Alcohol should be banned from the United States of America. 

May 3, 2012
By MissTiffanyS BRONZE, Las Vegas, Nevada
MissTiffanyS BRONZE, Las Vegas, Nevada
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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On May 3, 1980, an innocent human being was taken from this world. She was only 13 years old at the time; all she was doing was taking a peaceful walk when she was a hit by a drunk driver, who had twice the legal alcohol limit, and she was killed instantly. Everyday, more and more people are losing their lives to alcohol. If not that, then they are suffering the horrible consequences that alcohol brings. Alcohol not only affects the drinker, but it also affects their surroundings. Just as the use of alcohol can lead to the death of an innocent bystander, it can also leave pain in the heart of the victims' families. By limiting the availability of alcohol, we can reduce illnesses, crime and, reduce death rates. Alcohol should be banned from the United States of America. 
As many people take for granted, alcohol causes many problems to the human body. Most researchers say it is as dangerous as smoking. Alcohol can affect the drinker not only physically, but also mentally. Taken from Current Health Magazine, researchers say, “Alcohol slows down nerve cells and delays messages to the brain” (“Alcohol how it affects you”).  The brain is an integral part of the human body. It controls all functions; without the brain, the body is nothing. Once harm comes to the brain, such as when drinking alcohol, it implies many problems. Kowalski argues that alcohol’s affects are dangerous in her Harvard research containing article, “The Dangers of Alcohol”. “Alcohol causes brain functions to slow down, decreasing balance, eyesight, and reasoning ability”. When one drinks alcohol all of these problems immediately affect the brain. For example, decreasing eyesight and reasoning ability. If a person does not have reasoning ability, they’ll do anything. Anything can mean a variety of things; one being, making the decision to drive. How is one expected to drive when they have no ability to reason and have blurred vision? Potentially, driving drunk may result in the death of the driver. When a person is intoxicated with alcohol, they are diagnosed with temporary defects, but there is also a chance of developing disorders; some of which may or may not be curable. Including various sources from experts, Kramer and Sprauge analyze the whole overview of alcohol. “Psychiatrists also link alcohol abuse to disorders such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial behavior extending to ODD”. These are just a few of the disorders that alcohol abusers likely develop. These disorders cause the drinker to experience unwanted changes in their life, such as, depression. Alcohol abuse can cause depression. Most times, it isn’t a true depression, rather a depression caused by the user’s need for alcohol. This can lead to extremes. Depression in any case can lead to suicide. Therefore, psychiatrists often link alcohol abuse to suicide. Although there are a lot more problems such as, liver cancer and brain diseases, these are just a portion of the problems which alcohol can inflict on the body.
In addition to the affects which alcohol can have on the drinker, alcohol can also put surrounding civilians at risk. People can be affected by drunk driving through injuries caused by alcohol.  Drunk driving is a huge problem in today’s society. More people everyday are choosing to ignore the side affects that alcohol has on them when they drink, and instead are making the choice to go behind the wheel. As stated above, how is one suppose to drive with blurred vision and unreliable reasoning? This is the reason for most of drunk driving deaths. The drinker believes that he or she is capable of driving a vehicle when really; they can’t even walk in a straight line. As stated from an article provided by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “Those with blood alcohol levels above .10, she points out, cause more than 80% of the drunk driving deaths” (Griffin).  In conclusion, drunk driving caused many innocent people to lose their lives by others who were driving with more than the legal BAC. When someone kills another while driving drunk, they are charged with homicide. Homicide is what drunk driving is and it needs to stop. When talking about how alcohol consumption can lead to sexual assault, it is necessary to state that in sexual assault cases; it only takes one person to have consumed alcohol in order for this to happen; although if both people are consuming alcohol the risk is just as much. When a person is consuming alcohol, they are more likely to inflict sexual assault on a person as opposed to when they aren’t consuming alcohol. From an article professionally written by doctors who have masters in psychology, health, and alcohol related topics; it discusses the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault. “Heavy alcohol consumption also has been linked to sexual assault perpetration” (McAuslan). Sexual assault is just another form of how alcohol can put surrounding civilians at risk. As well as causing sexual assault, and deaths resulting from drunk driving, alcohol can also cause violence. An article composed by the principal of a research institute and a research professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo, both whom agree that alcohol can lead to violence, state that “Alcohol consumption was related to the risk of injury. Among men who became involved in a violent bar event, the more drinks they consumed, the more severe injury to themselves as well as to the other person involved” (Quigley and Leonard). What can be concluded from this statement is that the more intoxicated the person was, the more injury which resulted. Sexual assault, drink driving, and violence, are all ignited by the use of alcohol.
