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A Brief History of Alcohol in America

1600’s Alcohol Brought to America

Alcohol was first brought into America in the early 1600’s. The alcohol that was brought here came from the Caribbean and was believed to be rum. The American’s living here believed it was a gift from the god’s and they often drank from morning to night.

One of the reasons early American’s drank from morning to night was due to unsanitary water, so the people would drink a wide variety of beers, gin, rum, wine, whiskey, and cider to avoid getting dysentery.

It is believed that during Paul Revere’s midnight ride he stopped at a tavern in Medford, Massachusetts and drank rum.


Alcohol had seemed to be one representation of freedom in America however alcohol abuse was not accepted and in 1789 temperance groups attempted to educate Americans on abstinence and moderation.

It was a failed attempt and in the early 1800’s the average American was drinking approximately 7.1 gallons of booze a year.


By the 1900’s alcohol was getting a really bad rap and this was when Prohibition would occur, which would legally ban the making and use of alcohol.

During Prohibition there would be underground distilleries that would make and sell booze. Prohibition ultimately failed by 1933.


Today 85.6 % of people over 18 are current drinkers and over 10,000 people died as a result of drunk driving in 2019, plus over a million were pulled over for being under the influence.

55% of domestic abuse cases are related to alcohol consumption.

30% of divorces are because of one of the partners abusing alcohol.

There is also a strong link between alcohol and suicide.

While these facts are indeed disturbing there is still hope for those who drink alcohol and have a desire to stop.

There are many supportive online communities easily accessible these days for those looking for a better way of life. Plus, traditional AA, or Smart Recovery.

Please consult with your doctor prior to starting a recovery program if you are concerned about withdrawal or DT’s (delirium tremens).

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