Alcohol abuse is just as seriously dangerous as any of the street drug addictions. The only real difference is that it is sold legally, and we are expected to control our intake and not turn it into abuse. It is legal because it can be controlled, but some people are choosing to drink to extremes, and are not being responsible.
Responsible use is like having a glass of wine at dinner occasionally, or a cocktail at social functions. This will not lead to addiction. This is what is meant by drinking responsibly; yet, it is quite often ignored. When abuse is continued, it will become an addiction. Bars and restaurants have legal limits and regulations that prevent them from allowing someone to consume more than is allowed by law. This is just one example of the measures taken to help prevent abuse or misuse. Unfortunately, there are many other venues for consumption that cannot be controlled in this manner.
Since alcohol is legal to purchase, many people believe that it is alright to abuse it. There really is no way to stop someone from abusing in private, any more than we can stop heroin addicts from shooting up in an alley or back room. This is why we founded our rehabilitation centers, to give these alcoholics a new lease on life, a new start.
Another thing we can do is to pay attention and talk to our friends and family about their abuse, and encourage them to get help.