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RayaHope's avatar

Why do some people drink alcoholic beverages?

Asked by RayaHope (7448points) January 3rd, 2023

Seems like they always get sick and throw-up and feel bad the next day with a headache and don’t do well at work the next day either. You can even get in trouble with the police and maybe cause a car accident and hurt others.

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27 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Some people like the taste. It’s addictive, but for some folks it temporarily makes them feel better. But overall, I think alcohol use ruins more relationships than it helps.

Some folks also use alcohol to self medicate. That’s not the best use of the stuff but it’s how it is.

R3ndo001's avatar

Some people drink alcohol to relieve any stress they are going through because it makes them forget about the things that were stressing them and puts them in the clouds when they start to drink to much but overall some people do it to relieve ongoing stress or because they are addicted to it.

Locke's avatar

If you know your limits, you can avoid getting sick. “Drinking”doesn’t always mean “drinking to excess”. I for one enjoy drinking with friends on occasion (no more than a couple times a year), in part because I have social anxiety and drinking allows me to be temporarily rid of it for one night.

SnipSnip's avatar

They want to. Why do some drink tea? They want to. Freedom is a great thing!

gondwanalon's avatar

This is a great question.

I think that people start drinking alcohol because it makes them feel good. But over time some people get addicted to alcohol and have to drink it or they get sick with withdrawals.

I have never touched alcohol because as a small kid I’ve seen what it dose to people and my family members. I had 4 alcoholic step dads and they all died young. I rarely saw them as they were always out drinking. Three never spoke to me at all. One had a split personality. He could be very nice one minute then suddenly turn viscous. That was very confusing to me. I have many sad stories to tell about alcohol addiction.

jca2's avatar

Most people don’t “drink til they throw up.” Most people drink to relax, or drink in a social setting (which may help them be more relaxed and chatty). Some people get addicted and may drink till they get sick, but that’s not the majority.

I almost never drink, except if I go to someone’s house and they offer me some wine or a drink, or at a party where it’s included. Those occasions for me are maybe four or five times a year, and I usually won’t drink more than two drinks.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Seriously, I can’t recall ever drinking to excess and throwing up. I remember some classmates in college doing it and puking all over themselves. I was the dumb-ass friend who dragged them into the bathroom so they could get cleaned up. It was disgusting and something I never wanted to happen to me. That moderation has probably saved me many thousands of dollars over my lifetime. (A quick “back of the envelope” calculation puts it at 20 to $30,000! Yikes!) It also saved consuming countless unhealthy food calories!)

I do occasionally drink wine with a meal. With the right wine and food paring, the meal tastes even better. But no matter how good the food or fancy the wine, there is no reason to drink to excess. One and done!

My drinking habits are similar to @jca2 ‘s. We must go to the same parties. :-)

RayaHope's avatar

I have tried a sip a couple of times (don’t tell my mom) but it always tastes so yucky. It burns and made my stomach hurt and it came up quicker than it went down. ewww

gorillapaws's avatar

First, the vast majority of people who drink aren’t alcoholics and don’t drink until they vomit. I think we all agree that excessive drinking is unhealthy and dangerous (but so is excessive knitting, or excessive running, or excessive eating, or excessive [fill in the blank]). In moderation, alcohol can help people relax/unwind at the end of the day and it can enhance a meal. It can “socially lubricate” people so their inhibitions are reduced. That can result in behavior they later regret, but it also might give someone the courage to approach that person they have a crush on at a party and ask them to dance.

As for taste, that’s definitely a personal thing and it does change over time. I’m sure there are things you enjoy now that you didn’t when you were very young (certain vegetables? coffee?). As to it being “yucky,” there are a couple of things here. I don’t know what you’ve tried, but if it was anything like the alcohol I was drinking in high school, it was whatever I could get my hands on (usually cheap, crappy beer). Alcohol is definitely an acquired taste, but there are some wines that are just beautiful, delicate, complex and lovely.

As to you personally, I know there’s probably a lot of peer pressure in Virginia to drink to excess. I’ve had fun at pretty much all of the major Universities in the state. Even if you don’t go off to one of these schools, it’s likely you’ll have friends that do and you’ll probably visit them at some point. You’ve mentioned being on medications, so be very careful with mixing alcohol and whatever you’re taking. It could be that you get really messed up with a small amount of alcohol. Also I’m sure you’re aware of the dangers of guys slipping things into women’s drinks or just getting them drunk and taking advantage. It’s happened to women I know, so be smart and safe.

JLeslie's avatar

Some alcoholics talk about living the feeling the very first time they took a drink. They have some sort of brain chemical thing happening that I don’t think most people. I don’t think most alcoholics even had that experience.

