Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new British study. British experts evaluated substance abuse effects of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.
In the studied drugs, heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were found to be the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, effects of substance abuse, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower. Overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. The study was paid for by Britain’s Center for Crime and Justice Studies and was published online Monday in the medical journal, Lancet.
Some examples of how alcohol or the tendency to drink is destroying lives in the US.
- Fifth and sixth-grade students found that those who demonstrated an awareness of beer ads also held more favorable beliefs about drinking and intended to drink more frequently when they grew up.
- Children who are drinking alcohol by 7th grade are more likely to report academic problems, substance use, and delinquent behavior in both middle school and high school.
- Classical alcoholism takes about 15 years to develop, but it can happen much quicker in adolescents and young adults.
- Teen alcohol use kills about 6000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
- One in five teens binge drink. Only 1 in 100 parents believes his or her teen binge drinks. In the US current regular drinkers (at least 12 drinks in the past year): 52%
- Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.One in three 8th graders drinks alcohol.
- Drunk driving costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.Number of alcoholic liver disease deaths: 14,406
- Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 23,199
- By the time they are high school seniors, 80% have used alcohol and 62% have been drunk.
- Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.
- In the United States, roughly 50,000 cases of alcohol poisoning are reported each year, and approximately once every week, someone dies from this preventable condition.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) serves a victim or survivor of drunk driving every 10 minutes. Since 1980 MADD has nearly saved 300,000 lives
Treatment for alcoholism has been shown to reduce criminal activity up to 80% among chronic offenders, has increased their rate of employment, decreases homelessness and reduces all health care costs.
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