The making and drinking of alcohol started thousands of years ago. Fermenting some sort of sugar like honey, grapes or other fruits is were it started. Research into the topic has shown that honey was the first to be used as a drinkable ethanol in the middle and far east. The pictures found on the walls of old Egyptian tombs show drunken people having a party. The Mediterranean area had their dates, grapes and cereals to ferment into alcoholic beverages. With the early use of alcoholic beverages came laws to manage it. The early trade of wine was done by women of low station and it was their job to make sure to report any problems associated with it. One of the first laws was that date wine could only bought at the price of corn and not silver.
The Old Testament and the Talmud have good references to a strong drink. It clearly states that alcoholic drinks gives courage and helps the poor and or unhappy to forget their trials and tribulations. Check out Psalms 104:15 for the direct quote. Wine played a major role in Greek society. The stories are endless with Greek tragedies and iconic battles. These stories eventually showed up in the theatres as actors acted them out for entertainment and maybe example. Even though there was a lot of drinking going on, being drunk was still looked down on in the early days. Plato was one of the first rulers to forbid anyone under the age of 18 to drink alcohol and said that those under thirty years can only have it in moderation. There were no limits on those over 40.
The effects of alcoholism was seen early on in history. Even though it has always been a popular form of relaxing and socializing, it has always been frowned upon when one goes over board. There have been times of prohibition because of the abuse that took place in the homes of a drunk. Alcohol has been the scapegoat for so many things that have gone wrong in human history. Even the downfall of the Roman Empire was blamed on alcohol.
So much of the history of alcohol consumption can be witnessed in modern movies. In the early melodramas the drinker was portrayed as someone who was living in anguish. Then it turned into portraying someone who was free, independent and strong. Today, movies and television bounce between sad drunks and independent drinkers depending on the story and the characters it is trying to convey. So the battle of alcoholism has been going on for thousands of years.