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Blurred Lines: Alcohol Consumption by Americans

Blurred Lines: 1 in 5 Americans admit lying to their doctor about how much alcohol they consume.

  • Half of drinkers would ignore their doctor’s advice to cut down their alcohol intake.
  • Men are more likely to lie about their drinking than women.
  • Infographic included on why not to lie about your drinking habits.

 It’s no secret that substances like alcohol and tobacco can have serious consequences on your health if you abuse them. This is the reason why when you visit a doctor, they usually question you on your drinking and smoking habits. It can be tempting however, to fudge this sort of information – especially if you are worried about receiving judgement from health professionals – but the fact is that if you are lying, your doctor will probably know due to a number of indicators in certain tests.

Leading provider of substance abuse treatment resources, American Addiction Centers, conducted a study of 3,000 American drinkers to find out how many have lied to their doctors about how much alcohol they consume. Worryingly, it was found that 21% of Americans say they have done so. Broken down by gender, 40% of women admitted to this as compared to 60% of men.

Medical professionals are able to detect, however, if you are making up this information as there may be certain indicators that appear. For example, elevated enzyme levels or high blood pressure might give them a clue into excessive drinking habits.

The below infographic shows responses across the country, and includes 6 reasons why you should always be truthful about your drinking:

Blurred Lines Infographic, data on patients that are dishonest about alcohol us with their doctors.

The survey also found that half say they would not take their doctor’s advice to cut down their alcohol intake. Perhaps this is the reason that such a high percentage of Americans are not honest about their alcohol consumption – to avoid hearing this feedback from their healthcare provider. Moreover, it appears many are somewhat unconvinced by medical advice, as 1 in 10 say they are skeptical of medical professions when they say alcohol is bad for you.

It also turns out that people are not just fudging the truth to their physicians – 20% of respondents admit they have been dishonest with friends and family about how much they drink.

Holiday Hangover? The survey revealed that Americans are planning on keeping spirits bright this holiday season with 40% intending on being drunk at Christmas this year.

One-third (31%) of drinkers say they ignore medical advice to stop drinking when on certain medications, for example, if they are prescribed a course of antibiotics. The reason why it is recommended that you avoid alcohol while taking specific medications is because the two substances can negatively react with one another and cause unpleasant side effects. For example, if a patient is prescribed anxiety or sleeping medication, alcohol can make them feel drowsier. They may also experience dizziness or nausea.

‘There is no doubt that modern life is stressful and fast-paced for most of us. Drinking is often a way to relieve yourself of this tension as alcohol works on relaxing your mind and body,’ Says X, spokesperson for American Addiction Centers. ‘However, it is incredibly important to be honest with your healthcare provider about your alcohol intake as this is a factor that plays a large role in many medical conditions. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and learn to identify them before they get out of hand. Remember that there are nationwide treatment resources available for your journey to recovery.’

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