Alcohol: It's Time For Another Prohibition Essay

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Alcohol is one of the most consumed drugs worldwide. Alcohol consumption dates back to the Neolithic period circa 10,000 BCE (Patrick 12-13 ) and is the oldest psychoactive drug. Alcohol consumption is tied to religious ceremony, social gatherings, and cultural events; drinking alcohol is even simply equated to fun. The popularity of alcohol can also be tied to a physiological reaction in the human body, “drinking alcohol induced opioid release in... areas of the brain implicated in reward valuation.”(Mitchell et al. 116). Perhaps these social and cultural endorsements, coupled with specific physiological responses, make addiction and abuse a common progression of consumption. The negative impact of alcohol is observable in both the mental, physical, and social health of individuals who consume it and in the effect it has on our justice system. It is this likelihood of addiction that presents a valid reason for an outright prohibition; over-consumption only serves to potentiate the negative effects of alcohol. Ethyl alcohol should be an illegal substance; the social, economic, and health effects of alcohol consumption are devastating.
For instance, the consumption of grain alcohol is linked to a variety of negative mental and physical health effects. According to Grønbæk alcohol consumption, even at low levels, causes euphoria and confusion with an increasing blood-alcohol level leading to coma and death, and with consistent consumption an increased risk of dementia. There is also a strong correlation between alcohol consumption and a variety of destructive physical diseases; these range from malnutrition to more serious conditions like liver cirrhosis, stroke, and a variety of cancers (Grønbæk 407-420). Alcohol abuse and exces...

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... U.S. $224 Billion in 2006." Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. N.p., 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

"Tax Collections Cumulative Summary Fiscal Year 2006." Alcohol And Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau. N.p., 27 Mar. 2007. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Hall, Wayne. "What Are the Policy Lessons of National Alcohol Prohibition in the United States, 1920–1933?"Addiction 105.7 (2010): 1164-1173. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Thornton, Mark. "Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure." CATO Institute. N.p., 17 Jan. 1991. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Gusfield, Joseph R. "Introduction." Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement.University Of Illinois Press, 1986. 1. Web. 02 Mar. 2012.

Enoch, Mary-Anne, and David Goldman. "Problem Drinking and Alcoholism: Diagnosis and Treatment." American Academy of Family Physicians 65.3 (2002): 441-449. Web. 05 Mar. 2012.

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