Alcohol Is The Most Dangerous Drug (1 Viewer)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
6,781
169
Worse Than Heroine And Nearly 4 Times Worse Than Pot

The study by former government drug czar David Nutt rated drugs based on harm caused to users and harm caused to others.

These findings back up claims that got Nutt fired about the hypocrisy of certain drug laws...
http://www.businessinsider.com/alcohol-more-dangerous-than-pot-2010-11

...Today's paper, published by the respected Lancet medical journal, will be seen as a challenge to the government to take on the fraught issue of the relative harms of legal and illegal drugs, which proved politically damaging to Labour...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/01/alcohol-more-harmful-than-heroin-crack

I couldn't agree more. Given my choice of sharing the highway with a drunk or a crack user, I'll take the crack addict any time. Also, I have never seen anyone get as wasted on any drug, as on alcohol. It is also the only form of poisoning I know of that people find humorous.
 
Last edited:

Evo

Mentor
22,445
2,262
You're forgetting that the majority of people that drink do not drink to get drunk.

The person that does crack, meth, heroine etc... do it *only* to get high.
 
govt said:
The economic cost to society from alcohol and drug abuse was an estimated $246 billion in 1992. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cost an estimated $148 billion, while drug abuse and dependence cost an estimated $98 billion.
According to the http://archives.drugabuse.gov/economiccosts/Chapter1.html#1.1" [Broken].
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Evo

Mentor
22,445
2,262
According to the http://archives.drugabuse.gov/economiccosts/Chapter1.html#1.1" [Broken].
Which is a very good reason not to make drugs legal. Alcohol is abused more because it's legal and readily accessable.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
You're forgetting that the majority of people that drink do not drink to get drunk.
I'm in college. I respectfully disagree.
 
Which is a very good reason not to make drugs legal. Alcohol is abused more because it's legal and readily accessable.
If I didn't live in a free country, I might agree with you.
 

Evo

Mentor
22,445
2,262

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,176
1,563
If I didn't live in a free country, I might agree with you.
But one is not free to harm others, which is what those who abuse alcohol and drugs do. I agree with Evo.
 
But one is not free to harm others, which is what those who abuse alcohol and drugs do. I agree with Evo.
If I harm someone, charge me with harming. If I don't harm someone, don't charge me at all.
 

Evo

Mentor
22,445
2,262
I disagree too. There is no reason to drink alcohol other than to get at least a buzz or "relaxed".
Then you've never nursed a glass of cognac for an hour or two, with just one or two fingers poured in. Or had a glass of sherry just to enjoy the taste.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
360
8
To pose a counterpoint to this discussion:

If people abuse a substance for the purpose of altering their cognitive state (a safe assumption since that seems to be the only reason to abuse a substance), then there could be a (previously undeveloped) market in safe drugs.

A great example is the synthetic cannabanoid JWH-018. This is legal in my state and is a great alternative to marijuana. Although I'm not a "user" myself, I have friends that are and they swear by it. Since it's legal, they don't have to consort with a "shady" crowd, and they don't have to break any laws to get it, and since its synthetic, it is actually spread over a much safer smokable material. Granted, inhaling smoke is never good, but we can all agree that certain things are better to inhale than other things.

This is a great precedent and it should really be emulated where possible.
 
Then you've never nursed a glass of cognac for an hour or two, with just one or two fingers poured in. Or had a glass of sherry just to enjoy the taste.
I would guess the vast majority of the US haven't either :wink: and certainly not on a weekly basis. To pull it all full circle, I would make the claim that the majority of Americans that drink on a weekly basis do so to get a buzz.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
360
8
But one is not free to harm others, which is what those who abuse alcohol and drugs do. I agree with Evo.
Hmm, that's an awfully scary precedent to set. (EDIT: not the agreeing with Evo part.)

"But one is not free to crash their car, which is what Subaru drivers and Honda drivers do."

"But one is not free to shoot innocent people, which is what H&K owners and S&W owners do."

