Alcoholic beverages seem to have been around as long as humans themselves. They have been a part of the standard diets of civilizations since prehistoric times and used for everything from personal hygiene, medicinal remedies and recreation to artistic inspiration, aphrodisiacs, religious worship and mystic ritual.
The god of wine portrayed
in "Bacchus" by Caravaggio
The Greeks and Romans worshiped Dionysus (also called Bacchus) as the god of drink and merriment. Alcohol is also essential to other religious traditions, such as the Christian Eucharist and the Jewish Passover.
Alcohol is engrained in human culture and society.
However, there are many governments and religious groups who regulate, restrict, and even forbid the consumption of alcohol for its negative effects. Excessive consumption of alcohol lead to a chemical dependency and damages bodily processes and organs. Also, the impacts of alcohol on judgement, ability, and health have lead to over 105,000 alcohol-related deaths per year in the United States alone, according to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency. As of the year 2000, alcohol consumption is No. 3 cause of death in the United States, after Tobacco and poor diet.
Therefore, it is important to examine the risks and the benefits of this substance that has such strong impact on the lives of people around the world. Where do we draw the line between what is food for us and what is bad for us? Is alcohol truly a tonic or a toxin?
This Web site will explore the risks and the benefits of alcohol consumption in an attempt to inform, educate, and encourage people to drink responsibily. Then everyone can freely drink to their health!