As much as I loathe drunkenness (having to deal with 450 18/19 year olds as I do), I have to admit that alcohol IS actually good for a party atmosphere, *in moderation*. It helps people relax and makes people who would normally be shy to be less inhibited about having conversations with people. The problem comes when alcohol gets out of hand, then it tends to spoil things.
People who abuse alcohol (alcoholism) often suffer depression as a side effect of alcohol dependency.
So alcohol can have have a role to play in a social gathering, but it should *not * be the purpose of the social gathering, rather it should help facilitate it, and it should – as with all things – be taken in moderation!