Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

5 Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol

People drink alcohol for various reasons including relaxation, socializing, escaping problems, etc. For some people, consuming alcohol can lead to alcohol dependence if they drink too often. 

Here are some of the common reasons why people may drink alcohol:

1) To Escape Problems or Stress

Alcohol slows down the central nervous system (CNS), which can create feelings of relaxation. This is why some people turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, anxiety, or other unpleasant emotions. Alcohol is a vehicle for some people to distance themselves from the various stressors in their lives. 

People who go through difficult or stressful times may find it easier to cope if they consume alcohol. Alcohol consumption may help reduce anxiety temporarily but it will not be effective long term.

2) For Enjoyment

Some people consume alcoholic beverages because they want to enjoy themselves due to alcohol’s effects. They may be considered social drinkers because they drink socially (e.g., at social events, restaurants, holidays), but they’re not necessarily heavy drinkers. They usually don’t have a problem with alcohol and are able to handle it well.

Alcoholic drinks can make people feel more relaxed and happier than they would otherwise. Drinking may help people who feel anxious when they’re out socially because it makes them less nervous. Consuming alcohol enhances some people’s experiences but it can be harmful if used excessively. 

3) Peer Pressure/Social Influences

The term “peer pressure” is often associated with young people but peer pressure to drink alcohol can exist at any stage of life. Alcohol consumption is widespread in our society; it is socially acceptable and legally permitted so it is common that people who do not drink, may drink when others around them are drinking. 

4) Mental Health Disorders

Some people use alcohol for self-medication because they feel like their minds need an escape. People who suffer from mental illness may find it difficult to cope without substances like alcohol and drugs. It may result in a co-occurring disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar.

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5) Genetics and Environmental Factors

Studies have shown that genetic factors play a role in determining if someone will develop an alcohol use disorder. While hereditary influences may contribute to the development of alcoholism, there are other contributing factors such as environment and life events. 

Scientists believe it is a combination of genes (and environmental factors) that cause this risk. Individuals who suffer from a genetic predisposition towards addiction might be at a greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) if they also experience certain types of stressors related to their environment or personal life.

When Drinking Becomes a Problem

Patterns of harmful alcohol consumption, including binge and heavy drinking, may advance into an alcohol use disorder. When individuals consume large amounts of alcohol, they often develop cravings for the effects achieved when drinking. Over time, people will begin to feel increasingly compelled to drink more to satisfy those cravings and the feelings associated with drinking.  

People who consume alcoholic beverages in large quantities may begin to develop a tolerance to alcohol. As such, when this occurs, they might discover that the quantity of alcohol they used to consume does not produce the same feeling they want. To avoid this problem, people may increase their alcohol consumption, however, this may lead to alcohol addiction.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

The most effective treatment programs for people suffering from alcohol abuse address their individual needs and history. A personalized approach can help people who struggle with substance abuse achieve higher results from their treatment program. Individuals with alcohol use disorder often require medical detoxification for their physical dependence before they can address the underlying causes of their addiction. After detox, individuals typically transition to our residential treatment program. Inpatient rehab is often the best option for individuals with alcohol addiction. 

Contact Riverside Recovery of Tampa’s admissions team today to learn more about our treatment options for alcohol use disorder.