make the baby reluctant to feed, leading to further issues with breastfeeding.
  • Increased risk of infant health: Babies exposed to alcohol through breast milk can experience drowsiness, weakness, and impaired motor function. Alcohol can also interfere with a baby’s sleep patterns and overall development.
  • Increased risk of maternal accidents: Drinking alcohol can impair judgment and coordination, leading to an increased risk of falls and other accidents. This can be especially dangerous for mothers who are alone with their children and must stay alert and focused on their care.
  • Long-term effects: There is some evidence to suggest that long-term exposure to alcohol through breast milk could have negative effects on infant development, including impaired cognitive function and increased risk of alcohol use disorders later in life.

How Much Alcohol Can You Drink While Breastfeeding?

The consumption of alcohol while breastfeeding can have negative impacts on both the mother and the baby, such as temporary effects on milk production and quality, increased risk of infant health problems, higher chances of maternal accidents, and potential long-term effects on infant development. If a mother must drink alcohol, she should do so very rarely and in moderation (no more than one drink per day) to reduce the risks to her infant.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Safety

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk? Alcohol and breastmilk don't mix well, and various risks are associated with consuming alcohol while breastfeeding. Nursing mothers need to be aware of these risks and take precautions to ensure the safety and health of their babies.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk? Alcohol and breastmilk don’t mix well, and various risks are associated with consuming alcohol while breastfeeding. Nursing mothers need to be aware of these risks and take precautions to ensure the safety and health of their babies.

If you are concerned about proper alcohol and breastfeeding habits, talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for guidance and support. They can provide more personalized advice based on your situation and needs.

Learn More:

Breastfeeding and Drinking Alcohol Chart Factors

The estimation of alcohol in breastmilk chart may not be accurate. The duration for alcohol to be eliminated from breastmilk can differ depending on metabolism, body composition, and food ingested. Therefore, nursing mothers should use this chart as a guide and also consider using an alcohol breastmilk test to ensure that their breastmilk is alcohol-free.

Here is a general guideline regarding the presence of alcohol in breast milk and its duration.

  • One standard drink (e.g. a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor) typically takes about two hours to clear from breast milk. If a mother who is breastfeeding consumes alcohol, she should wait for a minimum of two hours before nursing her baby.
  • Two standard drinks will take about four hours to clear, so a mother who has two drinks should wait at least four hours before breastfeeding.
  • Mothers who have consumed three or more drinks should avoid breastfeeding for at least 6-7 hours as alcohol in breastmilk takes longer to clear.

Breastmilk and alcohol do not mix well, and nursing mothers should take precautions to ensure the safety and health of their infants. By limiting their alcohol intake, using alcohol in breastmilk strips, and following the alcohol in breastmilk chart, nursing mothers can ensure their breastmilk is safe for their infants.

Remember that these guidelines are general estimates. The clearance of alcohol from breast milk can be influenced by various factors, including body weight, the quantity of alcohol ingested, and the timing of consumption. The potential risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding, as it can pass through breastmilk to the baby.

What Are The Risks Of Having Alcohol in Breastmilk?

Alcohol and breastmilk pose various risks to infants for nursing moms when consuming alcohol while breastfeeding, especially if they drink more than one drink daily. New moms need to be familiar with these risks from Alcohol and breastfeeding and take safeguards to ensure the health of their babies.

Firstly, alcohol in breastmilk can cause adverse effects on infants, such as drowsiness, decreased milk intake, and delayed motor development. Studies have shown that infants who are exposed to alcohol through breastmilk have a reduced milk intake and take longer to reach their developmental milestones compared to those who are not exposed to alcohol.

The amount of alcohol that is safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume is unclear. Generally, it’s recommended that nursing mothers avoid alcohol altogether or limit their consumption to an occasional drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that breastfeeding mothers limit their alcohol intake to no more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight, equivalent to one drink per day.

To measure the amount of alcohol in breastmilk, nursing mothers can use breastmilk alcohol test strips available online or at pharmacies. These strips can detect the presence of alcohol in breastmilk as low as 0.02% (0.02 alcohol in breastmilk), allowing mothers to ensure that their breastmilk is safe for their infants.

