In Britain, overnight sales of alcohol lead to a doubling of alcohol related hospital visits.

In response to epidemic levels of binge drinking, disorderly conduct and violence, Britain changed its liquor licensing rules and in November 2005 started to allow the sale of liquor virtually around the clock.

The ideation was that if there was no enforced closure of sales, people would not drink quite so heavily in the period leading up to the previously mandated closing times, and there would be a lesser influx each night of intoxicated people onto the streets at the same time. It sounds sensible in theory, and I don’t know whether crime, violence and disorderly conduct were reduced as a result or not, but one unexpected consequence of the legislative change was that overnight emergency room visits and overnight hospital stays due to alcohol consumption almost doubled in response.

It seems that by increasing the availability of alcohol, people continued to drink more heavily into the night, and a far greater number of people in fact drank to the point that they needed hospitalization. While violence and alcohol always go hand in hand, America has not had the same type of public conduct and violence problems at closing time as Britain has had, and America may want to consider reducing access to alcohol as a way to reduce the number of people who drink alcohol to the point of personal harm each and every night.

If the alcohol runs out, and there is nowhere to buy it, well that’s it for the night for the most part. A seasoned and experienced drunk can always find a bottle, but by reducing access to alcohol, we may be able to reduce the harm done on the population as a whole.

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In response to epidemic levels of binge drinking, disorderly conduct and violence, Britain changed its liquor licensing rules and in November 2005 started to allow the sale of liquor virtually around the clock.

The ideation was that if there was no enforced closure of sales, people would not drink quite so heavily in the period leading up to the previously mandated closing times, and there would be a lesser influx each night of intoxicated people onto the streets at the same time. It sounds sensible in theory, and I don’t know whether crime, violence and disorderly conduct were reduced as a result or not, but one unexpected consequence of the legislative change was that overnight emergency room visits and overnight hospital stays due to alcohol consumption almost doubled in response.

It seems that by increasing the availability of alcohol, people continued to drink more heavily into the night, and a far greater number of people in fact drank to the point that they needed hospitalization. While violence and alcohol always go hand in hand, America has not had the same type of public conduct and violence problems at closing time as Britain has had, and America may want to consider reducing access to alcohol as a way to reduce the number of people who drink alcohol to the point of personal harm each and every night.

If the alcohol runs out, and there is nowhere to buy it, well that’s it for the night for the most part. A seasoned and experienced drunk can always find a bottle, but by reducing access to alcohol, we may be able to reduce the harm done on the population as a whole.

If only the war on drugs became the war on drug addiction!

I hate drugs. I mean, I love them too, but mostly I hate them; and I certainly hate the pain and suffering and heartbreak that they cause for so many. If you can name a drug…I’ve probably tried it, and although I was always mostly a boozer, and by the end that’s all I was, I’ve had lots of friends lose their personal battles to drugs, and a few of them are in jail, and a few of them are gone; and but for the grace of God I could be with them.

I was no better or worse than those that lost their battles, and they were all human in the same ways that all of us are. They had their strengths, their kindnesses, their petty weaknesses and character flaws…but not one of them was a truly bad person, and not one of them deserves what they got.

Give People a Chance to Do Right

I am currently a fairly well regarded and upstanding citizen; a family man, a member of my Rotary Club and someone who tries to do a little more good than bad each day. Not perfect, but basically good. Yet I’ve done bad things, and I am certainly guilty of the same crimes that leave some of my friends imprisoned, and the same crimes that leave some of my friends dead. I don’t know why I made it and they didn’t, and although I credit my family for getting me the help I needed, I can’t help but feel that the difference between me and them was basically a flip of the coin of fate, and that our situations could easily be reversed.

For this reason, the massive war on drugs gives me chills. I hate drugs, but I hate to see the people already suffering from drugs punished more than they need be. People seem to have no sympathy for the unfortunates addicted to drugs…until those unfortunates become their sons, or sisters or their wives; and then things change, and then they understand. And while I would never wish the pain of addiction on any family,

I would wish the clarity of understanding on everyone in this country so our misguided war on drugs could be transformed into something positive and good. If only the billions spent on incarceration became billions spent on educations and treatment…how much better would our country be?

I hate drugs. I mean, I love them too, but mostly I hate them; and I certainly hate the pain and suffering and heartbreak that they cause for so many. If you can name a drug…I’ve probably tried it, and although I was always mostly a boozer, and by the end that’s all I was, I’ve had lots of friends lose their personal battles to drugs, and a few of them are in jail, and a few of them are gone; and but for the grace of God I could be with them.

I was no better or worse than those that lost their battles, and they were all human in the same ways that all of us are. They had their strengths, their kindnesses, their petty weaknesses and character flaws…but not one of them was a truly bad person, and not one of them deserves what they got.

Give People a Chance to Do Right

I am currently a fairly well regarded and upstanding citizen; a family man, a member of my Rotary Club and someone who tries to do a little more good than bad each day. Not perfect, but basically good. Yet I’ve done bad things, and I am certainly guilty of the same crimes that leave some of my friends imprisoned, and the same crimes that leave some of my friends dead. I don’t know why I made it and they didn’t, and although I credit my family for getting me the help I needed, I can’t help but feel that the difference between me and them was basically a flip of the coin of fate, and that our situations could easily be reversed.

For this reason, the massive war on drugs gives me chills. I hate drugs, but I hate to see the people already suffering from drugs punished more than they need be. People seem to have no sympathy for the unfortunates addicted to drugs…until those unfortunates become their sons, or sisters or their wives; and then things change, and then they understand. And while I would never wish the pain of addiction on any family,

I would wish the clarity of understanding on everyone in this country so our misguided war on drugs could be transformed into something positive and good. If only the billions spent on incarceration became billions spent on educations and treatment…how much better would our country be?