When an individual has developed an addiction to alcohol, it can be important to separate the facts from the myths. Although there are a variety of ideas and myths that are related to addiction and alcohol abuse, the realities of the situation may be surprising. Check out these myths and realities of alcoholism.
Myth 1: Addiction Always Develops Over A Long Period Of Time
Reality 1: The State University of New York at Potsdam states that there is no scientific evidence to back up the misconception that alcoholism develops over a long period of time. Although it is possible to develop a physical dependence on alcohol after drinking in excess for a period of time, it does not always mean that developing and addiction to alcohol requires a long period of time. Some individuals can develop an addiction in a short period of time. Drinking alcohol in excess can also increase the risk of developing a physical dependency on the substance.
Myth 2: Addiction Is A Genetic Condition
Reality 2: Addiction is not a genetic condition. Although genetic predispositions can contribute to the development of an addiction, it is not the only cause of addiction. CNN reports that there are several genes that may contribute to addiction, but the genetic predisposition does not cause an addiction. Only about 50 percent of addiction risk is related to genetics, says CNN. When a parent or a sibling has developed an addiction to alcohol, an individual may have a greater risk of developing an addiction. However, genetic factors do not predetermine the individuals who may become addicted to a substance. Environmental factors and personal experiences can be as important as or more important than the genetic factors.
Myth 3: Lack Of Morals Or A Personal Weakness Cause Addiction
Reality 3: The University of Texas explains that alcohol dependence and addiction is not related to loose morals. Instead, it is related to the chemical dependency that may develop in some individuals and compel the person to continue using the substance. A chemical dependency is a disease that occurs in the brain, says the University of Texas. The use of alcohol may result in temptations or cravings for the substance.
Myth 4: Drunkenness Is Alcoholism
Reality 4: It is a myth that an individual who is drunk is automatically addicted to alcohol. In many cases, individuals can drink in excess without causing alcohol addiction or dependence. The State University of New York at Potsdam explains that some individuals who normally abstain from alcohol can become drunk on certain occasions. They are not necessarily addicted to the substance. While an addiction is not necessarily related to excessive drinking, it can be dangerous to drink in excess. The risk of accidents may increase and an individual may increase the risk of certain health concerns.
Myth 5: Addiction Will Persist For Life
Reality 5: There is an idea that it is not possible to recover from alcohol addiction, but that is a myth. CNN explains that roughly 75 percent of individuals who develop an addiction to alcohol are able to recover and enjoy an alcohol-free lifestyle. The key to recovering from alcohol addiction is to seek professional help and learn appropriate ways to avoid alcohol in the future. It is also important to set realistic recovery goals and to focus on reaching the long-term goals that you or a loved one has set. Alcohol addiction can be very complex, but it does not necessarily mean that your options are limited. If you are concerned about a loved one or about your personal lifestyle, then it may be time to seek the assistance of a professional so that you can reach your recovery goals.