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Debunking Myths About Alcohol Abuse

August 31, 2018

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is something that’s become widely accepted as a source of recreation and a rite of passage in the U.S. Most of us see it as a source of harmless fun. It’s legal, sold pretty much everywhere, and has an apparent culture around it.

Almost all of us know at least one person who started their relationship with alcohol a lot younger than 21. Sometimes, parents even allow their teenage children to drink at home, with the understanding that it’s safer than allowing them to do it somewhere else. It’s this type of mentality that has created a large number of people struggling with an addiction to alcohol.

Alcoholism has been around since man first figured out how to ferment things, and it still has devastating effects on your mental and physical health just as it did before. The problem comes in a lack of education and cultural undertones that place fun above safety. Because of this, we’ve developed a huge number of myths associated with drinking.

It’s important to get all the facts before you turn a night of fun into a destructive relationship with booze.

I Can Control My Behavior When I Drink

Some people genuinely believe that just because they don’t feel impaired, they can still drive and make good judgment calls after drinking. The truth is after drinking any amount of alcohol you can expect it to be quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. You may not feel impaired directly after taking a drink, but the effects will start in just a matter of minutes.

Alcohol affects people in different ways, and even casual drinkers know their limit. If you’re not a regular drinker, then it can be easy to convince yourself that you’re okay when you really aren’t. As a rule of thumb, it takes an hour and a half for 1 ounce of alcohol to leave your bloodstream. Depending on how much you drink and your size, weight, and gender, it can take slightly longer.

This means that spending half the night binge drinking can end up with you still being impaired the next morning. Alcohol can affect your equilibrium, your sense of distance, and your reflexes. It can also make you behave in ways that you normally wouldn’t. Some people become sexually promiscuous, others commit crimes that seem totally out of character.

Not every person that drinks is an alcoholic, but it’s important to understand that regardless of the amount that you drink, you shouldn’t put yourself in a position to be responsible for yours or someone else’s safety.

Beer and Wine are No Big Deal

Many of us have heard the saying, “wine is fine, but liquor is quicker.” But, how many of us have really considered what it means. Many drinkers tend to equate hard liquor with a faster high and an increased rate of intoxication. This has led to the myth that beer and wine are less harmful than other types of alcohol. People believe it’s because these don’t have a higher percentage or concentration of alcohol in one serving that they can drink more with fewer consequences.

Yes, taking several shots of hard liquor can result in faster intoxication, but it’s no different than chugging six or seven beers in quick succession. Alcohol is alcohol regardless of where it comes from. The biggest difference between taking straight shots of hard liquor and beverages like beer and wine is the speed that the alcohol is consumed.

There are Ways to Pass a Breathalyzer

We all seem to have that one friend who claims to have passed a breathalyzer after drinking by sucking on a penny, chewing gum, or quickly swallowing some mouthwash to try and explain away the results. Chances are, this friend probably wasn’t drunk or they’re flat out lying.

There is no scientific or possible way to beat a breathalyzer aside from remaining sober. No matter what you chew on, drink, or gargle, the breathalyzer will give an accurate reading of your level of intoxication. This is because the device measures the level of alcohol directly from your lungs when you blow into it. No matter how you attempt to dilute the results, that number will stay the same.
In most cases, a breathalyzer is given when you’re pulled over because an officer suspects you’ve been drinking. Your driving might have been impaired, or they might have seen you leaving a bar. The best way to avoid this is to remember that drinking and driving can endanger your life and the lives of everyone else on the road. It’s an offense that’s taken very seriously.

Building up a Tolerance is Good

Anyone who’s familiar with addiction treatment has heard the word “tolerance.” This refers to the ability to use more and more of a drug before feeling its effects. People who drink for long periods of time will develop a tolerance to alcohol that can go hand-in-hand with dependence.

Some drinkers take pride in their ability to drink more than anyone else. In truth, this can be indicative of a current or future problem. Your initial tolerance will be based on your size, weight, and gender. As your body gets used to processing alcohol, you’ll find that you need to drink more in order to feel drunk.

Once you’ve reached this point, it may be time to consider getting help. Consistently drinking large amounts of alcohol can damage your liver beyond repair, cause long-term brain damage, and wreak havoc on your body.

Many alcoholics require inpatient treatment because the withdrawals associated with alcoholism are so severe. If you find that you can’t go long enough without alcohol, then it may be time to consider entering into an alcohol recovery rehab and get help from a local AA meeting, as they may be able to help you get your life back together.

It’s never too late to start living a life that’s both healthy and free from chemical dependence.

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