01 Apr April Fools’ Day: Alcoholism Myths Debunked
It’s April Fool’s Day, which means pranks and hoaxes will be played on you or you might play a few of your own. We, however, are going to try to switch things up by instead debunking some common myths about alcoholism. No pranks here, just the truth.
Some cling to their ideas of what alcoholism and an alcoholic is. It provides comfort and a false sense of security to think, “well I don’t do that, so I must not be an alcoholic.” That thinking is dangerous because it leads to denial. It’s important to know that there isn’t one clear list of characteristics that identify you as an alcoholic.
So here are some myths, we’re happy to debunk so you can understand more about alcoholism.
1. I’m not an alcoholic if I just drink beer.
That’s just wrong. A bottle of beer has the same amount of alcohol as a shot of 80-proof liquor. The rules are same for alcoholism no matter your drink of choice. Drinking Everclear doesn’t make one more of an alcoholic than someone that drinks light beers to excess. Take a step back and look at your situation, don’t dismiss a potential problem because you only drink beer.
2. Coffee will sober you up.
Despite what the movies tell you, a strong cup of coffee and a cold shower don’t sober you up. Time is your only friend when it comes to getting alcohol from your system. Each hour you go without drinking reduces you blood alcohol content by 0.015 to 0.020 per hour. Don’t think you can binge drink and then down a couple cups of coffee and everything will be okay. Be safe and don’t expect too much from your body.
3. Women can keep up with men.
This is the only time it’s okay that men and women are treated differently. Women generally have a higher ratio of fat to lean muscle, leading to a lower percentage of body water. That means a higher concentration of alcohol in their body. So women, don’t try to keep up with your male counterparts, understand your limitations and focus more on the reason why you want to keep up. Remember, someone who drinks a lot is not someone to envy.
4. Drug abuse is worse than alcohol abuse
The dangers are the same if your consuming alcohol of illicit drugs, you hurt yourself or your friends and family. There may be more of a variety of illicit substances but alcohol is still the dominant force. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., there are 2.5 million alcohol-related deaths worldwide, annually. That’s not a number you can easily dismiss. A problem with addiction is a problem with addiction. One is never worse than the other, they’re all equally difficult on you and your family.
5. Treatment didn’t work for my friend, it won’t work for me
This is the biggest myth of all. Alcoholism is a daily struggle and that struggle is different for everyone. Some win the fight, some lose. A good treatment plan is developed around your needs, your goals and your strengths. What did work for a friend may not work for you and what didn’t work for them, might just be your ticket to sobriety. The point is if you have a problem, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your loved ones if you don’t give treatment a shot.