Alcohol Awareness
Truth Behind the Myths

I can be in control when I drink.
Because drinking impairs your judgment, you are more likely to do something that you will regret, like have unprotected sex, damage property or be victimized by others.

Eating before I drink will stop me from getting drunk.

Although eating will slow down the body's process of absorption, the alcohol will still end up in your bloodstream - and the higher the level of alcohol in
your bloodstream the more drunk you'll be. There is
no magical way to keep alcohol out of your body
if it is consumed.
Drinking isn't that dangerous, the worst thing that can happen is I'll pass out and have a hangover tomorrow.
Death can and does occur from drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol poisoning or acute alcohol intoxication occurs when the level of alcohol in the body acts as a poison, causing death from drug overdose. Alcohol is also associated with homicides, suicides, drowning, falls and traffic fatalities. 33% of 18 to 20 year olds admitted to emergency rooms for serious injuries have been drinking.

I'm more friendly and social when I drink.

People can also become more sleepy, forgetful, hostile, violent, dangerous, homicidal, or suicidal when they drink. Your chances of taking serious risks also increases when you've been drinking.
If I need to sober up I can.
Depending on your weight and other factors, it takes about three hours for your body to eliminate the alcohol content in two drinks. Contrary to the belief that coffee, water or a cold shower can sober you up faster; the fact is that NOTHING can speed up this process.

I'm a cheap drunk if I can't keep up with my boyfriend.
Women process alcohol differently. No matter how much your boyfriend drinks - if you drink the same amount - you will likely be more intoxicated and more impaired.

I'm OK to drive after a few drinks.
Almost half of all fatal car accidents among 18-24 year olds involve alcohol. Do you know for sure what your Blood Alcohol level is after a night out? Your judgement can be impaired after even a couple of drinks.

I need to learn how to hold my liquor.

If you are continually drinking larger amounts in order to feel a buzz, you are developing a tolerance to alcohol. This is an early warning sign that you are developing a serious alcohol problem.

Beer doesn't have as much alcohol as hard liquor.
A 12 ounce regular beer, a 5 oz glass of wine, and a 1.5 oz shot of hard liquor all contain exactly the same amount of alcohol and are considered a standard drink.

Drugs are more of a problem than alcohol.
Alcohol and tobacco kill more than 50 times the number of people killed by cocaine, heroin and every other illegal drug combined. Although alcohol is more socially acceptable than using illegal drugs, it is still a drug. Alcohol is one of the most abused drugs in society today.

Alcohol is a good way for me to relax and reduce stress after a tough week at school.
Adrenaline levels increase in your body as you drink. You may feel more relaxed at first, but when you drink your body actually undergoes additional stress. Listening to music, doing something physical, or laughing with your friends are healthier ways to relax and reduce stress.

Poor and homeless people are the most likely to have alcohol problems.
Addiction is an equal opportunity disease. It does not discriminate in any way against any class of people. It strikes equally among individuals in all ethnic, socio-economic, intelligence and emotional wellness categories.

People with alcohol problems drink everyday.

A person does not have to drink every day or every week to have a problem. Some people with problems only drink on weekends and some abstain for months. Dependence is not determined by how often people use alcohol, but whether or not they can control their usage once they start. Even occasional drinkers have higher than normal rates of of liver cirrhosis.

It is normal to forget things after a night of drinking.

Forgetting things after a night of drinking is not a normal part of drinking behaviour. Blackouts and memory loss can be a sign that you have a drinking problem.

People pass out from drinking all the time. It's nothing to worry about.
The fact is you pass out due to the body's inability to tolerate the amount of alcohol that you have put into it. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works to slow down the heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and slow your breathing rate. Once your brain has been depressed enough by the alcohol, you pass out. The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol it takes to make you dead

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Last Updated: January 11,2005

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Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K 3M4