Addiction

Alcohol Use or Alcohol Abuse? Myths and Realities of Having a Drinking Problem

Alcohol Use or Alcohol Abuse? Myths and Realities of Having a Drinking Problem

In typical movies and television shows, characters with a drinking problem are easy to spot: they’re sullen, unemployed and estranged, typically found drinking alone or picking fights. Outside of Hollywood fiction, however, problem drinkers often look like our neighbors, co-workers, loved ones, and friends. The signs and symptoms of a drinking problem aren’t always obvious, especially when our view of alcohol use disorder is colored by stereotypes and myths, which can be harmful to perpetuate.

Myth: “Alcoholics can’t hold down jobs or be successful.”

Individuals who abuse alcohol don’t necessarily look or behave in a particular way. Many “high-functioning...

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