Closer home, in my native state of Kerala, the government coolly collects excise and taxes on drinks and doesn't do much to discourage it. Drinking has caused major changes in the social system and broken down families. Women and children are particularly the sufferers. Yet the government claims they have set up a few de-addiction centres, which do not perform their duties diligently. So the thinking seems to be, "let them drink and perish." Also when it's election time, the beverage most consumed is liquor.
Excerpt from above article:
According to Robert Brewer, the alcohol program leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, heavy drinking is the third leading preventable cause of death in this country, after smoking and a combination of bad diet and inactivity. By conservative estimates, it's directly related to about 80,000 deaths each year, an agent of — or co-conspirator in — cirrhosis, esophageal cancer, overdose, homicide and much, much more. It seeds and squires a broad range of diseases. Multiplies the effects of illicit and prescription drugs. Adds the twitch to a trigger finger. Puts the wobble in legs on a staircase or hands on a steering wheel.
So many perish, so many die, but, no, alcohol isn't responsible. As drunks are know to say, "What me drunk? No, I can hold my drink."