I don't know why you'd assume alcoholism is a crutch, when it's actually caused by your brain deciding that it's a much more preferred mindset. Many people are care-free and less inhibited, which can make them more sociable and successful with the opposite sex. It brings people together mostly in a good mood despite some violence prone people, and usually is associated with good times. If your life is like mine it's not usually a party and as a result your brain yerns for that happiness that is experienced in association of alcohol. This causes a craving for alcohol, which is really just a craving for the happy times it's usually associated with. The road gets ugly once you start drinking constantly, even when not in happy or social settings and it starts effecting your life.
The reason this happens to many is because of the way our brains save memories. When the something good happens to us our brain releases happy drugs like dopamine, seratonin, and endorphins. When the memory is recorded, it records the event, the circumstances and stimulus around the event, and the emotion being felt in correlation.
Drugs are especially effective at creating addictions because many of them themselves are similar compounds or directly effect the production or uptake of the happy drugs released by your brain. Endorphins, is actually Latin, and is translated as inside morphine. Opiates are a natural drug found in poppies that has a similar chemical structure and effect on the body. It's released for two reasons in the body, to attach a good feeling to something that is pleasurable like sex, or any physical activity, or in pain regulation. So a heroin addict could be using because it's regulating mental anquish, or because it makes them feel great, often when their lives aren't so great. However, some people have become addicts of internal chemicals, like joggers and sex addicts. They technically have the same addiction. It often tends to drive them to jog longer and further, or have sex all the time. Really, the only difference between these two different groups is that joggers and sex addicts won't overdose, while someone who controls the amounts through direct injections can.
What makes people keep pushing for more and more is that our brains have a threshold, and with each additional use it becomes larger, to even out the effects on the brain from the drug. Basically your brain starts to think that the excess is normal, and no longer thinks it's high on the drug, so people keep taking more and more until to push the threshold. I reality, if people used and then ebbed for a week, they could do heroin all their lives without any negative effects. However, many people who resort to drug use are fairly week willed, have many emotional problems, and the good feelings tend to effect the person so profoundly in the positive, they're brain becomes addicted to this artificial happy feeling, and they become daily addicts.
If you really want to tackle a massive problem that leads to all of the vices that destroy people such as drugs, overeating, and alcohol, learn why people are so emotionally unforfilled in life, which is the only reason they have become susceptable to these problems.
I already figured it out for you, we're being repressed and turned into a society of selfishness to destroy our ability to fight back against the system that profits a few at the expense of everyone else. I think it's more than obvious that society is being exploited in this way, yet people aren't becoming aware because of the mass manipulation that steers us in this direction.
I quit being part of the system, and you can too. Now I'm going to be running my own company, building my own house, growing my own food, marry a nice woman and have a few kids, while tightening my ties to my family and benefitting my community through personal achievement. When people start realizing that by supporting eachother, instead of corporations and share holders who are only extracting your communities wealth, we can all live very forfilling lives. Slave for your own gain, not someone elses.
Drug and alcohol abuse would all but dissappear in a community driven by this philosophy. I know it's the right way to live because I had a hell of a struggle with depression as a kid into early adulthood. I was pretty lost in life, smoked a lot of pot, and eventually I found my path and haven't looked back. I actually still support marijuana legalization because I was never dependent, and have pretty much quit. I'll smoke every now and then, but not everday, maybe once a month or less. I don't drink much either. I'm having a hell of time finding a nice women to share my life with though, because I'm different than the majority, and different makes people warry.