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Why Social Gatherings with Alcohol are Healthy

From an early age, society has viewed alcohol in a negative light, discouraging those who take part in too many alcohol-involved activities, worried about the long-term effects on one's health, and the risk of addiction. Many fail to realize that there are pros to enjoying an alcoholic beverage with friends and a lasting increase in positive mental health. 

Covid’s Toll on Mental Health 
   As businesses have reopened in the aftermath of the pandemic, individuals have slowly been emerging out of the isolated, awkward hole that they have been stuck in for the last two years. Now we're facing the future of awkward get-togethers, uncomfortable in-work meetings, and after-hours fun at the bar that may not feel right at first. Scientists tracking Covid’s mental health found that “More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in December, an increase from 11% the previous year.” Now more than ever, it's crucial for individuals to get out and be social with others. Everyone has been in isolation for the last two years and many have forgotten how to be social, or even worse, become comfortable to be home in isolation. 
Relax and Unwind
Social gatherings and interactions are such a crucial part of our mental health. When we interact with others, our body releases dopamine and oxytocin, making us feel happy and calm. We also feel the same when consuming alcohol, which also releases dopamine. Contributing writer of Verywell MindSheryl Ankrom states, “When someone first has a drink of alcohol, it often has a sedative effect. It can produce a sense of euphoria and decrease a person's inhibition. These effects can make it seem like drinking alcohol is providing the person with relief from their anxiety.” 
Positive Brain Boosters
Being an adult means we can go out with friends after a long day of work and have a few drinks. The aspect of being around people we love and letting our body unwind sends positive mood boosters to our brain, releasing oxytocin. A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh researchers proved the theory to be true based on the results of the enhanced positive moods of 720 male and female participants. They concluded that “alcohol stimulates social bonding, increases the amount of time people spend talking to one another and reduces displays of negative emotions.”
With alcohol, people feel more open to one another and seem easier to bond with. Friendships are made, partnerships grow, and plans are created. It's not to say that one has to drink alcohol to socialize or have a good time, but there are pros to drinking alcohol while in a social setting for our mental health. Like most things, alcohol should be consumed in moderation and followed with lots of water or other hydration methods, such as Drinklyte, that will rehydrate and replace electrolytes quickly. There are many ways to socialize with those we love, and unwinding with friends and family over drinks is a modern way of living that we should never feel guilty about so long as we keep our health in mind.