Alcohol can have many affects on adults; it can also affect teenagers as well. Alcohol has a negative impact on youth. It is the most commonly abused drug among children and teenagers. This abuse is commonly linked to a casual factor in mental disorders in teens. Alcohol causes health concerns to young adults but also creates social problems among youth. Kramer and Sprague, two experts, inform us of the many changes alcohol can bring to alcohol using youth. “Persistent use of alcohol despite negative effects such as citations for drunk driving, quarrels with parents, declining academic achievement, related health concerns, and regularly getting drunk”. Alcohol is considered a likely factor when social problems such as those occur. From an article written by over 10 doctors, experts state that “Adolescent alcohol involvement itself can disrupt social and emotional development as well as interfere with academic progress” (Murphy). Since many teenagers are not fully done growing, when they abuse alcohol, it causes many problems. When it comes to some problems such as social problems, teenagers don’t have full control over their emotions. Once they abuse alcohol, they receive all the same side affects that adults do, except teenagers receive them twice as hard. With this being said, it is obvious to conclude that alcohol takes over the mind of a teenager, and influences certain behavior which the teenage drinker cannot critically think through because alcohol impairs reasoning. As well as affecting a teenager’s reasoning; alcohol can also influence violent behavior. The American Journal or public health expresses the research that has been found by three doctors. All of them conclude that alcohol use is linked to violent behavior. “For example, some researchers have found that early alcohol use predicts later violent behavior” (Xin, Zimmerman, and Cunningham). Paradoxically, the same three authors also state in their article that “Early violent behavior predicts later alcohol use”. With the increased violence that alcohol influences on youth only comes trouble. This violent influence can lead to a life of crime in the future of youth. Both of the statements by Xin, Zimmerman, and Cunningham directly prove the negative impact which alcohol takes on youth. Ranging from trouble at home, to trouble at school, to trouble with the law, alcohol really does negatively influence the life of adolescents.
In addition to implying a negative influence on teenagers, alcohol can lead people to commit abuse, murder, and suicide. Suicide by definition is a type of murder. It is the murdering of oneself. A murder involves the taking away of life from someone. In suicide cases, the victim took his/her own life away, therefore classifying itself as a murder crime. As was stated previously, alcohol eventually steers people to suicide. Mr. Clark, director of CSAT, reports the data that was found concluding alcohol as a factor among suicide victims. “CSAT director H. Westley Clark, M.D., M.P.H., told ADAW last week that the new data, showing among other factors that nearly 1 of 4 suicide victims who were tested were legally intoxicated” (“CSAT head”).  This is not an exaggeration. Proof indicates that increasingly more suicide victims are found to have alcohol intoxication inside of their system. Eliminating alcohol could reduce the rate of suicide victims. With all the other problems alcohol causes, the last thing our country needs for alcohol to lead people to suicide. Some people may argue that alcohol doesn’t influence suicidal behavior. However, the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University argues that alcohol does lead to suicide in an excerpt from Gabrielle D. Jones, PhD. “Intoxication resulting from alcohol use often immediately precedes suicidal behavior. The results of this study suggests that adolescents who attempt suicide use greeted amounts of drugs and alcohol than adolescents who do not”. This is another study that agrees in the correlation of alcohol and suicide. It explains that in a study, adolescents who attempted suicide used more alcohol than those who did not. By taking away alcohol, attempted suicide rates could fall because all those who are alcohol drinkers tempted to inflict suicide upon them won’t have that thought anymore. Child abuse is another type of behavior that alcohol can influence. Child abuse is a crime that hundreds of kids suffer from. It is a crime that may caused by multiple factors. One of those factors is alcohol. Widom and Hiller point out that alcohol and child abuse are in fact related, “Child abuse is one of the many types of violence associated with alcohol use and abuse”. Many alcoholic parents take their anger tolls out on their kids. This isn’t fair to the kids but unfortunately many cannot do anything about this, although the government can. The government can help lower the amount of child abuse by banning alcohol. In fact, the government can help lower the amount of child abuse, suicide, and murder by banning alcohol.
