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Thread: The most dangerous drug:alcohol

  1. #1 The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    A report published in the lancet suggests that, overall, alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...462-6/fulltext

    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles so here's a excerpt from the college press release:

    The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion.

    Overall, MCDA modelling showed alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places. Heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most harmful drugs to the individual, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack were the most harmful to others. The other drugs assessed followed in this order in terms of overall harm: Crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (eighteen), benzodiazepines (eg valium) (15), ketamine (also 15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), butane (10), khat (9), ecstacy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6), mushrooms (5).
    So, the question becomes, should we ban alcohol?


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  3. #2 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles
    It does. You just have to register.


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  4. #3 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles
    It does. You just have to register.
    Thanks for letting me know - i must have forgotten, apparently i'm already registered. Doh!
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    Pssh, "should we ban alcohol". It didn't work in the 20's and 30's. It's surely not going to work now. I say, leave the option up to the user, not the government. There's a fine line between an embrace of safety and a suffocating bear hug.

    I believe that a more appropriate question would be, "Should we legalize other drugs?"

    I firmly believe that we should.
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    That is perhaps the question i was angling towards. I'm a tee-totaller and so the legal status of any drug will not affect my lifestyle. However, i am annoyed that people persecute my friend for smoking a bit a cannabis after work while themselves enjoying a beer. I can respect an opinion that all drugs should be illegal. I can also repsect an opinion that all drugs should be legal. If, however, some drugs are to be banned because of their harms (as we do now) it should be done based on the evidence of how much damage a certain drug does, measured against a state imposed idea of how much harm is acceptable. This report suggests this is not what is happening.
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  7. #6  
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    Pssh, "should we ban alcohol". It didn't work in the 20's and 30's. It's surely not going to work now.
    I'm not faulting anyone here, but this is the common 25-words-or-less misunderstanding (pretty much an urban legend) about national prohibition. In reality there were many states, counties, cities and towns (actually more than half of the country) that were dry before 1920 and, again, after 1933. The 18th Amendment simply made prohibition nationwide.

    Prohibition (although not in the national sense) is alive and well today in America, and here's an extensive list of the current dry communities in the US.
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    All that means is that people who enjoy drinking have to plan ahead and spend more on gas to drive to the next county. It also means the next county reaps the economic benefits while the tight-ass smug puritanical blue law counties lose both revenues and respect.

    Come to think of it, I think I could make a pretty solid argument how local bans on alcohol lead to increased incidence of drunk driving since they're effectively forcing people to drive elsewhere to obtain. Hmmm....
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    the next county reaps the economic benefits
    The cost or benefit of hosting drinking establishments is a perennial dispute between municipal governments where I am. Bedroom communities complain "nightlife" municipalities suck disposable income. This is countered by citing costs of additional policing, property damage, and depressed real estate values around less reputable businesses, which foster drugs & prostitution.

    The crass-or-classy specialization of communities is particularly stark when driving through the mountainous BC interior, because the placement of towns is linear. Alternate towns boast either poolhalls & pawnshops, or art galleries & upmarket toystores - rarely a fair mix of both.
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    Are you suggesting that the art galleries don't serve wine?
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    Sure, but that's nothing like Reno, Nevada. Most governments permit moderate drinking as part of a competitive entertainment offering. So alcohol draws money directly and indirectly... good... yet governments don't want to cover the costs of drunkenness and alcoholism.

    Some governments just sell-out. The damages are largely passed to neighboring communities aren't they?
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  12. #11  
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    I don't really accept your premise. You seem to be suggesting that drinking leads to whoring and needles while counties who disallow drinking are all aflutter with art galleries and high class.
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    I have come across the argument that alcohol is the most damaging drug a number of times. The conclusion is correct if you are a bit uncritical about the reasoning.

    The only reason alcohol is considered the most damaging is that it is the most common. More people drink alcohol than smoke tobacco, for example. Incidentally, in terms of actual deaths, tobacco is way worse than alcohol. Tobacco is estimated to kill 400,000 people each year in the United States alone.

    If something as nasty as methamphetamine was consumed as commonly as alcohol, society would break down totally, and end up in a degree of violence and strife that would destroy everything. Alcohol has seriously harmful effects on only about one drinker in 20. Of course, 5% of the drinkers is still a hell of a lot of people, since drinking alcohol is so widespread.

    On the other hand, the other 19 out of 20 drinkers actually benefit from the alcohol. Alcohol is the most widely used, and most effective social lubricant. I speak from experience, as a dedicated drinker. There is nothing more pleasant than sitting down with some good friends at the end of the day, over a few drinks, and talking total garbage while the alcohol loosens a few social inhibitions.

    If you are one of those people who has to open a bottle of something alcoholic before lunch, then you are one of the 5% who are harmed. You should do your damnedest to become a teetotaller, since you have proven your inability to control it.

