Alcohol: A More Dangerous Drug Than Marijuana And Amphetamine

Posted on April 1, 2007

2


Table 1:

Social and economic costs of alcohol abuse for selected countries

Country

Year

Total Cost Estimate

% of GDP

Australia

1998–1999

A$ 7560.3 million

N.A.

Canada

1992

$7.52 billion

1.1

Chile

N.A.

$2.969 billion

N.A.

Finland

1990

$3.351-5.738 billion

N.A.

France

1997

115 420.91 FF

1.42

Ireland

N.A.

€2.4 billion

N.A.

Italy

2003

€26–66 billion

5–6

Japan

1987

US$ 5.7 billion

N.A.

Netherlands (the)

N.A.

€2.577 billion

N.A.

New Zealand

1990

$16.1 billion

4.0

Scotland

2001–2002

$1.071 billion

1.5

South Africa

N.A.

$1.7 billion

2.0

Switzerland

1998

6480 million Swiss francs

N.A.

United Kingdom (the)

N.A.

£15.4 billion

N.A.

United States (the)

1998

$184.6 billion

N.A.

 

 

List of 2004 Rate of Alcohol Abstainers in the Adult Population by Country

Source & © : WHO – Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, p.24

Country

Year

Total (%)

Male (%)

Female (%)

Albania

1995

24.0

12.0

36.0

Algeria

1995

89.0

80.0

98.0

Australia

2001

17.5

14.1

20.8

Azerbaijan

1995

24.0

12.0

36.0

Bolivia

1995

34.5

24.0

45.0

Brazila

2001–2002

51.5

40.0

60.5

Canada b

1998–1999

22.1

17.8

26.1

China a

2000–2001

48.6

27.5

73.1

Colombia

2000–2001

15.1

4.9

20.7

Egypt

2000–2001

99.5

99.0

100.0

France

1999

6.7

4.3

8.9

Germany

2000

5.1

4.3

5.9

Greece

1995

8.0

1.0

15.0

Guyana

1995

30.0

20.0

40.0

India a

2000–2001

79.1

67.1

89.3

Indonesia

2000–2001

94.8

89.8

98.9

Iraq

1995

89.0

80.0

98.0

Israel

2001

35.5

25.7

45.4

Jordan

1995

86.0

74.0

98.0

Kenya

1995

55.0

45.0

65.0

Kyrgyzstan

1995

70.0

60.0

80.0

Lebanon

2000–2001

77.4

67.4

86.7

Malaysia

1995

49.5

35.0

64.0

Nigeria a

2000–2001

75.6

51.3

89.6

Pakistan

1995

94.5

90.0

99.0

Philippines (the)

1995

40.0

10.0

70.0

Russian Federation (the)

1996

23.1

9.0

35.0

Saudi Arabia

1995

97.0

95.0

99.0

Singapore

2000–2001

74.5

66.6

82.3

Spain a

2003

37.7

26.9

48.7

Syrian Arab Republic (the)

2000–2001

95.7

92.4

98.8

Tajikistan

1995

70.0

60.0

80.0

Thailand b

2001

67.4

44.1

90.2

Trinidad and Tobago

1995

49.5

29.0

70.0

Tunisia

1995

82.5

70.0

95.0

Turkey

2000–2001

80.4

77.5

82.5

Turkmenistan

1995

45.0

35.0

55.0

Uganda a

2003

54.3

48.2

60.3

The United Kingdom

2000

12.0

9.0

14.0

United States of America (the)

2002

33.9

29.3

38.2

Uzbekistan

1995

70.0

60.0

80.0

a Regional survey
b No definition of abstainers given.
c Last month abstainers
d The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
e Current abstainers
Note: Please refer to individual country profiles for details of references/sources used.
 

James Randerson, science correspondent
Friday March 23, 2007
The Guardian

Some of Britain’s leading drug experts demand today that the government’s classification regime be scrapped and replaced by one that more honestly reflects the harm caused by alcohol and tobacco. They say the current ABC system is “arbitrary” and not based on evidence.

The scientists, including members of the government’s top advisory committee on drug classification, have produced a rigorous assessment of the social and individual harm caused by 20 substances, and believe this should form the basis of any future ranking.

By their analysis, alcohol and tobacco are rated as more dangerous than cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. They say that if the current ABC system is retained, alcohol would be rated a class A drug and tobacco class B.

“We face a huge problem,” said Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council and an author of the report, which is published in the Lancet medical journal. “Drugs … have never been more easily available, have never been cheaper, never been more potent and never been more widely used. […]

David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at Bristol University and member of the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) which advises ministers on drug policy, added: “What we are trying to say is we should review the penalties in the light of the harms and try to have a more proportionate legal response.

