By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
How many alcohol myths do you believe?
Alcohol is a stimulant.
Many people think and alcohol stimulates them and gives them more energy. This belief was so common in the past among newspaper reporters and writers that these professions developed high rates of alcoholism. The truth is alcohol is not a stimulant. Alcohol is a depressant and while it may initially disinhibit you, the more you drink, the less energy you will have. Over the long run drinking alcohol results in depression.
Alcohol makes you sexy or more sexual.
Alcohol shuts off the part of the brain that tells you “hey stupid don’t do that.” As a result, when drinking people are more likely to engage in sexual behavior. The truth is drunk people do not look sexy to sober people. While having high levels of alcohol in your bloodstream makes you more likely to act on your sexual thoughts it also reduces the ability to engage in sex. In men, regular alcohol consumption may result in impotence.
Alcohol makes you more of a man or woman.
The ability to drink, and to drink large quantities, increases the likelihood you will do things you would not do when sober. This increased alcohol consumption results in tolerance to alcohol and requiring ever-increasing quantities to create the same effect. Taking action after having a few drinks is sometimes described as “liquid courage.” Being intoxicated or frequently drunk does not produce the qualities that we think of as being either masculine or feminine.
Alcohol will cure your ills.
It’s common to think that having a few drinks will solve all your physical or emotional problems. The truth is that using alcohol to regulate emotions leaves you depended on alcohol and less able to handle life without it. Alcohol has some germ killing properties when used externally. But when used internally, alcohol can cause damage to every cell it touches.
Alcohol will make you less anxious or scared.
Temporarily alcohol can make you feel less anxious. In the long run, however, using alcohol to treat anxiety makes it worse, not better. When you drink to cope with anxiety, the alcohol quickly wears off. This leaves you more anxious than before. The result is that you will need ever-increasing amounts of alcohol to cope with your anxiety.
Alcohol will make you function better.
Drinking alcohol, especially drinking it heavily, only makes people think they are performing better. Having alcohol in the bloodstream interferes with coordination, memory, and judgment.
Alcohol makes you warmer.
Alcohol dilates the blood vessels close to the skin. This results in a temporary feeling of warmth. It also results in a rapid loss of heat from the core of the body. Drinking alcohol when you are cold actually, causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
Most people drink alcohol on a regular basis.
The truth is that more than half of the adults in America have not had a drink of alcohol in the last month. Many Americans only have a drink of alcohol once or twice in any one year. A handful of alcohol drinkers, the 20% heaviest drinkers, consumed 80% of all the alcohol that is drunk.
How many of these alcohol myths do you believe? Have you discovered any other alcohol myths?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.