Alcohol should be illegal because it is just as dangerous as any other drug. Alcoholism follows a characteristic course with known physical, psychological, and social symptoms. Once addicted, the alcoholic continues to consume alcohol despite the destructive consequences. While the particular symptoms and pattern of drinking problems may vary with the individual, the alcoholic can only regain control over his or her life by abstaining from the substance. Alcoholics who persist in their addictions endanger themselves as well as society.
Alcoholism is a major problem in the United States and throughout the world. In America alone there are an estimated ten million active alcoholics (Dulfano, 1992, p. 12). It is impossible to estimate the number of non-alcoholics affected by the disease. This number includes the battered spouses and children of alcoholics, the victims of drunk driving, and the employers whose alcoholic employees perform their work tasks with diminished capacity. A study in Great Britain revealed that the economic costs of medical bills, road accident damage, law enforcement expenses, unemployment and premature death related to alcohol amounts to an estimated 2.4 billion pounds per year (Economist, 1996, p. 22). In the United States, alcohol abuse has become the number one killer of teenagers, many of whom are killed by their own peers: "Nationally, six drunken teen drivers will kill somebody on a typical day" (Olinger, 1991, p. 122). Alcohol is one
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