Why do people drink?

  • Thread starter Mépris
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  • #26
Staff Emeritus
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Remember that there's a difference between drinking and getting tipsy, to getting "drunk" or "wasted". I don't mind having a couple of drinks to take the edge off or whatever, but I have zero interest in getting drunk. And I can't stand being around drunk people.
  • #27
Gold Member
To get drunk of course. If I had to drink I'd prefer the faster way (and no need to go to bathroom, or almost): Stop breathing -not to feel the taste- and swallow a gulp of either Tequilo, Vodka, Whiskey or any other strong alcohol. Repeat a few times if the effect isn't coming.
  • #28
For fun!

And social lubrication.
  • #29
In fact, consuming huge amounts of alcohol is just repulsive. I don't like being drunk and I don't like talking to Ralph on the big, white phone. I'm not sure which I enjoy less. I can't understand why a person would intentionally turn themselves into an idiot.
It is indeed repulsive. Drinking a certain amount forces my head to hit the breaks and sometimes, I really need to slow things down. I think too much, too quickly...

--- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I remember being urged to read Le Petit Prince but I never got around to it.
  • #30
Ivan Seeking
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People drink for the same reason people do any other drug - to escape reality in some fashion. Well, that and addiction.

For all practical purposes, I gave up drinking on my twenty-first birthday. That was one of the best choices I've ever made.
  • #31
I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you guys why I like to drink.

Like Ivan said - it's to escape reality in some fashion. I usually don't become a drunken mess, but I do like to on occasion. In some ways I admire true idiots in that they are so free, unquestioning, and don't worry so much about every thing in their life. Honestly, I admire them, because frankly I wish my brain had an off switch sometimes. But it doesn't. I probably get about 3-4 hours of sleep in a normal night because I can't stop thinking about every little detail of the world.

It's nice to laugh at simple things and bad jokes without analyzing every situation. My daily life is basically an intellectual game that I play, and although I'm good at it, it gets boring. I get tired of having intelligent discussions. On the other hand, meeting people, talking to people, socializing...I just was not born with the talent. It feels like a game where everyone knows the rules except me, and no one is willing to teach me how to play. Alcohol is like a steroid for me in social situations. I don't often get drunk (maybe 3 or 4 times a year), and I don't need to. Even just a couple drinks and I become good at it.

I've made a lot of friends that I wouldn't have without a few drinks to loosen me up. I've said a lot of things I would have never said without the help of alcohol (good things). I'm not saying alcohol is some magical substance. But it helps me greatly.

Before ya'll judge and think I'm an alcoholic, know that I actually drink very little, and am just being honest about the positive experiences I have had. I've never driven drunk or hurt anyone. I probably have about 3 drinks per week.
  • #32
I honestly enjoy good liquor, beer and wine. There's more variety with alcohol too. For example: there are many many types of lagers, but soft drink selection is more homogenized. Coke or Pepsi for Cola (or RC or Faygo if you're really lucky!) - but for lagers there's generally something different depending on where you are in the country, and maybe even multiple different types available. What's the last resturant you've been to that has Coke and Pepsi available? But there's lots of places with Bud and Miller both on tap (and lots of other closely 'related' beers by genre).

The associated 'feel good' mentality that comes with a few drinks over a night is nice, but it has been a very long time since I've been drunk (and don't intend on doing so again). The 'social lube' mentality is also very true. Some people (myself included) have a hard time shifting into a social setting and turning our brains to auto-pilot. Beer helps me enjoy the situation for what it is moreso than without (it's probably 1/2 mental and 1/2 chemical). Ever been to a dry wedding? I don't think I've seen so many sad faces at a wedding ever, and the dancing wasn't good either.

Why do people drink any sort of beverage besides water? Pop will rot your teeth, lemonaid will give you ulcurs, cranberry juice might have ecoli, and water sometimes tastes bad.
  • #33
Gold Member
I drink because if I don't, my friends will make fun of me and call me names.
  • #34
I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you guys why I like to drink.
You speak for me, anyway. :)

In some twisted way, I'm content with things being the way they are. Things that helped me greatly were the concepts of "acceptance" and "satisfaction". I don't do "happy" too often but I do "satisfied". If I were the kind of guy who did happy, I probably wouldn't be doing physics. In any case, maybe you and I are very different individuals but I could very much relate to what you shared.
  • #35
Gold Member
like other posters have mentioned I normally drink so I have an excuse to do stupid things, otherwise I can live without alcohol very easily
  • #36
Because beer tastes great and being drunk is fun!
  • #37
If you tattooed your address and phone number on the bottom of your foot, people finding you on the street could help you get home.

I just don't know why more people don't do this!
oh come on! this would only work if you never move house! and didnt wear shoes...
  • #38
Best not to get drunk, not even with people one knows. Losing control of oneself puts the burden on someone else. In my earliest years of university, I used to watch out for a friend who occasionally lost it. I'd keep him (or others) from harming himself (him), or someone else. He nearly killed himself - he rolled his car between two trees. That was on a tree lined campus road. Fortunately, there were no pedestrians in his way. And he got arrested a couple of times, once for threatening an ex-girlfriend. And I've seen worse. No - it's not fun or funny to lose control.

That said, I enjoy a beer or two in the evening or late afternoon, usually with a snack or meal. I also enjoy a Scotch whisky, or a glass of wine.

