Responses to Prohibition


Responses to Prohibition Relating to Alcohol and Drug Treatment

In a time where drugs and alcohol are rampant and readily accessible even to minors, it seems that the only practical, and logical, solution is the imposition of limited freedom.  This implies a ban on certain substances that legislation deems dangerous or harmful.  Moreover, this means the use of all drugs/alcohol, and all potentially harmful activities, shall be monitored and regulated.  Prohibition may seem the ideal solution at first, but it has its advantages and disadvantages.  It will provide an instant, although temporary, remedy to the problem of addiction, but the long-term repercussions outweigh the instant relief it provides.  Responses to prohibition have been mixed, and the subject is still debated until today.

Prohibition in the United States was an extreme reaction by the government in an attempt to stamp out rapid alcoholism and alcohol abuse from 1920-1933.  During this time in America many notorious mobsters spawned a great deal of wealth by bootlegging illegal alcohol from across the northern most border, usually from Canada or distilled in basements across the states.

Prohibition was the period in United States history in which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors was outlawed.

The Temperance movement blamed alcohol for many of society’s ills, especially crime and murder. Saloons, a social haven for men who lived in the still untamed West, were viewed by many, especially women, as a place of debauchery and evil. Prohibition, members of the Temperance movement urged, would stop husbands from spending all the family income on alcohol and prevent accidents in the workplace caused by workers who drank during lunch.

bootleggersThe worry of most naysayers is that prohibition may simply be another problem in the making.  Completely banning the use of alcohol also does not ensure that it cannot be obtained through illicit means.  Illicit bootleggers were a dime a dozen back then, and buying alcohol from them was simple – all that was required was to know the whereabouts of a speak easy in any town USA.

Banning certain drugs also piques the curiosity of youths and is a contributor to the growth in the population of substance abusers in the country.  Some are also questioning the criteria by which legislation judges drugs and other substances.  The medicinal benefits that can be gained from cannabis have been evident for a long time, and the fact that this is still considered an illegal substance has been questioned constantly by proponents of the drug.

Responses to prohibition will be mixed for as long as its efficacy has not been proven.  Its advantages and disadvantages will constantly be the subject of debate.  Unfortunately, only time can tell if prohibition is a solution or another problem that will feed the monster that is  addiction or alcoholism.