Alcohol intake can easily be seen as the outcome of thousands of years of ritual and a lifetime of habit. But have you ever given thought to why you prefer to drink? Understanding what motivates people to drink is crucial to better understanding their requirements when it comes to encouraging them to drink less or in a less damaging manner.
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AThe four types
Personally, everyone can come up with many reasons why he or she is drinking, which makes a scientific understanding of the reasons difficult. But there is something called the motivational model of alcohol use, that argues we drink because we expect a change in how we feel after we do. Originally developed to help treat alcohol dependence, the ideas described in the model led to a new understanding of what motivates people to drink.
The concept assumes that people drink to improve happy sensations or decrease negative sentiments. Internal benefits, such as improving a desirable personal emotional state, as well as outward rewards, such as social approval, motivate them.
As a result, all drinking motivations fall into one of four categories: enhancement (because it’s fun), coping (to forget about my problems), social (to celebrate), and conformity (since it’s expected) (to fit in). People are not necessarily one type of drinker or the other when it comes to a variety of drinking motives.
1. Drinking in a social setting
According to this approach, all other factors, such as heredity, personality, and environment, are simply moulding our drinking intentions. As a result, drinking motives are a last resort when it comes to consuming alcohol. That is to say, they serve as a conduit for all of these other effects.
Almost all of the study on drinking motives has been conducted on teenagers and young adults to yet. Social considerations are the most common explanation given by young people for drinking alcohol across cultures and countries. Social drinking, according to this paradigm, could be about having more fun with your buddies. This supports the notion that drinking is primarily a social activity. Moderate alcohol consumption is linked to drinking for social reasons.
2. Drinking to conform
People who drink only on social occasions to fit in – rather than because it’s a choice they’d typically make – drink less than those who drink for other reasons. These are the ones who will raise a glass of champagne as a toast or hold a bottle of wine in their hand to avoid standing out among the other drinkers.
Programs like Hello Sunday Morning have been urging people to stop drinking over the last few years. They may also be reducing the negative feedback some individuals receive for not drinking by making this more socially acceptable, but this is a theory that needs to be tested.
3. Drinking for enhancement
Aside from drinking for the sake of socializing, there are two sorts of teenagers and young adults that have a particularly dangerous personality and drinking motive preference.
For starters, there are those who drink to improve their physical look. They are more likely to be extroverted, impulsive, and violent. These young people (many of whom are male) are more inclined to seek out intoxication – as well as other strong emotions – and to have a risk-taking attitude.
4. Drinking to cope
In addition, coping drinkers are more neurotic, less pleasant, and have a poor self-perception. These drinkers may be utilizing alcohol to deal with other issues, such as anxiety and sadness. Coping drinkers are more likely to be female, drink more heavily, and have more alcohol-related issues.
While it may help temporarily, drinking to cope has long-term negative implications. This could be because the issues that prompted the drinking are not addressed.