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Related: alcohol prohibition - drugs - Dionysus

Alcholism in fiction: Leaving Las Vegas (1991)

Bacchus (c. 1596) - Caravaggio
Bacchus (in ancient Greece known as Dionysus, is the god of wine.

Stereotypes of alcoholics are often found in fiction and popular culture. Common examples include the 'town drunk' or the portrayal of certain nationalities as alcoholics. In modern times, the recovery movement has led to more realistic depictions of problems that stem from heavy alcohol use. Authors such as Charles R. Jackson and Charles Bukowski describe their own alcohol addiction in their writings. Films like Days of Wine and Roses, My Name is Bill W, Leaving Las Vegas and Clean and Sober chronicle similar stories of alcoholism. [Dec 2006]

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages are drinks containing ethanol, popularly called alcohol.

Alcoholic beverages have been widely used since the remote antiquity by many civilizations around the world, as a component of the standard diet, for hygienic or medical reasons, for their relaxant and euphoric effects, for recreational purposes, artistic inspiration, as aphrodisiacs, and other reasons. Some have been invested with symbolic or religious significance suggesting the mystical use of alcohol, e.g. by Greek religion in the ecstatic rituals of Dionysus, god of wine; in the Christian Eucharist; and at the Jewish Passover.

However, some people are prone to developing a chemical dependency to alcohol, alcoholism. The results of alcoholism are considered a major health problem in many nations.

Frequent excessive consumption can harmfully interfere with the user's social and financial well-being. The neurological effects of alcohol use are often a factor in deadly motor vehicle accidents and fights. People under the influence of alcohol sometimes end up in dangerous or compromising situations where they would not remain if sober.

Some religions most notably Islam, Latter-day Saints and the Hinayanist schools of Buddhism, and some Protestant sects of Christianity forbid or discourage the consumption of alcoholic beverages for these and other reasons.

Most governments regulate or restrict the sale and use of alcohol. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_beverage [Feb 2005]

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