Alcoholism Myths

Employee Drug Testing, Breathalyser, Screening Tests, Pre ScreeningConventional wisdom might tell us that you alcoholism and holding down a steady job are mutually exclusive. But are they? In the 1960’s conventional wisdom told us that smoking was not particularly harmful; this belief was held even by many doctors We now accept that smoking is harmful to our health and that what was held as conventional wisdom in the 1960’s is a myth.

There are many myths concerning alcoholism. This article will attempt to debunk these myths and assist you to identify alcoholism in your workplace.

What are some of the myths?

Alcoholism means that you are drunk all the time

She only drinks on the weekends, so she’s not an alcoholic

He’s not a losers he can’t be an alcoholic

I drink because I enjoy it, but I can stop drinking whenever I want to

He only drinks beer so he can’t be an alcoholic

The danger of “he can’t be an alcoholic as he only drinks beer”

This myth is one that is a particular danger in Australia, where per capita beer consumption is among the highest in the world and where it is perceived that drinking beer is part of the Australian way of life.[1]

Alcoholism is the addiction to alcohol, in whatever form it is consumed. Beer contains alcohol, therefore a beer drinker can be an alcoholic.

Let’s look at some of the other myths

Alcoholism means that you are drunk all the time

Most alcoholics build up a tolerance for alcohol and don’t get drunk as often. This is often the reason that they drink more as they become more dependent on alcohol

She only drinks on the weekends, so she’s not an alcoholic

Binge drinking is drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks. It is also commonly known as ‘getting smashed’, or ‘drinking to get drunk’[2]

According to the Government of South Australia, binge drinking is an increasing problem in Australia.  The proportion of people drinking at risky/high risk levels has increased from 8.2% in 1995 to 13.4% in 2004-05. In 2004/2005 one in eight adults (approximately 2 million people) were drinking at risky/high risk levels.[3]

We most often associate binge drinking with young people, but research has shown that if you drink a lot in your teens and early twenties you are twice likely to be a binge drinker 25 years later than if you were a light drinker in your youth. Binge drinking can become a habit.

This is not a myth

Many people hide their alcoholism.They deny that they have a problem with drinking. Part of the denial process and avoiding treatment or support is giving into myths about alcoholism.

The role of the employer

As an employer you need to recognise these myths for what they are. You should not give into these myths. Alcohol testing in the workplace should not exclude people who are only weekend drinkers, it should not exclude people who are not obviously drunk when they come to work, it should not exclude people who only drink beer.

It is, therefore, important to test your employees. It is also important that this testing is done within the confines of the law and your company policy. You cannot just ask an employee to take a breathalyser test.

The third product range comprises a number of alcohol testers (breathalysers).CMM Technology™ supply a wide variety of alcohol testing products. These range from disposable saliva and breath alcohol testers, through to state-of-the-art digital handheld breathalysers.

Our expert team can provide you with the technology that best suits your needs. Whether your throughput is small or large, complex or simple, we have the right breathalyser for you.

For industrial applications with high throughput we recommend our wall mounted breathalysers. These can be optioned to suit most requirements.(Drug & Alcohol Testing -> Alcohol Testing, 2010)[4]

Call us today on (+618) 1300 79 70 30 for an obligation free quote.


(2009, November 23). Retrieved March 22, 2011, from Government of South Australia:

Alcohol Consumption in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05 . (2006, August 25). Retrieved March 01, 2011, from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Binge Drinking. (Undated). Retrieved March 18, 2011, from Reach

Drug & Alcohol Testing -> Alcohol Testing. (2010). Retrieved March 01, 2011, from CMM Technology:

Pettigrew, S. (Undated). An Ethnography of Beer Consumption in Australia. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from Edith Cowan University:

Workplace Based Certified Drug & Alcohol Collector. (201). Retrieved January 04, 2011, from CMM Technology:

1. (Alcohol Consumption in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05 , 2006)

2. (Binge Drinking, Undated)

3. (Government of South Australia, 2009)

4. (Drug & Alcohol Testing -> Alcohol Testing, 2010)

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