Myths & Facts - Alcohol
Myths and Facts about Alcohol Use
Myth: Everyone drinks.
Fact: 31% of teens said they’ve drank alcohol in the past month, which means 69% did not! If you choose not to drink, you’re definitely not alone.
Myth: Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.
Fact: This is an old urban legend used to explain why people get sick when they drink, but it’s just not true – your blood alcohol content (BAC) is what determines how drunk you are. If doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you choose to consume – a drink is a drink and too much of any combination will make you sick.
Myth: I can sober up quickly if I need to.
Fact: If you think that taking a shower, drinking 10 cups of coffee, or eating a loaf of bread will help you sober up, think again. The only thing your body needs is time — depending on your weight, it takes about three hours to eliminate every two drinks that you’ve had.
Myth: Breath mints will help fool a breathalyzer test.
Fact: Breath mints will not affect your BAC level. Breathalyzers test for the alcohol content in your blood, not the smell of it on your breath.
Myth: Alcohol makes sex better.
Fact: Alcohol can make people feel less uncomfortable in a social situation. But the reality is that alcohol can actually keep guys from getting or keeping an erection, and it can lower girls’ sex drives, too. More importantly, alcohol can affect your decision-making ability: You might put yourself in a risky situation; you might think you’re ready to have sex when you’re not or you might forget to use a condom, which can result in pregnancy and/or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Myth: My friends will think I’m weird if I don’t drink.
Fact: Friends are your friends no matter what, and they won’t give up your friendship over something as silly as a beer. If they do make it a big deal then they aren’t really your true friend after all. Also, keep in mind that most people are usually too focused on themselves to care what others are – or are not – doing.
Myth: The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll pass out and have a hangover tomorrow.
Fact: Death can and does occur from drinking too much alcohol. This is known as alcohol poisoning or acute alcohol intoxication and occurs when the level of alcohol in the body acts as a poison, causing death from the drug overdose. Another way that alcohol can cause death is due to alcohol related accidents, such as drunk driving, falls, and suicide.
Myth: People pass out from drinking all the time. It’s nothing to worry about.
Fact: 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!
Myth: The best thing to do for someone who is drunk is to put them to bed and let them sleep it off.
Fact: Although this is partly true, the fact is that a drunk person is helpless and must be cared for. DO NOT LEAVE A DRUNK (INTOXICATED) PERSON ALONE!! Stay with the person, check their breathing, check their skin temperature, and frequently try to wake them.
“But if my friend passed out, I wouldn’t call for help. I couldn’t live with myself if I got them in trouble.”
Truth: If you don’t call for help, your friend may not live to be mad at you. When someone passes out from drinking too much, they are unconscious and have consumed too much alcohol. This person is suffering from alcohol poisoning and needs medical attention. If you are at all concerned, call 911 and get immediate help.
Myth: Drinking caffeine with alcohol makes you less drunk.
Fact: Alcohol can act as both a stimulant and a depressant. The “point of diminishing return” is the BAC that is the peak of the stimulation and euphoria. At this point (.06) alcohol acts as a stimulant. Any higher BAC will result in fewer positive effects.
Once the drinker has gone beyond the “point of diminishing return,” it is impossible to return back into the buzzed zone. When a person consumes too much alcohol their body’s natural response is to get sleepy, heart rate and blood pressure decrease and breathing slows down.
However, caffeine is also a stimulant so it helps to keep your body awake. This is a dangerous mix because the caffeine tricks your body into thinking it is not tired and that you are not as drunk as you really are.
Therefore, people who drink alcohol and caffeine are more likely to consume more alcohol in one sitting than a person who just drinks alcohol. This increases the risk of alcohol overdose and other risky behaviors.