Why Society is More Tolerant Toward Alcohol than Drugs

There is a long history of society being more tolerant of alcohol than other drugs. You can drink in a bar legally, and you can do so with other people around. You can’t sit at that same bar and light up a crack pipe, though, or the cops will show up in moments.

Society acknowledges that people can get into trouble with both drugs and alcohol. You can find an alcohol rehab program without much difficulty, and you can find a drug treatment program just as easily. Why is it that alcohol use is so accepted, though, while other drugs remain taboo?

It’s an interesting question and one we’ll attempt to answer in the following article.

Alcohol is Tame Compared to Other Drugs

One reason why alcohol is probably accepted by society more than some other drugs is that if you take a drink, or even several drinks, you recover from the effects relatively quickly.

We understand that humans want to cut loose a little when they’re done with the responsible tasks that society dictates they must accomplish. If you work all week, it’s socially acceptable to have a couple of beers on Friday night.

The worst that will probably happen is that you’ll feel a little hungover the following day if you went overboard. Many other drugs are harder to get over if you choose to indulge.

If you ingest LSD, for instance, you might have an introspective experience that will cause you to question everything you thought you knew. If you smoke meth, you’re liable to do something crazy, which is far less likely to happen if you drink a couple of beers.

The main takeaway is that alcohol is thought of as being relatively mild, while many other drugs are regarded as being more extreme.

Drugs Are Thought of as Being Countercultural

There’s also a countercultural aspect to many other drugs that is not there with alcohol. Alcohol is regarded as a blue-collar drug. A working person is due a beer at the end of their labors.

Many other drugs are thought of as being part of a countercultural movement that has existed for many decades. Think about the hippies during the 60s taking drugs to protest societal conventions. There is still sometimes an element of that which goes into the decision to ingest illicit drugs today.

Many Other Drugs Cause Fast, Serious Addiction

Alcohol is potentially addictive, just like most other drugs. However, many individuals can have the occasional drink without overindulging.

Most other addictive drugs can take hold of the user quickly and destroy their life if they’re not careful. Crack, coke, meth, and heroin are all examples. If you try one of these and find that you like it, your life can fall apart in a matter of weeks or months.

That’s not as likely with alcohol. Though it has plenty of possible adverse side effects, society continues to think of it as relatively mild, and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon.

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