The Five Myths of Alcoholism

Myth #1: The alcoholic can stop drinking anytime they want to

Maybe they can; more than likely, they can’t. Either way, it’s just an excuse to keep drinking. Telling oneself they can quit makes the alcoholic feel in control, despite all evidence to the contrary and no matter the damage it’s doing.

Myth #2: “My drinking is my problem. I’m the one it hurts, so no one has the right to tell me to stop!”

This is true in that the decision to quit drinking is up to the individual. But the alcoholic is engaging in self-deception if they think their drinking hurts no one else but them. Alcoholism affects everyone around the alcoholic, particularly the people closest to them. The alcoholic’s problem is their problem as well.

Myth #3: “I’m not a daily drinker, so I can’t be an alcoholic! Plus, I only drink wine or beer – no hard liquor”  

What one drinks, where they drink it and how much they drink is not what defines an alcoholic. Rather, it is the result of their drinking that defines whether or not it is a problem. If drinking is causing problems in the home or workplace, a drinking problem exists and one is most probably an alcoholic.

Myth #4: I’m not an alcoholic because I have a steady job and am good provider!”

Just because an individual isn’t homeless and lying in a gutter doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not an alcoholic. Many alcoholics are able to hold down a job, finish school and function at a reasonable level of subsistence. Some even become successful in their field. But that doesn’t mean they’re not putting themselves or others at risk as a result of their dangerous and self-destructive behavior. Ultimately, the effects of alcoholism always catch up to the individual – unfortunately for some, it is often too late.

Myth #5: Drinking is not a “real” addiction like drug abuse.  

Alcohol is a drug, and alcoholism is equally as damaging as hard drug addiction. The body and brain are severely damaged by alcohol addiction and, over time, the effects on one’s health are overwhelming, catastrophic and often fatal if gone unchecked. Plus, alcoholics go through physical withdrawal, just like drug users do, when they quit.

In summation, alcoholism and alcohol abuse seriously affects all aspects of a person’s life.  Long-term alcohol use causes serious and debilitating health complications and adversely affects literally every organ in the body, including the brain. Problem drinking also can devastate one’s emotional stability, finances, career, and the ability to build and sustain satisfying relationships. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse also destroys relationships with friends, co-workers and, especially, one’s family, putting an incredible strain on all the people closest to the alcoholic.

Riviera Recovery Sober Living

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or addiction to drugs, call Riviera Recovery to discuss the options for help. The first step of making the call is the hardest, but once you do, we can help guide you to the next steps. Call 866-478-8799 to speak with an Admissions Specialist.

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