Why I Drink

A look at drinking responsibly for pleasure

Why do I drink? To answer honestly, I drink because I enjoy it. I don’t do it to escape some horrible reality of life and I don’t do it to show off, I do it because it is enjoyable and can enhance situations if used properly.

I’m not one to go out and drink 15 cheap beers on a Friday night, but I do make my way out to those parties occasionally. I don’t go to the bar and order shots of whisky until I pass out, but I do like the atmosphere of a bar and enjoy a few bourbon and cokes with some friends.

If you are someone who enjoys being three sheets to the wind and making a fool of yourself, by all means go ahead. As long as you don’t drive or throw up on me, that’s your choice.

A cocktail is a great way to relax after a long day. It calms the mind and the nerves and will provide a pleasantly euphoric feeling. Actually, in moderation, many health journals have promoted things such as a glass of red wine to help the heart or a drink or two a day to promote healthy circulation.

According to a 2008 MSNBC article, there is scientific evidence that says alcohol, specifically wine, in moderation can have positive effects on your health. It recommends up to one drink per day for women, and two for men; much beyond that and the health benefits are lost. Having that drink per day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and slow neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

I must admit that I am not thinking of health reasons when I have a drink at night, but it is nice knowing that moderate intake is not a bad thing.

As much as our parents have told us that “you don’t have to drink to have fun at a party,” a case can be made against this. Some people are outgoing and can have a great time being sober, but for others who are more socially introverted and want to break out of their shell, alcohol can serve that purpose. There is a reason that at a majority of social gatherings for both college students and parents, alcohol is often present. People don’t like to admit it, but it can be fun and enhance socialization.

I am not condoning binge drinking or drunken mistakes. There is something else at play for someone who is going out multiple nights a week and forgetting what happened, or who happened, when they woke up the next morning. They are drinking for some other reason, and it is not a positive one.

There is nothing inherently wrong with alcohol. It is neither good nor evil, but simply indifferent. It can be an art form for wine enthusiasts, or it can be a catalyst for alcoholism for those who use it in excess; but it is the person who decides if it will negatively or positively affect their life, not the drink.

I drink, for one, because I can (I am of age), but also because it provides something that sobriety does not. As Aristotle says, live moderately. There are times when sobriety is preferable and there are times when a nice buzz is preferable, don’t let one mindset rule your life. n