5 Myths about Alcohol and Alcoholism

Like every drug, alcohol suffers under the weight of a number of unfounded myths and stories. Is it really true that if you mix beer and wine and spirits you’ll get more drunk than if you stick to one type of alcoholic beverage? Um, no. That’s a freebie. Here are five more myths about alcohol that we at The Canyon would like to debunk.

Myth About Alcohol and Alcoholism #1: Alcoholics Have No Will Power.

There seems to be this idea among those who don’t have problems with drugs and alcohol that if someone who suffers from addiction would just steel themselves against the impulse to imbibe or use that they would be just fine. As if all it takes to control the disease is a little “mind over matter,” a little will power.

If only that were true. Unfortunately, medical research shows that that just isn’t the case. Long-term drug and alcohol use alters the brain permanently. Your chemical makeup changes as it becomes dependent upon a substance to the point that your body becomes dependent upon a certain amount of the drug just to feel normal. If you don’t have enough alcohol in your bloodstream when you’re dependent upon it, your cravings are just as physical as they are mental and will power has nothing to do with it. The only way to stop drinking is to enter an alcohol rehab and undergo treatment.

Myth About Alcohol and Alcoholism #2: Weekend Binge Drinking Is Not Alcoholism.

A huge amount of the American population drinks only on the weekend, and a huge percentage of these people drink more than what is considered healthy and repeats this pattern each week. Despite the fact that you may forego alcohol during the week, weekend drinking in large amounts may add up to binge drinking, which is commonly referred to as alcohol abuse. This abuse may be rare and fleeting, it may be alcohol abuse, or it could be alcoholism. It depends upon your reason for drinking. If you use alcohol as a way to escape uncomfortable or sad feelings, then weekend binge drinking can be a precursor to weekday or daily drinking and physical dependence upon alcohol, the very definition of alcoholism.

Myth About Alcohol and Alcoholism #3: You Have To Be Drunk Constantly To Be An Alcoholic.

No, of course not. It’s difficult to be drunk all the time, especially if you are an alcoholic. When you develop a tolerance to alcohol, you need to drink more and more in order to even feel the effects of the drug. In fact, no one “holds their liquor” better than an alcoholic. They are the ones most likely to drink and drink and drink and not appear drunk at all.

Myth About Alcohol and Alcoholism #4: If I Have A Job, I Can’t Be An Alcoholic.

There is a term for this phenomenon and it is “functional alcoholic.” In fact, a number of alcoholics are products of the work place: the working lunch, the working dinner, in which alcohol plays a crucial part in sales and client relations. It’s a fine line and many who use alcohol to do what they need to do to excel at work soon find themselves at the mercy of the drug that they originally set out to manipulate. Others use alcohol as a way to cope with the hardships and high expectations of their jobs, and soon, the drug that once freed them from the stress of their work begins to cause even more of it, creating even more problems that they can’t control.

Myth About Alcohol and Alcoholism #5: If I Can Stop Drinking, I’m Not An Alcoholic.

If you’re even in a position to have this thought, chances are, you’re an alcoholic. Don’t let it get this far. Call The Canyon and get the help you need with a comprehensive alcohol rehab that addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of alcoholism, giving you the tools you need to stay clean and sober when you return home.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor

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