Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs -- beating out crack and heroin -- according to study results released by a British medical journal.Auto fatalities are more likely when drivers use alcohol. There are more hunting accidents when hunters have used alcohol. Domestic abuse against partners and children increase with the use of alcohol. Despite the preponderance of articles exhorting women not to drink, men who rape acquaintances in particular have frequently been drinking. There's a reason the term "barfight" exists and the term "cinemafight" or the term "restaurantfight" doesn't.
A panel of experts weighed the physical, psychological and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Sunday.
Using a new scale to evaluate harms to individual users and others, alcohol received a score of 72 on a scale of 1 to 100, the study says.
That makes it almost three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco, according to the article, which is slated to be published on The Lancet's website Monday and in an upcoming print edition of the journal.
Of course alcohol is a serious drug. And, like any other serious drug, it is safe in moderation. But we've got a culture instead built around actively encouraging its use in excess, despite the evidence that its excessive use can have devastating consequences, for oneself and for others.