Myth: A Few Beers Won’t Hurt


I never quite remember which it was when you burn yourself.

Is it put butter on it immediately or is it run cold water over it.

I mentioned these because they are very familiar.

Butter on a burn is a myth and cool water on a burn is good first aid.

It’s just willpower

You may be one of those people who believe your alcoholic is just a weak person.

If only he/she had the willpower to quit.

This reduces the illness to what seems like a simple choice.

Just say “no” was the slogan we heard in the 1980’s like that was all it takes.

There’s a component of choice required for recovery to begin, but there’s far more to it.

I’ve spoken to people in recovery for years and they tell me they still have temptations to use.

The choice is not a single choice but ongoing decisions to remain alcohol free.

This may be a contributor to relapse.

When your alcoholic thinks when the decision is made to quit all of the emotional and psychological attachment will just go away.

It doesn’t.

This is why treatment is so beneficial followed by effective ongoing support.

Maybe your alcoholic’s like the ones I’ve worked with. They want to quit but feel helpless to make it happen. They keep up a macho front when they say I just don’t want to quit.

Learn to drink socially

Total abstinance is a difficult concept for most alcoholic’s to accept.

Nearly every alcoholic I’ve worked with wished they could have a few drinks and be okay.

There’s an adage in the twelve step groups that goes like this,”One is too many and a thousand is never enough”

If your alcoholic has built up tolerance to alcohol, learning to drink just a couple isn’t possible.

There may be periods of long term abstinence followed by a return to alcohol. When this occurs a period of lower consumption may happen. It’s only temporary.

Relapse actually starts mentally when the individual no longer accepts abstinence and decides to return to use.

Liquor does it, beer doesn’t

Maybe your alcoholic when confronted about use has suggested a switch from liquor to only beer would make things better.

This is a total myth.

The difference between beer and liquor…

Liquor’s quicker.

The bottom line is this. When your alcoholic tells you he’s/she’s going to change use patterns it’s likely only a temporary fix.

Abstinence along with support is the only way to develop an ongoing effective recovery.

What myths have you bought into with your alcoholic. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. S

    Oh yes, I have heard this many times. It’s just wishful thinking and sooo predictable. I have also had “I am not drinking today” to be followed 2 hours later “I just need a couple to soothe my hangover” – the 2 being the start of 6.

    It’s agony waiting for the penny to drop and for the realisation that the only way is to stop. While logically he knows that this is what he needs to do, he is kicking out at any suggestion that this might need to be now and not tomorrow or next Monday ……

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      A factor in the illness of alcoholism is how much the alcoholic protects the opportunities to use. They will go to no end to assure their supply along with where and when they can use. This is why the concept of abstinence is one that needs to be accepted on a daily basis (sometimes on a minute to minute basis).

  2. Sue

    Yes, Mike cannot contemplate never having another drink, specially socially. He is still convinced he can stop hiding bottles of gin and wine and learn to drink in a CONTROL.LED way. I am aware that this is because he is terrified of having to give up but as long as this is his attitude, I feel very helpless and stuck.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I don’t know of any alcoholic active or in recovery who can handle the idea of being sober the rest of their life. This is why in 12step they talk about a day at a time. It really is only the next drink an alcoholic needs to refuse.

  3. Willow

    I love when folks think they are not an alcoholic because they don’t drink hard liquor. My mother was is the type that thinks because she drinks wine in a lovely glass there is no way she is an alcoholic. If she was she’d be in an alley drinking out of a paper bag. I can relate to this post though. My husband is the king of getting in trouble, stops drinking, sobers up for 6-13 weeks and then goes back to a drink here and there and then wham he’s back to drinking daily again. Frustrating for sure, only because I get my hopes up he is actually going to get help.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      You mention a good point. Just because an alcoholic can put together several weeks of abstinence does not mean they aren’t alcoholic. When they return to use they typically return to similar patterns or worse. Recovery is best sustained with strong support and accountability.

  4. kat

    the myths I bought into was I’m not drinking I check his glass its empty but his cooler cup now smells like mouth wash now why would u wash your cooler cup out with mouth wash unless you’re trying to hide something, another myth is yes I quit, and then you find stashed wine or gin the worst or tequila even worse, around your home oh yes start looking but to warn you, if they hide it you find it and destroy it they will by again, they have to do this on their own , but staying clear of places and parties helps , I really hate it when rod lies to me, I would rather he tell me the truth and say yes I’m drinking so we can go on to the next ? how can I help u stop instead its liar

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Remember the illness includes denial. The urge to use is so strong the truth is irrelevant.

      • Kat

        your right , he said he likes how it takes him from his problems, it relaxes him, numbs him helps him get away, is it the world that makes them want to get away or me, is it responsibilities or myths someone needs to write a story

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Kat, it’s not you. Alcoholics avoid life situations with alcohol. They simply check out. When they finally decide to get sober and recover they must come to terms with life as it is without being in an altered state of consciousness. Sometimes it’s stressful, difficult, ugly and a real pain but it’s life on life’s terms. Once your alcoholic decides to deal with it instead of avoiding it progress will happen.

  5. Dollydaydream

    This article is just so true!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks Dolly!

  6. David

    Here are the main myths I have bought into:
    It’s normal to drink every day;
    I drink because I’m stressed out about (insert excuse here);
    This time I’m really going to try to quit.

    I don’t believe any of them anymore but the middle one was actually the hardest to let go of. I think I still hang onto it a little bit because I sometimes think I am the problem.

    I’m not sure when I gave up on the last one. About 18 months ago he told me he’d been doing some research about how alcoholics should not quit cold turkey as the withdrawl could be quite harmful. So he was going to quit gradually because he was drinking a lot. “You have no idea how much I’ve been drinking.” he said. With a laugh. He actually laughed at me. That’s how I knew it was not going to happen. He really had just found an excuse to keep drinking. He does drink less. I know this because he does not stink as much as he use to and I periodically check the bank statements to tally up the cost. He used to spend over a thousand dollars on booze every month and now he’s down to about 6-7 hundred.

    Perhaps this is his new myth: he’s cutting back so he’s in the process of quitting so that’s just as good. At least he’s only kidding himself this time.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Whenever your alcoholic says he’s drinking because of stress the real reason is because they just won’t cope with life on life’s terms. It suggests they must be in an altered state of consciousness to handle life with impaired judgment. And then they wonder why things just seem to get worse. Well, let me see… Life happens so let’s use our worst judgment to cope with it. Hmmmm ???? REALLY

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