It’s also crucial for nursing mothers to be aware of the timing of alcohol consumption and breastfeeding. The alcohol content of breastmilk peaks about 30-60 minutes after consumption, and it takes about two hours for a standard drink to be metabolized and eliminated from the body. Mothers should wait at least two hours after consuming alcohol before breastfeeding to ensure their breastmilk is alcohol-free.

The Breastmilk Alcohol Chart can help nursing mothers determine how long they should wait before breastfeeding after consuming alcohol. It estimates how long it takes for alcohol to be metabolized based on the mother’s body weight and the number of drinks consumed.

In closing, alcohol and breastmilk don’t mix, and nursing mothers should be aware of the risks associated with consuming alcohol while breastfeeding. By limiting their alcohol intake, using breastmilk alcohol test strips, and following the Breastmilk Alcohol Chart, nursing mothers can ensure their breastmilk is safe for their infants.

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Alcohol and Breastfeeding Statistics

Here are some statistics related to alcohol and breastfeeding:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 83% of mothers in the United States breastfeed their babies at birth, but that number drops to around 57% by the time the baby reaches 6 months.
  • Research shows that around 50-75% of breastfeeding mothers consume alcohol at some point during their breastfeeding journey.
  • The AAP’s 2012 guidelines on breastfeeding and substance use note that alcohol consumption up to 0.5 g/kg is not harmful to the infant. That corresponds to about one drink per day for an average 70 kg woman.
  • However, a recent study found that nearly a third of new mothers in the United Kingdom did not recognize that alcohol could be passed to their infants through breastmilk, and that many continued to drink at unsafe levels while breastfeeding.
  • The same study found that mothers with lower levels of education, those with drinking or smoking habits before pregnancy, those with previous mental health problems, and those who were unemployed were more likely to consume alcohol while breastfeeding.

The effects of alcohol on breast milk can vary depending on individual factors, and it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance. Additionally, guidelines on alcohol consumption while breastfeeding may differ between countries or organizations, and it’s important to be aware of your local recommendations.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics

High-Intensity Drinking is a new trend discovered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Alcohol consumption “at levels that are two or more times the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds” is included in the definition of high-intensity drinking (HID).

There isn’t much peer-reviewed research because it’s still a new trend. According to the information that is currently available, HID is widespread among binge drinkers and is frequently related to important occasions, particularly 21st birthdays and athletic events.


141,000

140,557 Americans die from the effects of alcohol in an average year.

Source: NIAAA

10%

1-in-10 Americans over the age of 12 have an Alcohol Use Disorder.

Source: NIAAA

60%

Over half of Americans increased their alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Source: NIAAA


Alcohol and Breastfeeding Facts

Key Points about Alcohol and Breastfeeding Safety

Here are some key points from the Alcohol and Breastfeeding Fact Sheet:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that moderate alcohol consumption by a breastfeeding mother (1-2 drinks per week) is not known to be harmful to the nursing infant.
  • However, excessive alcohol intake can interfere with milk production and is associated with infant developmental delays.
  • Women who drink heavily or binge drink should avoid breastfeeding until the alcohol has cleared their system.
  • You can do a few things to minimize the amount of alcohol that gets into your breast milk, such as waiting at least 2 hours after drinking before breastfeeding, pumping and discarding milk after drinking or feeding the baby with alcohol-free stored milk.
  • If you are struggling with alcohol use disorder or a history of alcohol abuse, seeking support and treatment from a healthcare professional is important.

While moderate alcohol consumption is not known to be harmful to infants, breastfeeding mothers need to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to minimize exposure, particularly in the early postpartum period when the baby is still developing. It’s also worth noting that there is no “safe” alcohol consumption during pregnancy, as alcohol can cross the placenta and potentially harm the developing fetus.

How long does alcohol stay in breastmilk?

Alcohol can stay in breastmilk for several hours after a person drinks. Generally, the amount of alcohol in breastmilk will peak around 30 to 60 minutes after the drink is consumed and gradually decrease over time. The length of time alcohol stays in breastmilk can depend on various factors, such as the person’s weight, how much alcohol they consumed, and how quickly their body processes alcohol. If you are concerned about drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, consulting a healthcare professional for advice and guidance is always best.

How long does alcohol stay in breastmilk chart?

