Essay on Alcohol Usage Should Be Controlled
Our society had gone from condemning the behaviors of alcohol users to condemning the substance itself. Many believe that the Temperance movement only brought about restrictions, regulations, and laws specific to alcohol.
But other chemical substances came under attack. 1914 marked the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act. The Harrison Narcotics Act made marijuana and narcotic drugs illegal. Prior to this, many 3dangerous” narcotic drugs were commonly found in patent medicines, elixirs, and even Coca-Cola.
Narcotics use was no longer seen as a respectable behavior, and “drug users” also fell into the criminal element. While the 18th Amendment was a short-lived endeavor, the Harrison Act was the beginning of a long-term government campaign – and an American trend – of punitive approaches to narcotics use. Most people in the drug and alcohol field point to laws and regulations such as Prohibition and the Harrison Narcotics Act as the first national attempt at substance abuse prevention.
The methods used to prevent substance use and abuse were primarily regulatory. There are four modes of legal regulation:
1) to establish the conditions under which a potentially harmful substance is available;
2) to regulate the flow of information and messages regarding the target behavior;
3) to influence consumer behavior through the imposition of sanctions or punishments for undesired behavior or through other devices which establish incentives for desired behaviors, and
4) to symbolize and express the official governmental view of the behavior. However, the eventual demise of the 18th Amendment, and the Temperance movement in general, and the flagrant breaking of the law which took place during the 1920s pointed out that regulations alone will not prevent substance abuse.
When one group tries to impose morality on other divergent groups, the enforcement of that ideology will be met with strong resistance and the development of means to evade the. People see such regulations as implying arbitrary judgment favoring one drug over another, which leads to contempt and lawlessness.