Some people just like to drink alcohol. There isn’t anything wrong with that, as long as it’s consumed in a responsible manner by an adult of legal age. Responsible drinking means there’s no risk of drunk driving or other crimes that are often associated with alcohol. It means that even if that glass of wine is reported to be good for your heart, an entire bottle of merlot is probably not going to have the same type of health benefits.
Drunk driving is just one of many risk factors for those who drink alcohol.
Alcohol has a reputation that swings from good to bad, depending on the day. Yes, red wine contains certain antioxidants that are beneficial to the heart. So do blueberries. Beer is sometimes recommended by athletes after a tough workout. So are bananas. This back and forth, love/hate relationship with a substance that used to be preferred over water (because alcohol didn’t spoil) continues to evolve, devolve and leave us right back where we started: moderation.
Obviously, alcohol in moderation isn’t going to harm anyone. Nor will that glass of wine reverse heart damage. In fact, it seems that most of the “alcohol is healthy” studies haven’t taken much personal health history into account, leaving a wide range of effects from prior alcohol use or other underlying health issues to skew those results. Plus, another downfall of a glass of wine is that is can easily lead to another glass, and then another. That’s a health concern, especially when those glasses of wine lead to drunk driving, a car breathalyzer requirement or worse.
Leading busy, fulfilled lives can often mean drinks with friends or to wind down at the end of a busy day. There’s certainly a health benefit in being able to relax, and as long as we are safe while relaxing, that glass of wine or beer with friends can be a relatively healthy addition to a long and happy life.