In many countries, alcohol is used during celebrations among family, get together with friends, and other hospitality purposes but when used in moderation. Alcohol generated an enormous revenue from indirect taxes for the Soviet Union and in 1979 the state received twenty-five billion rubles in taxes from alcohol beverage. (Anti-Alcohol Campaign) Even though alcohol is legal, when abused, it can be a very dangerous drug. With high amounts of revenue going to the economy, their citizens were struggling. Alcoholism was linked to high rates of child abuse, more reported accidents in the workplace, suicide, divorce, employees not showing up for shifts, and an increase in mortality rates among Soviet men. (Anti-Alcohol Campaign) This raised concern among the Soviet Union Government, and came to the conclusion that alcohol was causing disruption to everyday life to the Soviet citizens.
Thinking of ways to restore the Soviet Union back to its original health and productivity, the Soviet leader of 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, set in motion a partial ban on alcohol. (Maczewski, 2017) He wanted to control the amount of alcohol being served within the country and its production. During his campaign against alcohol, there were many propaganda posters created to deter alcohol, just like the image above. The artists were tasked to create propaganda to help sober citizens and teach them the dangers of excessive amounts of alcohol. (Bradner, 2017) The images created during this time period did not help end the excessive alcohol consumption but rather ruin the economy and created more mass drinking. To remedy the decline in taxes alcohol brought, the government started printing more money which cause a sore on inflation. (Anti-Alcohol Campaign)
During the campaign, Gorbachev set limits to shops that were permitted to sell alcohol, closing number distillers in the country, destroying vineyards, and banning the sell of alcohol in restaurants before 2 pm. (Anti-Alcohol Campaign) This was the governments attempt to control the production and consumption of alcohol to helps its citizens. The government also banned the making of alcohol that contained over 12% ethyl alcohol, this was a way to prevent people from getting side effects from liquor with higher percentage of alcohol. (Bronza) The campaign against alcohol did not go in favor of leader Gorbachev. After the partial ban, there was an increase of organized crime and high production rates of moonshine. (Anti-Alcohol Campaign) The worst of it all was citizens turned to other dangerous substances to cope with the restrictions on alcohol. Soviet Union Government believed that the campaign against alcohol would be beneficial to the state but it was actually harmful to their people and economy. Which is why they abandoned the campaign after 1987.