October 20, 2022

5 Common Myths About Alcohol

by Psych Times Staff

When it comes to alcohol, many dangerous myths persist to this day. With all the misinformation about drinking, it’s sometimes challenging to know what’s real or what to trust. Knowing the truth about alcohol can keep you from accidentally entering dangerous situations or unknowingly breaking the law. Here, we’ll list some common myths you may have heard about alcohol to help set the record straight.

Myth #1: Alcohol Warms the Body

You’ve likely heard this myth, or maybe even seemed to experience it yourself after a few drinks; however, the sense of warmth you feel after drinking is deceiving. Here’s what’s really happening. Alcohol causes the blood vessels in your body to dilate, which sends more blood to your skin. The result is a feeling of warmth, but the feeling is misleading. In actuality, dilated vessels cause you to lose heat faster, reducing your ability to notice outside temperature dangers and putting you at risk.

Myth #2: Coffee and Cold Showers Can Help You Get Sober Faster

This is another one of those popular myths on alcohol. The only thing that affects the body’s detoxification process is time. Exercising, strong coffee, and cold showers won’t affect how fast your body can metabolize the alcohol.

Myth #3: People Will Judge You for Not Drinking

This myth is perhaps one of the most dangerous and the reason a lot of young people start drinking in the first place. In truth, most people are absorbed with their own behaviors and won’t notice if you’re not drinking at the same rate they are. Adverse reactions more commonly occur because people fear judgment themselves, not because they’re judging you. If your friends pressure you to drink or make you feel uncomfortable for not conforming to the actions of the group, then those people aren’t your friends. 

Myth #4: Driving After Only a Few Drinks Isn’t Dangerous

Canada’s drinking and driving laws are among the strictest of any Western country. Consequences for drinking extend far beyond the legal, however. Drinking can impair your ability to make rational decisions and can slow reaction times. When you drink and then get behind the wheel, you can endanger yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. It’s simply never worth it to drink and drive.

Myth #5: Alcohol Is a Stimulant

Alcohol is not a stimulant; it’s a depressant. Because alcohol can increase heart rates, reduce inhibitions, and make drinkers feel energetic, many falsely believe it’s a stimulant. These effects are only part of the whole picture, however. Alcohol slows the nervous system, and combining alcohol with other stimulants or depressants can have dangerous consequences.

Understanding the truth about alcohol can help you use it safely. These common myths represent dangerous ideas and misunderstandings many have about drinking. Be responsible and aware when you choose to drink and help others do the same. Doing so can reduce the risks associated with alcohol, help avoid unwanted or dangerous situations, and even save your own or someone else’s life.


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