Hiding In Plain Sight
Did you know that, there are around 1,037 liquor licenses around Oakland? (Oakland City Attorney). This means that there are more than 1,000 different locations in Oakland that sell alcoholic beverages or anything containing alcohol. This makes it extremely easy for anyone to get alcohol, thus making alcohol one of the most abused drugs in Oakland.
Since the wide availability of alcohol was brought up, many of the places where alcohol is sold, have ridiculously low prices for alcohol, making alcohol anything but a luxury, attracting more and more people. According to an alcoholic beverage website, “The cheapest alcoholic beverage is around $17 for a 30 pack of beer”(Liquors 44). That’s around 60 cents per can. This is incredibly cheap for such a dangerous substance that ruins people’s lives and is socially accepted. In an interview conducted by Alexis Cox Diaz, one of the interviewees said, “I see a lot of people who drink alcohol where I live. In fact, there’s a liquor store down the street of where I live” (Youth who lives in the Fruitvale area and has grown up there as well). This youth lives in a very bad and poor area in Oakland. He says he sees people who drink a lot of alcohol where he lives, making more of a temptation for not only him, but for people who are like him to want to try out alcohol since it is pretty cheap and seen as “cool”.
One of the main reasons why alcohol is one of the most abused drugs in Oakland is due to the fact that it is socially accepted. As stated by one of the people that the author of this blog interviewed, “I think socially accepted drugs, such as alcohol, have come to be the way they are because somewhere in time, people used them so often, that they eventually stuck” (Youth who lives and grew up in Oakland). This human being who knows what it is like to grow up in Oakland, sees through all the problems Oakland has, sees through all socially accepted things, takes a step back, and sees things for what they truly are. He sees that people, the people who he is (without choice) surrounded by, have come to neglect the facts of how dangerous alcohol is, despite it being socially accepted.
Some may argue that marijuana is the most abused drug in Oakland because it is illegal and because it has a lot of gang related violence around it. Although that may be true, more people try alcohol than people who experiment with marijuana. The source says, “Four in five men and women over the age of twelve have tried it, two and a half times the number to have experimented with marijuana”(Healthy Children). People who think that marijuana is more abused than alcohol, is clearly mistaken. People don’t see alcohol as a drug for the reason that it is legal and is socially accepted, whereas marijuana, in most cases, isn’t legal or socially accepted, which makes people see the drug as more of problem because they don’t have to see through any social constructs or anything that blocks their view from seeing marijuana for what it truly is. On the other hand, since there are so many obstacles on the views of alcohol, which impairs the view that people can have on alcohol, which doesn’t allow people to see alcohol for how dangerous it really is.
In conclusion, there are so many reasons why alcohol is the most abused drug in Oakland. Some of the reasons are due to the fact that it is so cheap and it is so readily available. It is also abused because it is socially accepted and people don’t realize how dangerous it actually is, which is not helping out anyone in society.
http://www.oaklandcityattorney.org/PDFS/Council%20Reports/Liquor%20Stores%202009.pdf, http://www.liquors44.com/Beer-Wine-Spirits-Specials/Beer/keystone-light-amp-keystone-ice-30-pack-cans, Mr.Martinez (student), Mr.Paez (student), https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/Alcohol-The-Most-Popular-Choice.aspx