Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Truth and Lies About Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is one of the biggest issues of the Russian society. It is not surprising that many Russians who are liberal towards alcohol see both a positive and a negative side of it. Is there a positive side at all? Ekaterina Baburina, a psychologist, and Sergey Smirnitsky, a substance abuse professional, discussed the most popular myths about alcoholism with

Myth 1. Alcohol makes people more sociable

"First of all, alcohol affects different people in different ways. One woman told me that alcohol makes her reserved and depressed and interferes with her communication skills.

Second, an intoxicated person is prone to inadequate behavior, for example, voicing her opinions, losing concentrations, etc. It is clear that this does not help successful communication. Often drunk conversations cause relationships breakup," said Ekaterina Baburina.

Myth 2. Alcoholic is a person who drinks excessively

"Quite the opposite. Those who drink excessively are just drinkers, and alcoholics can get drunk with one shot. Alcoholism is not a habit but a disease affecting metabolism. However, it starts with routine drinking," commented Sergey Smirnitsky.

Myth 3. Alcohol liberates sexual behavior

"Do not count on a drunken partner to be good in bed. There is a difference between being slightly buzzed and being loaded. Both men and women can be negatively affected by excessive alcohol consumption prior to a sex act. However, women are recommended to have a drink before sex to relax, whereas men should abstain from drinking to avoid problems with erection,” Baburina said.

Myth 4. You can drive just fine after a shot of liquor

"It depends. Some people can drink three shots and be completely sober, and for some people a shot is enough to get drunk.

Besides, alcohol can hit you while you are already driving. When you get behind the wheel even slightly buzzed, you risk your life, health and sometimes, freedom,” explained Smirnitsky.

Myth 5. If you drink enough, you should not be afraid of cold

"Do not believe this. Sometimes it is recommended to take a shot of hard liquor when you are very cold, but walking around in the cold when drunk is dangerous.

Besides, you can fall asleep somewhere outside. Many people freeze outside during the cold season which leads to tragic consequences including limb amputations and fatalities. Usually victims are alcoholics.

Myth 6. People survive traumas better when drunk

"There are many legends about drunken people being hit by bricks while walking in the street and surviving it just fine. In reality this is not the case. Intoxicated people are no less vulnerable to their environment.

Cases of “lucky falls” are more psychological than anything. Drunken people temporarily lose self-preservation instinct and sense of fear. They can climb fire escapes if they do not have the keys, etc. The same happens to lunatics.

I know people who were badly traumatized while drunk. For example, one man fell off his balcony, broke his skull base and lost vision. He did not even remember the fall.”

The conclusion is: if you want to stay healthy and avoid problems – drink moderately.

Irina Shlionskaya

Read the original in Russian