Alcohol addiction: Myths and Facts

Alcohol addiction: Myths and Facts

There are several myths about alcohol addiction - here are the facts.

White Swan Foundation

Myth: Getting addicted and staying addicted to alcohol is a choice.

Fact: Alcohol addiction is not merely a matter of choice. While a person does make the choice to consume alcohol, their tendency to get addicted to it depends on several, more complex factors. A person becomes dependent on alcohol or addicted to it due to various environmental and genetic factors, and choice has a very small role to play in it. 

Myth: I can drink as much alcohol as I want to, and not lose control.

Fact: Alcohol affects the human body by causing changes in the way the brain functions. Each person has their own limit (which is dependent on height, weight, sex and genetics) that determines how much alcohol they can hold before losing control. However, if you think that you need a lot more drinks than earlier to get you high or drunk, then you may have developed an alcohol tolerance. Alcohol tolerance is one of the signs of addiction, and you may need to seek help.

Myth: No matter how many drinks I’ve had, I can drink a coffee and get sober immediately.

Fact: The average human body can process approximately one drink an hour. When you have just one drink an hour, your liver manages to break down the alcohol to eliminate the toxins. As you drink more, your liver is unable to manage the increased load, and the alcohol stays inside your body. The coffee may appear to sober you up, but the alcohol remains in your body, and needs time to be flushed out.

Myth: I can quit anytime I want to. I’m just choosing not to, yet.

Fact: If you have been drinking for a long time and find that you are dependent on it, chances are that you cannot control your addiction. Getting over your addiction is so much more than just saying “no” to alcohol. If you think you have a problem, seek help.

Myth: After my rehab and treatment, I now know how to avoid alcohol. I’m sure a drink or two won’t harm me.

Fact: Getting over an alcohol addiction can be a lifelong journey. After your treatment and rehab, you have to keep an eye out for situations in which a relapse may occur. No matter how long you have been alcohol-free, there is always the possibility of a single drink setting off a relapse. If you think you are in a situation where a relapse may occur, seek the help of your doctor or therapist.

White Swan Foundation