    I think it is a matter of debate and personal opinion whether alcohol, overall, is a net benefit or a net detrement to society. You must weigh up the serious harm it does to a minority of drinkers against the undoubted pleasure it brings to the majority.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I don't really accept your premise. You seem to be suggesting that drinking leads to whoring and needles while counties who disallow drinking are all aflutter with art galleries and high class.
    I showed how your hypothesis:
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    the next county reaps the economic benefits while the tight-ass smug puritanical blue law counties lose both revenues and respect.
    ...forks into two working, opposing theories. Local governments debate this all the time. Plainly they tend to polarize one way or the other.
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  15. #14  
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    The alcohol we thought was so harmless is actually far worse than Ecstasy or Heroin.
    It's a nice post by you will be helpful for youngster.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I don't really accept your premise. You seem to be suggesting that drinking leads to whoring and needles while counties who disallow drinking are all aflutter with art galleries and high class.
    I showed how your hypothesis:
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    the next county reaps the economic benefits while the tight-ass smug puritanical blue law counties lose both revenues and respect.
    ...forks into two working, opposing theories. Local governments debate this all the time. Plainly they tend to polarize one way or the other.
    That doesn't mean it's a valid point. You seem to be adding to the polarization instead of looking at the issue "plainly."

    I won't belabor it. I just found it silly how you suggested that the areas of community which allow alcohol sales are more likely to suffer from whoring and needles and poverty whereas areas of the community which implement draconian and puritanical full bans on alcohol are somehow magic lands of prosperity and wisdom and goodness. That was the premise I challenged. I accept there are "talking points" on both sides, though.
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  17. #16 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    A report published in the lancet suggests that, overall, alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...462-6/fulltext

    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles so here's a excerpt from the college press release:

    The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion.

    Overall, MCDA modelling showed alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places. Heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most harmful drugs to the individual, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack were the most harmful to others. The other drugs assessed followed in this order in terms of overall harm: Crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (eighteen), benzodiazepines (eg valium) (15), ketamine (also 15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), butane (10), khat (9), ecstacy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6), mushrooms (5).
    So, the question becomes, should we ban alcohol?
    This system they are using for rating 'harm' is a little too convenient. I submit the following as rhetoric:

    How often must the drug have been used by a person in order to be considered for this study?

    Which drugs are the most consistent in relation to being used and harm - in general?

    How many of the listed categories of 'Harm' are inherrant? How many are based on opinion?

    You can be sure an avid pot-smoker would've been selected for this study, whereas an alcoholic would've been selected instead of an avid-drinker. I think this study is absurd.

    I will now state that all I could find when clicking on the link was four short paragraphs giving a synopsis of the study. So, I am formulating my opinion off what I saw. Excuse this opinion if I missing important details. But, since I am basing this opinion off what I have read, then no:

    I don't think there should be a move in favour of outlawing alcohol, and I think this study was created in a way to give deceiving results - in order to serve a predetermined agenda.
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  18. #17 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    A report published in the lancet suggests that, overall, alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...462-6/fulltext

    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles so here's a excerpt from the college press release:

    The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion.

    Overall, MCDA modelling showed alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places. Heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most harmful drugs to the individual, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack were the most harmful to others. The other drugs assessed followed in this order in terms of overall harm: Crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (eighteen), benzodiazepines (eg valium) (15), ketamine (also 15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), butane (10), khat (9), ecstacy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6), mushrooms (5).
    So, the question becomes, should we ban alcohol?
    This system they are using for rating 'harm' is a little too convenient. I submit the following as rhetoric:

    How often must the drug have been used by a person in order to be considered for this study?

    Which drugs are the most consistent in relation to being used and harm - in general?

    How many of the listed categories of 'Harm' are inherrant? How many are based on opinion?

    You can be sure an avid pot-smoker would've been selected for this study, whereas an alcoholic would've been selected instead of an avid-drinker. I think this study is absurd.

    I will now state that all I could find when clicking on the link was four short paragraphs giving a synopsis of the study. So, I am formulating my opinion off what I saw. Excuse this opinion if I missing important details. But, since I am basing this opinion off what I have read, then no:

    I don't think there should be a move in favour of outlawing alcohol, and I think this study was created in a way to give deceiving results - in order to serve a predetermined agenda.
    Just read it, you will find answers to your questions.
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  19. #18 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    A report published in the lancet suggests that, overall, alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...462-6/fulltext

    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles so here's a excerpt from the college press release:

    The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion.

    Overall, MCDA modelling showed alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places. Heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most harmful drugs to the individual, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack were the most harmful to others. The other drugs assessed followed in this order in terms of overall harm: Crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (eighteen), benzodiazepines (eg valium) (15), ketamine (also 15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), butane (10), khat (9), ecstacy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6), mushrooms (5).
    So, the question becomes, should we ban alcohol?
    This system they are using for rating 'harm' is a little too convenient. I submit the following as rhetoric:

    How often must the drug have been used by a person in order to be considered for this study?

