start to drink alcohol heavily especially in an attempt to escape from one's problems - informal
Related Idioms and Phrases :
have a lot of bottle = show a lot of bottle
have (or show) boldness or initiative - British informal
The mid 19th-century slang phrase no bottle meaning no good or useless is the probable origin of bottle's current sense of courage or nerve. Nowadays we also find the expressions lose your bottle meaning lose your nerve and bottle out meaning fail to do something as a result of losing your nerve.