While the amount of time that alcohol stays in breastmilk can vary depending on individual factors such as weight, age, metabolism, and the amount and type of alcohol consumed, here is a general timeline of how long alcohol takes to leave breastmilk:

  • For a standard drink (i.e., 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor), it typically takes 2-3 hours for the alcohol to clear from a mother’s breast milk.
  • If a mother drinks heavily or consumes more than one drink, it can take longer for the alcohol to clear from her system and breast milk (up to 13 hours or more).
  • The rate at which alcohol is metabolized can vary depending on individual factors, so these estimates should be taken as general guidelines rather than strict rules.

If you are concerned about the effects of alcohol on your breast milk and breastfeeding, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance. They can provide you with more detailed information about how alcohol affects your body and breast milk specifically and help you make informed decisions to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.

Breastfeeding and drinking alcohol chart

Here is an example of an alcohol and breastfeeding chart that shows the general relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed and its potential impact on breastmilk, according to the Breastfeeding Association:

  • 1 standard drink – minimal effect on the infant’s behavior and sleep.
  • 2 standard drinks – usually no effect, but some infants may be more sensitive to the presence of alcohol.
  • 3-4 standard drinks – may impact the infant’s sleep and behavior, especially if consumed within a short period.
  • 5 or more standard drinks – can cause significant impairment to the mother, make her unable to care for the infant safely, and potentially harm the baby.

Again, these are just general drinking alcohol and breastfeeding chart guidelines. The effects of alcohol on breastfeeding can vary depending on individual factors. Additionally, it’s important to note that consuming any amount of alcohol while breastfeeding can be a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors, including the mother’s health, the baby’s health, and individual circumstances. As always, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional before drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.

  1. Can Alcohol in Breastmilk Make Baby Vomit?

    An infant can be made to throw up if breastmilk contains alcohol. Babies breastfed by mothers who drink alcohol are at risk for developing drowsiness, lethargy, and other central nervous system impairment symptoms. Infants may experience alcohol poisoning and vomiting as a result.

  2. How Long Is Alcohol in Breastmilk?

    Several factors affect how long alcohol remains in breast milk, including the mother’s body mass index (BMI), how much alcohol she drinks, and when she drinks it. It takes about two to three hours for the average adult to eliminate breast milk after consuming one standard drink. A mother’s breast milk will contain traces of alcohol for longer if she drinks heavily.

  3. Does Alcohol Stay in Breastmilk?

    Until it is processed by the mother’s liver, alcohol will remain in breast milk. A regular drink takes about two to three hours to flush out breast milk. The time it takes for the effects of alcohol on a pregnant woman to become noticeable can vary widely depending on several factors.

  4. Does Alcohol Pass Through Breastmilk?

    Yes, alcohol can be absorbed through breast milk and have negative effects on a baby’s central nervous system, such as drowsiness and a lack of energy. Avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption by nursing mothers can reduce the amount of alcohol transferred to their babies through breast milk.

  5. How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Breastmilk?

    Several factors, including the mother’s weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the timing of alcohol consumption, affect how long alcohol remains in breast milk. A regular drink takes about two to three hours to flush out breast milk. Alcohol Test Strips for Breastmilk are recommended for nursing mothers to ensure their breastmilk is alcohol-free because the length of time can vary.

  6. How Much Alcohol in Breastmilk?

    Several factors, including the mother’s weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the timing of alcohol consumption, affect the amount of alcohol in breast milk. However, even trace amounts of alcohol can enter the breast milk and affect the infant’s developing nervous system. Avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption by nursing mothers can reduce the amount of alcohol transferred to their babies through breast milk.

  7. How Much Alcohol is in Breastmilk?

    Several factors affect how much alcohol is found in breast milk, including the mother’s weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and when the mother last drank. The central nervous system of a nursing infant can be negatively impacted by even trace amounts of alcohol in the mother’s system. To reduce the amount of alcohol that is passed through breast milk to their infants, it is recommended that nursing mothers abstain from alcohol or significantly reduce their intake.

Test Strips For Alcohol In Breastmilk

A test for alcohol in breastmilk can be done using specialized strips known as breastmilk alcohol test strips. These strips are designed to detect the presence of alcohol in breastmilk quickly and easily. They work by using a simple color-changing test that indicates the presence of alcohol in breastmilk.
A test for alcohol in breastmilk can be done using specialized strips known as breastmilk alcohol test strips. These strips are designed to detect the presence of alcohol in breastmilk quickly and easily. They work by using a simple color-changing test that indicates the presence of alcohol in breastmilk.

