When does drinking alcohol become a problem vs a night of fun or a complement to a lovely meal with friends? What can a person do to keep from crossing the line from “safely” drinking alcohol to abusing alcohol or developing alcoholism? Is there such a line – isn’t drinking either normal or alcoholic?
You have likely heard one or more of the following statements:
- Drinking coffee sobers a person up.
- Alcoholism is not a disease. Cancer is a disease. Alcoholism is a choice – put down the bottle!
- Letting your teen drink at home teaches them how to drink safely.
- An employee’s alcohol use is none of a company’s business.
- “Forgetting” what happened while drinking is just a convenient way of pretending you don’t remember the horrible things you did last night.
- An alcoholic has to hit bottom.
Thankfully, the latest brain and addiction-related research and science discoveries are debunking the common myths about drinking alcohol. For it is in believing these myths that a person’s drinking can cross the line from alcohol use to abuse to alcoholism [aka dependence].
About This “Line?”
It represents the three stages of drinking briefly described below:
- Alcohol Use = “low-risk” or moderate drinking – defined as no more than 7 standard drinks per week, with no more than 3 of those 7 on any one day for women; and no more than 14 standard drinks per week, with no more than 4 of those 14 on any one day for men. A standard drink is defined as 5 ounces of table wine, 12 ounces of regular beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor.
- Alcohol Abuse = repeated binge drinking and/or routine heavy social drinking – heavy social drinking defined as drinking more than one standard drink/day for women or 2 standard drinks/day for men; repeated binge drinking defined as repeatedly drinking 4 or more standard drinks on an occasion for women and 5 or more for men.
- Alcohol Dependence = alcoholism, one of the brain diseases of addiction – defined as a chronic, often relapsing brain disease.
What Does it Take to Cross the Line from Drinking Alcohol to Developing a Problem – Either Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism?
Most people are unaware there is a line comprised of these three stages of drinking, believing instead that drinking is either “normal” or “alcoholic.” Most people are unaware there are increments along the line itself, that 35% of American adults never drink alcohol, or that 37% of American adults always drink within “low-risk” drinking limits. (NIAAA “Rethinking Drinking”) Thus examining and challenging the common myths from a scientific perspective – based primarily on 21st century brain and addiction-related research – can help readers recognize what it takes to cross the line from alcohol use to abuse to dependence and what it takes to stop the progression.
As for the research itself…
Much of the breakthrough research being presented is the result of two very important decades: the Decade of the Brain – the 1990s – and the Decade of Discovery – the 2000s. Much of it is the result of new imaging technologies that allow neuroscientists and medical professionals to study the live human brain in action and over time.
It is being conducted and reported by numerous national and international agencies and organizations, such as the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency), the Partnership at DrugFree.org, the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), the American Academy of Pediatrics, ASAM [The American Society of Addiction Medicine] and the WHO (World Health Organization), to name a few.
To Better Understand This Line and What It Takes to Cross
I suggest you order my eBook, Crossing The Line From Alcohol Use to Abuse to Dependence. This is not about selling eBooks (it’s only $3.99, by the way). It’s about debunking the common myths or other common misperceptions, such as those listed in the opening. For it is these myths that cause a person to drink more than their brains and bodies can process and thereby cross the line.
In this short, 80-page eBook, readers will find the latest brain and addiction-related research and science discoveries written for the general public that debunk the common myths about drinking alcohol. Examining and challenging these common myths from a scientific perspective can help readers recognize what it takes to cross the line and what it takes to stop the progression.
Some of the myths:
Myth 2: A Drink is A Drink
Myth 3: Throwing up, drinking coffee, taking a cold shower or walking around the block will sober a person up.
Myth 4: Eating a big meal absorbs the alcohol and drinking lots of water dilutes it so a person can drink more and not get drunk.
Myth 5: Some people can just hold their liquor better than others
Myth 6: The best thing to do for a drunk friend is to let them sleep it off.
Myth 7: People who get DUIs (DWIs) had to know they were too drunk to drive.
Myth 12: Teens are too young to be alcoholics, and besides, all teens drink at some point.
Myth 17: If an alcoholic relapses, it’s their fault. They just didn’t want it badly enough.
Myth 18: Family members and friends may worry about a loved one but once the drinking stops, they’ll be fine.
A few of the appendices:
Appendix A: Key Reasons a Person’s Drinking Crosses The Line From Alcohol Use to Abuse to Dependence (Alcoholism)
Appendix B: Neural Networks and Brain Development Explained
Appendix C: How Alcohol Hijacks the Brain; the Brain Disease of Alcoholism
Appendix E: Health Consequences of Secondhand Drinking (SHD)
To Order Information Resource
Whether any of the above myths sound familiar or you’ve questioned any number of the other common presumptions about drinking alcohol, this eBook is for you. It can be used by parents, students, people worried about their drinking, clinicians, policy makers, law enforcement officials, doctors, veterans, domestic violence professionals, social workers, family law attorneys, medical school students, family members, business leaders and treatment center providers – the list is endless.
Kindle version, http://tiny.cc/d8jccw
Nook version, http://tiny.cc/755okw
There are also reading apps you can download to allow you to read these eBook versions on any device (laptop, cell phone, tablet).
Kindle reading app – free download
Nook reading app – must be a B & N member to download