People Think Having Just a Few Drinks is Harmless
The alcoholic knows that having just one drink can be the beginning of the end. An alcoholic finds it impossible to abstain from a second drink because they are chemically allergic. Feeling out of control of their inability to drink, an alcoholic is incapable of saying that it was ‘just a few drinks’ last night. Beyond alcoholism, generalizing ‘a drink’ is misinformed. Regular, normal drinkers do not know the meaning of “one drink” themselves.
Alcohol is not alcohol across the board. For example, the alcohol content in a glass of wine is much different from the alcohol content in a bottle of beer or a mixed liquor cocktail. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the US lists that for each type of alcohol, the general standard for alcohol content changes.
Across the board, that should equal about 12 grams. That means:
- 12 fluid ounces of beer
- 9 fluid ounces of malt liquor
- 5 fluid ounces of wine
- 5 fluid ounces of a shot of liquor
Relying on the generalization of “one” or “two” drinks indicates the underwhelming amount of information people have about alcoholism. The alcoholic cannot take just one drink, for often that drink is much more than just one. For those at risk for alcoholism, they may not recognize the limitations or capacities of their drinking.
People think social drinking isn’t alcoholism
Not every alcoholic finds themselves locked away in isolation, surrounded only by bottles of alcohol. Of course, many do. However, many others mask their alcoholism with high functioning social interactions. Therefore, many people believe that social drinking isn’t problematic, simply because there is no isolation involved.
What most will not realize is that consuming social interaction while consuming alcohol is triggering for an alcoholic. Feelings of insecurity, fear, and not being included will motivate an alcoholic to drink more in order to fit in. It may also serve as an excuse for drinking. Though they are present at a social event, they are alone in their minds.
People think alcoholism only affects some, and there’s nothing they can do to help
Alcoholism doesn’t discriminate. Genetics play a part in being predisposed to developing alcoholism. Those genes can belong to anyone. Finding out we or someone we love is suffering from alcoholism is not a helpless situation. Encouraging our loved ones to seek treatment or attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is a perfect way to start helping.