I think a lot of people drink because of societal expectations and peer pressure. Then some of those people get addicted.

I don’t drink. It’s not that I won’t drink, it’s just that I don’t bother.

You save a whole lotta money not drinking over the years.

seawulf575's avatar

I think that the question is looking more at why do some people drink to excess? Some people drink alcoholic beverages because they like them. And there may even be some health benefits to drinking a little. But drinking a couple glasses of wine per week is not what this question seems to be getting at. When you talk about people drinking ‘til they puke or waking up the next day being hung over you aren’t talking about light drinkers. You are talking about what I always called the steamers. Full steam ahead! Why people do that is a different answer and one I’m not sure we fully understand.

Steamers usually have alcohol addictions. They don’t know how to pace themselves and don’t understand the concept of drinking just a little. Why this is may have many answers. But what I have seen, and yes, this is all anecdotal, is that things like drinking to excess (or getting stoned all the time or doing harder drugs like heroin) are done because of some completely unrelated issue. Some people need “social lubricant” to feel they are having a good time or because if they have it, a good time will start. Some people may be depressed. Some people may have self-esteem issues and believe that drinking (or smoking, etc) make them seem more respectable or at least part of the “normal people”. I don’t believe there is a simple one-answer-fits-all for this question.

JLeslie's avatar

Typo: loving not living in my first sentence.

zenvelo's avatar

As a sober alcoholic in recovery, There is a big difference between heavy drinkers and alcoholics. Drinking to excess does not make one an alcoholic. But many people drink to socialize. An alcoholic is one who cannot control their drinking.

FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt—and one more failure. – Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 11 1st edition, 1939

Zaku's avatar

What I’ve observed, is that many people who drink a bit much and regularly, as well as the more alcoholic types, drink to alter their experience and perception of life. They have some difficulty with how they experience things when they are sober, and think they prefer, or feel temptation, urges, or even perceived needs, to be inebriated instead. They’re nervous, anxious, stressed, and/or depressed, or other states, which they find changes when they’re at least slightly drunk. So they drink to avoid being in those states, at least for a while.

That can easily become an escapist habit loop.

As for drinking to excess, that can be a few things, which are often related. One is that when drunk, in many ways it seems more reasonable and/or desirable to keep drinking, than it would seem to someone sober (especially a non-alcoholic) who’d consider drinking several drinks. Another is of course social pressure and expectations. Some people are still bothered by the things they drink to escape, so they drink more, and keep doing that.

gsokchpr's avatar

@seawulf575 That link sounds like the study conducted by fake newsers. Is there a website where it says studies show cynide is healthy, or cigarettes or…

seawulf575's avatar

@gsokchpr Then don’t read it.

Forever_Free's avatar

@gsokchpr good luck on getting a viable reference from @seawulf575

seawulf575's avatar

@gsokchpr or any reference from @Forever_Free, though she does ask for them all the time!

RayaHope's avatar

I don’t normally support @seawulf575 in his answers but I think this is one exception. Firstly his link is valid simply because at the bottom of the page is a disclaimer: Medical Daily is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendation also they do provide links to “actual” studies by reputable sources supporting the claims per article. Secondly (as he stated) this question is not about mild/occasional drinking, but excessive drinking to the point of sickness and throwing up and being sick the next day, etc.

@gsokchpr ” Is there a website where it says studies show cynide is healthy, or cigarettes or…” not sure what this has to do with anything here?!

safai's avatar “Alcohol consumption, including at low levels, was observationally associated with higher brain iron in multiple basal ganglia regions.” There are other sources saying the same thing.

safai's avatar
“No Amount of Alcohol Safe for the Heart, Federation Says”
Not seeing that as fact is no different from being a flat earther. By the way, it’s not just the heart, even according the maker of Vodka mentioned above.

Forever_Free's avatar

@RayaHope I completely agree in this case. The link seems viable and backed by reputable organization. My response was care over from a different thread. My apologies.

Response moderated (Spam)
Response moderated (Spam)
zenvelo's avatar

^^^^^ You’d have to be DRUNK to fall for this grift.


safai's avatar

Con-able, is that a word.

Kraigmo's avatar

Alcohol combined with live music makes my life worth living.
I’m introverted and inclined towards depression.
If I see live music 3 nights a week and drink beer to get rid of my introversion, I can bliss out.
3 nights of bliss makes the other 4 nights a week bearable. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and it works perfectly. I do not drink alcohol at home, or outside the confines of live music.
What do i do the other 4 nights a week? I go to bed on time for work. I also go hiking, and I also play with my cats a lot.
The combination of these things works a hell of a lot better than any prescription drug. Far, far better.
(This won’t work for alcoholics. They have a much harder path.)

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