Alcohol can potentially be a gateway into worse things depending on the person that uses it. Sure alcohol might be used in a celebratory fashion, but some people enjoy the way alcohol lowers their thoughts on things and numbs them from the world around them. They might use it as an easy escape from the outside world and personal issues. Doing so repeatedly could harm them in the long run.
Both recreational drugs and alcohol serve as a gateway for escapism. That is to say induce euphoria chemically versus say healthier options say family/friends.
Now why it becomes an addition. It is when those who already have a negative view on life and lack the ability to handle it. So these products help them to feel euphoria and make life that much bearable and they go back to them again and again.
I have do consume alcohol however am not addicted to it as I never had the need to drink it on a daily basis to comfort myself.
So the initial addiction is brought about by these psychological factors. Which then with repetitive exposure to the chemical makes the body dependant on it. Which then goes beyond the psychological factor.
Even if the person no longer needed the chemicals to be able to live life in a neutral/ positive way. Their body cannot do so.
So is those people who shows signs of the psychological factors that can lead to substance dependence should be looked after and preventive measures should be in place for them.
Now a total ban can solve the problem. However since humans want to be out acceptance and freedom of will. Then we have no choice but to let those who want to par take in such behaviour while monitoring potential addicts to be.
I won't deny that alcohol can be addictive. But, in small quantities it's fine and won't do any harm. It's all about knowing limits. Drugs, on the other hand, do damage right away. Some cause you to be addicted after just one use and your life will never be the same. Whereas if you have just one beer or one glass of wine, your life won't be ruined.