Op-Ed: Society’s Lurking Legal Drug


Medical News Today

In 2018, the reported revenue of bars and nightclubs in the U.S came in at a staggering $28 billion dollars.

“Drugs are menacing our society. They’re threatening our values and undercutting our institutions. They’re killing our children.”


  On September 14, 1986, Ronald Reagan introduced the War on Drugs. Reagan’s aforementioned comments ring true today about various hard drugs; but the drug in question is 100% legal in all but 14 countries worldwide.  

  Alcohol, the widely legal drug in question, contains many lethal consequences that are not quite explored as deeply as they should. Acute kidney failure, inflammation and swelling of blood vessels, vulnerability to a multitude of diseases, and an irregular heart beat only begin the extensive list of consequences associated with alcohol addiction.

  Although it may be a hasty conclusion to jump to, the hefty amount of liquor commercials on television, in public and on phone screens may introduce the idea of drinking to children at a young age. Oh yeah… and lets not forget about the infamous red Solo cups, which make an appearance in about every American teen movie nowadays.

  Going off of that thought, teenage drinking is a topic that many are hesitant to talk about. According to RehabSpot, 1 in 5 teenagers [who have experimented with alcohol] in America become heavy drinkers in their adulthood. If that is not chilling on its own, a survey taken recorded that 35% of 12th graders (or seniors in high school) had indulged in alcohol within 30 days of the survey.

  Research and Markets reports that there are more than 14,000 treatment centers and a grand total of 3.7 million people treated. Personally, I wish this were the happy ending but if the American Prohibition from 1920-1933 taught us anything, banning alcohol in the U.S and in the rest of the world is virtually impossible.

  Take for the instance the amount of revenue the spirits and beer industries have both prospered from in the 2000’s, billions of dollars (Statista). In the event of a sudden Prohibition v2, restaurants would see profit disappear, bars would be useless and large areas of gas stations and grocery stores would be ghost towns.

  I am not asking for the economy to be taken by storm, but what I am asking for is that alcoholism be addressed. In the technological state we are in, alcoholism and all the cons that come with it, whether it be liver failure, drunk driving, loss of a job, etc. need to be talked about.