Since drinking is such a popular pastime, it makes sense that there are a lot of legends, assumptions and myths about alcohol out there. What's true and What isn't? Surprisingly, even things that might feel or seem true from experience are actually just myths.

Myth: Drugs are a bigger problem than alcohol.
FACT: Although alcohol use is legal and more socially acceptable, it is still classified as a drug. Alcohol has claimed the lives of more young people than cocaine, heroin, and every other illegal drug combined. About 18 million Americans are addicted to alcohol or have alcohol abuse issues. Furthermore, alcohol is the No. 1 drug problem of today's youth.

Myth: A combination of beer, wine and liquor will make you more drunk than only drinking one type of alcohol.
FACT: Alcohol is alcohol. Your blood alcohol content (BAC - the percent of alcohol in your blood) is what determines how drunk you are. Not the flavors you selected.

Myth: A cold shower, cup of coffee, sleep, or making yourself throw up will sober you up.
FACT: Only time will get you sober. In general, it takes about one hour for your body to eliminate one average drink. A cold shower will not sober you up and might cause you to go into shock if you are very drunk. Coffee contains a stimulant drug (caffeine) and will make you feel awake, but it will not remove the alcohol from your body. If you has a lot to drink before you go to sleep, you could still have alcohol in your body when you wake up and be over the legal driving limit the next morning. And finally, self-induced vomiting might get rid of some of the alcohol that has not yet been absorbed by your body, but most of it will already be in your bloodstream and causing yourself to be sick can be dangerous.

Myth: Someone who has had too much to drink will look drunk
FACT: The way someone looks can be misleading. One drink can impair one's judgement and ability to drive. Judgment is the first thing affected when someone has been drinking - motor skills are the second.

Myth: Hard liquor is more dangerous than beer, wine or wine coolers
FACT: A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine and a 12-ounce wine cooler contain the same amount of alcohol and the same intoxication potential as 1.5 ounces of liquor. All of these will affect an unborn baby.

Myth: Alcohol affects you less if you eat meat or a high-carbohydrate meal with it.
FACT: Eating a meal while drinking alcohol does slow down your body's absorption of alcohol, but it does not prevent it. You will only get drunk slower.

Myth: Alcohol will not make me gain weight.
FACT: Alcohol is a heavy source of calories, which can inadvertently cause weight gain. The following table shows drink portions with their approximate number of calories:

Alcohol Calorie Chart
Serving Calories
12 oz. regular beer 150
12 oz. light beer 110
5 oz. glass of wine 90
1.5 oz. distilled spirits 90
1.5 oz distilled spirits with soda 170

Myth: One or two drinks will not affect driving ability
FACT: Alcohol is a depressant drug and therefore slows down reaction time and affects judgement with just one drink. The effects of alcohol not only depend on the amount consumed, but also on the user's past drinking experience, the way in which the alcohol is consumed, and a person's feelings or mood. The only safe way to drive is sober.

Myth: If a person can abstain for weeks or even months between drinking bouts, he or she does not have a drinking problem.
FACT: A person does not have to drink every day or every week to have a problem with alcohol.The effect of alcohol on a person's home, friends, social life, school life, job, leisure time, medical needs, and financial responsibilites need to be considered. If sonemone's drinking affects even one of these areas, the person should consider receiving help to keep it from causing more problems.

Myth: Alcohol improves sexual performance.
FACT: Although a small amount of alcohol may make you feel less inhibited, anything more will decrease a man's ability to maintain an erection and both genders' ability to achieve orgasm. As a depressant drug, alcohol numbs nerve endings and decreases lubrication while also affecting rational decisions and judgement.

Myth: There are no benefits to drinking alcohol
FACT: In moderation (1 drink per day for women, 2 drinks per day for men), it has been suggested that alcohol can have some health benefits such as being protective against heart disease and diabetes. However, excess use of alcohol can have negative health effects, and it is recommended that those who do not drink do not start to gain these benefits without first speaking to a doctor.