What do we make of alcohol? In sufficient amounts, it’s a poison. It’s incredibly addictive. It destroys entire communities. It tears families apart and compels otherwise reasonable, upstanding individuals to commit terribly senseless acts.
On the other hand, it’s a powerful social lubricant. The good stuff tastes great and can enhance the healthfulness of certain foods while inhibiting the unhealthfulness of others. It’s fun, it’s pleasurable, and it brings real (if chemically enhanced) joy to people. Moreover, we have a long and storied history with alcohol. It’s been an integral part of human culture and society for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years.
So, what’s the deal? Is it good, or is it bad? Is it poison, or is it a gift? Let’s take a look at both sides of the story, which, as is often the case, isn’t exactly black and white.