Acoording to a British physician group, among all drugs of abuse, alcohol is the most harmful overall by a wide margin. The article that was published in The Lancet (a well-respected peer reviewed journal) found that among 20 prescription and illicit drugs that are frequently abused, the nongovernmental Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) determined that, for users, alcohol is not quite as dangerous as crack cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, but it is far more damaging to others.
The committee's review gave alcohol an overall "harm score" of 72. Heroin came in second with a score of 55, with crack cocaine a close third at 54. This elevated score is due to the effects that alcohol has on other people (ie, accidents, violence, economic effects, etc). The authors of the paper call for revisions in governmental drug policies to address alcohol's harms to others.
And I agree...although bootlegging didn't exactly help to decrease the harms to others (read: stronghold of the Mafia and their crime sprees/monopolies). Alcohol dependence is a serious medical and public health problem, despite its social acceptability. We all need to step up and realize that alcohol is a TOXIN and in such, it leads to many other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, cirrhosis of the liver, dependence issues, etc. Moderation is acceptable in its use, but it can and often does become a problem for those with "addictive personalities".
Just something to think about...
Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.