There are many factors that influence people to drink alcohol. Drinking to be sociable is one influence. This seems to be one reason people will give in reaction to the question - Why do you drink?
Some people will say that they drink to unwind after a long working day maybe with other people, on their own or with their partner. Stress may also be a factor, life’s stresses encompasses everything from work to family, children, debt, depression, sickness, unemployment and so on, the list could be endless.
Peer pressure, especially on teenagers and young adults is a major factor in drinking here in the U.K. There seems, in some areas, to be a culture of drinking alcohol to such an excess as to become practically comatose. Drinks companies that sell alcohol at ridiculously low prices in supermarkets should also take responsibility for influencing people to drink more alcohol than they might otherwise drink if it was more expensive to buy. When people see offers that they can’t refuse then they will be tempted to buy more alcohol then they would usually purchase.
Now there is also a factor of great importance that needs to be addressed and that is the lack of confidence issue. A person with low self esteem and or lack of confidence may find that when they have their first alcoholic drink they feel liberated and at ease. This can be the first step that leads a person into alcoholism.
Whilst it is true that there is the potential for everyone that drinks to become an alcoholic, as there is also the same potential for anyone to become obese through eating fast food, not everyone does. However it can become easy to rely on alcohol to provide the confidence required to get on with people and even to achieve extrovert status. This new found confidence, although false can then be accessed anytime through alcohol. A shy retiring person who finds socialising difficult or even just working alongside other people difficult could easily succumb to using alcohol as a crutch, the problem with this is that there is a real danger of becoming addicted.
So here are some factors that do and may indeed influence people to drink alcohol. However, each person has the ability to override such influences and make their own choices as to whether or not they use alcohol wisely. Perhaps the biggest influence is our own strength of character.