4 Myths about Alcoholism
There a many things that have been discovered about alcoholism but not everything that is believed is true. Myths, by nature, are a widely believed but untrue faith and while this is a term mostly used in modern fiction, it can be applied to alcoholism.
According to the NIAAA, in 2012 7.2 percent of adults and 855,000 adolescents (12-17) suffered from an AUD. Many people suffer from an alcohol use disorder and there are four myths that many people believe to be true.
Control & Willpower
It is a popular belief that if an alcoholic has the willpower and control over their addiction, they can end the compulsion like hitting an off switch. When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, they create a compulsion that forces them to continue to take the alcoholic beverage in order to function in their everyday lives.
Many times, if an alcoholic does go cold turkey it is due to an emotional event that involves alcohol such as a pregnancy, a DUI, or due to a drunk driving accident.
Not only does this not give him or her a chance to distinguish why their addiction began, but it can also put him/her at a higher risk for a substitute addiction. It is not as simple as putting down the drink and deciding they are done; they will require professional help in order to become sober.
Professional addiction counselors can help the addict to lean coping methods to keep them from relapsing or the temptation to indulge. Without this help, even one drink can send him or her spiraling out of control and back full-blown into their addiction.
Drinking is Harmless
In today’s culture, it is seen as socially acceptable to drink and in moderation, this may be true. Many individuals experience drinking during their college careers or while going out with coworkers and many times, it is seen as adventurous fun regardless of the risk.
This belief is dangerous as it can lead him or her to drink until they become dependent on the alcohol and when treatment becomes needed, they can reason it away as just a socially acceptable practice.
Hit Rock Bottom
There is a myth that an individual is not an alcoholic until they have hit rock bottom, which allows the alcoholic to rationalize their addiction. When the alcoholic addiction takes over the individual’s life, it can cause an individual to lose everything before they decide it is time to seek out treatment but he or she should seek help before that occurs.
Regardless of which stage the individual may be in during their addiction or how long they have been doing it, it is important for them to seek help as soon as possible and not to wait until they hit “rock bottom” to find it.
Treatment: The Cure!
An individual generally becomes an alcoholic because they have begun to feel hardships in their lives. If these hardships are not dealt with, the reason he or she began to drink will remain even after treatment. It is important to know that the journey toward sobriety is never ending and dealing with the difficulties is an important part of the healing process.
It is extremely beneficial for the alcoholic to seek professional help, but it is not a cure-all. Through counseling, a recovering alcoholic will learn coping methods and connect with people who are going through similar experiences.
While these are useful tools, it is up to the alcoholic to practice the coping methods they have learned. It is a lifelong struggle and commitment for the recovering alcoholic and treatment can help but it cannot cure the addiction.
According to the NIH, the success of an individual depends on their ability to cut back or stop drinking altogether. It may take a few tries but if the individual is struggling to quit, there are many options open to help them. From individual counseling to support groups, there are plenty of opportunities to help him or her not only to get sober, but to remain sober as well.
There are four myths about alcoholism that are widely believed by people today. The most popular ones include the belief that it only takes control and willpower to overcome an addiction, that drinking is a harmless sport, the alcoholic needs to hit rock bottom before they are alcoholics, and that finding treatment is the cure for all.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism and needs help, call 800-681-7369Who Answers? to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.