Here is a quick question – which drug would you believe to be the most harmful in the world? It is the kind of topic everybody has their own opinion on, but regarding the hard facts and statistics, there is no disputing the fact that alcohol tops the table by far. Recent research has shown that close to 90% of individuals will drink alcohol during their lifetime, with no less than 70% of men drinking alcohol at least once each week.
Naturally, moderate and careful alcohol consumption has the potential to be, to a large extent, harmless. Nonetheless, you only need to think about the thousands of people up and down the United Kingdom seeking private alcohol rehab clinics these days to figure out that alcohol is indeed exponentially more harmful than most realise.
But what is the reason? What is it about alcohol that has made it even more harmful and dangerous than the deadliest drugs on the planet:
1 – Freely Available
First up, there is the way in which alcohol is perhaps the single most freely available and readily accessible recreational drug on the face of the earth. Nowadays, no matter where you are, what exactly you want, how much money you have available or what time of the night or day it is, alcohol is available on a 24/7 basis. Not only does this motivate round-the-clock alcohol purchases and consumption, but also provides the public with all the more reason to think that as it’s readily available, it can’t be that dangerous.
2 – It Destroys Happiness
Recent studies found that in a rather terrifying proportion of cases, everything from neurosis to depression to drug addiction to divorce in some way stem from alcohol misuse. It has been determined that globally, there is simply no other drug more capable of killing happiness and triggering negative consequences than alcohol. Even without considering alcohol addiction, it’s still the drug that destroys happiness more comprehensively and routinely than any other.
3 – It’s a Global Killer
Studies have shown that alcohol still remains the number one cause of death for UK adults between 16 and 60 years old. In the United States, around 90,000 people lose their lives every year to alcohol misuse and abuse. Even more terrifyingly, at least one individual is killed by an intoxicated driver in the US every 50 minutes. And when it comes to economic impact, this on-going and incredible tragedy costs the United States government in excess of $60 billion every year.
Statistics show that on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in drink drive collisions and nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit.
4 – Assault Rates
It is not only personal health that represents a huge concern when it comes to alcohol misuse. It’s also widely known and documented that assault rates and alcohol are directly linked. According to research carried out by Harvard scientists, campuses, communities and regions where binge drinking is common have some of the highest rates of sexual and physical assault – over and above regions where binge drinking rates are lower. Violence and alcohol are directly associated in a way that simply can’t be compared to any other recreational drug.
5 – Hypocrisy
Another common reason why alcohol remains such a huge global threat is the way in which both the governmental authorities and media are so extremely biased and hypocritical. Such an incredible amount of effort, time and money are invested in the kinds of law enforcement strategies, public health campaigns and general government muscle-flexing that are targeting each and every recreational drug that is not currently taxed. Nonetheless, considering the fact that the government makes such an incredible amount of money from taxing alcohol, they seem to have no issue putting it in the hands of the public for pennies. So once again, one is led to believe that alcohol is a harmless drug, when it’s in fact quite the opposite.
6 – Leading By Example
Last up, it is quite inevitable that alcohol will continue to be the same direct and extensive threat to society for many decades to come. The reason is that while today’s heavy drinking culture is harmful enough, it’s also setting a truly terrifying example for the next generations. It is one thing to increase public understanding and education, but it will always be the personal example we set that will have the greatest influence over teenagers and young adults. If we do nothing but sweep the dangers of alcohol consumption under the rug, we can’t expect the next generations to do anything but the same.