Breaking Down Myths about Alcohol

By Thu Wati Aung, USC Student, Be Well Blogger

As common as the drinking culture may be in college, there are many myths that surround alcohol. Here are some of the myths that exist about alcohol and the truth behind them:

  1. “I can sober up quickly if I have to.”
    It takes about two hours for your body to process the alcohol contents of ONE drink, and nothing, not even caffeine or a cold shower, can sober you up. Time is the only way to sobriety. So, make sure you’re not over consuming alcohol!
  2. Taking Ibuprofens or Aspirins before drinking can prevent hangovers.
    Taking these medications the morning after may temporarily ease pain due to hangovers, but taking it before will not prevent hangover effects. And, please, please don’t take Ibuprofen or Aspirin while you are still drinking. It can do serious damage to your stomach lining, liver, and kidney.
  3. I can still manage to drive after a few drinks.
    You don’t realize the effects that alcohol has right away. So, even if you don’t necessarily feel drunk, your body is probably already affected by the alcohol you have been consuming. Alcohol will impair your speech, memory, attention, coordination, and balance. Never drink and drive.
  4. Everyone in college drinks.
    According to a study done at USC from Spring 2016, 21% of undergrads do not drink alcohol. So no, not everyone in college drinks.
  5. Alcohol is not a drug.
    Yes, it is. Alcohol is classified as a depressant which slows down body functions, impairs judgement and the decision to think rationally. And yes, you can get addicted to alcohol, like any other drug. Most people drink for the stimulating effects that alcohol initially produces. However, when people drink more than they can handle, the depressant effect will start kicking in and coordination and control will start to be impaired.
  6. It’s better if my body gets used to drinking.
    When your body gets used to drinking, you are actually developing a tolerance towards alcohol. This is a sign of alcohol dependency, which may lead to alcohol addiction.
  7. Anyone who passes out should just sleep it off.
    If someone passes out, they’ve consumed so much alcohol that their bodily functions will be impaired. And also, because alcohol is a depressant, it will slow down their heart rate, lower their blood pressure and breathing rate, which means they might stop breathing in their sleep. So you should never leave a drunk person alone. If they do fall asleep, you should wake them up often to check if they are still breathing and make sure they are still conscious.
  8. “The worst thing that can happen is I’ll pass out and wake up hungover tomorrow.”
    The amount of alcohol needed to pass out from drinking is terribly close to the amount of alcohol that leads to death. So, don’t go crazy on those drinks.

Please, always be careful if you choose to drink and practice safe-drinking. And remember, it’s okay to say no to drinking as well.

Sources:

https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/specialfeatures/alcoholmyths.aspx

https://greatist.com/health/13-biggest-myths-alcohol

https://www.absoluteadvocacy.org/myths-college-students-alcohol/

http://www.healthcommunities.com/healthy-school-year/college-drinking-information-for-students.shtml

http://www.treatment4addiction.com/addiction/alcohol/myths/#

 

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