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Why people turn to alcohol when in pain

drink alcohol

So, yesterday, I was sad. Very sad.

I lost something I loved, and even if it made sense, it still hurt.

However, in that moment, I realised something. I found myself desperately looking for a way to occupy my time not to think of it, and while I did not choose alcohol, it made me come up with another of my many theories (I’ll write about more of them going forward).

Lifecycle of pain

Emotional pain is greatest at the beginning. Immediately it is inflicted.

We have learnt through life that given enough time, most emotional injuries will heal. Scars will be left, lessons will be learnt, but the pain will subside.

What this means is that what ever issue it is, it’s usually a lot easier to handle after a while.


Earlier in my life, I used to think that there was no logical reason behind turning to alcohol in times of trouble/pain. Afterall, whatever the issue is, it’ll still be waiting for you.

However, the alcohol is just a coping mechanism for surviving the initial sting. Of course, it’s probably not the best way, and some people overdo it, but it works.

For those that do not use alcohol as their coping mechanism, they find another way to take the sting out such as food, work or travel.

Good or Bad?

Well, as with everything, it can be either. I don’t use alcohol as a coping mechanism, but the method I use may not necessarily be better.

I usually just try to ignore it and act like my problems don’t exist. At least until the pain is low enough for me to face it. I don’t think it’s a very good method though.

How do you handle pain? How have you evolved to cope? I’d like to know.

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4 thoughts on “Why people turn to alcohol when in pain

  1. When I am in a difficult situation, I think about the future when I’d be able to look back at the present time and perhaps, laugh about it.

    It helps me see how temporary the pain is, and helps me deal with it.

    1. I should do this more often.
      However, sometimes the pain is still so much even when the reasons behind it all make sense.

  2. Overtime the pain sort of becomes familiar, this makes it less and less hurting, but hurt it does still. I really don’t subscribe to resorting to alcohol to lessen pain, makes no sense that way. However i take a drink occasionally and i like it neat with no dilutions, nevertheless i am no alcoholic.

    So back to dealing with pain. Music is one way i deal with pain, working is another, thinking to visualize all the things that went wrong, blogging should be number one on my list; i feel so much better when the emotions have been expressed.

    Lastly, lately, and definitely not the least, i do 22. This allows me to relax, let go, time myself, and focus on the tasks that needs my attention.

    Focus is always bae!

    1. I am currently exploring better ways to deal with issues other than my default “ignore it till it goes away strategy”.

      Perhaps I should give 22 a try.

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