Have you ever wondered why alcohol was never considered a “gateway drug”? Why it remains legal despite the fact that it has proven to be a source of death-directly and indirectly-year after year? Alcohol is a monster, to be sure, but why is it that we are so accepting of it in modern culture even in the face of the danger it causes?
The Repercussions of Alcohol
Alcohol stimulates aggressiveness and factors into self-deprecating behavior. It lowers inhibitions and contributes immensely to social ills such as domestic violence and auto accidents. The negative consequences of alcohol are enough to write another entire article about. So why is it that no one objects to it?
Sure, we have programs such as MAADD and public service announcements about how ‘buzzed driving’ is drunk driving, but you never see any advertising directly against the consumption of alcohol? There are a few reasons for this, some you may have considered, some you may not.
We Love Alcohol As A Vice
Alcohol takes the edge off. After a long, hard day, the idea that you can make yourself feel better simply by drinking a beverage is a hard prospect to hard to simply pass up. Who wouldn’t want that?
Alcoholic or not, most people love their vices. Where an alcoholic may take things to the extreme, most people-‘normal’ people-view alcohol simply as part of their culture. Which makes it much easier to call alcohol ‘socially acceptable’, despite evidence that it should not be. So again, why is alcohol legal?
It’s all About the Money
We all know alcohol lowers inhibitions. But business uses this to a great advantage. It exacerbates addictive tendencies when someone is gambling, eating, smoking and using other drugs as well as other psychological dependencies. The reason why it’s legal is simple. Alcohol drives economy.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say we should reinstate prohibition. But the overall attitude and education revolving around alcohol needs to change. The fact that alcohol inherently makes the drinker feel invincible lends evidence to the fact why it is still accepted. When people make stupid or brash decisions, someone profits. The key is educating not only ourselves but the generations behind us on why such a self-destructive vice is not only selfish but lends nothing to the upstanding moral norms of society.
What do you think should be done about the alcohol epidemic?