Alcohol is everywhere.

Even though classed as a drug, it is legally available in every supermarket, corner shop and off licence in the country for anyone over a suitable age. It's a normal thing to see when shopping for food supplies or other items, displayed on shelves reachable by children, a part of everyday life that no one questions. But should it be?

When people hear the word ‘drug’ they often overlook things such as alcohol and name substances such as LSD, Cocaine and other illegal drugs. But shouldn't alcohol be classed as the same? After all, they do have pretty similar effects and restrictions in society…

Positive effects that both illegal drugs and alcohol have in common are things such as their use for ‘medication’ the phrase medication is said lightly, as a lot of people turn to these things to self medicate, to help ignore, overlook or forget negative things that are happening around them or even to help with physical pain, however this ‘positive’ does have its downsides. Another positive is that it helps people relax and enjoy themselves, by inducing a state of mind that helps the user loose and self consciousness and simply enjoy themselves, acting on the spur of the moment, a break from reality. Another effect is that it sometimes helps people see issues in a different light, their relaxed state of mind unlocks way of looking at or solving problems from a completely new perspective, and helps with the realisation of solutions or repressed feelings.

Of course with anything that alters someone's state of mind there are also negatives for both alcohol and illegal drugs, a lot of them too. Such as the possibility of the user becoming agitated or angry when under the influence of these things, leading to arguments and further down the line resulting in any kind of relationship problem, whether with friends, family or partners. Both can have negative effects on a person's state of mind that become permanent and even on their actual body, these effects are usually unfortunately irreversible. Worst of all both of these things can cause addiction, dependence on the good feelings and break from reality it occasionally can offer.

Considering the difference in society's opinion on both drinking and illegal drugs it's hard to understand why two things that are so incredibly similar are spoken about so differently. Especially when both are even treated the same by employers, both of these things are tested for in workplaces, being under the influence of either while in the workplace is a fireable offence and driving under the influence of either is even illegal. The differences between the two are getting less and less. Treatment methods for addiction to each are even extremely similar, both have addiction centres and groups users must attend and follow the programmes of.

The big questions that need asking are simply why is alcohol so easily obtainable if drugs are not? why is one shunned more than the other? and why aren't safe limits brought out for both or given the same bans as they have very similar effects? There are no straight forward answers to such questions, and unless it starts to be questioned, no answers at all can be expected to be offered.