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It's best to stop drinking entirely. A few glasses here and there never hurt anybody but if your worried about a physical I would stop drinking 24 hours before. It takes longer than that for all of your past alcohol to pass but I would recommend at least 24 hours. Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence", is a disease that includes these symptoms: * Craving: A strong need, or compulsion to drink, that the ability to choose not to drink seems to have disappeared -- "will power" is futile. * Obsession: An overwhelming thought of alcohol and obtaining or maintaining a personal supply, which blocks someones ability to engage in other activities. * Loss of control: The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion. * Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking. * Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to feel comfortable in one's surroundings.

People who are not alcoholics sometimes do not understand why an alcoholic can't just "use a little willpower" to stop drinking. However, alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are in the grip of a powerful "craving" or uncontrollable need for alcohol, and this simply overrides their ability to choose to stop drinking. This need can be as strong as the need for food or water.

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Q: When should you stop alcohol intake before a physical?
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