It is best to make the crime illegal, not the possible contributors. This is a distinction that is often missed by lawmakers, and is what leads to so many expensive and (sometimes) nonsensical laws being passed.

Is it only illegal to cause harm to others if you are drunk? Or is it always illegal to cause harm to others? The crime is not being drunk, but rather "causing harm."
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1
80
The actual study requires registration at the The Lancet to view, but this article at least provides slightly better insight into why alcohol would be the most dangerous: Alcohol More Dangerous Than Crack.

Alcohol is legal and is cheaper, hence its abuse more often, increasing its effect on society.

It would tend to imply that legalizing a drug such as marijuana would increase its negative effects on society, since its use would become more widespread.

It would also imply that repealing the 21st Amendment ("The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.") would decrease the negative effects of alcohol, possibly below the negative effects of heroin, crack, and crystal meth.

An analysis detailing the effects of a drug on society per user might be more valuable in deciding which drug (if any) should be legal. And perhaps the analysis should be done by age group, since I have a feeling that making alcohol illegal for those under 26-years-old would go a long way towards reducing the negative effects of alcohol.
 
Last edited:

russ_watters

Mentor
17,945
4,445
http://www.businessinsider.com/alcohol-more-dangerous-than-pot-2010-11


http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/01/alcohol-more-harmful-than-heroin-crack

I couldn't agree more. Given my choice of sharing the highway with a drunk or a crack user, I'll take the crack addict any time. Also, I have never seen anyone get as wasted on any drug, as on alcohol. It is also the only form of poisoning I know of that people find humorous.
You missed a big part of the point of the study (the poor article diddnt help). You are much worse off sharing the road with a crack or heroin user: alcohol is only worse in total societal damage and by that calculus, we should also be attempting to rid the world of sober drivers as the societal harm caused by sober drivers is yet higher still.
 
If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, it is not necessary for the govt to prove that you had taken any of it, let alone prove that you had become intoxicated by it. On account of my issues with kidney stones, I possess a controlled substance. Would you say that I don't harm society simply because of a slip of paper giving me permission to do so.
 

turbo

Gold Member
2,760
43
I would guess the vast majority of the US haven't either :wink: and certainly not on a weekly basis. To pull it all full circle, I would make the claim that the majority of Americans that drink on a weekly basis do so to get a buzz.
That's pretty much nailing it, IMO.

In regard to relative harm, a very close friend of mine (and my cousin's husband) was the chief of police in the county seat. He had to enforce the laws as written, but he was personally tolerant of pot. He used to say that he never had a pot-head come after him with a knife, and that the most dangerous calls his officers ever had to face were domestic-violence calls involving alcohol. The presumed most dangerous people in such incidents were the abusers (usually men) but the person who was the object of the abuse could turn on the responding officer like a snake and were potentially far more dangerous, if the officer was not paying attention.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
360
8
It would tend to imply that legalizing a drug such as marijuana would increase its negative effects on society, since its use would become more widespread.

It would also imply that repealing the 21st Amendment ("The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.") would decrease the negative effects of alcohol, possibly below the negative effects of heroin, crack, and crystal meth.

An analysis detailing the effects of a drug on society per user might be more valuable in deciding which drug (if any) should be legal. And perhaps the analysis should be done by age group, since I have a feeling that making alcohol illegal for those under 26-years-old would go a long way towards reducing the negative effects of alcohol.
I think you would discover the opposite to be true. Crime during prohibition didn't decrease, it increased.

There is a market for mind-altering substances; this is a fact. The push should be to provide these in the safest manner possible. I agree that alcohol seems to be one of the worst and it seems to be the most available.

The proper response is to carefully consider how a replacement could be made available so as to prevent the criminal backlash of prohibiting it.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1
80
People actually sniff butane? :surprised

That sounds so stupid that one would think butane abuse could only have positive effects. It weeds out the lower end of the gene pool.
 

The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top