Most of us believe things about alcoholism that aren’t really true. These myths cloud our thinking about alcoholics and keep us from acknowledging alcoholism when it shows up in our families, friends, or workplaces. But by cutting through the myths and learning the facts, we can assure that these false ideas won’t prevent us from recognizing alcoholism and doing something about it.
Fact: Very few alcoholics are. It’s what happens when they drink that counts.
Fact: There is no reason an alcoholic can’t have a nice family. Most alcoholics are able to take care of their families for a long time.
Fact: There is no “alcoholic look.” In fact, many alcoholics make a point of looking especially good just to “prove” they aren’t alcoholics.
Fact: Alcohol is alcohol. A can of beer equals a shot of whiskey equals a glass of table wine.
Fact: Many alcoholics rarely miss work. They may be hung over, but still manage to show up.
Fact: Alcoholism can happen to anyone, regardless of family background or social and economic status.
Fact: Most alcoholics are employed, responsible people. Many are professionals and executives.
Fact: Many alcoholics are good people. There is no “alcoholic personality,” although a person’s behavior can change after drinking.
Fact: Alcoholics often keep their drinking habits secret, especially from coworkers and employers.
Fact: Most alcoholics are ordinary, respectable people.