Bars are one of our cultural staples in North America. Bars are virtually in every town and city in North America, save for within religious communities. As widespread as they are, they have always been somewhat controversial and heavily regulated by the government and by society in general. The reason for this is humanity’s relationship with alcohol – a truly complicated relationship in every sense of the word.
This condition is not a recent one. The alcoholic beverage mead is one of the oldest known beverages in human history. Long before the filtration of drinking water was established, people were drinking mead and wine as their primary beverages because its fermentation process made it free of bacteria. In the Bible and in books that predate it, there is mention of drunkards and drunken behavior. Alcoholism is historically a very old trend to humanity.
Bars, taverns and pubs have served as havens for alcoholics for centuries. They have also served as places to find community in many ways as well. Bars are certainly not all bad, and have been the site of many joyous occasions, celebrations and moments through out history. But they have also served to spawn addictive tendencies and have attracted alcoholics for many years. Commonly referred to as “bar flies,” some people wrap their identity around the bar scene, or even around one particular bar. They are unable to balance their life and moderate their time drinking, and devote an overwhelming majority of their spare time to a bar and to alcohol consumption. At the root of alcoholism is a lifetime of psychological problems, which require deep cognitive behavioral reevaluation and often times professional treatment to defeat. Bars are certainly not to blame for alcoholism. But it is very certain that they trigger alcoholism tendencies.
The problem of alcoholism is deeply rooted within humanity, and is in many ways an indication of mental unhealthiness. It cannot be eliminated, but progressing as a society toward mental health and moderation is an ongoing necessity.