Our expert says:
This is true, and a genuine long-standing problem. These silly social customs encourage the development of alcoholism, and also make it even harder for the problem drinker to stop, as their old "friends" push them to drink again. Too many folks see drinking heavily as the primary way to socialize, not realizing that after enough to drink, what's produced is a simulation of socializing, when the drinks don't notice how empty their relationships are.
Often one finds more compatible friends through other shared activities, like the charity work you mention, and similar constructive activities.
People who only like you when you drink ( and they're probably bothered about feeling a touch guilty when they're drinking and you're not ) are not really friends.
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