Beer vs Liquor: Is One Worse Than the Other?

Drinking alcohol in moderation — be it beer, wine or hard liquor —  can offer notable health benefits such as preventing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. But of course, too much of a good thing can be bad, and when it comes to abusing alcohol, both types can cause detrimental effects in more ways than one. 

Many people worldwide find alcohol as the easiest substance to abuse, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that Americans suffer from 88,000 deaths a year due to excessive alcohol consumption. While we know that alcohol can depress a person’s central nervous system, it helps to know what type of alcohol will deal the most negative impact: beer or hard liquor? 

What Is the Difference Between Hard Liquor and Beer? 

When breaking down the production of beer and hard liquor, there are key differences that influence the potency of the alcohol level. Hard liquor, also known as distilled spirits, is made by refining grains, vegetables, and fruits. 

They come in various forms like whiskey, gin, rum, brandy, tequila, and vodka- all of which can be used to create cocktails. On the other hand, beer is made by extracting raw materials using water and fermenting, but instead of fruits, you’ll often see ingredients like malt, hops, or yeast. 

Drinking Hard Liquor vs. Beer: Which Is the More Addicting and Damaging Type of Alcohol?

Alcohol is generally made up of the same compounds, so beer and hard liquor both pose similar risks to a person’s health. The only catch is that hard liquor comes with a higher threat because it contains a higher alcohol content than beer. This concept is known as alcohol by volume (ABV)- it is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage. Thus, it is important to be aware of the ABV of the beverage you are consuming.

What Makes Hard Liquor More Dangerous Than Beer?

The effects of beer and hard liquor are both risky, but the latter is deadlier faster, particularly since it can hit people unexpectedly. For one, a shot of liquor can produce stronger effects than a can of beer, plus the ability to mask the strong flavor with non-alcoholic beverages can make liquor easier to abuse for its pleasant taste. 

The Bottom Line: Alcohol Abuse Poses Dangers to Your Health, No Matter the Type of Drink

Drinking alcohol excessively poses life-changing and fatal risks, so the difference between a person’s addiction to beer or hard liquor doesn’t matter in the end. After all, both will be absorbed into the bloodstream and can wreak havoc on your liver when you binge drink them. 

How Can We Help You Achieve Lifelong Sobriety?

Fully committing to your substance abuse recovery is never a straightforward journey, but seeking substance abuse treatment can make it all possible. Here at American Treatment Network, we offer a unified approach to treatment in caring for patients, allowing recovering addicts to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

We also offer immediate access to care and assessment, so get to know our client-centric treatment programs to see how we can help you become the best version of yourself.


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