As you know, I have been alerting the community of the increasing problem of alcohol abuse and marijuana smoking among Jewish adolescents. It is unfortunate that many people still do not accept that some of our own children are involved. This is happening to children from the finest families.
Given the gravity of the problem and the ineffectiveness of prevention programs, the very least we can do is to avoid encouraging intoxication.
Purim is soon upon us, and many people drink to excess because of the mistaken notion that there is a "mitzvah" to get drunk on Purim. Rabbi Shneur Zalman in his Shulchan Aruch (529) says, "It is impossible to serve Hashem either in levity or drunkenness." One of the final authorities on halacha, the Chafetz Chaim in Mishna Berura (695) states clearly that the proper thing to do is not to drink to intoxication, but rather to drink just a bit more than is customary (which would be a glass or two of wine), and go to sleep. This is the proper way to fulfil "not distinguishing between 'cursed be Haman' and 'blessed be Mordechai.' "
There is certainly no justification for drinking anything but wine. Aruch Hashulchan (695) condemns drinking spirits (liquor) in very sharp terms. Alcohol intoxication is an abomination, and overriding the rulings of the Baal Hatanya and the Chafetz Chaim by drinking to intoxication is inexcusable.
Let us use good judgment on Purim. We should set a model for our children by not drinking to excess and by supervising adolescents so that they do not drink. We can all enjoy a safe, respectable Purim.…
Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.
And then, this:
… One challenge we face is the upcoming holiday of Purim, which has been characterized in past years by excessive drinking, resulting in disgraceful behavior, unsafe practices, and even real tragedy. Purim has been traditionally associated with the drinking of wine, and indeed drinking on Purim has a halachic basis in a Talmudic source. Thus, our call for zero tolerance of drinking on Purim among teenagers, and for sincere moderation of drinking on Purim among adults, has met the objection: “But it is a mitzvah!”
The fundamental rationale of our opposition to alcohol consumption by teenagers on Purim is the fact that drinking often leads, especially among youngsters, to serious medical consequences. It is instructive that among the strong supporters of our campaign have been members of Hatzoloh, the rescue and ambulance corps, who report that Purim does not go by without incidences of toxic reactions to alcohol requiring emergency treatment, to driving accidents, and sometimes even to deaths.
These considerations of health and pikuach nefesh (the saving of lives) easily transcend whatever mitzvah might be involved in drinking on Purim. Secondly, and very important, is the fact that it is against the law for an adult to knowingly provide alcohol to individuals who are under age. While there may be exceptions when wine is served for ceremonial purposes, clearly that exception assumes that no more than a symbolic quantity is ingested. Teachers or rebbeim who supply minors with wine or liquor on Purim are in violation of the law of the land.
The Orthodox Union does not want to seem prudish or to be advocating total prohibition of alcohol. However, for those sectors of our population in which the call for moderation is likely to be ignored, we believe that zero tolerance is the only alternative. Adolescents, and adults with alcoholic tendencies, cannot be relied upon to effectively practice moderation; we therefore are calling for total abstinence on Purim among those populations.
It is instructive to study the sources in halacha, that is Jewish law, for drinking on Purim and to recognize that although the Talmud clearly states it is an obligation on Purim to the extent that “one cannot distinguish between cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordechai,” it is not clear that the Talmud means to become intoxicated …
One of my personal favorite works on the spiritual underpinnings of halachic practice is Yesod veShoresh haAvodah, The Foundation and Root of Worship by Rabbi Alexander Ziskind of Grodnow. He writes that one must realize that the Talmud suggests only “livesumei” and does not use the term “lehishtaker,” which would mean “to become drunk.” The former term means to drink just enough that one’s heart is lightened and one can truly indulge in the spiritual celebration of the theme of the day of Purim.…
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Of course, the vast majority of Chabad Houses (along with various other haredi and MO outlets) will ignore both the Alter Rebbe's pesak din and any other voices of reason. Chabad and mashka (vodka) are inseparable.