The opioid epidemic that has been taking place in the United States crosses most of the headlines, as it should. The opiate overdose rates have been going up at a terrifying rate, and opioid overdose symptoms are too often overlooked. But there is something else that should be getting just as much attention, and that is alcohol.
Yes, opioids are killing people, but so is alcohol. But since we are a culture very focused on alcohol consumption often the dangerous effects of alcohol are not talked about nearly enough. Death by alcohol is just as dangerous as by opiate if not more so.
Alcohol Kills More People Than All Other Drugs Combined
Alcohol is the cause of 88,000 deaths a year in the United States. It can shorten a lifespan by about 30 years. When you put together all of the other most dangerous drugs, they only kill about 30,000 people a year overall.
We all know the adverse side effects of drinking alcohol and how it is more than just physical side effects. Violence can happen because of alcohol drinking, so can car accidents and injuries and problems with work and relationships.
Alcohol is also easier to get because it’s totally legal. It can be bought in the store, at bars, in restaurants. Drinking is considered as normal as eating, and that’s part of the problem. People easily forget the dangers of drinking alcohol because everyone does it. It slowly kills people over time by hurting the body or can kill people directly through the actions of the intoxicated.
Alcohol Is Three Times More Harmful Than Cocaine
Believe it or not, alcohol has been described as the most harmful drug out there. Yes, this means it is worse than cocaine or even tobacco. The harms of drinking alcohol are quite severe and very common. Death by alcohol is not something unexpected.
Even though many drugs like cocaine or heroin are illegal, that doesn’t mean they are more dangerous than legal things. The problem with cocaine and heroin is that they have harmful effects on the body and are so addictive they interfere with life.
Alcohol Is Incredibly Easy To Access
As stated earlier alcohol drinking culture is quite strong. People have been drinking alcohol as long as humanity has been around, so it’s no surprise that it is easy to get. We drink to celebrate, we drink to mourn, and we drink just because. There is no situation really where alcohol can’t fit into the equation somehow.
Because of this, there are many different types of alcohol that are available all over the place. You can get beer and wine at a gas station, though at least liquor has to be separate. But either way, anyone over the age of 21 can buy alcohol, and no one can stop them.
Research has proven that alcohol is the deadliest drug out there, generally because it is so universally accepted and considered okay to use.