Sober living

Don’t Be Fooled by These 5 Lies About Alcohol

When consuming alcohol, the liver needs to process the alcohol and it can process one standard drink per hour (on average). That said, when the liver is processing alcohol it struggles to maintain blood sugar levels. Decreased blood sugar levels result in hangover symptoms like a headache and feeling light-headed. This is one of the more concerning myths about alcoholism, the idea that a person must hit rock bottom before getting better.

While there are plenty of misconceptions about alcohol itself, alcoholism is an addiction. Some people are able to socially drink here and there but alcoholics often have less control over their situation. However, alcoholics don’t necessarily need to drink all day every day.

Is Alcohol a Drug?

It usually takes the concern and efforts of family and friends to encourage people to go to rehab. McKowen and I both found that a sober life is actually more enjoyable, but it’s important to myths about alcoholism acknowledge that the transition isn’t necessarily seamless. “I’m not going to lie and say you’re not going to notice any difference in social situations when you stop drinking,” said McKowen.

Homeownership was also a strong predictor of alcohol consumption, according to the study. And if you’re taking medication for your pain, there could be drug interaction risks. Taking acetaminophen with alcohol, for instance, increases your risk of liver failure. Research from 2017 also suggests that kids who were allowed to drink alcohol with adults were more likely to engage in risky drinking in their teens. A common myth around teens and young adults is that it’s more responsible to give minors alcoholic drinks with adult supervision. This myth is based on the idea that kids will drink anyway, so they might as well be in the presence of a responsible adult.

Alcoholics Could Stop Drinking if They Exercised Greater Control and Willpower

While some myths might be more harmful than others, it’s essential to understand the realities of alcohol and alcohol use disorder. Thinking a person is too old to have a drinking problem is one of many alcohol myths and is simply not true. Unfortunately, many people with drug or alcohol addiction are in denial that they have a problem in the first place.

Once it enters your system, it triggers immediate physiological changes in the brain, heart, and liver, among other organs. Over time, these changes can lead to long-term health complications if you’re drinking too much. A great example is someone who comes home from work and drinks three or four beers each night. While the individual is functioning at work, consuming more than two or three standard drinks daily makes them an alcoholic. Alcohol use disorder is a complex medical condition affecting the brain. It involves an inability to control your alcohol consumption, regardless of its negative effect on your life or health.

Related MedlinePlus Health Topics

Some people who have been addicted to alcohol for years can actually cause serious harm to their bodies if they try to quit drinking cold turkey. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after four drinks for women and five drinks for men—in about two hours.

  • Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration.
  • Those who suffer from alcoholism do hold a level of willpower; many may be able to hold down jobs or get through their day.
  • Lots of misinformation exists about alcohol and the impact it can have on your health.
  • The following are some of the most common misconceptions about alcohol.
  • It’s a physical and psychological addiction that commonly overpowers any sense of willpower someone has.
  • Addiction doesn’t discriminate between class, age, gender, sexuality, or creed.
  • The truth is that time passing is the only way for alcohol to wear off.

There are many alcohol and addiction resources available to help a person reach sobriety. There are many myths about alcoholism and reaching sobriety with the right help is not one of them. And if you are under 21, driving after drinking any amount of alcohol is illegal and you could lose your license. Critical decision-making abilities and driving-related skills are already diminished long before a person shows physical signs of intoxication. As mentioned before, alcoholism and addiction don’t discriminate against age, ethnicity, or background. Anyone can develop a drinking problem, no matter how old they are.

Your body needs time to break down the alcohol in your system. However, it will not improve your coordination or decision-making skills. These can be impaired for several hours after you stop drinking. This is why it is never safe to drive after you have been drinking, no matter how many cups of coffee you have. One reason is that people become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older.

  • Since alcohol affects multiple major organ systems, drinking in excess increases the possibility of health problems in all parts of the body.
  • However,
    rates of drinking are increasing in the older Australian adults with 24% of year olds reporting they have never had alcohol down from 29% in 2015.

There’s not a clear-cut path for overcoming addiction and there are plenty of treatment programs and methods available to you and your loved ones. “It’s everywhere—not just drinking, but overdrinking. It’s assumed that it belongs in every celebration, social experience, date, dinner. So we don’t even question it most of the time.” Habitually relying on alcohol for anxiety reduction also gets in the way of developing other ways to cope. I suspect I would have learned the value of healthy stress management years sooner if I hadn’t been in the habit of finding relief in a bottle.

Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Also, there may be various genetic factors that come into play as to how individuals react to drinking alcohol and whether they are vulnerable to addiction. Some alcoholics do have to lose everything before they get better. It’s not necessary to wait until things are “bad enough” to ask for addiction therapy. To anyone that’s addicted to alcohol, one wine or beer can be the first step down an unhealthy path.

myths proven or disproven about alcoholism

This is because alcohol tolerance increases when it’s consumed chronically. Someone who claims to “hold their liquor,” is just someone with a high alcohol tolerance. Additionally, a high alcohol tolerance is an indicator and risk factor for alcohol abuse disorder (AUD).

But according to experts, it isn’t the order in which you consume your drinks that matters. Alcohol tolerance is when drinking the same amount no longer produces the same level of buzz. Because your brain has adapted to the effects of alcohol, you need to drink more alcohol to achieve the same effects.

  • Women are considered at risk if they drink more than 3 per day or 7 drinks a week.
  • We’ll fill you in on 30 facts and five myths about this often-celebratory substance consumed in many cultures around the world.
  • While it’s true that beer contains less alcohol than liquor or wine, it still has enough alcohol to be addictive.
  • If your alcohol consumption exceeds the limit recommended by health guidelines, take steps to cut back and talk to your health care provider for additional support.

A different sickness could easily keep a person home from work. While this is the case, it’s important to determine the difference between fact and fiction, especially when referring to a dangerous drug like alcohol. Fortunately, there are facts and statistics about alcohol that disprove many myths about alcohol. If you are drunk, nothing will help make you sober except time.

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