There are a range of false truths and misconceptions about alcohol. One thing is for sure; once alcohol enters the system it causes immediate changes in some of the major organs including the heart, the liver and the brain. If you drink too much for a long time or drink in serious binges, there is a high chance of long term health complications as a result.
In this article, we will highlight some facts about alcohol, some facts about alcoholism as well as dispelling some common myths.
10 Alcohol Facts
- Alcohol is a depressant. If you drink enough of it, you will become depressed.
- Alcohol works in a variety of ways. It triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. It is the release of dopamine that creates the ‘feel good’ feeling from drinking alcohol.
- Men are more likely to drink alcohol than women
- Men and women’s bodies process alcohol in a different way. Unfortunately for women, they are more likely to suffer serious health consequences from excessive alcohol consumption than their male counterparts.
- Some people drink regularly while others ‘binge drink’. The definition of binge drinking is more than 4 drinks in 2 hours for women and for men, more than 5 drinks in 2 hours.
- Those who start drinking before the age of 15 are more likely to develop a problem with alcohol in later life.
- Regular alcohol use significantly increases the risk of developing dementia.
- Alcohol is processed in the liver. It is why excessive alcohol use can result in liver damage.
- One unit of alcohol is 10ml or 8g of alcohol. It takes an average adult approximately one hour to process a unit of alcohol so there is no more alcohol in their bloodstream. This does of course vary from person to person.
- It is not illegal for someone over 18 to buy a 16 year old child alcohol if they are eating at a licensed premises. It is also not illegal for a child over 5 years old to drink alcohol at home.
10 Alcohol Myths
- Alcohol gives me a ‘boost’.
Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down thinking and movement, so it isn’t the best boost!
- There is nothing you can do to help an alcoholic.
This can be difficult if the individual denies their problem. Once they admit their problem, and access the right help, we have seen thousands of people recover from alcoholism through our alcohol rehab.
- I am still in control when I’ve had too much to drink
Alcohol works like an anaesthetic and slows down all reactions. As a result, you are more likely to get injured or have an accident.
- Alcohol helps me sleep
Although alcohol may help you feel tired or sleepy, it can stop your body from getting the quality sleep you need. If you are dependant on alcohol to help you sleep, this may be a symptom of alcoholism.
- A coffee and a cold shower will sober you up
Although this may give you a temporary, short term boost, the only thing that sobers you up is time. Coffee and a shower may help you to feel more awake, but it certainly doesn’t make you more sober.
- Eating a big meal before drinking means you won’t get so drunk
Food does not actually stop alcohol from affecting the body. Due to absorption the food may slow down the effect fractionally but heavy drinking will result in getting drunk.
- Mixing drinks makes you more drunk
Mixing drinks or the order in which you drink does not affect how drunk you get. The only relevant factor is your blood alcohol content which is determined by how much alcohol you drink, not the different types of drink.
- You can have one drink an hour and drive safely
For most people one drink an hour would result in becoming gradually more impaired until you are certainly not safe to drive.
- Passing out drunk is ok
Alcohol poisoning means you have drunk enough to suppress the Central Nervous System. Reflexes such as coughing, gagging or breathing can be shut down or more commonly can inhale your own vomit resulting in death.
- Throw up to Sober Up
The body absorbs alcohol from drinks very quickly. Unless you are sick within a few minutes of consuming the drink, the alcohol is already in the bloodstream. Being sick will not result in being sober!
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10 Alcoholism Facts
Alcohol misuse is a growing problem and you may find some of the following information eye opening. The scale of the problem is greater than most realise.
- Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill health and disability in 15 – 49 year olds.
- In England alone, it is estimated that there are over 600,00 dependent drinkers
- In 2017 there were 113 million hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption. During 2017, there were also 337,000 admissions directly caused by alcohol. These figures rise year on year.
- In 2017, Public Health England estimated that 24,202 deaths were caused by alcohol.
- Liver disease is one of only a few major causes or premature mortality that is increasing. In the last 10 years there has been a 40% increase in premature mortality due to liver disease.
- The average UK age for someone seeking help for alcoholism, including alcohol rehab, is 46.
- Binge drinking has seen a dangerous rise. Although 16 – 24 year olds are actually less likely to drink and drink less often, when they do, they are more likely to drink at dangerous levels.
- The more money people earn, the more likely they are to drink alcohol
- Alcohol misuse is a factor in 30% of suicides each year
- 10) 35% of all A&E attendance and ambulance costs are alcohol-related.
Please remember that if your loved one has a problem with alcohol, you are certainly not alone. Help is only a phone call away. Call us today and speak to one of our counsellors. If you are interested in learning more about our alcoholism treatment programmes, our advisors will be able to give you all the information you need.