September 7, 2010
Why Do We Drink Alcohol Anyway? …And Discovering How To Quit
People drink for a number of reasons. One major reason is cultural. For most societies drinking is a cultural phenomenon. There is social sanction for it. Just as there is for drinking tea or coffee. You may raise a toast, celebrate a national victory in a sport with a drink, or drink as a rites of passage test-there are many cultural reasons for doing it. In fact the tradition of drinking in humans probably dates to pre-history. All civilizations-ancient and extant have had people consuming alcohol, and there are ample references in both ancient and modern literature to the practice of consuming alcohol.
In fact the social aspect of drinking is very important to most cultures. Drinking alcohol with friends and in the company of our social acquaintances is considered to be healthy fun while drinking alcohol alone is looked upon with suspicion. It has always proven impossible to ban or regulate drinking. People will always find a way to do it. This has been the experience around the world, not just in America.
So strongly is drinking alcohol entrenched in our lives that it occupies a place as important as food, religion and sex in most of our lives. Drinking cannot be banished from people’s lives. Drinking makes people gregarious, and uninhibited, qualities which are desirable in people for them to get along with each other. Perhaps that explains its popularity. But it can also make people get depressed, violent and abusive, and consuming too much of it over a long period of time, can ruin one’s health, not to speak of finances and family life.
People also drink because they like the taste of alcohol which they have developed over a period of time. This is a pleasure that they do not derive from non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol comes with many unique aromas and tastes which is the effect of yeasts, distillation and spending time in barrels, which can never be replicated with non-alcoholic drinks. In fact for connoisseurs this business of taste, aroma and fragrances is the highest form of art! Aware that alcohol when consumed in excess can do severe damage most people drink in moderation. Their contention is that just because some people do not have the sense to not go overboard with their drinking, it does not follow that all drinking is bad. Everything done in excess is bad for you, so there is no point in throwing the baby with the bath water, they would say.
Most people say that they drink in order to bond and nothing helps make this process smoother than a couple of drinks. Sure you can possibly bond just as well without the drinks if you tried hard enough, but what harm does it do anyone if drinking makes the process more enjoyable. People who have to drink will continue to do so, nor withstanding campaigns, legislation and plain disapproval. They have been doing so since the dawn of time. It is almost as if it is ingrained in their DNA.
I hope you have enjoyed this article, and may have in some way inspired you to quit drinking alcohol – or maybe you know somebody else that needs such inspiration to quit, so please feel free to share this cultural insight into why we do actually drink alcohol.