There are many different reasons why people choose to drink alcohol. However, some people drink more than others, and those who consume many alcoholic drinks regularly develop a dependence on it. The following includes some of the most common reasons why people drink alcohol.
Some people are mild-moderate social drinkers, as they typically only consume alcohol responsibly in social situations, such as parties, holidays, happy hours, etc. Typically, this form of drinking does not significantly disrupt their lives or cause long-term personal, professional, or health problems.
Although peers may help each other develop new skills or invoke new interests, they can also pressure other peers into engaging in activities that they would not have chosen independently, such as drinking or doing drugs. In their teens and 20s, some young people may be susceptible to this coercion and start drinking or even binge drinking.
Family History of Alcoholism
The impact of excessive alcohol use tends to be long-lasting and can take a severe toll on a person’s health and well-being. Like all addictions, alcoholism affects the brain’s reward center, and problematic drinkers with children can normalize this behavior and pass some of their bad habits down to them.
Individuals with a family history of alcoholism or drug addiction are at a higher risk of developing these conditions or practicing harmful substance-using patterns themselves.
Mental Health Conditions
Alcohol can offer some people a mental or emotional escape, which is why some people may abuse alcohol as a misguided means to self-medicate. However, some individuals with mental health issues can experience more extreme effects from substance use, thereby developing co-occurring disorders.
To Temporarily Relieve Stress
Alcohol reduces activity in the central nervous system, which can induce feelings of reward and relaxation. This is why some turn to alcohol as a means of coping to deal with stress. In addition, alcohol is a vehicle for some people to distance themselves from the various stressors in their lives.
Reasons for Binge-Drinking
Binge drinking is the most common and potentially lethal behavior regarding excessive alcohol use. It’s a pattern of drinking that increases a person’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g/dl or higher. This can occur after five or more drinks are consumed by men or after four or more drinks for women in a drinking episode of about 2 hours.
Binge drinking will not always lead to more severe alcohol use disorders, such as dependence or addiction. However, it is a behavior that can be a significant risk factor for advanced conditions and is still dangerous. Individuals who binge drink tend to be more impulsive, accident-prone and may engage in criminal activities such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and car accidents.
Still, individuals binge drink for many of the same reasons people drink in general. However, binge drinking is also associated with a need to get highly intoxicated in a party environment or escape reality altogether.
Why Is It Harmful to Drink Alcohol?
Consuming mild amounts of alcohol isn’t necessarily bad, but drinking too much or too frequently can lead to health issues or full-blown addiction. Casual drinking can eventually turn into binge drinking, leading to further abuse, ultimately leading to alcoholism.
Alcohol can have detrimental effects on a person’s health and impair their ability to enact sound decisions. The following are potential consequences that can affect an individual’s life long term:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Digestive issues
- Cancers of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
- Compromised immune system
- Learning and memory problems
- Mental health problems (e.g., depression or anxiety)
- Social issues (e.g., family conflict)
- Financial and legal issues
- Alcohol use disorders
Getting Professional Treatment for Alcoholism
Regardless of the reason why a person regularly abuses alcohol, engages in binge drinking, or is a full-blown alcoholic, professional treatment is often needed to help that individual break free from their self-destructive habits.
Just Believe Recovery is a specialized, state-of-the-art treatment center that offers comprehensive, customized programs for substance abuse and addiction treatment that feature a wide variety of therapies, evidence-based services, and experiential activities that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical detox
- Individual counseling
- Group and family therapy
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Self-care and life skills education
- Group support
- Relapse prevention
- Dual diagnosis
- Mindfulness meditation
- Aftercare programs
- Active alumni participation