Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

4 Reasons Why People Drink Alcohol and Their Motivations

Lena Kirakosyan's picture
two wine glasses and why people drink alcohol

Scientists examined some of the reasons as to why people drink alcohol. Of course, some of these reasons can be personal - a special occasion, habit, outing with a loved one, or Friday evening. However, these are all specific occasions. It is important to consider what a person’s motivation is when they drink during these times. What is it that they want to achieve?


British researchers Emanuel Kunche and Sarah Kalinan tried to answer these questions. In their opinion, understanding the motivation is more important than the reason.

This study is not simply about those who are alcoholics. Scientists in this study were interested in the behavior of all drinkers without exception, even if a person drinks only once a year and solely for serious matters.

What The Experiment Showed

According to the researchers, all motives for drinking alcohol fall into one of four categories:

1. improving mood,
2. social motivation,
3. desire to forget something (connected with problems),
4. to fit in

They called their work the motivational model of alcohol consumption.

All other factors, such as genetics, personality, or the environment, are just the reasons (why does the person want to drink?) which form further motives (what do they want to drink?).

Scientists believe that this will help reduce the consumption of alcohol around the world. They suggest that the next time you drink, think about why you decided to do it.

There are many people who drink before going to bed to relax. There are those who drink with friends. But if you drink because you want to forget about your problems, then drinking is not your best option. It may help to remember that all the problems you want to forget about when you drink will still be there when you are sober again.

And now, more information about all four reasons.

Motivation 1: People drink alcohol to improve your mood

This is more common in teenagers and young people, as well as extroverts and impulsive or aggressive people. These types of people want to feel drunk to raise their spirits.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

But there are other, more dangerous consequences, to which this motivation leads - a person is prone to risky behavior. Often, it ends tragically.

Motivation 2: People drink alcohol for social reasons

In this situation, alcohol consumption is closely related to one’s social life and, as a rule, leads to moderate consumption of alcohol. Researchers believe that in such cases, physicians need to work not with specific patients, as in the case of the first motivation, but instead, they need to work at the state level.

Motivation 3: People drink alcohol to forget problems

People who drink because of such motives often have a lower level of self-esteem. They often resort to alcohol because of anxiety and depression.

Motivation 4: People drink alcohol to fit in (to match the environment)

These people usually drink less compared to those in the three groups described above. They can drink only one glass of wine the whole evening, or drink a glass of champagne just to toast with.

Often, they hold a drink in their hands throughout the evening without drinking at all, which helps ensure that they do not stand out in the crowd.

Scientists identify several risk factors for alcoholism. For example, genetics. There are specific genetic factors that make some people more prone to developing alcoholism. Those whose families have a history of using drugs or alcohol are six times more likely to become dependent on alcohol.

Another important factor is early contact with alcohol. The results of the study show that people who started drinking alcohol before age 15 are more likely to suffer from alcoholism.

If you drink alcohol, what is your motivation for drinking? Would you agree with the reasons mentioned in this study? Let us know in the comments.

Reference: KP

Does your alcohol drinking fall into one of these four categories? Why do you drink alcohol and what does it give you? Please, let us know your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below.

Some people who want to quit drinking alcohol may be aware of their drinking problem, but feel withdrawal symptoms are too powerful to deal with on their own. Here is an article discussing how to safely handle alcohol withdrawal symptoms.