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Old Nov 2nd 2010, 03:23 AM
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Default Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug



A new study ranks twenty drugs by sixteen different "harmful" criteria, and finds that alcohol is by far the most harmful drug around.

Other findings: cocaine and tobacco are neck and neck, and basically anything Carlos Castaneda would be interested in rank very low on the detractive scale.

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I've always thought alcohol was the most damaging drug out there--but I hail from a veritable herd of alcoholics (my mother being a blessed exception). What do you guys think?
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Old Nov 2nd 2010, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

I read about this before, but I'm still not entirely sure on how "harm" was determined and the extent to which it took into account how many people used a given drug. For example, there's this quote:

Quote:
"Prof Nutt told the BBC: "Overall, alcohol is the most harmful drug because it's so widely used.

"Crack cocaine is more addictive than alcohol but because alcohol is so widely used there are hundreds of thousands of people who crave alcohol every day, and those people will go to extraordinary lengths to get it."
So if crack were as widely used as alcohol is now, would its "harm" rating increase?
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Old Nov 2nd 2010, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
I read about this before, but I'm still not entirely sure on how "harm" was determined and the extent to which it took into account how many people used a given drug. For example, there's this quote:



So if crack were as widely used as alcohol is now, would its "harm" rating increase?
Yes, that's always a tricky issue when discussing the effects of drugs.

Are we speaking about the specific harm to a given individual who uses/consumes it? Or are we talking about the general harm to society produced by the aggregate of those who use/consume it?

Indeed, I have no doubt that heroin and crack cocaine (and crystal meth) are all far more damaging on an individual usage basis. But I do believe that alcohol does win the 'most' social damage award due to the massive volume of consumption that dwarfs the consumption of the illicit drug trade.

I think the OP chart does show this pattern.
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Old Nov 4th 2010, 05:55 PM
SMadsen SMadsen is offline
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Are we speaking about the specific harm to a given individual who uses/consumes it? Or are we talking about the general harm to society produced by the aggregate of those who use/consume it?
Nine of the 16 harm criteria are related to harming the individual and the remaining 7 relates to harm to others. The 9 criteria regarding harm to the drug user are: Drug-specific mortality and damage, drug-related mortality and damage, dependence, mental impairment (drug-specific and -related), loss of tangibles and loss of relationships. The 7 criteria regarding harm to others are injury, crime, environmental damage, family adversities, international damage, economic cost and community (social cohesion).
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Old Nov 4th 2010, 06:05 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

We Russians say alcohol is the worst poison, but the best medicine. Alcohol is indeed a terrible thing. It kills. Directly, by poisoning the body; indirectly, by making you do stupid thing: become aggressive, get into a fight, kill someone or be killed yourself; and by driving under influences and running someone over, being run over by a drunk driver, etc. A person I know did suicide after getting drunk. Another one, well, he had issues, after he served in Chechnya, it affected his psychology. Then, he drank a lot. Became obssessed with the idea his wife was cheating on him with their neighbor. One day, he got really drunk, took an axe, went to the neighbor's house, and chopped his head off... He'll be in prison for the rest of his life. And three boys and a girl, neighbor's sons, and his son and daughter, will grow up without a father. That is what alcohol does...
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Old Nov 4th 2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Originally Posted by MeMyselfAndI View Post
We Russians say alcohol is the worst poison, but the best medicine. Alcohol is indeed a terrible thing. It kills. Directly, by poisoning the body; indirectly, by making you do stupid thing: become aggressive, get into a fight, kill someone or be killed yourself; and by driving under influences and running someone over, being run over by a drunk driver, etc. A person I know did suicide after getting drunk. Another one, well, he had issues, after he served in Chechnya, it affected his psychology. Then, he drank a lot. Became obssessed with the idea his wife was cheating on him with their neighbor. One day, he got really drunk, took an axe, went to the neighbor's house, and chopped his head off... He'll be in prison for the rest of his life. And three boys and a girl, neighbor's sons, and his son and daughter, will grow up without a father. That is what alcohol does...
Those examples sound like existing, dominating psychological problems with or without alcohol. Alcohol merely provided the mechanism for those individuals to temporarily ignore societal consequences for their actions.
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Old Nov 4th 2010, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Those examples sound like existing, dominating psychological problems with or without alcohol. Alcohol merely provided the mechanism for those individuals to temporarily ignore societal consequences for their actions.
"Sorry. I forgot myself for a second. You know how red lights affect a person!"

"Sorry I raped you. You know how it is when you're at a party."

"Sorry I shot you in the face. You know how it is when you have a bad day."
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Old Nov 4th 2010, 10:36 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

I am not saying he was not responcible for what he did. But, there were other factors. Not just alcohol. Chechnya too, what he saw and experienced, and been through, and, maybe, did there...

You know, in Russian military, they don't know what Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is. They do not even recognize that such a issue exists. I only knew about it after I talked to a British exchange student here in university, who is a former Royal Marine. Former soldiers here suffer silently from this, there is no help. The army has PRIESTS of all faiths, but no psychologists...

No wonder this happens. And more and more. As screwed up boys come home, it will happen more. In some ways, better if they came in a coffin instead. At least, they'd not be able to harm anyone else.
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Old Nov 5th 2010, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Originally Posted by MeMyselfAndI View Post
I am not saying he was not responcible for what he did. But, there were other factors. Not just alcohol. Chechnya too, what he saw and experienced, and been through, and, maybe, did there...

You know, in Russian military, they don't know what Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is. They do not even recognize that such a issue exists. I only knew about it after I talked to a British exchange student here in university, who is a former Royal Marine. Former soldiers here suffer silently from this, there is no help. The army has PRIESTS of all faiths, but no psychologists...

No wonder this happens. And more and more. As screwed up boys come home, it will happen more. In some ways, better if they came in a coffin instead. At least, they'd not be able to harm anyone else.
Macho conservative theocrats screwing the pawns at will, am I right?
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Old Nov 5th 2010, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Study finds alcohol is most destructive drug

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Originally Posted by Margot View Post
"Sorry. I forgot myself for a second. You know how red lights affect a person!"

"Sorry I raped you. You know how it is when you're at a party."

"Sorry I shot you in the face. You know how it is when you have a bad day."
What do these have to do with the argument? I never apologize for raping and/or killing when I have been binge drinking.
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