Mail-Order your Brews - Is this the Solution, Really?

mail order brewsImagine a world where instead of a trek to the liquor store, one could simply wait at home for the daily mail to stock up on one’s favorite brew.

This idea may have crossed the minds of many a drinker on house arrest or one who is otherwise prevented from stocking up due to an inability to procure the stuff. And we’re talking the good stuff – including micro-made craft brews and specialty ales from breweries throughout the country. Perhaps a bottle of California wine would be more appealing to other drinkers… True, the idea may hold promise to those who enjoy imbibing in a more responsible way, but are we really ready for this?

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has a proposed this novel cure for the 16 billion dollars the postal service loses each year – delivering beer, wine and spirits through the U.S. mail. The agency is in such trouble that last month the House Committee on Oversight and government Reform approved the Postal Reform Act of 2013, which would cut out Saturday mail delivery and phase out door-to-door delivery altogether over the next 10 years. It is a different committee’s jurisdiction that will decide on the alcohol proposal, however, as stated by committee spokesperson Ali Ahmad in an interview with CNBC, according to a recent Huffington Post story.

There are mixed responses from brewers and liquor proprietors. Special boxes and rates would apply. Postal patrons would be expected to produce a government issued photo ID on receipt to prevent minors from having a grand time by getting around current liquor laws, but can that really work?

We live in a nation with an alcohol abuse problem, perhaps bolstered by our culture of overindulgence and the fact that alcohol use is so glamorized. Add to that the stressors of our workaday world, requiring more and more effort to keep up with the media’s idea of success, and what you get is a nation struggling just to live up to the American Dream. If we’re a nation in financial crisis, what do we do to solve our economical problems?

beer by mailWe fix them with alcohol or gambling. Forget the drain on the healthcare system and the family unit that these “solutions” create. Forget the toll on the elderly and poor who are often the casualties of gambling addictions. And what messages are we sending to our children by making it continuously easier to get their hands on that next high? How will the courts deal with the added costs of monitoring violent or alcohol related felony offenders if they’re able to mail-order their alcohol? Will it only be specialized breweries or wineries allowed to sell (attracting a certain type of consumer, one would think), or will everything alcohol be allowed eventually?

We’re a society of more, more, more. More money. More stuff. More pleasure. More drugs and alcohol. Once we allow solutions that were once unacceptable, we may be inadvertently be paving the way for a host of new issues and addicts. Medical marijuana is so poorly regulated in some states that, in essence, it’s made it quite easy for recreational users to avoid legal consequences. Isn’t this mail order proposal another tip of the hat to our alcohol-fueled culture? Another way of saving one institution to the detriment of the individual? And gambling as a solution? Gambling not only costs those addicted everything they own, it also promotes the drinking, drugging and crime that goes along with it.

The solution for the failing postal service may prove a difficult nut to crack, but perhaps there’s another answer besides promoting something that may deal another blow to the growing war on substance abuse and other addictions.Addictions ruin lives. Using any substance or behavior to escape life’s pressures is bound to create problems rather than alleviating them. There is help to break that vicious cycle, but it starts with reaching out. Talk to a professionals to find the help you and your loved ones need. True freedom comes from breaking the cycle.

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