Is there another way of saying "to take refuge in alcohol"? something idiomatic or so?

For example, under the pressures of life, he took refuge in alcohol!

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    There are a vast number of expressions related to drinking. They vary according to how the speaker feels about the causes of the drinking, as well as the intended audience and desired effect. For example, taking refuge is less judgemental than hiding behind. Can you tell us more about what you are trying to say? May 25, 2019 at 17:49
  • @GlobalCharm I gave an example!
    – BeatsMe
    May 25, 2019 at 19:10
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    Your example has a whimsical tone, especially with the exclamation mark. So perhaps a whimsical expression might work: “He salved his pride by lifting his elbow.” May 25, 2019 at 19:34
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    "crawled into the bottle and pulled the cork behind him" May 26, 2019 at 1:19

4 Answers 4


A closely related expression (and obviously a metaphorical usage) is

to hide behind the bottle.

From QuitAlcohol:

Stop Hiding Behind the Bottle

It probably brings out more the futility of seeking escape by drinking oneself insensate.

Another expression, probably more common, is

to drown one's sorrows.

If you say that someone is drowning their sorrows, you mean that they are drinking alcohol in order to forget something sad or upsetting that has happened to them.

Collins English Dictionary


"looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle" is a common expression.

Also, see Global Charm's comment about "Bending ones elbow".

Even "drinking" itself is idiomatic, since humans drink lots of normal things and it does not specify alcohol, yet, that is implied in a critical or scandalous context.


You also have the idiomatic expression

Take to drink:

If someone takes to drink, they start to drink a lot of alcohol regularly, usually because they are depressed or worried about something.

  • He took to drink after his wife died.

(Collins Dictionary)


to self-medicate TFD

The ingestion of a substance, such as alcohol, an illegal drug, or a non-prescribed medicine, as a conscious or unconscious means of coping with a psychological condition, such as anxiety or depression.

As in:

Independent 24 Sept 2015 You don't have to be an alcoholic or a manic depressive, there's no need to slice your own ear off or self-medicate yourself towards suicide, if you want to write or to paint, to sing or act.

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