Myth - Alcoholism as a Brain Disease - Alcohol Bottles, Brain Diagram“What I say a hundred million times is true.”

Well, that statement is obviously a falsehood. But if enough people said it, people might come to believe it.

These three common alcohol abuse myths are all believed by the public at large because they repeated so often. None of them are true, even though they’re communicated about and actively promoted by the majority of alcohol abuse centers and rehabs. These myths actually happen to be the exact reason why the typical alcohol rehab has such a low success rate.

Myth #1 – “Alcoholism is a brain disease.”

Actually, there is no scientific or medical evidence whatsoever proving that alcohol addiction is a brain disease. This claim, or “theory,” advanced decades ago still has yet to be proven. You’ll find written on many of the mission statements or methodologies of mainstream alcohol abuse centers throughout the country, despite the fact that it’s a falsehood. The truth is that alcoholism is a complex habit pattern caused by many complicated issues. Alcoholism is something that can’t be treated by a medication, and no label calling it a “brain disease” has been successful in rehabilitating a single alcoholic.

Myth #2 – “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”

The best alcohol rehabs make ex-alcoholics, not recovering alcoholicsThis myth originates in part from the “Twelve Step Program,” wherein the alcoholic must first admit that he’s totally powerless in regards to his addiction and then must continually reaffirm, even years after he has quit, that he’s still an alcoholic. 12-steppers are instructed to refer to themselves as “recovering alcoholics”. Because the majority of alcohol rehab programs use some version of the 12-step methodology, the common misconception amongst the general public is that this statement is a fact. Actually there is no scientific or medical proof to back this up. There is no physical or biological distinction that lets you tell the difference between someone who used to be an alcoholic ten years ago and someone who was never an alcoholic. In other words, despite painstaking measurements of the brain and nervous system, there is nothing that you could use to identify someone who drank ten years ago from someone who didn’t. There’s no proof that someone who once was an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic. As a matter of fact, there is direct proof to the contrary. It appears that through effective modern rehabilitation, the alcoholic can reach a point and a mindset about alcohol that’s the same as someone who isn’t addicted and who has never been addicted to alcohol. In other words, alcohol rehabilitation programs have been known to help a person reach a point where he or she is no longer an alcoholic. When this occurs, he or she is an “ex-alcoholic,” not a “recovering alcoholic.”

MYTH #3 “Alcohol addiction is not as bad as street drugs addiction.”

Actually, alcoholism is a far more difficult addiction to kick than addiction to most street drugs. There are a couple reasons for this. The first is that it’s easier to get alcohol than street drugs. The American government has not yet gotten to the point where it tolerates street drug dealers advertising their wares on TV and radio. However, the alcoholic constantly has advertisements and media messages thrust at him about the “merits” of drinking. Secondly, alcohol has one of the most difficult withdrawal phases. A heavy drinker actually risks death when he tries to detox from alcohol. Alcoholism is such a problem in America that of the 3.9 million Americans who seek substance abuse treatment each year, 2.5 million of those people are alcoholics. Almost twice as many people need help with alcohol than with all other substances combined.

Alcohol abuse is a major problem, and there is a lot of false information out there promoted to you by “the best of sources,” including alcohol abuse centers who seem to be the experts. Hopefully this article helps you penetrate some of the myths.