Get drunk on D&D



DeForest Dalbec

Alcohol is rife with hazards. Drinking alone is a well-known sign of a problem, and heavy-drinking is the cause of several crippling diseases. It’s a sad truth that more than half of alcohol sales are made to individuals who are heavy-drinkers. 

The industry is lifted up primarily on the backs of people with an addictive and debilitating habit. Even moderate drinking can have substantial health tradeoffs, and recent studies have brought into concern the most modest drinking habits. 

Social drinking, however, is given a pass. Whether it’s peer pressure, or herd behavior, we can easily excuse disproportionate alcohol consumption when it’s done in the name of community or sociability. Now, I’m not a teetotaling prohibitionist; it’d be a little extreme to say any alcohol consumption at all should be avoided. Our foods naturally ferment; we have enzymes for alcohol for a reason. Some studies say light alcohol consumption is linked to increased life expectancy, perhaps due to its correlation with social behaviors.

My argument is that alcohol has nothing about it which is uniquely beneficial to one’s health and happiness. As an alternative, try considering my intoxicant of choice: Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). Alcohol has three main benefits: it’s a social lubricant, provides an escape from reality and it promotes bonding. Well, so does D&D, without the side-effects.

What better escape from our daily anxieties than getting lost in a world where wizards conjure giant toads, or following a narrative where a mad mage sets logic-defying traps to defend his treasure hoard? What better social lubricant is there than roleplaying a high charisma bard? Even if your words aren’t doing the work you’d want, you can rely on the mechanics of the game to socialize. You don’t have to pay any mind to your social anxieties at all. The aspects of D&D provide a shared challenge to overcome. It takes developing problem-solving skills, a good measure of empathy and negotiating both your characters’ and your friends’ personalities to overcome a foe like an ancient, red dragon. 

Next time you want a way to escape your daily grind and relax your anxieties, meet up with friends around the table instead of a bar. It’ll be good for your health and pocketbook, and might do just as much for your social life as getting your BAC up. Try getting drunk on D&D.

DeForest Dalbec is a senior, economics major.