10 Common Myths Surrounding Alcohol Addiction

Myths about alcohol addiction are misleading and can have far-reaching effects. Common misconceptions about alcohol abuse can discourage people from seeking treatment and perpetuate harmful information.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Alcohol addiction is a serious and dangerous behavior that affects thousands of people across the nation. With endless information about alcohol abuse at your fingertips, it can be difficult to know what to believe.

Keep reading to learn about the most common myths associated with alcohol addiction.

10 Common Myths About Alcohol Abuse

There’s plenty of misinformation surrounding all kinds of substance abuse, which can be detrimental to you and others.

Alcohol myths not only prevent people from getting the help they need but also reinforce stereotypes about it.

Myth #1: Alcohol Addiction Is A Choice

One of the most common myths associated with alcohol addiction is that it is a choice. Many people assume that people with alcohol addiction are choosing not to recover.

This is a harmful misconception, because it takes away from the most important fact about alcohol dependence, that it is a disease and actual medical condition.

Alcohol addiction, like other substance use disorders, is a mental or physical reliance and is uncontrollable without treatment or help.

Myth #2: Switching From Hard Liquor To Beer Or Wine Is Healthier

Another myth about alcohol addiction is that drinking beer or wine is healthier than hard liquor. Frankly put, abusing any kind of alcohol is not good for your health.

Hard liquor, beer, and wine contain the same amount of alcohol when consumed in standard amounts, so it doesn’t matter what kind you choose.

Instead, the habits or patterns you adopt when drinking alcohol are more indicative of whether you are struggling with alcohol addiction.

Myth #3: Abusing Alcohol Is Acceptable If You’re A “Functioning Alcoholic”

Oftentimes, alcohol addiction is associated with being completely incapacitated. However, alcohol addiction varies between individuals and can be displayed in different ways.

Though some people may be able to perform day-to-day tasks while abusing alcohol, known as a functioning alcoholic, it does not mean they don’t have an addiction.

If you or a loved one have adopted a dangerous drinking pattern, it is still vital to get the help you need, even if you can function at a somewhat normal pace.

Myth #4: Alcohol Addiction Only Affects People Of A Certain Age Group

One of the more stereotype-inducing myths about alcohol abuse is that it only affects a specific age group.

Though you might think alcohol addiction can only affect people of a certain age, the reality is anyone can become addicted to the substance.

People between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most at risk for developing an alcohol addiction, but anyone younger or older is susceptible.

Myth #5: Nothing Will Happen If You Quit Abusing Alcohol Cold Turkey

A common tactic used to break dangerous habits or behaviors is to stop drinking alcohol suddenly and completely, or “cold turkey.”

Though this may work well for other personal struggles, it is a myth that nothing will happen when using this approach for alcohol addiction.

As alcohol dependence is a physical or mental reliance, it is likely you will notice the consequences of quitting alcohol soon after you stop.

This may include alcohol withdrawal symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, or mental health repercussions like anxiety or depression.

Myth #6: You Have To Hit “Rock Bottom” Before Seeking Help

There are plenty of treatment options for alcohol addiction available to you at any point in your journey.

Though it may feel like you cannot seek help until you’ve completely hit “rock bottom,” getting treatment doesn’t have to wait.

If you feel as though you’re struggling with alcohol abuse, getting help as soon as possible is even more beneficial than waiting for it to get worse.

Myth #7: Drinking Alcohol Occasionally When You’re An Alcoholic Is Fine

Many people assume that once people with alcohol addictions get treatment, they’ll be able to drink occasionally with no consequences.

Unfortunately, this is yet another myth. Due to the nature of addiction, it is unlikely that casual or occasional drinking will remain under control.

It can be easy to slip back into old drinking habits when you’ve abused alcohol in the past, so it’s important to be realistic with the role of alcohol in your life moving forward.

Myth #8: Once You Develop Alcohol Addiction, You’ll Never Overcome It

Though drinking occasionally may not be a possibility, it is possible to overcome alcohol addiction and live a normal life after developing this disease.

Once you struggle with alcohol abuse, it may feel as though you’ll never be able to get past this addiction.

However, there are countless addiction treatment options that can be tailored to each individual to help you live a life without alcohol.

Myth #9: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Is Only For Religious People

It is often assumed that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a religious program, as it has been recommended by certain religious groups.

However, it is important to note that AA itself is not based on a particular religion. Instead, the program focuses on spiritual values, which are up for interpretation.

In other words, anyone can become a part of AA, no matter their religious beliefs.

Myth #10: The Damage Done To The Body From Alcohol Addiction Is Irreversible

The physical damage caused by alcohol addiction is arguably one of the most dangerous effects of alcohol abuse.

Many people might think that the body can never recover from addiction even after you stop drinking alcohol, however, this isn’t necessarily true.

In fact, studies have shown that by completely cutting alcohol out, most organs and body systems are able to partially, if not fully, recover.

Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction

With all of these myths cleared up, you may be wondering where to seek out treatment for alcohol addiction. Bedrock Recovery Center, located in Massachusetts, offers plenty of addiction treatment programs.

From detoxification treatment to inpatient programs, and medication-assisted recovery, you’ll be able to find the best program for your needs.

In addition to helping you stop drinking alcohol, Bedrock Recovery Center also provides therapy, support groups, and education to help you successfully quit drinking.

Find Alcohol Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Alcohol abuse is more common than you might think and is certainly nothing to mess with. If you or someone you know has an alcohol addiction, call our helpline at Bedrock Recovery Center today.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Alcohol Questions and Answers https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — Alcohol Alert https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
  4. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — Natural Recovery by the Liver and Other Organs After Chronic Alcohol Use https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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