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Although it is the most prevalent form of addiction in our society, alcohol addiction is still surrounded by a great many myths and misconceptions. Unfortunately, that makes for a wide range of negative consequences not only for addicts but also for society as a whole. Inaccurate stereotypes about alcoholics keep many from seeking the treatment they need, and many alcoholics even use myths about addiction to remain in denial. Many seek treatment end up entering treatment without the right attitude and mindset in mind. And this leaves addiction to continue affecting families and friends.

In an effort to help set the record straight on alcohol addiction, here are some of the most common myths about alcohol addiction, debunked.

Myth: Alcoholism affects only certain demographics.

If you were to attend a support group for alcohol addiction, you’d likely be surprised at the demographics you’d find there. Alcohol addiction does not affect only low income individuals or individuals from broken families. It affects people from every socioeconomic background and from every walk of life. Single or married, jobless or employed, Caucasian or minority, young or elderly—addiction can affect virtually any demographic. Alcoholism affects many who you would otherwise never suspect of suffering from an addiction.

Myth: Alcoholics drink every day starting early on in the day.

The drinking habits of alcoholics can vary significantly. While some alcoholics do drink on a daily basis and start their drinking early on in the day, many seem to show some self control in their drinking, maybe even having a couple of “dry days” during the week. Inconsistent drinking habits like this, of course, can fool an alcoholic into thinking that they don’t have a problem.

Myth: Alcoholism is a character flaw.

While the descent into alcoholism of course involves many bad decisions made along the way, few alcoholics would tell you that they chose their addictions. The onset of addiction typically involves a great range of potential factors, including but not limited to socioeconomic background, upbringing, social pressures, genetics, physiological dependence, trauma, and stress from work or family life.

Myth: You have to hit rock bottom to seek treatment.

Part of the trouble with this myth is that “rock bottom” is different for every individual in the first place. For some, it might be getting arrested or getting into financial trouble, while for others it might be losing a job or facing broken relationships in the home. If you’re waiting for a particular form of rock bottom to happen, you might not realize the full range of consequences that are already stemming from your addiction. Regardless, these negative consequences of addiction don’t need to happen in order for an individual to begin seeking help. Addiction typically unravels on a steady decline, and you can seek treatment as soon as you realize that you might be showing signs of dependence. Addiction recovery treatment is designed to meet you where you are.