With the end of Prohibition in 1933, the landscape of America changed. A fourteen-year experiment had failed, but there were those who did not intend to give up the fight against the evils of buying and selling alcoholic beverages. This is a fight that continues today, especially from the Carolinas to the Great Plains. This region, the headquarters of what is commonly called Dry America, contains many counties that prohibit the selling of alcohol. “Dry,” obviously enough, is the term for areas that do not participate in the buying or selling of alcoholic beverages. “Wet” is the opposite—the locations specified this way have no problem with the purchasing or consuming of alcohol. “Moist,” somewhat amusingly, is the preferred way to refer to those areas in the middle. A moist county may sell beer and wine but have regulations against hard liquor or when you can purchase alcohol, for instance.
What Are The Numbers Here?
The U.S contains three entirely dry states—Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Counties must specifically request permission to sell alcohol from the state government. 33 other states have provisions in which a county may choose to be dry or wet. The remaining 17 states are wet and have laws that preclude the existence of dry counties whatsoever.
Reasons For Dry Counties
Dry areas tend to be concerned with religion, traditions, or safety for their children. Kansas, for instance, was the home of Carry A. Nation, a famous temperance movement vigilante, and was also the first state to pass Prohibition. Their anti-alcohol roots go deep. Temperance issues tend to be hot-button topics during elections in dry regions, with candidates on one side citing the economy as a reason to go wet and those opposed saying they think the standard of living will do down should their area become wet.
However, when a person is deprived of something, it often becomes forbidden fruit. Often, in dry counties, binge drinking is a problem. Those wishing for a night out have to drive farther to get their alcohol, and tend to “stock up” and drink more as a result. According to a study done by News Channel 11 in the South Plains region of Texas, dry counties did not always have less DUIs than their wet counterparts. The opposite, in fact, was often true, due mostly to the “forbidden fruit” scenario.
What Can Help?
As mentioned, lawmakers in dry areas often see alcohol as the root of all evil, often justifiably as alcohol can certainly cause a great amount of harm. However, a change of attitude could be a helpful thing for dry residents to consider. According to the Social Issues Research Center, societies with generally positive associations with alcohol experience less problems, while those with negative images have more trouble. Again, take something away, and generally a person will want that thing more. Expect something to go wrong, and often times it will! It seems doubtful that moving to a dry area will truly help a recovering alcoholic. True, the absence of beer on the grocery store shelves might be a plus, but if someone wants alcohol, they’ll find a way to get it. Prohibition, and the shrinking of Dry America, has taught us that much.
You Don’t Have To Relocate To Find Help
If you or someone you know is struggling in recovery, contact us. We can recommend a treatment center, and if a dry area is preferable, we can help refer you to the right facility. The important thing is to get help. Take the first step and speak with one of our trained addiction counselors today.