There is a well-documented relationship between social anxiety and alcohol use. People with social anxiety often use alchohol to relieve their symptoms and untreated social anxiety can lead to the development, maintenance and relapse of alcohol problems. A U.S. study of people being treated for social anxiety, who were also problem drinkers, looked into whether people's drinking would decrease if their social anxiety was relieved. They divided the 42 participants into two groups one receiving paroxetine for their social anxiety and the other receiving a placebo. Neither group received any treatment for their problem drinking. Paroxetine reduced people's social anxiety and the amount they drank to relieve anxiety but did not reduce the overall frequency or quantity of people's drinking. Those people whose social anxiety improved carried on drinking as much but for different reasons.
Thomas, Suzanne E. ... [et al] - A complex relationship between co-occuring social anxietyand alcohol use disorders : what effect does treating social anxiety have on drinking ? Alcoholism : clinical and experimental research January 2008, 32(1), 77-84