Many people don’t think they have a problem with using alcohol responsibly, despite the fact that 1 in 18 adults fits the definition of alcohol use disorder. Perhaps you think that because alcohol’s legal, you can’t have a problem with abusing it, or maybe you believe it’s less harmful than other drugs.
The truth is, you can have a problem with alcohol use if you buy into some of the myths that describe what an alcohol use disorder “looks” like. The providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center explain more about these myths and why you shouldn’t fall for them.
You don’t drink alcohol before work
Some people think that to be a true alcoholic, you need to be drinking throughout the day. While there are certainly people with alcohol use disorder who do drink as soon as they wake up, many others can get through the day just fine but still drink alcohol every evening.
The real issue is one of dependence. If you drink every night, you may have a problem with alcohol use, especially if you consume multiple drinks a night.
You don’t drink every day
You don’t have to be a daily drinker to have an alcohol use disorder. Let’s say that you don’t drink all week, but you still engage in binge drinking on the weekends. (Binge drinking counts as five drinks in a single night for men and four drinks for women.) That’s behavior characteristic of the disorder.
Beer or wine is safer than liquor
You might think that only “hardcore alcoholics” drink liquor, and you’re fine because you only drink beer or wine. But this is a mistaken belief; all types of alcohol count when you’re considering whether or not your drinking may be a problem.
It’s about the amount and frequency with which you drink that determines if you have an alcohol use disorder or not. Beer and wine can negatively affect your health just as much as hard liquor can.
Only people in lower socioeconomic groups are at risk
Maybe you believe that the only people who develop problems with using alcohol have generally fewer resources in life. If you have a good job and friends, you might think you can’t possibly have problems with alcohol.
Alcohol use disorder doesn’t discriminate against people based on socioeconomic status or the amount of resources they have available. You can look on the outside like you have your life together but still have problems with alcohol use.
Alcohol use disorder affects everyone the same way
It doesn’t really matter if you consider your alcohol use problems to be minor when others are more seriously affected. The truth is that alcohol causes some level of difficulty functioning in daily life for everyone who drinks. Just because you don’t drink as heavily as other people, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem.
And if you feel like you can’t really control your alcohol use, you likely have problems with responsible use of alcohol.
The health risks of untreated alcohol addiction
You may not know it, but untreated alcohol addiction takes a major toll on both your physical and mental health. Some of the conditions you can develop as a result of untreated alcohol addiction include the following:
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancer
- A weakened immune system
- Learning difficulties
Many parts of your body can be affected by misusing alcohol, sometimes in very big ways.
If you think you may have a problem with alcohol use, you owe it to yourself to get it checked out. Call the providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center today, or request an appointment online.