Debunked Myths About Alcohol
Alcohol is such a common thing in today’s society. People drink socially for nearly every occasion. It is not uncommon for people to have a glass of wine with dinner, a beer after work, or even shots on a fun weekend. For many, this is not a problem, for others it can signal addiction. One of the biggest issues with alcohol use is that there are many myths surrounding alcohol that people believe. Below you will read about some of the most common myths around alcohol that have been debunked.
As a college student this myth was used all the time: Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. It is believed that since beer contains less alcohol than liquor that switching from beer to liquor can overwhelm the body quickly, which can lead to some nasty upset stomachs. So, the opposite must be true, liquor followed by beer will prevent the overdrinking sickness? Sorry, this one is completely false. The truth is that it does not matter what type of alcohol you start with, it is the amount of alcohol consumed. This may be a sad realization for many drinkers out there, but it really is about the alcohol mounts over the types.
This next myth is about beer. It is often thought that dark beer is higher in alcohol, carbs, and calories when compared to lighter colored beer. This is possibly the reason that those watching their waistline choose light beer when they do drink, but sadly, this is not the case. Just because light beer is lighter in color people assume it is also lighter bodied and lower calorie, but the color comes from the type of grain the beer is made from and the roasting process. It does not relate to calorie count in any way.
This one is as old as the first, eating after drinking reduces a hangover. So many people stop drinking a couple hours before the bar closes. They tend to choose greasy comfort foods to ‘soak’ up the alcohol in their system. The truth is that this does nothing. By the time the food reaches the stomach, all the alcohol that was absorbed is already in the body. The combination actually makes the liver work harder to filter out all the grease and alcohol and can make you feel even worse in the morning. If the goal is to slow down absorption of alcohol, eat before you start drinking. Any effects of eating after you stop drinking is simply because you have given it time to work out of your system and sober up a bit, not because of the food.
This myth may not be as much related to what you can do to what often happens. The myth that throwing up helps you sober up and prevent hangovers is totally false. This is believed because people think that alcohol that has not yet been absorbed by the stomach is expelled and will not cause a hangover. Unfortunately, your body absorbs alcohol the second you consume it so the small amount you may get rid of by vomiting will not make a real difference. After all, if you are at the point of being sick enough to throw up, you are probably not escaping a hangover.
Sad news for all the coffee drinkers out there. Drinking coffee to sober you up is just a myth. Many still believe that the caffeine jolt brought on by coffee reduces the effects of alcohol and wakes you up from that long night of drinking. False again. Coffee actually dehydrates the body and makes a hangover worse. Caffeine should be avoided after a night of drinking and replaced with water or drinks with electrolytes to rehydrate your body.
Now that we have reviewed some common myths about alcohol, let’s review some common myths about being an alcoholic. After all, if you know all the myths about drinking and believe them, you may be on the verge of your own drinking problem.
Alcoholism Myth 1
One myth that can be damaging to those suffering from alcoholism is that the only way to get better is to hit rock bottom. This actually allows alcoholics in different stages of the disease to rationalize their drinking because they have not hit ‘rock bottom’. While it is true that some alcoholics will lose their homes, families, friends, and much more before seeking treatment, this is not necessary. Treatment is possible at any stage and will be easier for those who seek treatment early. There is no mythical line that must be crossed before treatment is sought or is effective.
Alcoholism Myth 2
Another common myth is that if you have a job you cannot or are not an alcoholic. There are two issues with this completely false myth. The first is that it allows anyone who is drinking excessively, but still able to hold down a job to continue rationalizing their drinking. The second is that it increases the shame associated with problem drinking. There may be fear around admitting there is a problem and this can delay treatment until things get totally out of hand.
Alcoholism Myth 3
This will be the final myth shared and is actually two myths in one. This is that controlled drinking is possible and willpower alone can stop an addiction. Alcoholics that believe they can have ‘just one drink’ while out socially are truly playing with fire as this will blow up quickly and you will fall back into old habits. This goes along with the idea that willpower alone can stop drinking and addiction. The truth is that the decision to stop drinking is an emotional one often brought on by a shocking event, such as the death of a friend. Second, a person who simply stops drinking without dealing with underlying issues will tend to find a replacement addiction that is just as problematic.
Whether you have believed some of these myths about drinking your whole life or realize you have a problem but haven’t felt like you were ‘bad’ enough to seek help, you need to seek professional help. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can be life threatening at all stages. The River, located in Thailand, is the perfect place to get the help you deserve. This intensive, in-patient 12-week program will help you gain control of your drinking and move back into a much better life than you left. Call today to book a spot.