Many societies in the world associates celebrations and cheer with drinking alcohol. All over the globe, people will drink alcohol at some point in their lifetimes, with most adults enjoying a drink at least once a year. And it comes as no surprise: a few drinks will easily make you more relaxed, in a better mood, more sociable, and even better-looking to the opposite sex (and vice versa, as some would say).
However, alcohol is by far more harmful than many might think. In fact, it may even be more dangerous than any illegal drug. Let’s take a look at these reasons why alcohol may be the most dangerous drug of all.
10 Reasons Alcohol is the Most Dangerous Drug of All
1. It ruins happiness. According to one of the world’s longest-running studies, the Grant Study, which started in 1938, alcohol can destroy happiness above all else. The study, led by Harvard students, followed the lives of 200 men and over the years found that alcohol is the top decider of how their lives unraveled. Apparently, it’s not your intelligence, social status, economic status, or any other factor. Those who developed drinking problems are the ones who end up on a downward spiral. In the study, it was the main cause of divorce, depression, neurosis, and even smoking.
2. Biggest killer. In the United States 88,000 died from alcohol abuse between 2006 and 2010 alone. The worst statistics can be said in Britain, where there are more heavy drinking people. Aside from deaths from drunk driving, alcohol also caused deaths due to liver disease, addiction, accidental poisoning, and behavioral disorders.
3. Rise in sexual assault incidents. Alcohol and sexual assault are connected. Just look at the movies and how drunk people are more uninhibited and more sexually aggressive. Many sexual assault cases are committed by drunk perpetrators. In a Harvard study in 2004, they found that there are high rates of sexual assault in campuses that have high rates of binge drinking. While you can’t generalize that drunk men would rape or sexually assault other people, the link is still significant.
4. Bad for public safety. Alcohol is more dangerous in all aspects of public safety compared to other drugs. This is also attributed to the fact that it is more easily accessible and widely used.
5. It kills more teens. Compared to illegal drugs, alcohol kills more teens, according to statistics. In the US, for example, 4,300 teens die from drinking alcohol every year.
6. Look at the media. “Bad” drugs get more media attention because it fits a simple narrative. Meanwhile, deaths due to alcohol abuse are not given attention and are therefore not taken seriously compared to other drugs.
7. Safer alternatives. Many drugs are highly dangerous, alright. Heroin, cocaine, meth, and other drugs can lead to many short-term and long-term consequences. Still, alcohol can be as dangerous yet it is socially acceptable. People can die of alcohol overdose. Meanwhile, there are still no reported death from marijuana overdose. Still, any substances taken regularly and at high doses can lead to addiction, which can have many physical, psychological, legal, economic, and social repercussions.
8. Links to child abuse and domestic violence. Alcoholic parents are many times more likely to abuse their kids and/or partners. From living in forced poverty, witnessing domestic violence, to being the victims of violence and even sexual abuse, is common in households where there is one alcoholic parent or adult. While the same can be said of households where one or both parents are addicted to illegal drugs, the fact is, alcohol consumption (unlike drugs) is not restricted and even encouraged in many cultures.
9. Alcohol takes away inhibitions. Alcohol causes reactions in the brain that results to more reckless behavior, which in turn poses danger to the drunk person and potentially to the people around them (such as the case in driving under the influence). Add the fact that alcohol also decreases reflexes and focus, which can further make matters worse. There are also other people that become more aggressive, violent, and sexually promiscuous when intoxicated.