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Dangerous Misconceptions about Alcohol

One of the reasons why people can develop problems with alcohol is that they hold dangerous misconceptions about this substance. These ideas become a problem because they can be used to justify alcohol abuse, and the individual can use them as an excuse to remain in addiction. It is therefore vital that the individual is able to see beyond these false beliefs so that they will be able to break free. Some of the most dangerous misconceptions that people are likely to hold about alcohol will include those listed in the paragraphs below.

People who Do Not Drink Alcohol are Boring

The idea that people who do not drink alcohol are boring is a type of cognitive dissonance. It is a way for people to justify their own behaviour. Cognitive dissonance occurs when people have two conflicting ideas in their thinking. In the case of alcohol, the individual will have heard that drinking too much will destroy people’s lives, but they will also have this strong urge to engage in this behaviour. Cognitive dissonance due to these conflicting thoughts means that the person experiences mental suffering. In order to escape this, and protect their ego, the individual develops a new idea to explain the conflict away. One way to do this would be to believe that people who do not drink are boring.

The reality is that it is the person who is caught up in addiction who is leading the boring and predictable life. When people are sober, they have a whole world of possibilities open to them. Alcohol abuse will always limit the person’s opportunities in life – it can get to the stage where the person is resistant to any activity unless there is going to be alcohol involved in it.

Alcohol Makes People More Creative

The idea that alcohol makes people more creative is a hard myth to break because there seems to be a good deal of evidence to support it. Many talented people have developed addiction problems, and there is a tendency to believe that addiction and creativity go hand-in-hand. The reality is though, that this idea is certainly a myth. These individuals became talented despite their alcohol problems and not because of them.

A good example of this would be the famous painter Jackson Pollock. He is remembered as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, and his problems with alcohol are well known – it is this that killed him in the end. A close look at the story of Jackson though, shows that he created all of his famous paintings during a two-year period when he was not drinking. As soon as he relapsed, his work suffered and it ruined his career. It is likely that he would have produced many more great paintings if he had not relapsed back to his addiction.

Beer Drinkers Can’t Become Alcoholics

The claim that beer drinkers cannot become alcoholics is a complete myth. These drinks contain alcohol, and some beers can be very strong. Many alcoholics like to drink all day long, and they would not be able to do this by drinking spirits. A common reason for why alcoholics will move from beer to spirits is that they cannot afford to spend so much money on beer – it is not because they have become more alcoholic. There are many examples of people who have fallen into the pits of addiction, and they managed this while only ever drinking beer.

Drinking Alcohol Prevents Heart Disease

Drinking a small amount of alcohol may indeed help prevent heart disease, but people who drink anything more than a small amount will not be gaining any health benefits. Excessive alcohol is dangerous to every organ in the body – including the heart. The experts agree that nobody should begin drinking alcohol in the hope that it will help them prevent heart disease because the risks associated with this substance are far too high. There are much better things that people can do to improve the health of their heart that to do not involve alcohol.

Alcohol Helps People Cope with Stress

This is another claim that tends to be greatly exaggerated. It may be true that a small amount of alcohol helps people to unwind, but the problem is that when people turn to alcohol to help them deal with stress it can easily put them on the slippery slope towards addiction. Once people become dependent on alcohol, they will be greatly increasing their stress levels. The individual then becomes caught up in a vicious cycle – they drink alcohol to help them cope with the stress of the problems caused by drinking alcohol. It is never a good idea to turn to alcohol as a means to relieve stress. There are many safer options available such as meditation, yoga, or just going for a walk.

Alcohol Helps People Sleep at Night

Alcohol is probably the worst cure for insomnia imaginable. It can actually increase the likelihood of a sleepless night because the individual will need to get up during the middle of the night to go to the toilet. When it does cause the person to sleep, it is usually not a natural sleep – it is more like the person passed out – and this means that the individual wakes up the next day without experiencing the freshness created by a good night’s sleep. Using alcohol to treat insomnia is particularly dangerous because it can easily lead to addiction and long-term insomnia.

Only Alcoholics Need to Give Up Alcohol

The idea that the individual needs to reach a certain level of addiction before they should consider quitting is a myth. It is like saying that a person needs to wait until they become terminally obese before they consider changing their eating habits. If the individual feels that alcohol is having a negative impact on their life they need to reduce their intake to safe levels or give it up completely.

Alcoholics Need to Hit Rock Bottom Before They Can Quit

The idea that the individual has to hit rock bottom is a dangerous myth if people misunderstand what is meant by rock bottom. The problem is that there is a tendency to associate rock bottom with losing everything, and this means that people begin to believe that they will need to lose everything before they will be able to break away from addiction. The reality is that rock bottom is not an objective point in the addiction process – it just means that the person has reached a stage where they decide that they have had enough. It is possible to have a very high rock bottom where the individual has lost very little because of alcohol abuse, yet they decide to stop. It is always up to the person to decide when they have had enough – that is their personal rock bottom. The sooner that the person decides that they have had enough the better it is going to be for them.

Alcohol Makes People More Fun Loving

The impact of alcohol abuse destroys people’s lives. It takes away their ability to have fun, and instead of being the life and soul of the party, these individuals because a source of suffering for themselves and for other people.

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