One hundred years ago this month, October 1919 Congress passed the Volstead Act — enforcing a national ban on alcohol

The Volstead act lasted from 1920 until 1933. Unfortunately it promoted illegal production of alcohol and crime. Perhaps it is time to look at the history of alcohol. THE DRINKING WOMAN REVISITED has a whole chapter devoted to alcohol’s biography. Briefly before western medicine achieved its cures alcohol was the only medicine available for anesthesia, women’s menstrual cramps, hysteria etc. Alcohol’s side effects are horrendous. Blackouts, passing out, addiction, damage   to the brain and yes, too frequently death.

What to do if you are nervous, anxious, insecure and perhaps already addicted to alcohol? Much help is available today. The first is test yourself to see if you suffer from alcohol addiction. The test is simple. Go one week without alcohol. If you can do it without any uncomfortable feelings you are not an alcoholic and you should start looking at why you drink. Social? To relax? There are plenty of women who meet their friends and order a virgin cocktail. No reason or excuse is needed. Some will say, “Alcohol disagrees with me.” Some will joke and say, “I need every brain cell I have.” Others may make an excuse, “I am taking medicine.” Those who feel comfortable with their decision will say, “I don’t drink” or “We are a non-alcohol family.”

If you have trouble with the one week test be good to yourself. See a doctor specializing in addiction. Contact the American Society of Addiction Medicine for the resources in your state. If you don’t have medical insurance visit Alcoholics Anonymous, Women for Sobriety, In The Rooms. If you are a very private person you can work with these groups on line. However, making in person contact with these groups helps you to make new friends, get important information such as what to do if you are having trouble with your children, where to go if you can’t afford a doctor, how to get a good job, where to go if you are homeless.

Go for it.