THE RISE OF THE PROHIBITION IN THE UNITED STATES
At some point, people have to throw their hands into the air and unanimously shout “No!” This is precisely what happened at the end of the 18th century when the American public finally grew tired of drunkenness, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism. Adhering to the principles of Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the first men to declare that alcoholism is a definitive mental illness and not a habit, the hordes of Americans initiated the Temperance Movement to initiate a wave of abstinence from all alcoholic drinks. Needless to say, while the initial movement was a success, it eventually lost momentum. However, during the early 20th century, a more rigorous endeavor was brought to light: the Prohibition. Let’s take a closer look and see what steps Americans took during this time to prevent the spread of the degenerative disease called alcoholism.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Although the temperance movement lost steam during the Civil War, in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln enforced a national tax on alcoholic drinks to make up for expenses drained for wartime. However, in the 1880s, Pennsylvania and New York additionally passed laws that required students at public schools must learn about alcoholic beverages and the risks of overindulgence.
Sometime later, in the early 20th century, the majority of Americans viewed excessive drinking as distasteful and dangerous. Finally, in 1920, the United States government enforced a nationwide ban on the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages of any sort, officially kick-starting the Prohibition. Ultimately, the Volstead Act (the National Prohibition Act) established the rules for these new laws.
Promising Results…at First
Although alcohol consumption dropped to 30% and hard liquor by 50%, illegal alcohol production operations started increasing across the country. On certain occasions, “bootlegged” alcohol was sold and distributed at underground locations known as “speakeasies.” (In fact, historians believe that, by 1925, an estimated 100,000 speakeasies had emerged in New York City.) Furthermore, lawmakers had a difficult time enforcing the laws that were supposed to keep the public safe. Meanwhile, urban Americans began to protest the fact that rural politicians (who created this act) could affect all reaches of society. Finally, in December 1933, lawmakers issued the Twenty-First Amendment, and the Prohibition movement finally ended.
Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.