Alcohol consumption should be banned. Argue for or against the statement.
Alcohol is one of the most widely used and abused drugs in the world. It is a legal drug that can be found just about anywhere, restaurants, liquor stores and even in some supermarkets. It is a drug that is used by many, some just to relax, others to party with the intention of getting drunk and those that are addicted and who abuse the drug like no other. Alcohol causes several problems and injures the lives of many, it is the fifth most dangerous drug in the world being higher than LSD and ecstasy, yet it is a drug that society allows to be used everyday.
Alcohol is a drug, which is classified as a depressant. This means that after being consumed it slows down the body’s vital functions, if taken in too much, it may result in slurred speech, problems with perception and unsteady coordination. It is known as a downer, which means that it actually puts the mind in quite a depressed state. It affects the mind, in the case of reducing a person’s ability to think rationally and it impairs judgment. (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol.html). Alcohol is a legal drug, meaning that, it is allowed to be consumed freely with a few laws that prohibit people from driving and consuming it under a certain age. Yet it is a drug that has been proven to cause the most harm to users and others around them. It is not listed as a class A, B or C drug, yet it is listed as the fifth most harmful drug, being higher on the list than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. Yet all these three drugs are seen as class A or B drugs, making them highly illegal. (http://www.listology.com/list/top-twenty-most-dangerous-drugs-according-bbc-horizon). Recent studies have shown that the consumption of alcohol is worse to its users and to the people around the users than any other drug.
It has shown that when all factors are taken into consideration, alcohol comes out at the top as the most costly drug towards society and it causes the biggest harm. In a study done by Professor David Nutt, he created a bar graph showing the most harmful drugs to users and the society. When conducting his study he took into account all the harms that the drug creates, including mental and physical damage, addiction, crime and costs to the economy and communities. His study showed that alcohol was even worse than heroin when all factors were taken into consideration. Professor Nutt’s study has showed that the drug classification system, currently in place, have little relevance to the actual harm that is caused by the drug. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210). Many studies have now been taken into consideration and a ‘deeper’ look has been taken in to establish exactly how and which drugs cause the most harm. With all these studies, alcohol has been seen as a very high-risk drug. With all these studies there has been the debate in many countries across the globe as to whether alcohol consumption should be banned completely. It has been shown that alcohol is one of the leading causes in death amongst young adults, aged between 15 to 25 years of age, in the cases of accidents, homicides and suicides. Statistics in the USA in 2005, show that 6.6 of the population who are 12 or older, so around 16 million people, are heavy drinkers. In the same study it was shown that out of the 3.9 million people who received treatment for substance abuse, 2.9 million of them were receiving treatment for alcohol abuse. A later study in the USA in 2007 showed that 12998 people had died in car accidents due to alcohol.
In the USA alone there are around 1.4 million drunken arrests every year. Studies from England in 2005 showed that there were 6570 deaths caused by alcohol and a later study in 2006 showed that the death toll, from alcohol, had risen to 8758, this shows a gradual increase of 7% each year in alcohol related deaths. Worldwide it was shown that in Europe, out of the 490 million people, 23 million of them were dependent on alcohol. In 2005 out of all traffic deaths 39% of them were alcohol related and 40% of violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol. (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/international-statistics.html). Statistics show that alcohol appears to be a very negative drug. Taken on a worldwide scale alcohol causes more deaths than any illegal drug. But this is not to say that all alcohol consumption is bad. Statistics have shown that wine, in moderation, is actually healthy for a person. Red wine has been proven to actually help the heart and lessen the risk of heart disease. Studies shown have indicated that red wine contains antioxidants, which actually help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and protecting the heart against artery damage. Although this has been seen, doctors still do not encourage people to start drinking as all alcohol can, in the long term effect, cause problems towards health. Red
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