The word alcohol is derived from the Arabic word meaning ‘the light’ and refers to the liquid in beer, wine and spirits which leads to people becoming drunk.
First discovered by an Arabian chemist, Alcohol is produced naturally as a result of the fermentation of almost any fruit or grain and was probably consumed by primitive peoples with probably comparable motives for doing so. It has been made by almost every group of people, in almost every society, using an enormous variety of substances ranging from honey and milk to rice and coconut palms. Egyptian writings dating back thousands of years, ancient chinese proverbs and early laws relating to alcohol abuse indicate that it was an integral part of everyday life and that its abuse was a cause for societal concern. Not only was its use widespread, but once it became part of the culture, it survived all attempts at prohibition. Prohibition has been trialed in more places than just the USA, for example in China, England, Russia, Finland and Iceland. All attempts at prohibition have failed.