    Which drugs are the most consistent in relation to being used and harm - in general?

    How many of the listed categories of 'Harm' are inherrant? How many are based on opinion?

    You can be sure an avid pot-smoker would've been selected for this study, whereas an alcoholic would've been selected instead of an avid-drinker. I think this study is absurd.

    I will now state that all I could find when clicking on the link was four short paragraphs giving a synopsis of the study. So, I am formulating my opinion off what I saw. Excuse this opinion if I missing important details. But, since I am basing this opinion off what I have read, then no:

    I don't think there should be a move in favour of outlawing alcohol, and I think this study was created in a way to give deceiving results - in order to serve a predetermined agenda.
    Just read it, you will find answers to your questions.
    I have read it, and the information provided does not contain any reference relating to the questions I posed. It doesn't mention anything about consistency in relation to general use. It doesn't mention to what extent of a drug user these ratings were comparable to - and the same goes for the extent of some of the characteristics of harm and whether or not there is reasonable evidence to support their data.

    Few of their sections of harm are clearly defined, most of the 'harm to others' sections are circumstantial at best.
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  20. #19 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j
    I have read it, and the information provided does not contain any reference relating to the questions I posed. It doesn't mention anything about consistency in relation to general use. It doesn't mention to what extent of a drug user these ratings were comparable to - and the same goes for the extent of some of the characteristics of harm and whether or not there is reasonable evidence to support their data.

    Few of their sections of harm are clearly defined, most of the 'harm to others' sections are circumstantial at best.
    The 6th reference of the paper answers most of your questions, here's the link. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publica...rt?view=Binary

    The 'harms to others' are necessarily subjective because they are ethical, not scientific, decisions. How would you quantify environmental damage in comparison to breakdown of community cohesion other than by a value judgement?

    In what way is the rating system too convenient? Do you know of a more suitable measure of harm?
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  21. #20  
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    Personally, I think alcohol should be relegated to second worst drug. The various criteria mentioned are all very well, but the single biggest harm any drug can do is to kill people.

    The worst drug is nicotine. My criterion is single. How many people does it kill? Here in New Zealand it kills 6,000 people per year. Drunk driving kills 120. Other alcohol related mortalities fall way short of the lethality of tobacco.

    The native Americans got their revenge. Tobacco is now killing 400,000 Americans per year, and millions globally. Definitely the worst drug.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The worst drug is nicotine. My criterion is single. How many people does it kill? Here in New Zealand it kills 6,000 people per year. Drunk driving kills 120. Other alcohol related mortalities fall way short of the lethality of tobacco.
    Strange that the study drug-specific mortality for tobacco is zero. Perhaps because the evidence of it's harm is based on epidemiological studies - i'm not sure, i'll have to investigate when i get time. It does, however, have a large drug-related mortality comparable to alcohol and heroine.
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    The body can take between one and three years to recover from alcohol abuse, even then there can be some damage that cannot be repaired. The liver is the only organ in the body that can to some degree, repair itself. When treatment begins the state of the body and mind is such that very little mental coordination can be achieved until the fog has lifted. This can take two to three weeks after alcohol and any detoxification has left the body.
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    I am a fairly big drinker. I love my wine. When I discussed this with my doctor, he recommended that I introduce 'alcohol free days' on a regular basis. Apparently, the liver's ability to recover is such that 3 days a week with no booze is enough to permit massive recovery, in spite of the fact that I over-indulge on the other four.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    my doctor, he recommended that I introduce 'alcohol free days' on a regular basis. Apparently, the liver's ability to recover is such that 3 days a week with no booze is enough to permit massive recovery
    Interesting to know. I may have to try that sometime.
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    Suggesting an alcohol ban shows that such person hasn't heeded the clear lesson of history. USA did such ban back in the days, and a terrible sideeffect occured, the bootleg days blossomed for gangsters and a crimewave grew by this ban.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I am a fairly big drinker. I love my wine. When I discussed this with my doctor, he recommended that I introduce 'alcohol free days' on a regular basis. Apparently, the liver's ability to recover is such that 3 days a week with no booze is enough to permit massive recovery, in spite of the fact that I over-indulge on the other four.
    Bizaar advice. In the UK the recommendation is if you're gonna drink alot, spread it out through the week, try not to have binging sessions. These are just the recommendations - i wonder whether there's actually any research on it...

