Are you an alcoholic? Or love having it occasionally with friends? Few people love drinking when they are happy and wish to celebrate, while others consume it to ward off stress and worry. Well whatever the occasion may be, every person has his or her own reason that motivates them to drink.

According to the Motivational model of alcohol use, people drink because they expect a change in how they feel after they do. This motivational model explains how people drink to increase positive feelings or decrease negative ones. The model was originally developed to treat alcohol dependence. The ideas presented in the model help to understand what motivates people to drink. All kinds of drinking motives fall into one of four categories: social (to celebrate or when happy), enhancement (because it’s exciting), conformity (to fit in the group) and coping (to forget about worries and release stress). Drinkers can fall into multiple categories in different situations.

Social drinking

Social drinking is generally popular and common with young adults across cultures and countries. As per this model, social drinking is a pastime and increases the amount of fun you are having with your friends. Drinking for social motives is associated with moderate alcohol use.

Drinking to conform

People in this category drink on social occasions because they want to fit into the crowd. They might not drink otherwise but will sip wine slowly or keep a glass of champagne in hand to avoid feeling different from the drinkers around them.

Drinking for enhancement

Few adolescents and young adults (mostly male), with a particular risky combination of personality and drinking motive preference, drink in extreme quantities. They consume drinks for excitement and are generally extroverted, impulsive, and aggressive.

Drinking to cope

There are few drinkers who like to get drunk to cope up with the rising stress levels in their life. Most of these drinkers are females who drink heavily and experience more alcohol-related problems. Rather than addressing the problems, they resort to drinking that leads to worst long-term consequences.

Does drinking help?

Experts explain that if the motives are known, there are ways heavy drinkers can reduce heavy drinking. A study showed how conducting counseling sessions for heavy drinkers, especially women, can motivate them to decrease consumption. Although this is not true for males. For those who are trying to drink their problems away, always remember that those problems will still be there next morning when you wake up.

So, next time when you plan to get drunk, think about why you are choosing to do so.