Alcohol Addiction Myths

Alcoholism affects millions across the US and it is still largely misunderstood. This article will dispel some of the most common alcohol myths.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism is a serious issue in America. It affects millions across the country, but it is still largely misunderstood. Have you ever heard of the alcohol myth that everyone drinks? Or that you cannot become an alcoholic by drinking only beer? These are some of the most common myths about alcohol addiction.

Alcohol addiction is defined as a relapsing disorder involving compulsive alcohol use despite the harmful consequences it may cause in one’s life and relationships. Alcohol addiction, also known as “alcohol use disorder,” can affect aspects of life such as interpersonal relationships, family life, mental health, and employment.

Alcohol can alter the brain’s chemistry, so a person struggling with alcohol addiction may not be able to control their actions. Individuals with alcoholism often drink excessively or binge drink regularly. Continued drinking leads to deteriorating physical and mental health, family problems, financial difficulties, and legal problems. Alcohol addiction can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity.

What Defines a Drink?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one standard drink is any one of the following:1
Moderate consumption of alcohol involves drinking up to two drinks per day for men, and for women moderate consumption of alcohol involves drinking up to one drink per day.

THINKING ABOUT TREATMENT?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options with no obligation required.
Call Us Anytime: 1-866-754-0180

CALL US NOW

What Is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is the most common excessive alcohol use in the United States. It is defined as consuming five or more drinks in one sitting for men and four or more drinks for women. More than 90% of adults in the United States who drink excessively reported binge drinking in the last thirty days. Younger adults aged eighteen to thirty-four most commonly binge drink, although more than 50% of all binge drinks are consumed by people aged thirty-five and older.2

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Short-Term
Some of the more common short-term signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:
Long-Term
Some of the more common long-term signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:

Ten Alcohol Addiction Myths You Should Stop Believing

There are many myths about alcoholism in different cultures and countries. Believing these alcohol myths can be very dangerous and lead to increased rates of substance abuse, mental and physical health problems, and overdose.

Myth #1: Everyone Drinks

One of the most common alcohol myths is that everyone drinks. According to the CDC, only 5.1% of adults aged eighteen and over engaged in heavy drinking, 15.5% engaged in moderate drinking, 45.7% engaged in light drinking, and 33.7% did not consume alcohol in the past year.2

Myth #2: I Can Drink and Still Be In Control

Drinking impairs your judgment, which increases the likelihood of doing something you will later regret. For example, you may engage in unprotected sex, damage property, cause harm to others, or overlook potential dangers around you.

Myth #3: I Do Not Have a Problem Because I Can Hold My Liquor

Many people feel that having several drinks without feeling the effects of alcohol is a good thing. However, this factor is a sign that you are developing tolerance. Developing tolerance to alcohol can lead to a range of other problems, including alcohol use disorder.

Myth #4: You Can Have One Drink Per Hour and Still Be Sober Enough to Drive

Researchers have growing evidence that even BACs as low as 0.02% impair driving-related skills. Moreover, the driving performance of all drivers is impaired at 0.05 BAC, and the risk of being involved in a car crash is significantly high at those levels. The magnitude of impairment increased consistently at BACs through 0.10%.3
The risk of being in a fatal crash is around seven times higher for drivers with BACs of 0.05-0.079 than for drivers with no alcohol in their system.4 Even if you only drink one beverage an hour, the body does not have time to process the alcohol content from your first drink before you start your next.

Myth #5: You Can't Become an Alcoholic by Drinking Only Beer

One of the most widespread alcohol misconceptions is that drinking beer makes it less likely for a person to become an alcoholic. This common alcohol myth can give people a false sense of security. One 12oz bottle of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a standard shot of 80-proof liquor. Although drinking beer every day might not lead to alcohol use disorder, it can significantly increase the chances of developing alcohol-related health problems.

Myth #6: Drinking Is Not All That Dangerous

Another of the more popular alcohol myths is that drinking is not all that dangerous. However, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of a range of chronic diseases such as liver disease, nerve damage, stroke, heart disease, digestive problems, as well as cancer of the mouth, throat, mouth, liver, colon, and rectum. In the United States, between 2011-2015, excessive alcohol use led to around 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year.5

Myth #7: Only Drink On Weekends

You do not need to consume alcohol every day to have a problem. In fact, heavy drinking is defined as having more than fourteen drinks in a week for men and more than seven drinks in a week for women. Consuming this amount of alcohol is considered heavy drinking, even if you do it only on weekends.

Myth #8: Once an Alcoholic, Always an Alcoholic

The once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic myth is just that: a myth. Recovery is a life-long process. Individuals who overcome alcohol addiction have to avoid triggers and other situations that could encourage relapse. However, the myth that alcoholics remain alcoholics throughout their life is false. There is treatment available for people dealing with alcohol use disorder, including detox, inpatient/outpatient programs, and behavioral therapies.

Myth #9: Alcohol Can Be Used As A Food Supplement

Alcohol does not contain any vitamins, minerals, or proteins. In other words, it has no nutritional value. However, it does contain plenty of calories that come from alcohol and sugar and are considered “empty calories.”

Myth #10: Liquor Before Beer, In The Clear. Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker

Is beer before liquor a myth? Absolutely! There is a widespread belief that consuming drinks in the correct order will help you avoid a hangover. However, there is no scientific study to support this claim. The best way to prevent a hangover is to not drink on an empty stomach, avoid smoking, and limit how much you drink alcohol.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction Myths
There are various treatments for alcohol addiction, including detox, inpatient/outpatient care, and behavioral therapies. These treatments can help you or your loved one better manage their addiction and find sobriety as soon as possible.

Detoxing

Withdrawing from alcohol without professional supervision can be extremely dangerous and cause serious health problems. Detoxification is a process that helps clear out your system by getting rid of all harmful substances and toxins.

The detox process can minimize the negative impact of withdrawal symptoms and make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible. Once you are clean of all toxins, you can continue to inpatient/outpatient care.

Residential Care

Drug and alcohol treatment programs fall into two major categories, inpatient or outpatient rehab, and each type comes with its own set of benefits. The type of program a patient needs depends on their life circumstances and the severity of their addiction.

Inpatient

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of addiction treatment. It is designed to help you stop using drugs or alcohol and focus on your recovery without any distractions or temptations. This type of treatment usually lasts between thirty and ninety days and can be a great option for those who need a safe environment to get their lives back on track after alcohol addiction.

Outpatient

Outpatient treatment is a less restrictive type of treatment for alcohol addiction. It is a better option for individuals suffering from a mild addiction who want to continue living at home while attending sessions at a local treatment center. Most outpatient programs involve therapies such as individual and group counseling several times per week.

Therapies

There are many different types of behavioral therapies out there for addiction treatment. Some of these treatments include:

The Takeaway

In this post, we looked at only a few of the most popular drinking myths circulating across different cultures and nations today. Regardless of whether you have heard of these myths, believing in them can be dangerous. Many of these alcohol myths have prevented thousands, if not millions of people, from seeking alcohol addiction treatment. There are two significant things to remember:

If you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, reach out for help today.