Sarah, thanks for sharing your perspective. Based on my experience, this is a phenomenon that prevails in a number working environments and social situations. It is not until, we choose to not drink for any reason or choose to not do any other habit embraced by a group, do we ultimately realize how pervasive, as in this case, drinking is in our society. That is why it takes a strong sense of self and inner discipline to stay the course when we choose to think and behave differently from the group. Therefore you are to be commended for your perseverance in maintaining your abstinence.
Your insights from the outside looking in, are definitely enlightening. In fact, in a management development curriculum, this article would be a great topic to cover in leadership training as a way for a company to influence and define its culture to make the working environment safe and comfortable for their employees and as a way to establish the corporate image it wants to exhibit in the marketplace.