Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

Alcohol is a dangerous substance. It is addictive, can deteriorate one’s health, and puts innocent people in danger. However, it is embraced and celebrated in society and there are many opportunities throughout life to try alcohol. Knowing that alcohol is dangerous and addictive can leave many people wondering, “why do people drink alcohol?”

Soothe an Underlying Mental Health Condition

One of the major reasons that individuals who suffer from alcohol use disorder drink are because they are suffering from an underlying mental health condition and are using alcohol to self-medicate. This condition can be either diagnosed or undiagnosed, and they could be doing this knowingly or unknowingly.

Some underlying mental health conditions that lead to alcohol use disorder can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • History of abuse
  • And more

When an individual begins drinking alcohol, they feel its euphoric, relaxing effects. These effects help relieve stress, escape problems, give confidence, and seem to help in social situations. This initial positive feeling is what individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder are constantly trying to chase because it triggers the reward system in the brain. However, alcohol can exacerbate the very underlying mental health condition they were using alcohol to escape from in the first place.

Normalization of Alcohol in Society

Alcohol is a celebrated legal substance, which means it can be found in just about every restaurant, street corner, grocery store, and kitchen cabinet. Alcohol is constantly depicted on television and movies, college students are expected to binge drink as a “rite of passage”, and champagne toasts are seen as a loving tradition. This normalization of alcohol can make individuals feel safe when they drink it, blissfully unaware of the negative effects that could come along with it.

This normalization of alcohol in society is one of the many answers to, “why do people drink alcohol?”, and also one of the major reasons individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder relapse. The stigma of alcohol use disorder can make people feel embarrassed if they cannot control their alcohol use or like they are missing out on something if they stop drinking.

Environment

The environment an individual was brought up in and is currently living in can influence many of the decisions they make. For instance, if an individual was raised in a home where one of the adults was an alcoholic, they face a much higher likelihood of becoming addicted to alcohol themselves. This can also be true for children who grew up around adults who drank alcohol, even if they were nonalcoholics. The normalization of alcohol in their environment will make them feel safe around it enough to drink it and enjoy it because they were raised by adults who did the same.

In addition, students attending college face a massive amount of pressure in their environment to drink alcohol. It constantly surrounds them, and they drink alcohol more frequently than if they were living at home. These types of environmental factors can make it difficult for someone suffering from alcohol use disorder to become sober which is why living a new, healthy lifestyle is so important in recovery. Part of living a new lifestyle in recovery is removing oneself from a toxic or triggering environment, then learning how to cope with it moving forward.

For Fun

Many individuals simply enjoy alcohol with no further explanation needed. The creation of certain alcohol such as wine, whiskey, beer, vodka, and more all have turned into a celebrated art and science. Many people enjoy pairing different types of wines with different foods and truly enjoy the taste and craftsmanship behind it. Whiskey can be a difficult alcohol to master and takes decades to mature, and people who brew beer can turn their occupation into a lifestyle and culture.

Tasting different types of alcohol, trading interesting new bottles with friends, and trying a new handcrafted cocktail at a mixologist’s bar can be exciting for some. Alcohol can be a truly enjoyable hobby for millions of people.

Alcohol as a personal enjoyment or hobby can also open the door to alcoholism. What started as an innocent hobby or interest can spiral into a dangerous addiction. This can make it difficult for people to become sober if they have surrounded their life with alcohol as a hobby. However, a simple hobby can take so much away from a person. Health, relationships, and much more can fall victim. This makes it important to remember that living a healthy, happy life is more important than trying to enjoy something that is killing you.

About Cliffside Malibu

There are many answers to the question of “why do people drink alcohol?”, but no matter the reason a person first decides to drink alcohol, it can turn into an addiction. Alcohol use disorder can affect anyone, no matter their upbringing or the initial reason for trying alcohol.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com

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About Jaclyn Uloth