To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation.

—Oliver Sacks, 2012

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.

—Mitch Hedberg, 1999

Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations—wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.

—Edmund Burke, 1795

As far as I can see, the history of experimental art in the twentieth century is intimately bound up with the experience of intoxification.

—Will Self, 1994

A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated has not the art of getting drunk.

—Samuel Johnson, 1779

Alcohol is the monarch of liquids.

—Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1825

I mean, why on earth (outside sickness and hangovers) aren’t people continually drunk? I want ecstasy of the mind all the time.

—Jack Kerouac, 1957

There are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.

—Booth Tarkington, 1914

Drugs, cataplasms, and whiskey are stupid substitutes for the dignity and potency of divine mind and its efficacy to heal.

—Mary Baker Eddy, 1908

There was a great deal of drinking among us but little drunkenness. We all seemed to feel that Prohibition was a personal affront and that we had a moral duty to undermine it.

—Elizabeth Anderson, 1969

Life isn’t all beer and skittles, but beer and skittles, or something better of the same sort, must form a good part of every Englishman’s education.

—Thomas Hughes, 1857

Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.

—Saint Augustine, 397

A true German can’t stand the French,

Yet willingly he drinks their wines.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1832

I am sure of this: that if everybody was to drink their bottle a day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now.

—Jane Austen, c. 1798

Abstainer, n. A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

I have sometimes thought that the laws ought not to punish those actions of evil which are committed when the senses are steeped in intoxication.

—Walt Whitman, 1842

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.

—Jerome K. Jerome, 1889

Drink does not drown care but waters it, and makes it grow faster.

—Benjamin Franklin, 1749

That which the sober man keeps in his breast, the drunken man lets out at the lips. Astute people, when they want to ascertain a man’s true character, make him drunk.

—Martin Luther, 1569

It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably.

—Epicurus, c. 300 BC

Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.

—Gore Vidal, 1981

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

—Herman Melville, 1851

Thanks be to God: since my leaving drinking of wine, I do find myself much better and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.

—Samuel Pepys, 1662

Drinking with women is as unnatural as scolding with ’em.

—William Wycherley, 1675

Whoever gulps down wine as a horse gulps down water is called a Scythian.

—Athenaeus, c. 230

Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes.

—William James, 1902

An old man is twice a child, and so is a drunken man.

—Plato, c. 360 BC

People who’ve drunk neat wine don’t care a damn.

—Hipponax, c. 550 BC

The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next gas station.

—Hunter S. Thompson, 1971

Drunkenness is the very sepulcher

Of man’s wit and his discretion.

—Geoffrey Chaucer, c. 1390

The pleasure we hold in esteem for the course of our lives ought to have a greater share of our time dedicated to it; we should refuse no occasion nor omit any opportunity of drinking, and always have it in our minds.

—Michel de Montaigne, 1580

Modern life is often a mechanical oppression, and liquor is the only mechanical relief.

—Ernest Hemingway, 1935

If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.

—Luis Buñuel, 1983

Moderation in all things.

—Terence, 166 BC

My advice to people today is as follows: if you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.

—Timothy Leary, 1966

Drink today and drown all sorrow;

You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow.

—John Fletcher, 1625

Sex and drugs and rock and roll.

—Ian Dury, 1977

As he brews, so shall he drink.

—Ben Jonson, 1598

The drunken man is a living corpse.

—St. John Chrysostom, c. 390