Myths and Facts About Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Posted by | Alcohol and Drug Use | January 27, 2015

Drinking alcohol is a common past time in the United States and other countries. For instance, when the weekend rolls around, it’s time to go out with friends and/or family. No matter what people do together, there’s a very high probability that alcohol will be involved. There is often an excessive amount of drinking that happens among friends and family, particularly during the holidays. Because of this there are some myths about the use of alcohol around the world. The following are common misunderstandings about alcohol and the use of alcohol. However, to set the record straight, this article follows each myth up with a fact.

Myth: Your brain takes up to 48 hours to return to normal after a night of binge drinking.

Fact: It goes without saying that drinking heavily is going to have some medical consequences. The body will begin to deteriorate in a variety of ways. For instance, long-term alcohol consumption can affect nearly every organ in the body, including the brain. Heavy drinking can affect coordination, thiamine deficiency, and other forms of poor nutrition. Alcoholism can lead to illnesses having to do with the heart, such as hypertension and an irregular heartbeat. It can also cause impotence, irregular menstrual cycles, pancreatitis, stroke, confusion, and amnesia. Alcoholism can also wreak havoc on the functioning of the brain.

Myth: People in the United States consume more alcohol than people in other countries.

Fact: Although it might come as a surprise, the United States is not the top alcohol-consuming country. The top ten are Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Hungary, Spain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Of all the countries around the world, the United States is ranked 32 for its alcohol consumption.

Myth: High tolerance to alcohol is proof that a person does not have a drinking problem.

Fact: When the body has adapted to alcohol or a drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect, the body has developed a tolerance to that drug. Those who drink heavily without becoming intoxicated have probably developed a tolerance, which can indicate a dependency. High tolerance and dependency is the first few signs that can lead to alcoholism or alcohol addiction.

Myth: People who do not drink tend to live healthier lives and live longer than those who abuse alcohol.

Fact: The highest death rate is among those who drink heavily. Those who drink moderately and responsibly tend to live long and healthy lives. Interestingly, those who abstain from drinking fall in the middle.

Myth: Alcohol consumption goes up significantly when there is a full moon.

Fact: Actually, the opposite is true. Alcohol consumption, according to research, tends to go down during the time of the full moon.

Myth: Drinking alcohol raises one’s body temperature.

Fact: Drinking first lowers one’s body temperature. However, body temperature rises after a period of time. Alcohol causes the capillaries to dilate and fill with more warm blood, creating the illusion of increased heat.

Myth: In the United States, those with high socioeconomic status are more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol.

Fact: The opposite is true. the lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the rates of abstinence.

Of course, the long-term effects of alcoholism can not only include physical impairments but also psychological effects. Heavy alcohol consumption not only affects the health of the body; it also affects the stability of the mind. Approximately, 10%-15% of those with alcoholism will attempt to take their life. Sadly, those who are successful in their suicide attempt tend to have positive alcohol levels in their blood stream.

Other dangers of heavy drinking include risky behavior, such as sexual activity, which includes the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. There is also the danger of developing an addiction, a chemical dependency to alcohol. Sadly, many people don’t see anything wrong with drinking, which increases their probability of alcohol abuse and the risks mentioned above.

If you feel that you are in danger of developing an alcohol abuse addiction, call upon the support of a mental health professional.

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