    Quote Originally Posted by HexHammer
    Suggesting an alcohol ban shows that such person hasn't heeded the clear lesson of history. USA did such ban back in the days, and a terrible sideeffect occured, the bootleg days blossomed for gangsters and a crimewave grew by this ban.
    True. You could never ban alcohol because people enjoy it too much. And as a moral relavatist i would not want to ban something so many people enjoy (even if i don't like it). But i would like a way of reducing its harms to society; it's not a victimless activity. First step in doing that is pointing out it's more harmful than many illegal drugs. The prohibition also demonstrated why legalising some drugs might be a good idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I have come across the argument that alcohol is the most damaging drug a number of times. The conclusion is correct if you are a bit uncritical about the reasoning.

    The only reason alcohol is considered the most damaging is that it is the most common. More people drink alcohol than smoke tobacco, for example. Incidentally, in terms of actual deaths, delete duplicates tobacco is way worse than alcohol. Tobacco is estimated to kill 400,000 people each year in the United States alone.

    If something as nasty as methamphetamine was consumed as commonly as alcohol, society would break down totally, and end up in a degree of violence and strife that would destroy everything. Alcohol has seriously harmful effects on only about one drinker in 20. Of course, 5% of the drinkers is still a hell of a lot of people, since drinking alcohol is so widespread.

    On the other hand, the other 19 out of 20 drinkers actually benefit from the alcohol. Alcohol is the most widely used, and most effective social lubricant. I speak from experience, as a dedicated drinker. There is nothing more pleasant than sitting down with some good friends at the end of the day, over a few drinks, and talking total garbage while the alcohol loosens a few social inhibitions.

    If you are one of those people who has to open a bottle of something alcoholic before lunch, then you are one of the 5% who are harmed. You should do your damnedest to become a teetotaller, since you have proven your inability to control it.

    I think it is a matter of debate and personal opinion whether alcohol, overall, is a net benefit or a net detrement to society. You must weigh up the serious harm it does to a minority of drinkers against the undoubted pleasure it brings to the majority.
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  29. #28  
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    Smithm

    Yes, on average, consuming alcohol reduces life span. However, the key words are "on average". Other data shows that moderate drinkers have a slightly longer life span than teetotallers. One reason for this, of course, is that many teetotallers are reformed alcoholics and the damage is already done.

    I think, though, that there is another important reason. It is well known that more sociable people live longer and enjoy life more than those who are less sociable. Moderate drinking is associated with a more sociable lifestyle. Thus, an influence to both make you live longer and enjoy life more.

    As I said earlier, for 5% of the population, alcohol is an unmitigated curse. For the other 95%, it is probably a blessing.
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    To see how much alcohol u have in your blood just go to the following site and test it. Its fast and accurate.

    http://www.letscalculate.com/calcula...calculator.php

    The information provided is accurate and there are other sort of calculators as well to try out.
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    I am french.
    Our behaviour toward alcohol is a bit different of what I saw with US, UK or worst Scandinavian countries.
    I like good wines, spirits. I don't mind being tipsy.

    But I can't support alcoholism and drunkness.

    I can give you my personnal story, it's not a secret. My wife was a wonderful woman. In 2000, we moved to a country where we needed, for security, to stay in camp. There she met some other women and started to have 'ladies get-together' and 'ladies-night'. When she was drunk, she had a tendency to become paranoid and very violent.
    At the end, I could not support it anymore. We went apart. She met someone else. The person was also having alcoholism problem and mental problem. On the 20th of July 2010, she stabbed her friend to death. She is in prison.

    That's all.
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  32. #31 Re: The most dangerous drug:alcohol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    A report published in the lancet suggests that, overall, alcohol is the most dangerous drug of them all.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...462-6/fulltext

    This will give the abstract but the Lancet don't provide free full text articles so here's a excerpt from the college press release:

    The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion.

    Overall, MCDA modelling showed alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places. Heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most harmful drugs to the individual, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack were the most harmful to others. The other drugs assessed followed in this order in terms of overall harm: Crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (eighteen), benzodiazepines (eg valium) (15), ketamine (also 15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), butane (10), khat (9), ecstacy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6), mushrooms (5).
    So, the question becomes, should we ban alcohol?
    For me? its better to ban cigarette than alcohol coz thats very dangerous than alcohol i think .
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  33. #32  
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    yep it's dangerous.

    But we tried to ban it already and it was a huge failure. It's also trivial to make at home (I didn't say it had to really taste good...lol) and certainly not worth the effort tying to enforce.

    As an interesting aside. Maine became a dry State in 1851 after a man was killed during the construction of a church. It was a hot summer day and most of the dozen or so men were pretty loaded as they tried to rise the main beam and something went wrong. It was the culmination of a few decades of attempts to ban alcohol.

    What followed was one of the most profitable periods in Maine history which some historians directly attribute to effects of a sober workforce.
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  34. #33  
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    Tobacco was ranked the 6th most dangerous drug - it doesn't do as much harm to others/society as some other drugs which this grading system takes into account.

    I think we'll see a general ban of tobacco within a generation, at least in the U.K. We're already making steps towards it and it's backed by a strong medical lobby.
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