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Overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. On Catholic moral principles, the degree of sinfulness in excessive drinking depends on how this excess is known to affect this particular drinker. It is a grave matter if it is foreseen that this drink will cause on e to lose the use of one's senses or will put one in such a state that he or she is no longer able to distinguish right from wrong. It is a venial matter if one has reason for believing that this amount of drinking, though actually excessive, will neither deprive one of the use of one's senses or of the power to distinguish right from wrong.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.