Why Do You Drink?

2011/05/31 in Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol is a mood-altering drug that can sometimes, temporarily, make you feel good. For example, it can relax you, and make you less uptight with other people. But alcohol can also do some bad things to you. Why you drink is one key to whether or not you’re using alcohol in a way that could lead to problems.


We’re going to talk about some of the reasons that teens drink. If any of these reasons describe your drinking behavior, you may want to think twice about what you’re doing.

Many young people drink because they think everybody else does. It’s hard to say, “No thanks, I don’t drink.” Saying ‘no” could get you laughed at, put down, even dropped if your friends are into drinking. But, if you’re drinking not because you want to, but because they want you to, think about standing up for your rights. Saying “No” is a sign of maturity. Going along with the crowd is not.

All people, especially people in their teens, need recognition from their peers. Most of us want to do things that will make us stand out in a crowd. Some kids work hard at being super-jocks some win prizes in debates. And some drink to impress others. If your claim to fame is being able to drink more, or faster than your friends, or having the worst hangover the next day, think about it. Is it really worth it to get attention that way?

Lots of guys and girls use alcohol to have sex. If you try to get someone loaded so he or she will have sex with you, you may end up scoring. But you’ll never know if it was you or the alcohol that turned your partner on. If you’re a caring, responsible person, it will make a difference to you. Also, when you’ve had too much to drink, you may forget to practice responsible birth control and “safer” sex. The same holds true when you get high so you can get loose enough to have sex. Telling yourself you weren’t responsible for what you did because you were loaded is a real cop-out.

Quite a few people drink to put off dealing with their problems, or to forget their problems for a while. Or, if they’re feeling sad, scared or angry, they’ll use booze to cheer up or calm down. But whatever the problem, it will still be there when you’re through drinking. The sad, scared or angry feelings will come back, too.

Some people drink because they’re bored. They’ll tell you there’s nothing else to do. But when they’re through drinking, there’s still nothing to do. They probably feel worse than before, and they’ve spent money to do it. The next time you’re bored, don’t reach for the bottle, call a friend instead and think of something unique to do. There are lots of fun things to do instead of drinking that are free, or cost less than a six pack.

The last thing we’re going to mention is something to think about very seriously. It’s drinking to get drunk — because that’s the only way to have fun. Some people don’t believe they can have a good time unless they’re drunk. If this describes you, you may be heading for a drinking problem.

We’ve just talked about some of the reasons people drink, all of which can affect your social and emotional growth. Some hurt other people. This is especially true if you drink and drive an automobile, or ride with someone who has been drinking. Also, if you drink when you’re pregnant, you could hurtyour unborn baby. If any one -~ or more — of the reasons mentioned explain why you drink, we can’t tell you to stop. That’s your decision. We can only suggest that you think seriously about what you’re doing and where you’re heading.

We’re glad you took the time to read this. It shows that you’re responsible and concerned about your alcohol use.

For additional support and resources please call our 24-hour Teen Hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 954-567-8336 (TEEN.)


Teen Tapes is produced by the University of Wisconsin, Madison.