May 24, 2013 | By Tim Stoddart

Seven Common Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol


7 Reasons Why People Drink

All human behavior has motivation behind it, and the motivations why people drink alcohol are interesting. Alcohol is a beverage that’s widely accepted in society, and everyone has a different experience with it. There are many reasons why people drink alcohol. Here are seven of the most common reasons. What other reasons would you add to the list?


For some people, drinking alcohol is a way of relieving stress. The alcohol numbs them to the various stressors in their life, such as work, school, relationships, money, etc. The irony is that when people drink too often to cope with their stress, they usually make the problems they’re stressed out about even worse, and they can develop worse problems, like alcoholism.

Peer Pressure

Many people drink just because the people around them are drinking, and they might feel an indirect peer pressure to drink so they aren’t “the odd one out.” Someone might feel obligated to drink when the rest of their co-workers are enjoying happy hour, for example. Direct peer pressure is even stronger, and it’s when people are actively encouraging someone to drink. It can be very hard to say no to a drink when someone is pushing it in your face, and it’s even harder for youth who are being ridiculed for not drinking.


People generally tend to drink alcohol in order to have fun. Being drunk makes them feel happy and “spirited,” and drinking alcohol with friends can be a fun experience. If people are nervous in social situations, drinking helps them “let loose” and have more fun. People drink to have fun at parties, nightclubs, barbecues, and more, because they think alcohol enhances their experience.

The truth is, there are plenty of ways to have fun in recovery.


Being under the influence of alcohol causes you to lose your inhibitions. It gives people a sense of bravery and being carefree, which allows them to do things – safe or unsafe – that they wouldn’t do while sober. If people are nervous or scared about doing something, they might drink alcohol to help them shed the inhibitions that are standing in their way.


The reason of curiosity generally applies to a younger crowd. Kids, teens, and college students who’ve never drank before might drink alcohol because they’re curious about what it tastes like, or they’re curious about what it feels like to be drunk. They begin to drink alcohol in a purely experimental way, just because they want to experience drinking firsthand. However, there are plenty of example of young people getting sober, and increasing their quality of life.


Some people drink alcohol simply because they enjoy the taste. When they are thirsty and want to enjoy a beverage, in some situations they prefer to drink alcohol, such as a glass of wine or a beer, over other drinks, such as soda, iced tea, or water.


Another reason people drink alcohol is just because it’s available. They might enjoy alcohol for any of the other reasons, but they wouldn’t seek it out. They choose to drink only because the alcohol is already there and it’s easy to – “because they can.”

Whatever your reasoning behind drinking, understand there is a difference between casual drinking, and abusive drinking. Sober Nation does not discriminate drinking, we simply stand by the fact that some people can’t drink at a normal rate. The habit becomes an obsession. If you feel as if you have a drinking problem and want help to stop, please contact us. You can fill out a contact form or you can call us at 866-317-7050.

9 responses to “Seven Common Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol

  • Jamol Eli

    9 years ago

    Well I pondered a bit on this as both my wife and I have been sober for 72 + days. It is a journey for sure? But I have 2 reasons I beleive people consume alcohol on a regular basis. The first of which being escape. You did cover Stress, but escape and stress are two completely different reasons. I know I have tried to escape a horrible memory and traumatic event that happened and that I have not wanted to face. It was just easier being temporarily ignorant to the reality that I believe I was after.
    The second being what I see now as a mild case of undiagnosed ADD that in high school I used marijuana to self medicate, and then later at 21 turned to alchohol.

    A possible third reason could be most likely a hereditary one. As primarily the males on both sides of my family can be considered moderate to heavy drinkers. I mean my great grandfather was a moonshiner for petes sake.

  • Thank you Tim for your always insightful articles and comments. I enjoy reading them very much.
    I can only speak for myself as to why I drank. It’s very simple. I have the disease of alcoholism although today I prefer to call myself a “recovering alcoholic” one day at a time. I can add all the other issues I had/have into the mix and voila, another bozo on the bus.