Besides the fact that alcohol influences murder, suicide, and child abuse, it is also a prevailing problem in the military. Alcohol isn’t only a problem in the bodies of drinkers, but the diseases that it brings cost the government extra money. Plus, the goal of the military is to protect our country and they can’t possibly do their job while drinking alcohol. In the military, it is fairly to easy drink alcohol and not get in trouble. Many people in the force drink, and the easy accessibility to obtain alcohol does not help its case. Genevieve Ames and Carol Cunradi, both research scientists, explain how alcohol is a difficulty for soldiers, “Heavy alcohol use is a significant problem in the military. The easy availability of alcohol, ritualized drinking opportunities, and inconsistent policies contribute to a work culture that facilitates heavy and binge drinking in this population”. Alcohol weakens the goal of the military meanwhile creating unhealthy relationships. The standardized comparisons of the use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes among military personnel and civilians from the American Journal of Public Health, a journal which addresses the health problems of American states that,
“Alcohol misuse, non medical drug use, and cigarette use can have negative effects on the health, social life, family relationships, and work performance of users. Although these negative effects can occur within all segments of society, they may be especially serious for United States military personnel who have the unique mission to protect and defend the nation” (Bray, Marsden, and Peterson).
In addition to affecting the direct mission of the military, alcohol in the military causes health problems. Some soldiers may use alcohol as a relief from the battle they may take part in, but in reality it only brings problematic sicknesses which in no way help the army, but rather, increase illness among their population. A news agency urgently reports, “The army was hit hardest by the most common and long-lasting problems-- post traumatic stress disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol dependence, and substance dependence” (“Growing US Soldiers”). As mentioned earlier, alcohol costs the government to spend extra and extraneous money on soldiers who suffer from alcohol related illnesses. Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly states, “The costs break down to $425 million on illness related to alcohol use” (“Military concerned”). In the state of the American economy, one thing the government should be trying to do is save money and limit the expenses of healthcare; instead they are practically forced to pay over four-hundred million dollars on soldiers in the military who have alcohol problems. Alcohol is a severe problem in the military today.
Alcohol is more than just an ordinary beverage. For many people, it carries connotations of sociability and satisfactory taste, but it also has many harmful consequences. All over the world, alcohol takes a terrifying sum of lives and communities. Alcohol's consequences weigh more than any of its positives. Drinking this liquid can ruin the lives of the users as well as the lives of young adults, and innocent people. These are just few of the reasons as to why alcohol should be banned. Just like the founder of "Mothers Against Drunk Driving", Candy Lightner whose daughter was killed at only 13 said, “Don't wait until someone you love loses their life to alcohol.”

The author's comments:
What inspired me to write this piece is the overwhelmingly increase in the use of alcohol in society.

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Lightworker said...
on Dec. 6 2016 at 11:27 pm
Thank you for posting this. I have consumed alcohol before and yeah, (at times, not a lot) I self-medicated because some issues I had. I told myself, "It's ok, I'm 21." Sometimes I did use it as a crutch because of some issues I had with social anxiety and sometimes I would say things and be loud. But I looked back and saw that this was not something that I needed to live and enjoy life. It blows my mind how much of our culture is built around alcohol consuption. There is no difference in my opinion from someone who is a social, casual drinker to someone who is an "alcoholic." To me anyone who drinks regardless of the amount is an alcoholic. It is not something anyone needs and I wish more people were aware of this. It kills more people in the world than any other drug COMBINED and it seems that is not something that anyone wants to take heed of. There is so much more to life than getting drunk.


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