“The point we are making is that all drugs are dangerous, even the ones that people know and love and use regularly like alcohol.”

Professor Nutt and his team analysed the evidence of harm caused by 20 drugs including heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD and tobacco.

They asked a group of 29 consultant psychiatrists who specialise in addiction to rate the drugs in nine categories. Three of these related to physical harm, three to the likelihood of addiction and three to social harms such as healthcare costs. The team also extended the analysis to another group of 16 experts spanning several fields including chemistry, pharmacology, psychiatry, forensics, police and legal services.

The final rankings placed heroin and cocaine as the most dangerous of the 20 drugs. Alcohol was fifth, the class C drug ketamine sixth and tobacco was in ninth place, just behind amphetamine or “speed“.

Please click here to read the whole article.

Note from Rafik Beekun:

Impact of alcohol problems on the workplace:
Alcohol misuse is a major issue affecting employers and employees in the UK. A recent survey found those in employment were more likely than those not working to have drunk heavily during the previous week:

  1. 26% of working men had consumed more than eight alcohol units on at least one day.
  2. 14% of women working full-time had consumed more than six units of alcohol on at least one day.

 Drinking at lower levels can also cause alcohol-related harm. Problems can arise from ‘inappropriate’ drinking, taking place in a manner or in situations which are potentially dangerous or where there could be adverse consequences. With regard to the workplace, this could mean drinking before a shift, in lunch breaks or during work hours. It may lead to absenteeism, inefficiency, accidents or damaged customer relations. Drinking impairing an employee’s work performance in any way can be viewed as problematic for the employer and so for the employee. Many people drink recreationally or socially without experiencing any problems.

  • Absenteeism, costing an estimated £2 billion a year to industry, has been shown in studies as having a strong relationship to occasional excessive or inappropriate drinking.
  • Performance and productivity are affected by an employee under-performing due to being under the influence of drink or having a hangover from drinking the previous night. It may take longer than one day to recover from a heavy binge and an employee may experience fatigue, depression or anxiety at this time. This in turn can affect colleagues’ and workplace morale. Colleagues may resent or feel they must ‘cover up’ for someone with a problem.
  • Accidents with alcohol as a contributory factor are estimated to comprise 20-25% of all workplace accidents. With drinking impairing concentration, judgement and co-ordination, accidents can affect the drinker and those around them. Employers have legal responsibilities regarding the safety of employees and, where relevant, the general public.
  • Cost through loss of staff and recruitment occurs when employers need to replace experienced and trained staff. It is usually more effective to retain existing staff, if possible, by supporting them in dealing with their problems than to incur the cost of recruiting and training new staff. The experience and skills lost when staff leave is often difficult to quantify.

For more on the impact of alcohol on the workplace, please click here.

Alcohol and the Human Body:

The Reality of Alcohol:

Dealing with Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace:

Alcohol and Tobacco Ads:

Alcoholism Anonymous (AA) Only Has 3% Success Rate:

Reference souces:
1. Global Status Report on Alcohol-2004.
2. Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Asia.
3. Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Workplace.
4. Health Effects of Alcohol.
5. Muslim cabdrivers refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol.

Alcohol, Hashish, Pornography and Prostitutes Available In Makkah

Badea Abu Al-Naja, Arab News

MAKKAH, 1 April 2007 — A drug dealer and a gang of pimps were arrested by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in two separate incidents that took place in the city recently.

Following a tip-off about a Saudi drug dealer in his 40s, who would all sell alcohol and bring prostitutes to his home, commission members covertly maintained a surveillance operation of the man’s home documenting cars belonging to customers, who would come to buy drugs.

The tip-off proved true and, although the drug-dealer had set up cameras at his home to inform him of potential police raids, commission members successfully raided the man’s house, where he was found drunk. “We managed to confiscate around one and a half kilos of hashish, five bottles of alcohol, SR7,530 of drug money and an abundance of pornography movies,” said a commission member, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Commission members arrested a woman, thought to be a prostitute, at the man’s home. “Following investigations, we learned that the man has been dealing in drugs for quite some time. He has been operating with a Pakistani man and a local Saudi man. The three have been handed over to the Anti-Drugs Department for further questioning,” said the commission member.

In a separate incident, commission members raided two brothels in the city and arrested a number of expatriate prostitutes and their Pakistani pimps. [more]

Muslim Countries and Alcohol:
1. Islamic Pakistan to get its own whisky.
2. Drugs, Alcohol, Pornography and Prostitutes available in Makkah.

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