Parent Testimonials Video

The History of Alcohol

The Very Beginning of Alcohol

Talking about alcohol is very long and completed because of its rich and long history and the effects that the history of alcohol has had on the current society of not just America but many, many different countries and cultures.

We currently know that alcohol is extremely old and the apparition of it is remote in history. Paleolithic paintings have been found of mixed fermented honey and water. This has always been considered to be the first alcohol in the human era.

In the pyramid of Sakkara in Egypt texts were found from the year 4000 BC in which beer was mentions. Egyptians had stipulated the intake of three breads and two jars of beer for scholars and academics. Additionally Egyptians knew about wine and managed its commerce and trade.

In the Bible alcohol is mentioned abundantly both in Genesis and The New Testament in which Jesus is described as having converted water into wine.

For the Greek, the inventor of wine was Dionysius. He was named the God of wine. Dionysian parties would be celebrated at night with wine intake and dancing. In both classic Greek works The Iliad and The Odyssey wine and its effects are spoken about.

The Romans were the first to make laws regarding the cultivation and trade of vines. Romans also had a god of wine named Baco. Baco was honored with parties in which there would always be a great amount of people. These parties lent themselves to disasters and riots.

In the year 800 the Middle East finally discovered the distillation of wine and in turn managed to make drinks with higher content alcohol.

Alcohol: The Middle Ages and The Renaissance

During the Middle Ages wine was controlled mostly by the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason monasteries were trade centers for wine, particularly in France. These monasteries also produced other liqueurs which could be used medicinally.

In the 17th century the industrial commercialization of wine started with traders finding different transportation techniques that allowed for them to carry the alcohol without the risk of it being ruined.

The Commercialization of Alcohol

During the 18th and 19th century a completely new product was introduced to market: distilled wines. These increased the value of alcohol considerably along with its commercialization. Therefore, use of alcohol boomed around this time. As an aside, the distilling of drinks made with grains is the origin of whisky both Scottish and American.

With the industrial revolution in full swing and the discovery of Pasteur concerning the chemical reactions that are produced or can cause fermentation called microorganisms, the use and custom of drinking wine increased at the same time that producing techniques, transport and production. In the year 1881 the working class in the United Kingdom spent 14% of their income on alcohol. Comparatively they spent 11.8% on meet and 8.8% on bread.

The Start of Dry Law and Prohibition

Dry Law was introduced in The United States of America and was subsequently promulgated in the year 1918. This was a law prohibited the constitutional use and distribution of alcoholic drinks with an alcohol content higher than 0.5%. This constitutional law caused, in turn, the increase in mafia gangs in big cities like New York and the clandestine use of alcohol.

Prohibition started in 1919 and was a national ban on selling, producing, manufacturing and transporting alcohol. Prohibition ended on the year 1933.

Alcoholism and Drug Dependency in History

Alcohol has always been a difficult and controversial topic since the days of colonial America. In the mid 1600's Massachusetts forbid the sale of strong liquor.

Although alcohol was not illegal in other places informal community rules made sure that individuals knew that the overuse of alcohol was not acceptable. If these community rules were not sufficient at the time then the community could always turn towards the law.

The first scientist to point out that the excessive use of alcohol had psychological and physical consequences was Doctor Benjamin Rush in the year 1784. This idea spread to many places in several different states. This lead to temperance groups which were formed in several states. People whom were part of this group aimed for a way to restrict the sales of alcohol. Some temperance groups supported full prohibition. At the time it was different for men and women: although many men liked to and drank often women were expected to refrain from doing so. They had to reject alcohol because it was considered by some organizations as a threat against the home and the family.

In the year 1830 most Americans drank about two bottles of hard alcohol per week. That is about triple what was consumed in the year 2010.

Where is Alcohol Today?

Currently alcohol is highly linked to recreational activities and leisure time. Consuming wine has been substituted by beer and traditional drinks like cognac, whisky, rum and gin tend to be mixed with fizzy drinks before they are consumed.

In the year 2010 the countries that consumed most beer per capita were the Czech Republic with 158.6 liters, Ireland with 131.1 liters, Germany with 110 liters, Austria with 108 liters and The United Kingdom with 99 liters. The United States of America currently occupies the 13th spot of the most consuming per capita with 81.6 liters. Some of the countries that have the statistics of the least consuming of alcohol are India with 2.33 liters, Sri lank with 2.45 liters, Uganda with 6 liters, Tanzania with 8.4 liters and Uzbekistan with 11 liters.

Alcohol Dependence

Currently about 12% of Americans are likely to have had some sort of alcohol dependence problem in their life. Alcohol dependency is based on research conducted in the mid 1970s by Griffith Edwards and Milton M Gross in which they replaced what had been previously named and stigmatized as alcoholism as alcohol dependent syndrome.

Seven elements are present when it comes to alcohol dependence syndrome but not all of these must be present for alcohol dependency to be there. It was also considered to be divided into different degrees.

People who are alcohol dependent should know that there is plenty of help out there for them to be able to give it up.