Strips To Test Alcohol In Breastmilk

Strips to test alcohol in breastmilk can be extremely helpful for mothers who breastfeed and want to ensure their breastmilk is free of alcohol before breastfeeding babies. Breastmilk Alcohol Test Strips are a convenient and quick way to check for alcoholic beverages in breast milk. They detect alcohol in breast milk with a quick and easy color change test.

Alcohol test strips can be useful but aren’t always spot on. Several factors, such as the strip type and how they are used, can affect the reliability of these devices. To ensure that their breastmilk is alcohol-free, nursing mothers should use these strips in conjunction with other tools, such as a Breastmilk Alcohol Calculator or Breastmilk and Alcohol Chart.

While strips to test alcohol in breastmilk can be a helpful tool for nursing mothers. If you want to ensure your breast milk is completely alcohol-free before giving it to your baby, you might need to use other measures.

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Effects Of Alcohol in Breastmilk

There are many potential outcomes for both mother and child if alcohol is consumed during lactation. Alcohol’s potential side effects in breast milk include the following:

  • Reduced milk supply: Infants whose mothers drink alcohol may receive less breast milk than is necessary for their healthy development and growth.
  • The levels of fat, protein, and other nutrients in breast milk can be affected by alcohol consumption. The infant’s physical and mental development may be negatively affected.
  • Alcohol impairs the infant’s breastfeeding ability, delaying the let-down reflex.
  • Because alcohol causes drowsiness, it may decrease the infant’s milk intake while breastfeeding. The infant’s development and level of attention may suffer as a result.
  • Research has shown that drinking alcohol during lactation raises the risk of an infant’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This is likely because alcohol has a calming effect on infants.
  • There is evidence linking alcohol consumption during lactation to stunted infant motor development, particularly in motor control, but more research is needed.

Drinking alcohol during lactation has been linked to negative outcomes for the nursing mother, such as liver damage and an increased risk of breast cancer.

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Alcohol Addiction Treatment

People frequently consider 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab when asked how alcoholism is treated, but they might struggle to name other choices. Several therapy options are now accessible due to considerable advancements made in the industry over the previous 60 years.

Ultimately, no one answer fits all, and what may be suitable for one person may not be for another. Merely being aware of your possibilities might be a crucial first step.

Alcoholism Treatment Options

  • Behavioral Treatments: With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person’s drinking habits. Health professionals direct them, and research demonstrating their potential for good backs them up.
With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person's drinking habits.
With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person’s drinking habits.
  • Medications: To assist people in cutting back on their drinking and avoid relapsing, three drugs are now approved in the US. They can be taken independently or in conjunction with psychotherapy and are prescribed by a primary care physician or another healthcare provider.
  • Mutual-Support Groups: Peer support is offered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs for those who are giving up or cutting back on drinking. Mutual-support groups can provide an invaluable additional layer of support when combined with care provided by medical experts. Researchers find it challenging to evaluate the success rates of mutual-support groups run by health professionals and those led by laypeople due to the anonymity of these organizations.

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Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment. Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

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Consequences of Alcohol in Breastmilk: Alcoholism Treatment Informative Video

There are several names for alcoholism, such as alcohol addiction and alcohol dependency. It is now officially known as an alcohol use disorder. It happens when you drink so much alcohol that your body finally develops an addiction. When this occurs, alcohol takes on a major role in your life. Each technique used in alcoholism therapy for alcohol use disorder is intended to help you completely stop binge drinking.  Alcoholism is characterized as an alcohol use disorder.

It is a pattern of binge drinking referred to as alcoholism. The likelihood of controlling your drinking, being concerned with alcohol, and continuing to consume alcohol even when it creates problems increases if you have excessive drinking issues. When you abruptly cut back or quit drinking, you may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms or need to drink more to achieve the same impact. 

Any alcohol usage that threatens your health or safety or results in other alcohol-related issues is considered unhealthy. A pattern of drinking where a man downs five or more drinks in two hours or where a woman downs at least four drinks in two hours is known as binge drinking. Significant threats to one’s health and safety result from binge drinking.  While some individuals may consume alcohol to the point where it becomes problematic, they are not physically dependent. Alcohol abuse used to be the term for this. 

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