We all know the dangers of alcoholism and the results of alcohol abuse are far worse than most even realize. Some believe that alcohol can even be more harmful than any illegal drug. Here are ten reasons to supports the belief that alcohol could be the most harmful drug there is.
1. It ruins happiness more than anything in the world
In the 2012 update to the Triumphs of Experience study, which started in 1983, study director George Vaillant revealed that alcohol was a key factor in a participant’s life outcome. The effects of alcohol overruled intelligence levels, political leanings and how rich parents were. Alcohol was the top decider in how a subject’s life turned out. Regardless of how high people found themselves socially and educationally, those who developed drinking problems mostly took a path downward.
It was the main cause for divorce and one of the main triggers for neurosis and depression. It was tied to smoking and the misuse of other products. Valliant referred to alcoholism as “a disorder of great destructive power.” A test conducted on drugs would probably entail the same conclusions but it is undeniable that alcohol has affects beyond addiction.
2. Alcohol kills
Between 2006 and 2010, 88 000 Americans died annually from alcohol abuse. According to the CDC that makes alcohol the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death for people in the USA. According to the respected scientist David Nutt, alcohol is the leading cause of deaths in Britain for those aged 16-60. Alcohol-related deaths results from liver disease, addiction, accidental poisoning and behavioral disorders caused by drinking. Drunk driving played a huge factor in the number of deaths. Nearly one-third of fatal road accidents in the US were caused by alcohol. Drunk driving killed one American every 51 minutes.
3. Leading factor in Sexual Assaults
There is a disturbing connection between alcohol and sexual assault rates. In a Harvard study form 2004, college campuses with reputations for binge drinking had significantly higher rates of sexual assaults. The colleges with low binge drinking environments had less than 23% of the student body drinking more than five drinks in one sitting over a two-week period. Colleges with medium binge drinking environments had 36-50% of students who did so.
The colleges with high binge drinking environments had rates over 50%. The studies concluded that being female at high binge drinking colleges increased your risk of being raped by 1.5 times. A 2013 study found similar results. A 1990s study found that around half of all sexual assault crimes were committed by drunken individuals while half of all victims were also intoxicated. This shows how entwined alcohol and violence can be.
4. It is the worst drug for public safety
According to a British study conducted in 2010 by Professor Daid Nutt concluded the results of 20 available drugs. Heroin, crack and methamphetamine took the top placed for dangers posed to individual users. The drug that was by far the most harmful to the society was alcohol. The use of alcohol was over twice as likely to result in harm of others as the use of crack cocaine was. Alcohol had a score of 45 out of 100 while heroine was second in line scoring 20 / 100. The research included a wide range of factors such as economic cost, damage to community cohesion and death rates and in each sector alcohol had the highest scoring for damage caused.
5. It kills the most teenagers
Every year 4,300 US teenagers die from drinking alcohol. This is more than are killed each year by all illegal drugs combined. People panicked wildly when the drug Cloud 9 was linked to a handful of deaths, some of which have been falsely attributed by an overexcited media whereas alcohol’s murder number was much-much higher than all the drugs combined.
6. Media focuses too much on other drugs
It has been utterly clear that the media’s response to drug and alcohol stories is downright dangerous. Between 1990 and 1999, Scotland recorded 2,255 drug-related deaths. Alasdair J.M. compared every single Scottish news report on fatality against corner reports. Only 1 of 72 deaths from morphine was reported whereas 1 in every 5 heroin deaths got coverage. 1 in every 8 cocaine-related deaths got coverage. 1 in 256 aspirin-related deaths got coverage.
The point is that bad drugs get more coverage than lighter drugs which often have a higher death number. Alcohol killed around 2000 people but wasn’t reported as a deadly menace once. Talking seriously about the dangers of drugs could help save lives.
7. Many alternative drugs are safer
Heroin, crack, GBH and crystal meth can mess you up in irreparable ways. These drugs are rightly frowned upon by societies while alcohol is basically given a free pass. Cannabis basically causes mental illness but can be safer for you than alcohol. There have never been a case of marijuana overdose. The DEA estimated that you would need to smoke nearly 700kg (1,500 IB) of marijuana in 15min to be at risk of death. The risk of death from ecstasy is equivalent to the risk of riding a horse while the risk of death from LSD and magic mushrooms is basically nonexistent whereas alcohol have been proven to take thousands of lives annually.
8. Alternatives would still be safer even if taken on large scale.
Alcohol is available and legal while most other drugs are not. Thus there are way more drinkers than there are users of other drugs. Some argue that we would see equal expenses and health problems if drugs were as available as alcohol. A test conducted in 1995 by the WHO proved that even if everyone started using cannabis as regularly as alcohol, the results of cannabis would be significantly lower and still most legal systems treat alcohol as the safer sustenance.
9. Child abuse
Studies found that children who have either one or two alcoholic parents are between 2 – 13 times more likely to experience domestic violence at home. These experience could be anything from living in forced squalor to seeing their mom get hit to being deliberately abused. The likelihood of being abused increases with alcoholism. If both parents were alcoholics, children were 13 times more likely to grow up with a battered mother. The use of other drugs could have exactly the same domestic results as alcohol and as a result is considered illegal.
10. It’s our own fault
According to respected anthropologist Dr. Anne Fox, alcohol doesn’t cause violence. She claims there is no proof that drinking can trigger violent acts in people. She thinks our problem with alcohol goes deeper. Our culture is to blame. If alcohol was to blame then it would be a uniform problem throughout the world but places like Iceland drink way more with ess alcohol related violence.
Dr. Fox claims that how we behave when drunk is how our culture teaches us to behave. We are taught that to connect drinking alcohol with violence and lack of self-control. We put our own health at risk by drinking more excessively than any other sort of drug. Then we endanger others by acting on the teachings our culture instilled within us.