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Articles » Society » Why Do People Turn To Alcohol?

Why Do People Turn To Alcohol?

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By StraightDUI Staff on 11/7/2007

Much research has been done in just about every country in an effort to understand why people drink alcohol. There are many theories and reasons based on expert’s opinions but for the most part, people drink for sociability. If you asked them why they drink, they would probably say they like the taste, it makes them feel at ease, it helps emotional feelings diminish, they forget about problems, it makes them feel happier and blah, blah, blah. But in truth, people throughout history, have been consuming alcohol and enjoying the feelings associated with alcohol for centuries. In fact, on any given day at almost any given time, in just about any part of the world, you can find people drinking everything from beer to whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, brandies and liqueurs. But what is the fascination with alcohol and why do people in our society consume so much alcohol? What’s behind the need for becoming inebriated and why are so many people attracted to it?

Does Drinking Ease Emotional Pain?

The pleasant sensation that may begin at the early stages of drinking piques the curiosity for more, especially since it creates a level of euphoria. For a moment, alcohol can ease physical and emotional pain, but with continued use of alcohol, the effects only intensify emotional and physical problems. The problem stems when the person who drinks needs more and more to feel better, which can lead to addiction. Basically, alcohol may temporarily provide a sense of relief from reality, but this escape is only short-lived and leads to risky drinking. In short, drinking to escape is simply drinking to escape from ourselves.

Alcohol & Social Settings

Since alcohol is often served at various social gatherings, it has become normal to drink in bars and clubs or anywhere people come together to socialize with others. People actually think that alcohol instills a sense of confidence, as it takes away inhibitions. And it just might very well do that, but when someone uses alcohol to overcome fears or to conquer a lack of confidence, alcohol can often be abused. In a person’s hunger to feel good, they may unwittingly turn to alcohol, when in fact, what they may actually be seeking is an authentic connection to themselves and to others. Based on my experience, those who feel good about themselves usually don’t need a substance such as alcohol to feel secure, yet there is hardly ever a gathering anywhere in the world where alcohol isn’t consumed.

Research Related to Drinking Alcohol

For most people, having a glass of wine, a pint of beer or even a cocktail each day might be considered good as it promotes heart health. But there are risks involved in drinking; one of the most risky is that of drunk driving. Although we may start out with the best of intentions and believe we can handle our alcohol, once alcohol takes over, smart decisions go out the window. Each and every year, 708,000 persons are injured in alcohol related crashes; 74, 000 of those people suffer serious injuries. About 2,000 people are hurt each day in alcohol related accidents and two million alcohol impaired driving collisions occur each year. Needless to say, dealing with driving under the influence is a very critical experience and because of the penalties involved, a DUI is a very serious matter.

Does Hereditary Play a Part in Drinking?

Studies have shown that hereditary plays a part in developing alcoholic problems. Some studies say that a person that has parents that drink have a 50% higher risk of becoming a drinker. Other research indicates that those who seek excitement in life, or are more antisocial, have a higher risk of becoming alcoholic. In today’s society, alcoholism is on the rise and is generally a progressive disease, in almost every age group. Excessive drinking has proven to cause severe problems for a great many people, and is often the factor when it comes to DUI arrests and DWI arrests.

What Are People Hoping to Achieve When They Drink?

So why do people drink and what are they hoping to achieve? Based on studies, people drink to relax, gain confidence, relive stress, stop worrying and relieve boredom. For the most part, people engage in drinking alcohol so that their state of mind is altered, which apparently indicates that they’re not pleased with their state of mind. Stress and the frustration of dealing with life, financial problems, relationship problems, and a host of other issues, cause some people to turn to alcohol to alleviate the stress. In other words, people may drink so that they don’t feel bad. And in a society where people drink with meals, drink to celebrate special events and to simply have fun, alcohol is very much an encouraged part of our society and our lifestyles.

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