I never like losing control.
Yeah, it depends on the person and how they behave when drunk. If someone does things they would regret or harms others when they're drunk, then they shouldn't drink.
I never do anything like that! and I don't ever lose it so I'm lying in a street (BOBG!). Like the most I'd do is sing loudly with my friends... and thats fun for everyone!

Its interesting how many people dislike losing control. Its so interesting! how people think so differently about this! some people never lose control, some like losing control!
  • #39
Gold Member
I totally disagree: I love spicy salsa and there is no way that the fact that it isn't pretty the day after will stop me from eating it.

If you like spicy salsa, you should PM me. Once you have tried salsa kicked up with ghost pepper you will never be the same again, I promise, check out the discussion in the food thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=124615&page=204".

Rhody... :devil:
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  • #40
I agree that even a minimal amount of drinking tends to make the drinker less capable wrt just about everything.
After several pints my ability to play both darts and pool increases.
  • #41
There is only one answer to this question - graduate school made me do it.

I kid, I kid. I hail from the grand land of Wisconsin and drinking is sort of a state past-time there. The tavern culture likely comes from the strong Germanic influence on the regional culture. In Germany, you will often see grandparents at the Beirgarten until 11 pm on a weeknight. So, it is sort of a cultural thing for me also. For any holiday, we usually have a big family party with great food, beer, dancing, and games. It is, in some ways, an integral part of celebrating for me.

I also enjoy certain beers, a few wines, and quality whiskey. Someone previously talked about the nuances of the same type of beer from different places. I think food, wine, and beer can tell you a lot about a culture and it is a very interesting way to explore other cultures.

But I have 2 kids (ages 2 and 4) and I rarely get to enjoy a beer much anymore. Mainly, I am just too damn tired and if I have a beer I will fall asleep before I finish something I need to accomplish. But on other days, I say screw the work, and have a beer because sometimes you just need a break.
  • #42
Yes, I am referring to alcoholic drinks. Why? Why do you?

I love beer but a few times, I have had too much of it in a single night. And it wasn't pretty the day after. It never stopped me before. I'm pretty certain that if I were to have had *too much* chocolate eclairs, I really wouldn't have tried it again, though. Conclusion? Maybe I just like to get stupid for a few hours...

I have no idea why people drink. Most of my closest relatives (including my parents and siblings) do not consume alcoholic drinks. In fact, the idea of alcohol being part of a lifestyle is quite alien to me. I personally haven't tasted any alcoholic beverages and I don't plan to try it anytime in the future as well.
  • #43
I usually drink because I'm thirsty.
  • #44
I drink because if I don't, my friends will make fun of me and call me names.
Not saying it's the reason, but when I was younger I went to a party and since I had a test in the next few days I choose not to drink. Much to my surprise, since I thought it was just something adults said to keep you from drinking("Son, you just drink because your friends drink, not because you like it, if they jumped over a cliff would you do the same?"), everybody was making fun of me, saying how stupid that was, and blablabla
Funny enough I was actually the one not doing things that deserved to be laughed on.

It's also interesting why do people do this. I mean, I'm not saying they cannot drink, I just say I will not drink and everybody gets mad.

On the topic, I rarely drink, the reason people do is because it makes their life less boring. You know, these guys that spend all week thinking about the weekend and how they will drink so much and do this and that.
It's a pretty stupid thing to do really. It seems some people just can't have fun without drinking a lot.
And I mean heavy drinkers, not someone who drinks a beer because he enjoys the taste.
  • #45
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
I drink because if I don't, my friends will make fun of me and call me names.
They don't sound like friends, just people one hangs out with. Find another set of real friends.
  • #46
I just like GOOD beers and ciders now. Even wine has too much alcohol and makes me have trouble sleeping (something I'm already prone to). But I limit myself to 2-3, just a few times a week.

I think my issue is that (like mege hints at) I HATE the taste of most water (the exception was when I lived in Boulder and had the town's fresh "glacier-water" on tap). And beers or cider get saved for me (and lucky for E and I we our own gallon of "Whole" and juice ... high fat and sugars make these mostly off limits to the others in the family... but I like to make sure she always is well-stocked first).
  • #47
In reality it's irrational behaviour. But, it seems normal because it's accepted socially; in moderation that is. Even so, I don't drink much.
  • #48
While I do not drink myself, I keep hearing the argument that drinking makes you healthier!! Sounds wierd to me....
  • #49
I don't mind social drinkers (one or two drinks in an evening), but I have a strong aversion to drunks. In my Navy days, I stood Shore Patrol on about two-hundred occasions. I have lost track of how many sick drunks threw up on my uniform and how many combative drunks I had to put on the floor.

On the other hand, during my Foreign Service days, I would make a tall Scotch and soda last all evening. I had to, or I couldn't do my job. That job was to take note of what every foreign national with whom I had a substantive conversation said and did during the course of the evening. This information would be written up in a report and filed before I went to bed that night. Having more than a single drink made that job immensely more difficult.
  • #50
While I do not drink myself, I keep hearing the argument that drinking makes you healthier!! Sounds wierd to me....
maybe. on a couple of measures like cardiovascular or bone health. but i don't think it's conclusive. generally, you see the positive results with beer and wine, not so much with spirits. so some of it may be about chemicals other than the ethanol.