The Smithsonian magazine has published a lengthy article about beer, by Abigail Tucker.
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but the printed version has this as the subtitle
The driving force behind civilization? It's the quest for intoxication, says archeologist Patrick McGovern, who analyzes ancient bits of pottery to recreate the earliest known brews.
The Beer Archaeologist
I'm not sure I would go so far as to use the word "intoxication" but I do think that "feel better" is accurate. This explains the drive to improve technologies, the wheel, roads, metal, paddle wheels, animal labor, etc… all of those reduced the workload of humans and thus made them feel better, including having beer.
While most people can recognize they've had too much of a good thing, and can temper their future use, it seems some people have trouble.
So the question is, should we continue to shame those who have trouble moderating their use? Should we continue to throw them in jail? Should we continue to make them urinate in front of us? Should we continue to destroy the planet in a vain attempt to stop them? Should we continue the lie that prohibition keeps drugs out of the hands of teens when in fact it does the opposite? Should we continue to delude ourselves that homelessness and unemployment must be the result of them using drugs?