With weed slowly but surely entering the same mainstream acceptance territory as our dear friend alcohol, one omission in the general political discussion surrounding this continued widespread legalization has become strikingly apparent: all those other drugs people love. Whether or not one considers weed and/or alcohol a "drug," the science surrounding the impact of alcohol compared with the impact of other so-called "drugs" is relatively inarguable.
Heavy drinking among Americans enjoyed a 17.2 percent increase between 2005 and 2012, according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The study also revealed that binge drinking, the activity favored by your roommate who always ends up sleeping on the couch beneath the glow of Frasier reruns, has increased a startling 8.9 percent in the same time frame. According to an extensive report on related studies by Raw Story, at least 18 percent of Americans fit the general description of a "binge drinker," defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a man who downs five or more drinks or a woman who downs four or more drinks in one sitting.
While these so-called "drugs" still kill at least 38,000 people annually via overdose, alcohol far outpaces that estimate with at least 88,000 annual deaths between 2006 and 2010. Additionally, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World cites alcohol as far more deadly to American teenagers than "all other drugs combined," adding that it's a "factor" in the leading causes of death among those between the ages of 15 and 24.
So, where do we go from here? We can begin by ensuring the legalization of marijuana in more states across America, aiding in the battle against prison overcrowding and unfairly harsh sentences. The next battle, however, has already been established: decriminalization (at least!) of all substances. For more on that, consult below: