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Do you drink alcohol?

  1. Jul 10, 2013 #1
    As I reflect back on my four awkward years of high school I still cringe at all the awkward times I had to turn down a drink. Among youths, choosing to abstain from alcohol was an easy way to put a target on your back and slowly alienate yourself. The pressure did get to a lot of kids. Even the religious ones. I never really had an interest to drink, not that I cared if others were doing it. Now I am honestly the only non-drinker among my group of peers, so I was curious how the rest of you were.
    1. Do you drink alcohol?
    2. At what age did you begin?
    3. Do you believe drinking interferes with your work or research?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2013 #2
    It takes very little to be ostracized from other kids - "us vs. them" is deeply entrenched.

    I drink, but rarely, as I lost two grandparents to alcohol. I started drinking in my late teens, much more during my time in the Air Force in my early 20's. It doesn't interfere with work or research, as I don't drink before or during work.
     
  4. Jul 10, 2013 #3
    Interesting, I never felt any pressure to drink alcohol during high school. I graduated almost 10 years ago, though. Not that people weren't drinking, but I never felt like I was being coerced into drinking or that my choice not to drink was causing social issues.

    I will very rarely (1 - 2 times per year) have a glass of wine with a nice meal, but other than that I do not drink at all. I've simply never acquired a taste for alcohol.
     
  5. Jul 10, 2013 #4

    HayleySarg

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    1. Do you drink alcohol?
    2. At what age did you begin?
    3. Do you believe drinking interferes with your work or research?
    _____________

    1. At times, yes. I've cut back my consumption for personal reasons. I now drink a beer or two maybe once or twice a year. I used to drink a few fifths of whiskey a week.
    2. Around 10. It was always in the house. I don't mean wine at the dinner table either.
    3. Only if I'm drinking before/on the job. I don't ever tamper with my ability to think when I need it.

    I edited this to show what "once in a while" is. If people can't handle me not drinking, they're not worth hanging around. I have plenty of friends that don't mind it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  6. Jul 10, 2013 #5
    I abstain completely, and I found a group of friends that don't care. Everyone asks why I don't drink, and I just tell them its cause I have no interest in it (which I don't).

    Unfortunately you're right, people who don't drink for one reason or another are often ostracized and I saw this particularly through high school. However, once I got into college the pressure seemed to go away, this was sort of surprising to me, as I had expected it to be worse than high school.
     
  7. Jul 10, 2013 #6

    Ryan_m_b

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    I started drinking about 12, and probably drink every other day. I don't find it interferes with anything to be honest. It's not that hard to divide up work and leisure time. I do understand why it is difficult for people who don't drink, much of western society has a big focus on socialising with alcohol and to not do so seems like one isn't taking part in the socialising aspect (stupid yes but so are most stigmas).
     
  8. Jul 10, 2013 #7
    I know people who drink during their research. In Europe, drinking is not seen as something taboo or immoral like it is in America. It's just a normal part of culture, and not uncommon for guys to have beer at lunch during their work day.

    It's equally obnoxious to assume that drinking interferes with people's ability to be productive and intelligent researchers as it is for people to look down on you for not drinking.
     
  9. Jul 10, 2013 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    True. It only interferes if you aren't sensible enough to confine it to one or two drinks.

    I don't think the OP was assuming that at all, just asking the question.
     
  10. Jul 10, 2013 #9

    HayleySarg

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    I know it makes me a bit of a pain in the butt. My father smokes a lot of... stuff and drinks heavily and he's fine working from home and solving complex IT issues. So I know it's not true throughout. For me personally, I become very focused but not on work. I'll find every non-work related detail and chase after it.

    Does the book case need re-arranging? Okay! And I'll meticulously sit and do that instead of work. Without regard to deadlines or people watching me.
     
  11. Jul 10, 2013 #10

    reenmachine

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    1.Yes , I do drink alcohol.
    2.Not sure , around 13-15 years old at the beginning of highschool.
    3.Yes and no.Depends how much I drink in the relevant period.When I'm really stressed out I can drink to self-medicate so that can become a problem but normally I drink from 2 to 6 light beers at the end of the day and I wake up in top shape so I don't think it hurts me that much , what I'm worried about is if I can keep this pace into my 30s and 40s.

    In the end , I think it's best not to drink so I guess that's what I should be aiming for , but I really enjoy drinking some beers , particularly in the summer , so it will be hard to completely give it up.
     
  12. Jul 10, 2013 #11
    No, I do not drink at all. Might explain in part why I've felt pretty alienated for most of my adult life.
     
  13. Jul 10, 2013 #12

    MarneMath

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    1) Not really
    2) 13
    3) When I was younger, I would drink until 2 a.m. wake up at 5:30 and run 6 miles at a 6 minute pace. I never thought drinking hurt me, but as I grew older, I realized that I had a tendency to drink heavily on days that I got depressed. After my second time in Iraq, I figured that I needed to stop drinking after a good friend committed suicide and face my problems instead of hiding from them. Now, i'll only drink at dinner or a formal party and even then I'll can probably nurse a single glass wine or bottle of beer the entire night.
     
  14. Jul 10, 2013 #13
    You might also want to consider the difference between "drinking" and "getting drunk". I've been beermeister at several Mensa events - and while a lot of beer is consumed, I rarely see anybody actually drunk, it's more the social lubricant than anything. Some of the people wouldn't be safe to drive, but you don't get a lot of staggering, puking drunks passed out in the halls, unlike college parties or my time in the Air Force.
     
  15. Jul 10, 2013 #14
    My paternal grandparents were Salvation Army ministers. That meant tee total in the very strictest terms. My father, actually as rebellion against strictures other than alcohol use, left home at 15 to join the Royal Marines as a bandsman. I am not sure how it is in the US but in the UK Royal Marines generally, and bandsmen in particular have something of a strong reputation for their relationship with alcohol.

    My maternal grandfather was not an alcoholic but did have a troubled relationship with alcohol and my mother recounts incidents of great embarrassment to her in her teenage years relating to her father’s drunkenness. Very much as a consequence, she has been tee total all her life.

    My brother-in-law’s father was – is – an alcoholic and many familiar stories apply to his experiences. My brother-in-law is not tee total but does drink only in moderation and has no patience with those who don’t.

    There cannot be much doubt that alcohol is a problem, but there are plenty – the majority(?) who use it responsibly and can enjoy its simple pleasures without even significant detriment to their health. But there are also a broad range of serious social problems that have their root in alcohol misuse and many who severely damage their health with their inability to moderate their use of it.

    I had occasion once, some time ago, to observe the proceedings in a British Magistrates Court. Proceedings began in the morning with a series of publicans coming in to apply for extensions to their licence to allow them to open after hours. (This was in the days before the more relaxed licensing laws that apply now.) Then the cases started to come up and one after another was, in one way or another, alcohol related – a young man who had vandalised cars on a car showroom forecourt while in a drunken state; drink-driving cases; that kind of thing. I was left wondering if anyone else spotted the connection.
     
  16. Jul 10, 2013 #15

    OmCheeto

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    Everyone is wired differently. Some people are mean drunks, some people are nice drunks. Some people get smarter after a beer or two*, and some people get stupider. Some people like booze, some people don't.

    The above, in my opinion, is true of any drug.
    yes
    11: binge: My mom took me to Germany and my relatives got me drunk. We all had fun. :smile:
    14: binge: My sister bought me a bottle of Boones Farm Apple wine. I split it with a friend at the local skinny dipping pond. We had fun. :smile:
    16: high school:rolleyes:: stoner/drunk best friend of mine was always trying to get me stoned or drunk every freakin' weekend.
    # of times I enjoyed getting stoned: zero (Honestly)
    # of times I enjoyed getting drunk: maybe once or twice​
    18: legal age: Joined the Navy. Woo Hoo! Never stopped. Still having fun with it. Everything in moderation. :smile:

    No. Work interferes with my research. That's why I'm retiring early.

    Oh, and drunk and/or stoned friends frequently interfere with my research.
    Bored people also interfere with my research.
    You are welcome.

    * There was research done on this. I read it in my encyclopedia years ago.
     
  17. Jul 10, 2013 #16
    There was a thread up yesterday with the exact same title asking how much was too much that I spent 10 minutes preparing a witty response to, only to find out that the thread had been deleted while I was composing my masterpiece.

    Now the thread is back, albeit disguised with different context. What was wrong with the other one?
     
  18. Jul 10, 2013 #17

    jim hardy

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    OMCheeto said it - people are wired differently.
    Very true - not everybody metabolizes alcohol the same way. There is a genetic quirk that predisposes some people to alcoholism . There's a famous book called "Under The Influence" whose first few chapters go into some detail on this and explain the biochemistry.

    not any more
    started at 16, stopped at 42
    Yes it did.

    Look at some old movies - everybody has a drink and cigarette in his hand . My generation was conditioned to think continuous drinking was 'normal' . I am saddened to hear it still persists.

    My advice - find friends who do something other than drinking for recreation.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2013 #18

    Choppy

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    No. Not since 1994 anyway.

    Probably around 17, when I joined the army. Earlier, when I was around 15 or 16, my father said he would buy beer for me if my friends and I wanted it. His philosophy was that he'd rather I be drinking where he could keep an eye on me. I never really took him up on it though.

    I drank occassionally from 17 through 19, mostly because I felt it was expected and my parents were bigtime social drinkers. I never really developed a taste for beer or liquor though and I didn't like being around drunk people. When I got to university I remember mixing Purple Jesus in garbage cans in dorm parties. I still didn't like being around drunk people. And I found that alcohol tended to make me more depressed than anything. Eventually I began to wonder what the point was and I decided a few months into my first year that I didn't need to drink. So I stopped and haven't had any since.


    I know lots of good prolific researchers who drink on a regular basis. Alcoholic beverages are common at conference social events. (Because I don't drink I frequently have friends approach me for drink tickets). So I don't believe that occasional/social drinking has a significant effect on research. That said, objectively speaking, alcohol consumption has measurable effects on cognitive performance both short term and long term and there is a dose effect. So what's really important I think is the amount of and pattern of consumption. The occasional glass of wine with dinner is a lot different than getting sh**faced every night after work.
     
  20. Jul 10, 2013 #19
    I never drank. I've been offered pot and alcohol, but I just respectfully declined every time.
    I was never ostracized or teased because of it. I was actually sort of praised for being an individual and not being one of those kids who desperately tries to be one of the group. Although, I don't think I would have been treated that way if I was fat or short or uncool in some other way. So you do kinda gotta already be cool to get away with it.
     
  21. Jul 10, 2013 #20

    Mark44

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    1. Do you drink alcohol?
    2. At what age did you begin?
    3. Do you believe drinking interferes with your work or research?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. Pretty rarely, say a few times a year.
    2. When I was not quite 10. My Dad, younger brother (not quite 8), and I visited my Mom's uncle in Florida. After he asked us in, he offered all of us a cold beer. This guy (my great-uncle) was a confirmed bachelor who probably didn't know any better, and my theory is that my Dad was so surprised, that he didn't think to say no. On the other hand, my dad had spent a couple of years in Europe during WW II, and everyone, kids included, drank wine or beer.

    I've met a lot of people who have told me they didn't like beer when they first tasted, but I thought it tasted very good, and I'm sure I finished the whole can.
    3. It doesn't interfere with my work or research, because I don't drink very often, and when I do, I don't drink very much. In my wilder days, I can remember some horrendous hangovers, which is the big reason I don't like to drink that much.
     
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