The drinking of alcohol is widespread within Australia and it is linked to many work, social and cultural activities. Perhaps surprisingly, 1 in 4 people have consumed alcohol at levels placing them at risk of harm on a single occasion, at least monthly, within the last year.
Myth 1: Alcohol makes it easier for people to socialise.
Alcohol in small quantities can make people feel more relaxed and sociable. However, it is a depressant so drinking too much of it can make people want to withdraw from others. Alternatively, drinking too much alcohol can make people feel aggressive and want to act out on their aggression which can lead to serious consequences.
Myth 2: Drinking is alcohol is fun.
In small quantities alcohol can make you feel like you are having lots of fun however too much alcohol makes people feel depressed or sad. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to people feeling sick or vomiting. Some may even experience an ‘alcoholic blackout’ where they have no memory of their actions, which could have got them into situations they regret.
Myth 3: The worst thing that can happen to me if I have too much alcohol is a terrible hangover.
Alcohol can influence your thoughts and cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally consider doing if you were sober. Some people report taking drugs, driving their car under the influence, injuring themselves, and getting into fights as some of the results of too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to drowsiness, coma and death.
Myth 4: Taking drugs is worse than drinking too much alcohol.
While purchasing alcohol is legal for people over 18, it causes more deaths in Australia than all other illegal drugs combined. For many, alcohol provides the gateway into drug taking.
Myth 5: Drinking alcohol helps me to fit in.
Drinking too much alcohol makes people less concerned about what they say or do and may alleviate some social anxiety. However this lessening of inhibitions can lead to socially embarrassing or unplanned situations and potentially career limiting experiences which you may regret.
Myth 6: I will lose my social circle if I don’t drink alcohol.
Many people find their social circles reinforce their alcohol drinking habits and find it hard to break away from them. Clients report they had lost touch with friends who didn’t drink as much or ones they’d argued with under the influence. Drinking too much alcohol had cost them friendships. Friends who encourage heavy drinking may not be as good a friend as you think.
Myth 7: Alcohol doesn’t affect me much, I can drink more than most.
On average, a person can process 1 unit of alcohol per hour. This can differ based on many variables i.e. lean body mass, gender, type of alcohol, level of tiredness, etc. Being able to drink more than others could also indicate your body has learnt to become tolerant to the effects of alcohol. This means that your liver has found a way to process the alcohol quicker or is in fact damaged. Either way it can be quite serious.