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The First Prohibition of Alcohol: Religious Temperance and Nativism Ban Drinking

Most Americans know that the prohibition of alcohol was a historic aberration from the 1920s and 1930s. Americans know much less about the prohibition era of the 1850s when thirteen states passed “dry” laws.

Religious Temperance

The crusaders of the 1840s and 1850s wanted government to take the lead in enforcing their religious agenda. They also organized themselves into large national organizations like the American Temperance Society. That the various temperance societies were able to become as large and powerful as they did is a testament to the passion of their rank-and-file membership. By 1836, the American Temperance Society claimed 1.5 million members, 10 percent of the country’s total population. The Society campaigned hard, telling employers that alcohol made workers less productive and telling women that alcohol made their husbands less reliable.

Technology Forwards the Prohibitionist Cause

Simultaneously, cities improved their drinking water, making it safer and better tasting. Previously, urban water sources were polluted and unhealthy. In New York, for example, many people drank spirits because the local water supply was so foul. Then New York began bringing water in from Croton, forty miles away, via a newly constructed aqueduct. A combination of the religious zeal and technological improvements helped the “cold water warriors” make headway. By 1845, Americans drank only about one quarter the amount of alcohol as 15 years earlier. Nevertheless, there was no sign that the state governments were preparing to impose and enforce prohibition.

Nativism as a Political Force

In the late 1840s, world events gave evangelical prohibitionists the answer to their literal prayers. A failed revolution in Germany and the Potato Famine in Ireland brought immigrants from those two countries to America. Both groups were known for their drinking habits. With the influx of hard drinking immigrants, the prohibitionists had what twenty-first century political analysts would have called “an issue.” Temperance became a patriotic issue. Germans and Irish were viewed as foreign and un-American. They lived in ethnic communities, celebrated different holidays, and flew their native flags.

The reactionary response came in the form of the American Party, or the Know-Nothings. The Know-Nothings were a political party whose platform was based completely on nativism, the mistrust of foreigners. They latched onto prohibition as a way to show the cultural differences between immigrants and natives and also as a way to shut down the Irish tavern and German biergartens, which had become key to incipient immigrant politics. The Know-Nothings’ apogee came in 1855, when they had six Governors elected.

The First Prohibition

The combination of well-organized religious enthusiasm and nativism was enough to gain what the prohibitionists sought. Maine was the first state to enact prohibition, in 1851. Finally, the people who worked so hard to stop the evils of drinking in America had a victory.

From 1852 to 1855, 12 more states passed prohibition laws. Not coincidentally, this time period matched precisely with the time in which the Know-Nothings enjoyed their rapid rise. In every state where the Know-Nothings gained a measure of power, a prohibition law was passed. The Know-Nothings and their nativist, prohibitionist message seemed to be gathering momentum, but events overcame them. We know that there was very little in the way of education of what alcoholism was or how to treat it. Certainly there was no “cure” for it as some people claim pills like Antabuse and others are.

The Civil War and the End of Prohibition

The idea of a unified, culturally monolithic America could not survive the Civil War. The Northern armies were reliant on immigrants to achieve the numerical superiority necessary to win the war, and once the Irish became comrades in arms it was difficult to demonize them. Moreover, the army followed in the tradition of American armies, and drank to excess. This helped revive the drinking culture, and lead to the repeal of prohibition in all but three New England states. Even there, it was largely ignored by the drinking masses. The Civil War ended the first era of prohibition in American history.

How To Help An Addicted Loved One

When you care about someone, and they ask for your help, it is important that you take a step towards a positive direction. The same can be told about somebody that you love that is addicted to drugs. The first step for recovery of a person addicted to drugs would be to ask for help, and that is something that is noteworthy. As a person close to the affected one, it is important for you to convince the person to get themselves to a rehab center or at least get proper evaluation from a medical practitioner.

There are various steps that can be taken in order to help a person get the proper recovery from drug addiction. If you need more expertise in the subject, there are over 4000 certified physicians in the United States alone that deals with addiction related issues. Contact one of them from the many classified websites as well as Yellow Pages that you have at your disposal. Each and every one of them would be more than helpful in taking care of the drug addicted person in their own, medically sanctioned manner. For further help, you can get in touch with the American Society for addiction. There are a lot of knowledgeable people in that forum, people that can give you a push in the right direction to help your drug addicted friend recover.

As a person willing to help out your loved one, it is also important that you conduct research and background check on your own in terms of the rehab centers. After all, there are always going to be a few treatment centers that may not go down well with the people being treated in those establishments. Most of them may adopt orthodox means of treatment that may not go well with the current generation of drug addicts. So, you have to walk a fine line, and ensure that you can actually conduct your own research to find out compatible drug treatment center.

If possible, go through the various helplines put out by such drug addict but centers and get to know about their rehab programs. That would be the first step to understanding whether the treatment center is something that would be of any help to your loved one. It is also important for you to search a treatment center that is near your house or near to the residence of your loved one. This way, friends and family can visit the person in order to provide moral support and courage in the face of such crushing de-addiction treatments.

