Here is some excellent news, courtesy of a study from the University of Texas at Austin which followed 1,824 participants over a period of 20 years: proficient drinkers live longer than their teetotal contemporaries.
Even though heavy drinking is associated with higher risk for cirrhosis and several types of cancer (particularly cancers in the mouth and esophagus), heavy drinkers are less likely to die than people who have never drunk. One important reason is that alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health. As I pointed out last year, nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party.
It’s not a 100% endorsement of the advanced drinker’s life: middling drinkers (defined here as those who take 1–3 a day) live longer than the professionals. Still, there’s plenty of good to take away from this, unless you happen to be a non-drinker. Although you’re probably happy to die early given your joyless, alcohol-free existence.