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Myths about Alcohol

There are many myths about alcohol. Some are partly true but most are completely false. Before you naïvely believe anything you may have heard about alcohol, here is an opportunity to learn the facts about several common myths.

1. Drinking isn't dangerous. Alcohol consumptions is the leading cause of one in three serious injuries that end up in an emergency room among 18-to-24-year-olds. A majority of homicides, suicides and drownings are associated with alcohol consumption. Alcohol can diminish your ability to think clearly and rationally.

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2. You can get sober fast. This is completely false. It takes about three hours to clear out the alcohol content of two drinks from your system. So far, nothing has been found that can speed up this elimination process. Your height and weight can also affect how quickly alcohol is cleared out of your body. The heavier you are the slower the process can be.

3. Alocohol is a stimulant. Alcohol is not a stimulant. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the central nervous system. You may feel stimulated because alcohol is able to distort your judgement and lower your inhibitions.

4. Alcohol keeps you warm. Reaching for a shot of alcohol on a cold winter day won't really warm you up. Actually, even though it can give you the sensation of warmth, alcohol consumption really lowers your internal body temperature. The sensation of warmth is due to dilated blood vessels near the body's surface.

5. Alcohol is an aphrodisiac. This myth is only partly true. Because alcohol is effective at diminishing your rationality and inhibitions, you may feel braver and more open. This change in behavior aside, alcohol can diminish sexual function.