How Did Prohibition Affect People's Health

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On January 16, 1919 the eighteenth amendment was passed. This amendment prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States” (U.S. Constitution, Section 1) On midnight of January 16, 1920 the eighteenth amendment took affect which was the beginning of the time period commonly known as the Prohibition. The Volstead Act supplemented the amendment by also forbidding the bartering, delivering, furnishing, or possession of any intoxicating liquor. This act also defined intoxicating liquors as containing more than 0.5% alcohol. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act but congress overrode his veto the very same day. By prohibiting…show more content…
Although the intention was good prohibition actually negatively affected the populations’ health because they turned to hard liquor instead of beer. While the supply of alcohol drastically decreased the demand remained the same. Due to the ban on importing or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages in the U.S, it became more difficult to get beverages containing lower amounts of alcohol (e.g. Beer and wine) while getting hard liquor became easier because it was easier to manufacture and smuggle across borders into the country. The higher alcohol content in hard liquor was more effective for getting drunk yet it also took its toll on the population’s health. Prohibition also created a large amount of bootleggers and moonshiners that were producing home made alcohol that was not always safe to drink. People also tried to get alcohol from sources that were still available and legitimate such as alcohol that was produced for medical, industrial and ceremonial purposes. People even attempted to get alcohol by trying to filter the alcohol out of antifreeze. Many of these homemade alcohols contained much higher percentages of alcohol and they sometimes were unsafe to drink which led to several deaths during the prohibition. It is safe to say that there were no health benefits to the American people by outlawing alcohol. By outlawing…show more content…
One person by the name of John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1932 expressed how he was wrong about the outcome of implementing the ban on alcohol. He thought that alcohol was an unnecessary evil that would one day be recognized. He slowly came to realize that prohibition was not a success overall. The alcohol ban caused more to go wrong than anticipated. After prohibition had ended, all did not just go back to normal. The alcohol brewing industry in the United States saw only half of the existing breweries reopen, yet there was an introduction to the American Lager which is still largely known and enjoyed today. As far as the effects on the wine industry, the quality of the grape vines used for wine making greatly decreased to make them more easily transportable. The effects of prohibition are still seen today on the debate of the legal drinking age and the accessibility to drugs and alcohol. Alcohol consumption is not right or wrong, it is up to the individual to decide how they choose the live their

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