Alcohol Addiction... Lies and Facts

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This list of facts and myths or lies comes from the SBIRT website. There is a link to this site below.

LIE: Alcohol gives you energy.

FACT: Alcohol is a depressant and can actually make you sleepy. It slows down your motor skills which control the way you think, speak, move and react.


LIE: White wine or beer are good choices if I want a drink with less alcohol.

FACT: A glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.


LIE: An average mixed drink contains more alcohol than a beer.

FACT: A mixed drink with one shot of alcohol has the same total alcohol content as a 12 oz. bottle of beer or a 5 oz. glass of wine.


LIE: Switching between beer, wine and liquor will make me drunker.

FACT: The level of blood alcohol content is what determines intoxication. Mixing types of drinks might make you sicker, but not drunker.


LIE: Cold showers, fresh air, exercise or hot coffee help sober me up.

FACT: Only time will remove alcohol from the system. It takes the body approximately one hour to eliminate the alcohol in one drink.


LIE: Everyone reacts to alcohol in the same way.

FACT: There are many factors that affect a person’s reaction to alcohol—body weight, metabolism, gender, body chemistry, among others.


LIE: Men and women of the same height and weight can drink the same amount.

FACT: Women are affected more rapidly because of their higher proportion of fat to lean muscle. They also have less of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol; and changes during their menstrual cycle can also affect absorption.


LIE: It’s an advantage to be able to hold your liquor.

FACT: People who drink heavily without becoming drunk have probably developed a tolerance for alcohol, which can lead to dependency.


LIE: Eating breath mints will fool a police breath test.

FACT: Blood alcohol measurement devices gauge the alcohol content of the air in your lungs. Breath mints do not change the alcohol content.


LIE: Eating certain foods before an evening of drinking will help keep me sober.

FACT: Alcohol that goes into your body will come out in some form or another. If you’re eating a meal to be able to drink more, think again—that’s a bad idea.


LIE: If you can’t taste the alcohol in a drink, it’s not there.

FACT: Some mixers, such as fruit juices, can mask the taste of alcohol. Also, certain types of alcohol do not taste very strong, but the alcohol is still there.


LIE: The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll pass out and get a hangover.

FACT: Death can occur from drinking too much; this is known as alcohol poisoning. Another way alcohol can cause death is in alcohol-related accidents, such as drunk driving, falls and suicide.


LIE: People pass out from drinking all the time. It’s no big deal.

FACT: You pass out because of your body’s inability to tolerate the amount of alcohol that you’ve had. The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol it takes to cause death.


LIE: The best thing to do for someone who is drunk is to let them sleep it off.

FACT: The fact is that a drunk person is helpless. Do not leave a drunk person alone. Stay with the person, check their breathing, check their skin temperature and frequently wake them. IF YOU CANNOT WAKE THEM, CALL 911.


LIE: If my friend passed out, it’s best not to call for help.

FACT: When someone passes out from drinking too much, they have consumed too much alcohol. They are suffering from alcohol poisoning and need immediate medical attention.


LIE: A large quantity of alcohol does not affect my respiration and heart rate.

FACT: Alcohol is a depressant that affects both. In large quantities it can depress them to the point of stopping the heart and breathing, resulting in death.


LIE: Vomiting is just a normal part of drinking.

FACT: Vomiting is not a normal response to alcohol intake, but an indication that a dangerous level of alcohol has been imbibed; and the body’s response is to try to eliminate the poison.

Special thanks to SBIRT Colorado for this data. For more information call 303.369.0039 x245

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