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  • After a long day, many people relax with a glass of wine. This behavior isn’t always harmful, and some believe it may even have health benefits. However, it can lead to binge drinking, heavy drinking, and other harmful patterns of alcohol consumption. 

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), excessive drinking occurs when a man has more than four drinks a day or a woman has more than three drinks a day. 

    A standard drink of wine with about a 12% ABV is a 5-ounce pour. If you have several glasses of white wine, red wine, or any type of wine each day, you may develop a wine addiction.

    What Is Wine Addiction?

    Wine addiction is a type of alcohol addiction (also called alcohol use disorder). This disease makes you feel unable to control your drinking habits and wine use.

    Signs Of Wine Addiction

    Signs of wine addiction include:

    • having strong cravings for wine
    • drinking more wine than you planned to
    • drinking wine even when it causes problems in your personal or professional life
    • losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
    • hiding wine and/or lying about how much you drink
    • needing increasingly larger or more frequent amounts of wine to feel the desired effects (also called tolerance)

    Physical Dependence & Withdrawal

    You may also develop physical dependence. That means your body starts relying on wine (or alcohol in general) to function normally. When you don’t drink, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

    • anxiety
    • irritability
    • depression
    • mood swings
    • nightmares
    • shaking
    • sweating
    • trouble thinking clearly
    • loss of appetite
    • headache
    • nausea and vomiting
    • increased heart rate

    Effects Of Wine Addiction

    Like other alcoholic beverages, wine impairs your judgment. Thus, when you’re addicted to wine, you’re more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors. 

    For example, you might drive while drunk and end up in a car crash. Impaired judgment can also lead to other injuries, such as burns, falls, and drownings. 

    Similarly, you might engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as unprotected sex with multiple people. This behavior increases your risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

    Alcohol Poisoning

    Wine addiction also makes you more likely to consume a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. This can lead to alcohol poisoning, also called alcohol overdose. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include:

    • confusion
    • slurred speech
    • trouble walking
    • slowed breathing
    • stomach pain
    • vomiting
    • loss of consciousness

    If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek emergency medical care. When left untreated, alcohol poisoning can be fatal.

    Risks Of Wine Addiction

    Over time, wine addiction and the effects of alcohol can cause long-term health problems, including:

    • high blood pressure
    • heart disease
    • stroke
    • cirrhosis (late-stage liver disease)
    • digestive problems
    • cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, breast, liver, colon, and rectum
    • memory problems, such as dementia
    • mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression
    • weakened immune system, which increases your risk of various illnesses
    • miscarriage, stillbirth, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) if you drink while pregnant

    Untreated wine addiction can also damage your relationships and cause problems at work or school.

    Wine Addiction Treatment Options

    To recover from wine addiction, most people will need to quit wine altogether. It’s not easy or safe to try quitting wine on your own. Instead, seek help at an alcohol addiction treatment facility. 

    Most facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. 

    At an inpatient program, you’ll receive 24/7 care and monitoring from healthcare professionals. At an outpatient program, you’ll live at home while regularly attending a treatment center. Talk to your doctor to determine which option is right for you.

    Whether inpatient or outpatient, a wine addiction treatment program will offer services such as:

    Medical Detoxification

    If you’re addicted to wine and suddenly quit drinking alcohol, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms. During medical detox, doctors help you give up wine gradually, which reduces your risk of withdrawal symptoms. 

    If you do experience withdrawal symptoms, your doctors can prescribe medications to make them less severe. For instance, you might be given a sleep aid to reduce insomnia. 


    In therapy, a mental health professional can teach you coping skills to deal with triggers (people, places, situations, or feelings that make you want to use drugs). Common coping skills include:

    • deep breathing
    • meditation
    • journaling
    • exercise

    Your therapist can also help you identify and manage any challenges that contribute to your drug use (such as stress, grief, or mental illness). 

    Medication-Assisted Treatment

    In medication-assisted treatment, you’ll receive medications to make your recovery easier. Medications approved to treat alcohol addiction include:

    • acamprosate, which can decrease cravings for alcohol
    • disulfiram, which discourages alcohol use by causing unpleasant side effects, such as headache and nausea, when you drink alcohol
    • naltrexone, which discourages alcohol use by blocking the drug’s pleasant effects

    If you or a loved one struggles with wine addiction, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our substance abuse treatment centers can help you live a healthy, alcohol-free life.

    Wine Addiction FAQs

    How Much Alcohol Is In Wine? 

    The average alcohol level of wine is between 11 and 13%, though different varieties may have an ABV of over 20% on the high end and less than 6% on the low end.

    This makes an average bottle of wine a considerably more concentrated source of alcohol than beer or cider, and a less concentrated source of alcohol than hard liquor.

    Learn more about Wine Alcohol Content

    How Many Ounces Are In A Glass Of Wine?

    Five ounces should be a standard glass of wine according to health experts. Wine with lower or higher alcohol content may need more or less wine to meet this limit. If you are looking to keep your drinking low, the best wines may be the ones with lower alcohol content.

    Learn more about A Glass Of Wine Vs. The Standard Drink

    Is Wine Good For You?

    When consumed in moderation, wine may be beneficial to human health. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may provide some measure of protection against cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and even support your long-term mental health and wellbeing.

    However, drinking more than a couple of glasses of wine each day, or drinking alcohol in excess over time, can also damage your long-term health and wellbeing.

    To learn more, read Is Wine Good For You?

    How Many Drinks Are In A Bottle Of Wine?

    A standard bottle of wine contains 750 ml, which is about 25 ounces of alcohol. In the United States, a standard glass of wine is about 5 ounces. Most bottles of wine contain about five servings of alcohol. However, this number can vary across different brands and types of wine. 

    To learn more, read How Many Drinks Are In A Bottle Wine?

    Can Pregnant Women Drink Wine?

    Pregnant women should not drink wine. Even a single glass of wine has enough alcohol in it to increase the risk of negative effects to the unborn baby, including birth defects and other issues.

    To learn more, read Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Drink Red Wine?

    Can You Get Drunk Off Wine?

    Yes. Wine generally contains more than twice the alcohol content of beer by volume, and overconsumption can lead to severe intoxication and other harmful effects.

    Learn more about Drinking Wine To Get Drunk

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Alcohol Use and Your Health
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - What Is A Standard Drink?
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Alcohol use disorder
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Alcohol withdrawal
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Ethanol poisoning

    Medically Reviewed by
    Manish Mishra, MBBS
    on August 20, 2022
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