Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

If you are looking to cut back on alcohol it’s important to learn why you may have started drinking to begin with. Was it just to appear more sociable? Or did it just seem like the normal thing to do? Keep reading to find out a few of the key reasons.

For the effect

Many people drink alcohol for the effect that it has on the central nervous system. It is both a depressant and a stimulant, and drinking can result in feelings of euphoria or disorientation.

Out of curiosity

People may drink simply to experiment with alcohol and judge whether or not drinking is for them.

As a reaction to the social environment

We’ve all probably experienced some type of peer pressure in our lives. In fact, almost everyone wants to fit in. Many people try alcohol when they are in a social setting where everyone else is drinking in order to feel accepted and to be part of the environment.

Because they see it modelled by others

Environmental factors, such as the influence of parents or older people, play a role in initial alcohol use. For example, parents who drink regularly and who view drinking favourably may have children who do the same.

As part of normal developmental transitions

Adolescents who are in the process of puberty may drink alcohol as part of the dramatic physical, emotional and social change of adolescence. In other words, drinking is a part of self-exploration, especially if their peers are also beginning to drink. Likewise, young people in college or university may drink alcohol during this time of transition to adulthood in order to explore their own values and beliefs about alcohol.

To relieve stress

Some new drinkers may use alcohol as a way to escape or cope with problems. Alcohol may temporarily relieve stress and focus attention elsewhere, but the problems remain well after they stop drinking.

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Because it is culturally normalised

Today alcohol is widely available and aggressively promoted through TV, film, radio, ads, and the internet. This normalisation makes alcohol use socially acceptable and normal.

Because they expect a good experience

People who expect drinking to be a pleasurable experience are more likely to drink than people who do not. So, the expectation that alcohol will be fun and enjoyable may actually cause a person to start drinking.

Because it is accessible

Alcohol is pretty easy to obtain, even for teens. Family and friends are the primary sources of alcohol for kids who drink, whether knowingly or not. Local alcohol retailers may also accept fake IDs for underage drinkers. So relatively speaking and in comparison with other illicit activities, alcohol is accessible to almost anyone.

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