There is probably no definitive answer to the question of whether or not drinking alcohol is beneficial. It depends on the situation, the environment and on how a drinker's body reacts to it.
For example, suppose you are high up in the mountains, the air is so cold that you are numb all over and you are there to visit a remote mountain community. You are invited into a house where the air is foggy with smoke from a wood-burning stove, and even if it is warmer inside than out, your eyes sting and the smell of the smoke is overpowering.
The host has invited you to sit down and join everyone for a meal, but before the food is served you are offered home-brewed corn liquor so fiery that you can feel it burn all the way down, from your throat to your stomach. An occasion like this, in this kind of atmosphere, is just right for drinking. Without some alcohol you would freeze and an unforgettably friendly evening might never get off the ground.
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