Wherever treatment centers are concerned, it is important for you to understand if the people are experienced enough and they perform their daily duties towards the addicted patient. There are various specialists that can also be found in such treatment programs. Have a talk with them, and understand their prospective treatment program that can help out your loved one.

The initial courage to get into the rehab facility is with the addicted person, the rest lies upon the courage that you show towards helping out a person that is close to you.


Alcohol & Substance Abuse Teach Us 6 Big Life Lessons

In soberness, we learn numerous lessons that can be applied in all areas of our lives.

At any moment, we could make adjustments and select going forward to live a brand new life. Our day-to-day activities will teach us that the present days cannot eliminate our dark past. However, it will assist us to create a brand-new life, packed with the feeling of love and belonging. Your new you can start with eating healthier so to pivot from a previous addiction.

Reaching out for assistance is evidence of toughness, never a weak point.

Having the ability to say, “I require help” is a big sign of strength. Our dependencies often stay in the dark edges and silence is most of the time dangerous for those in soberness. Having the ability to reach out and ask for guidance is the most effect way to give in and eliminate the struggles that have caused burdens in our lives.

We always have a choice.

We can pick today to make ourselves wasteful or we choose to remain sober. Regardless of the intensity of the “desire” that we have, we have options. We should connect with others for assistance and make use of our coping skills to keep away from that damaging “desire.” Whether you are coming off the most dangerous drug to be addicted to, or you are coming off a low grad marijuana addiction, you have a choice to make every day.

Relationships can be difficult.

Sobriety is an obstacle. If we remain in to be with people, who show us that substance dependence is fine, our characteristics may soon transform into our darker selves. If we start to connect with the right people, we will be able to focus on our very own recovery, more than anything else. Remember, it takes a lot of maturity in developing borders, creating lines of communication, and establishing emotional guidelines in battles. One of the main battlegrounds with building real relationships. Most people are plugged into their smart phones and neglect interacting with actual people. However there are 5 Ways Technology Can Help You Over Come Your Addiction, which is really worth reading.

Recovering requires time.

Soberness is simply the initial step in the healing journey. A great deal of the job is done after we heal and obtain complete soberness. We have to accept that it takes time. And through looking for professional support, learning new healthy and balanced coping skills can help us achieve a healthier way of living. We need a plan in order to get rid of your addiction.

Offering assistance to others provides comfort.

With sobriety and recuperation, we learn to give back through offering support for those who also require help. To many, healing starts with sharing experiences with those that also go through the same road as them. Sharing gives hope to others that healing is possible.

Live one day at a time.

Life could frequently be frustrating. However, if we focus on today, it helps keep life manageable. Also, if we think of today and do our best from now on, it makes life so much more bearable. An entire life of soberness could relieve all the past frustrations. Sooner, life will be more worth living.

Learning a lot of lessons through the years of battling with substance dependency is one of the greatest things that we will discover throughout the ordeal. On a daily basis, we meet people and discover situations that show us what is the most important. Eventually, the lessons will teach that sobriety is an opportunity to grow and find opportunities to live a healthier and meaningful life.

Ways To Get Rid Of Or Recover From Drug Addiction

Whoever says that getting rid of the habit is easy enough, has not been addicted to drugs. You not only require a lot of courage and strong determination, but you need to watch yourself going through the grind of withdrawal symptoms and still want to see the end of the tunnel. It is the recovery phase which is pretty hard for most people to understand, and that is where lies the sole determination of a person in getting rid of drug addiction. Below are some of the methods that can be used to recover from drug addiction.

  1. Go for a holiday to a country that does not have any drug circulation. Countries like Philippines, Cambodia, and a few other Middle East countries that are pretty strict when it comes to the usage of drugs can help you to get rid of the drugs in your system without any new drugs getting into your body. It could be a form of detoxification where you will be able to enjoy the beauty, the sights and sounds of the city while at the same time forgetting all about drugs. After an entire day of travel, you would be tired enough in order to go to sleep or have a whole some meal and chat with the people that are on the trip with you. You need to get rid of the thought of having drugs at every opening an opportunity that you get and a visit to such places will definitely help you out.
  2. Try and go for extra jobs, jobs that can make you sweat excessively. You need not bother about your educational qualification; you could be a PhD, and still go for a job that involves lifting crates in the warehouse. What this does is to detoxify your body, and also ensure that all your free time which would otherwise be spent on drug usage is now used for your second of the job. You might not need the money, but this activity is going to help you to kick off the drug addiction pretty fast by controlling the urge to take drugs.
  3. Take to religion, and understand about the ethics and the social benefits and values that it brings to your life. Get engrossed in the religious texts, and visit the holy establishments to understand more about God and the meaning of life. You can start by reading books, watching documentaries, and remembering to practice all the teachings in your daily life. What this does is to inculcate values that help you to fight against drug addiction, and helps you to lead a path to purity.
  4. Do not go for Gateway addiction like smoking and drinking in order to numb the pain due to the deficiency of drugs in your body. It would be like jumping from a frying pan into the fire. Get rid of all kinds of bad habits from your life at a single go, and you will find that you can lead a healthy life without the need for any vices.