Alcoholism is one of the most well-known types of drug addictions in the U.S. with an estimated 17 million people drinking excessively on a regular basis.
As common as alcohol abuse seems, there are still many misconceptions about alcohol and drinking addictions.
It is important for people to be educated about the realities of binge drinking and alcoholism and how the drug can affect each individual.
Understanding the truth about alcoholism can help you from developing an addiction in the future or even assist in identifying existing signs of dangerous drinking habits. There are common beliefs about alcoholism that differ from the reality of what it really means to be addicted to alcohol.
Myths about Developing Addiction
One of the biggest myths about alcohol is that as a drug it is inherently addictive and everyone who drinks enough will develop a problem. The reality is that alcohol itself is not the main cause of addiction but rather underlying factors in an individual can lead them to become addicted.
Most people who drink alcohol are not addicted but actually only have a few drinks on occasion. There are plenty of people who can drink heavily at certain times without ever developing an addiction. Alcoholism can be a result of genetic factors or mental health issues so that a vulnerable person will become addicted no matter how much or how little they drink.
Compared to other drugs alcohol is more selectively addictive and only a small minority of users will develop a problem. Another common myth is that alcohol has the same effect on everyone chemically and physiologically. The reality is that it can affect people in different ways depending on their weight, body chemistry, genetics and a number of other factors. The reactions that people have to alcohol can be vastly different from person to person.
Understanding Alcoholism and Recovery
A common misconception about alcoholism among those who have never experienced it is that if people would only drink responsibly they would not become addicted. If a person is vulnerable to addiction they can be a responsible drinker and still end up struggling with alcoholism in the end.
Alcoholism is a disease that affects certain people and is not always the fault of the individual. People may not know they have addictive tendencies until it is already too late. It is also not possible for an alcoholic to learn to drink normally as some people may also believe.
Someone with an addiction to alcohol can only recovery by never drinking again. They will never be able to drink moderately or have drinks occasionally without any ill effects because any amount of alcohol can reactivate the addiction. Alcoholism is a disease that never completely goes away but is only managed through permanent sobriety.
Alcohol Use and Abuse
Many people may believe that alcohol abuse is not as dangerous as other types of drug abuse. This is not necessarily the case as it depends on the individual and the severity of their addiction.
Alcohol can actually be quite dangerous in many cases as thirty percent of emergency room visits are related to alcohol and drinking has taken the lives of more people than other drug combined. There is a common myth that alcohol is a safe drug compared to other types of drugs but this is not the reality.
For a person who has addictive tendencies, alcoholism can be equally as dangerous as other types of drugs. Alcohol may not be as addictive or lead to dependency as quickly as some illegal drugs but it can still cause overdose and numerous health problems for those who suffer from alcoholism.