Date of this Version
Beverage alcohol use is common in almost all societies and has been for thousands of years. Societies that use alcohol have rituals and traditions that tend to regulate alcohol's negative effects and enhance its pleasurable effects. Modern alcohol production and marketing methods have tended to break down these traditional controls and encourage irresponsible use. In many western countries, irresponsible use of alcohol is associated with crime, violence, and disease. In particular, for adolescents, alcohol use is linked to automobile crashes, injuries, and deaths. Alcohol use is associated with so many deaths and injuries that most western countries now consider alcohol use a major public health problem.