How does the Church define alcohol abuse? I’ve tried to find the answer to this, but I can’t get anything specific. I understand that it is the excessive use of alcohol, but what exactly does that mean, and how do you know how much is too much? Does it have to do with how frequently one drinks, or how much one drinks at one time? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines alcohol abuse this way:
“The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air” (CCC 2290).
When alcohol impairs our reason (i.e., drunkenness) and/or impairs our will to resist consuming it (i.e., addiction), that qualifies as the abuse of alcohol.