    • Travis hayes

      6 years ago

      Fear can consume one’s self to the point of irrational thought. Coping with it leads to a behavior that will dismiss any form of rationality. Dismiss the fear itself by simply facing the problem head on. Step into the pain, tend what must be tended, escape by uprooting the adversary in your life. Be made a new because of it. Pain is temporal. The realization of which will allow courage to deal with the adverse affect of avoiding the simplicity of reality. Which is freeing and vindication of that which has troubled you. I have been an addict for 20 years nearly. The only way that I’ve found to severe my destructive path from the purpose that I am meant to fulfill, is by accepting the call of a higher standard. He is calling to you i humbly ask that you listen. Thank you.

  • I’m still struggling. I drink to forget. I drink to relax. I drink to celebrate. I drink to mourn. I drink when I’m stressed. I drink when I have company. I always tell myself I don’t have a problem because I can go days without drinking… but in reality I can’t go too long. There is always an excuse.. a reason. My husband is worse than I am. How do I become sober when he isn’t willing?

  • Daniel Cox

    6 years ago

    Don’t touch the stuff, fermented plant juice to have “fun”. I don’t need that rubbish I like being the “odd one out”

  • Connor Bettini

    5 years ago

    I don’t realise how people drink… Like, surely there are beverages that taste better, you can have heaps of fun without drinking, it can cost way too much, having too much will probably leave you with an unpleasant next day and people will generally get into trouble and regret it anyway…

    • I’m with you man. The stuff tastes nasty to me. No matter what I taste. Then some of my friends will be like your just not drinking the right stuff. Or mixing the right things. Like nahhh man this stuff clearly isn’t for me, my body has made that clear enough. Plus it’s ALCOHOL? probably why it tastes bad in the first place! Idk how people learn to like it but hey I don’t judge, most of my friends do it so I let them be. I’m only glad to know that I’m at less risk for things, especially if I was to be drunk or something and get myself in trouble. Hell, I’d smoke weed before I drink, & even then I only would smoke on occasion, never got into that stuff either. Especially the smell it leaves on your clothes…guess I’m just that “boring” dude huh. Lol I’m high off life as it is anyways, parties, talking to a cute girl, etc. are things I can do while I’m sober & still look good. ?

  • Nikita Terwedow

    5 years ago

    So its saint Patrick’s day right now and my brother is asking my parents when my niece and nephew are grown up they will drink and the holidays and occasions will be more lively? That’s not the main reason he is 21 and he dropped out of collage to hang out with friends and smoke weed and drink. He just wants to spend his time smoking weed heavily and drink hard liquor heavily. He doesn’t have a job either is aggressive to our family doesn’t have a job a kid he needs to pay child support on and he doesn’t and he spends time having sexual relationships not dates and expects my parents to take care of him and pay for anything he breaks and has any mess with the police and expects nothing to happen to him like he’s superman. He still lives with us even though we have kicked him out of the house several times he set up a hobo camp on the side of our house and doesn’t leave!! He’s very manipulative as well we have called the police several times on him but when they get there he’s all fine and dandy and acts like nothing happened!! He needs a lot of help. He doesn’t care about anybody he mooches off people and he knows he can’t pay them back and if he is told he has to pay back he won’t he had that problem before and he just left the house and left me there to fix his problem he thinks by ignoring the situation it will go away!! And boy is he wrong!! He’s gonna die if he keeps doing this!! God I love him to death but if he dies cause he didn’t pay someone back because he mooched off them than so be it!! I’ve tried many thing and he doesn’t care. He also thinks he’s tough and knows the streets cause he knows some black people and he knows some wannabe thugs. But we live in a area were everybody is like where’s the gangs!!?? We don’t live in a ghetto area we don’t live in a area were were always fucking out head from stray bullets we don’t have bullets in the side of our house!! He is so misinformed about everything!!! I want him to get help!! He needs it badly!!

  • Nick Lionheart

    4 years ago

    First drink at 36 yrs old, I am 57 now and drink to forget body pain, lost loved ones and when around friends to chill out. My fave is red wine, but I like vodka & cranberry juice. And drink coco rum around holidays. The only down fall is that drinking makes you more depressed. So I try not to drink too often but when I do I really over do it

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