There is a common misconception that people who drink beer are somehow less likely to become alcoholic than other types of drinkers. This is a complete myth and it can give people a false sense of security. There are many alcoholics who use the fact that they only drink beer as proof that they do not have a problem. In reality the question is not what people drink but how they drink. Beer contains alcohol and those who abuse it will develop problems.
One of the main reasons why people view beer drinking safe is that they are basing their opinion on stereotypes. When most people hear the word alcoholic they will have a picture of a certain type of person in their mind. The stereotypical alcoholic is someone who:
* Drinks cheap hard liquor – maybe from a paper bag.
* Is always drunk.
* Is always drinking.
* Drinks alone.
* Is unable to hold down a job or if they are employed they will be underproductive.
* Is estranged from their family.
* Becomes verbally or physically aggressive when they drink.
* Drinks in the morning.
* Wears cheap clothes and doesn’t take care of their personal hygiene.
* Doesn’t have much money.
* Is a failure in life and usually comes from an underprivileged background.
* Needs to drink every day.
* History of legal problems as a result of their behavior while intoxicated.
The reality is that alcoholics might:
* Only ever drink expensive beers or wines. The only reason why some alcoholics choose cheap hard liquor is that is all they can afford.
* Some alcoholics are high functioning and may perform well in their career.
* There are many alcoholics who are able to hide the worst of their drinking from family and friends.
* Many alcoholics never become aggressive when they drink. To other people they may seem perfectly charming.
* There are plenty of alcoholics who can avoid drinking until the evening times.
* There are many alcoholics who are able to stop drinking for a day or two.
* Alcoholics can be rich and successful. They can also be well respected in the community and never had any legal problems as a result of their addiction.
* Alcoholics come from all social classes and backgrounds. They can also be from any race, nationality, religion, or political affiliation.
Beer drinking not only carries the risk associated with all alcoholic drinks, but it also involves some additional ones. The dangers of beer drinking include:
* If people regularly consume an excessive amount of alcohol they risk becoming an alcoholic.
* Beer contains many calories – one bottle of beer can contain as many as 430 calories. Those who drink excessively can become obese and develop health problems as a result.
* Beer contains many calories but has relatively low nutritional value. Those individuals who replace their meals with these empty calories can suffer from nutritional deficiencies that damage their body organs.
* Those individuals who drink beer will usually take longer to become intoxicated than those drinking spirits. This means that often end up consuming more alcohol over the course of a drinking session.
* Some people mistakenly believe that drinking beer is harmless so they feel justified in drinking excessively. In countries like Russia they have even looked upon beer as a soft drink.
* Some beer drinkers are able to keep consuming beer throughout the day so that they remain moderately intoxicated for most of the time.
* Alcohol is a toxin that damages every organ in the body. Even occasional binge drinking can put people at risk of developing alcoholic liver disease.
* When people are intoxicated it lowers their inhibitions and they become willing to do things that they would never consider while sober.
* People make bad choices when they are inebriated. They may get to regret these choices for the rest of their life.
* Once people become reliant on beer they can lose interest in their home, social, and work responsibilities.
* Excessive alcohol intake can be highly damaging to mental health. It can lead to problems such as depression.
* It can lead to the development of type II diabetes.
* Those people who drink heavily are far more likely to commit suicide.
* Those who abuse alcohol are far more likely to commit domestic and other types of violence.
* There are many people who try to hide from their problems by turning to alcohol. This is at best a short-term solution and it can actually make things much worse.
An occasional beer can be pleasurable and so long as people are careful there is no reason why they can’t continue with this indulgence. It is even suggested that those who regularly drink a moderate amount of alcohol may enjoy certain health benefits as a result. Safe beer drinking means:
* Only those people who are over the age of 21 should drink alcohol.
* Adult men should consume no more than two standard beers a day.
* Adult women should consume no more than one standard beer a day.
* Those who are older than 65 years of age should stick to one standard beer per day.
* If people have ever struggled to control their drinking they should avoid alcohol completely.
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