Historically, is there any case in which prohibition of alcohol has actually dissuaded its consumption?

It failed miserably in the United States, for example...

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    In countries with Islam as main religion, I think. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:11
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    I don't think so... Even US prisons can't keep the inmates from getting their hands on alcohol and drugs.
    – Dre
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 18:27
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    No... even in places like Saudi Arabia it's easy to get if you know where to go. I have friends that lived their as expats for a while. Alcohol prohibition never works... Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 23:09
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    I believe it would depend to whom you present the question....let me explain. I think if you ask the average citizen, the answer would be no. But if you presented the question to the people that profited from the enactment of prohibition, they would be inclined to say yes. Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 23:50
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    No never Prohibition alcohol does not work.It is not true.For example:i from Iran and in Iran alcohol is prohibited. And this is crime. in Iran we can not have best brand.For that reason We have to learned how make handmade alcohol products..and my dad make best wine and beer..really now my dad is professional. If you want to come in Iran sure call me and test my father's alcohol products :--))))))))) Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:17

4 Answers 4


Prohibition was an Era in American history from 1920-1933 - and - it failed miserably. If anything, it made alcohol more popular.

Prohibition, in general, also means to prohibit something via law or religion though. The religious aspect is the only case that one can see prohibition working. ::Insert Mormonism/Islamic religion/et cetera here::

  • In many Christian denominations wine is an essential element of their liturgy: the Mass.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 23:59
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    I agree. I can't figure out why that relates to my comment other than to says Christianity isn't the same as Mormonism or Islam?
    – BryceH
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 0:01
  • @KenGraham Can you think of any other examples in Christianity that use wine OTHER than Catholic mass?
    – crthompson
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 2:59
  • @paqogomez The Orthodox Churches and the Lutheran Churches use wine liturgically. I am sure that there are others. My original comment came from the fact that Mormons consider themselves a Christian community and they do prohibit the use of alcohol.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 3:08
  • @paqogomez I... I don't know what you're referring to any more? I never mentioned Catholicism.
    – BryceH
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 3:12

No In Gujarat , A state of India There is prohibition since 1958 which has never worked and also created lots of illegal troubles as well as loss of taxes on booze.

Bombay State had prohibition between 1948 and 1950, and again from 1958.[17] Gujarat has a sumptuary law in force that proscribes the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The legislation has been in force since 1 May 1960 when Bombay State was bifurcated into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 is still in force in Gujarat state, however there is licensing regime in Maharashtra with granting licenses to vendors and traders.

Gujarat is the only Indian state with a death penalty for the manufacture and sale of homemade liquor that results in fatalities. The legislation is titled the Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009. The legislation was prompted by numerous deaths resulting from the consumption of methyl alcohol.

But the result is that people dies due to homemade liqueurs every month and every year. You can check this: Gujarat alcohol poisonings.


As with almost anything that becomes banned or illegal it causes the substance to increase in cost greatly since the acquisition of the substance requires illegal acts from manufacturing to distribution. Therefore, no prohibition does not generally work in stopping consumption but it does result in many other legal issues.


In a world where people follow laws and do not attempt to profit from illegal activities, Prohibition of a product would 'in theory' work. However, that is not the reality we live in.

Historical evidence shows us that with a vast majority of prohibition of a product, the demand for said product does not immediately drop, but the supply does. This makes the product very profitable for those entities that are able to obtain said product and then distribute it for basically any price they so choose.

Thus for the example with alcohol prohibition in the 1920's US, crime families immediately started to acquire or make product, distribute it, and even open facilities to sell and consume. This took out all middle men and gave them full and complete control of the entire supply chain, and thus allowed for them to keep maximum profits.

Another example in the US, is how the war on drugs has done little to stop the demand for drug in the country and only made the cartels more money.

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