Myths and Facts about Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a complex condition that takes a lot of patience and understanding. Unfortunately, lots of myths cause confusion for both the alcoholic and their loved ones.

David Sherman, MD, FASM is highly experienced in addressing alcoholism and offers insight into the many truths and falsehoods about the disease. He believes that knowledge is power, especially when facing the journey to recovery from alcohol abuse.

Here are common myths and facts about alcohol that you may not know:

MYTH: Alcoholics lack the willpower to quit successfully

FACT: Because alcoholism is a disease, simply stopping being sick isn’t an option. Many people abusing alcohol show tremendous amounts of willpower in many areas of their lives. They tend to maintain a bit of normalcy, going to work, being social, and staying involved in family life.

However, the disease of alcoholism goes much deeper than sheer willpower, and recovery involves more than just not drinking.

MYTH: Alcohol makes me feel better

FACT: Alcohol is actually a depressant, slowing down the processes in your brain. This makes it more difficult for you to make decisions or use good judgment. Drinking alcohol can also increase your risk for long-term health complications, including cancer, and can even interfere with your current heart and respiratory health.

When heavy drinking interferes with your life, you’re likely to feel the opposite of better and are putting yourself at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental and physical health issues.

MYTH: Wine and beer are different than hard liquor

FACT: Alcohol is alcohol, and even drinking a small glass of wine while working on your recovery can quickly lead to a downward spiral and put you back at square one. There is no safe amount or type of alcohol for an alcoholic.

Many also argue that alcohol is safer than drugs. The reality is that alcoholism increases your chances for alcohol poisoning, a condition that can prove life-threatening or fatal.

MYTH: I have a high tolerance for alcohol

FACT: Reaching a point where your usual amount of alcohol intake isn’t enough for you to feel its effects is the first sign your liver is being affected by your drinking. Developing a tolerance to alcohol can easily result in the need to drink more and more to achieve the desired buzz.

Drinking more alcohol forces your liver to work overtime to keep up. Excess consumption also signals that your drinking habits are no longer social events, but potentially indicate a dependence on alcohol.

MYTH: I can quit on my own

FACT: Alcoholics who consume large amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time are not only unlikely to quit without help, they may be harming their health if they try.

Alcohol dependence can lead to acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome when the person stops drinking cold turkey. This condition can cause seizures, hallucinations, and even death.

It’s always advisable to see the guidance of a trained medical professional, like Dr. Sherman, to successfully stop drinking and start your journey toward recovery.

If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse or need to help someone you love, call Wellness Treasure today, or book a consultation online now. 

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