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Why do people drink alcoholic beverages? There are almost as many reasons for people drinking as there are people. Alcohol, used in moderation, is one of life's simple pleasures. Alcohol, in various forms, has been with us since the beginning of recorded history. In general, we can classify the reasons for drinking into two broad categories.

Positive reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages include:

  • Celebrating significant occasions with friends or loved ones. Drinking on holidays, at weddings, and other significant occasions is commonplace. Drinking can be said to "liven up" the occasion" it lowers inhibitions and adds generally to the spirit of the occasion.
  • Enhancing enjoyment of social activities and relaxation. Most social settings are enhanced by the presence of alcohol. It can add to a person's relaxation, and encourage conversation.
  • Complementing certain meals. A good meal can be complemented by a good wine, and a before- or after- dinner drink.
  • Participating in religious ceremonies. Many religious ceremonies incorporate the use of certain alcoholic beverages usually wine.
  • Enjoying the taste as a beverage of choice. Who can take exception to a cold beer on a hot day? Or pina colada while relaxing on a Hawaiian beach?
Negative reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages include:
  • Escaping from tension or worries. Although alcohol may temporarily relieve stress, it does not remove the cause of the stress. Constant drinking for this kind of reason can lead to problems with the alcohol itself.
  • Blocking out painful feelings such as fear, loneliness, and self-doubt.
  • Attempting to relate better to people. Although alcohol can temporarily lower inhibitions, it is not a permanent solution to lack of confidence or bashfulness.
  • As a substitute for meaningful relationships with people.
  • Finding courage or strength to face certain situations. Use of alcohol to build courage, or stimulate one's resolve, may often have the contrary effect.
Reasons that an alcoholic has for drinking:

An alcoholic does not need a reason to drink. He has a compulsion to drink. Furthermore, if he has been an alcoholic for a while, his tolerance for alcohol is such that he must drink increasingly larger amounts. Even then he may not be satisfied.

What about Cutting Down?

First of all, if you're an alcoholic, you CANNOT cut down. You have only two choices: keep drinking or quit all together.

However, if you feel that you are drinking a little more than you should here are some tips for that may help you reduce your intake.

  • If you're going on a night out, don't drink before you go and leave a bit later so you're first drink is quite late.
  • Try and have a big meal as you will feel less like drinking and won't be able to drink so much.
  • Designate certain days of the week as 'alcohol free'
  • Tell people you're cutting down and try avoid buying rounds
  • When you're out, vary your drinks between alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as this will slow down your drinking and reduce the amount of alcohol.
  • When drinking at home use smaller glasses or get a proper measurer, to stop "over-pours"
  • Start drinking a drink with less alcohol in it, I.e., less than what you regularly drink, or have a long drink if you usually have shorts i.e. beer not vodka
  • Don't go for a quick drink or the famous 'just one." OR, if you do have a drink, make it a soft drink
  • If you feel that your social life is in the pub or at a club try varying where you go out. Try the movies or stay in an watch TV If you think a you need a drink to relax. Try some exercise or other relaxation techniques like yoga and Tai Chi.
  • Playing more sport will make you wanna drink less alcohol

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12