Dying is just a part of the life cycle. But the circumstances under which people die can be significant, especially when avoidable. Death rates from drugs, alcohol, and suicide are at all-time highs. These death rates are higher than they ever have been since recording for such deaths began in 1999.
When we think of addiction, our thoughts often go to illegal drugs, and narcotics that are bought and sold on the streets and back alleys of inner cities and bad neighborhoods. However, one of the most addictive drugs in the world is entirely legal, very easy to get, and almost universally accepted. We are speaking, of course, of alcohol.
We might not think of alcohol when we think of the world’s most addictive or harmful drug, but alcohol is up there, completely dwarfing narcotic drugs and mind-altering substances. Alcohol is a drug, in every sense of the word, and just because it is legal in the United States and other countries does not mean it is harmless.
As our great nation continues to struggle with a sweeping drug problem, the American people have attempted to create new ways and means of addressing that problem. Not all such approaches have been successful or sensible.
Our country is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic. By now it would be difficult not to hear something about this. A story having to do with the opioid crisis can be found in the news just about every day. But it’s not just an opioid epidemic.
It’s no small task to measure the addiction potential of a substance. But researchers still put in the effort do this in order to furnish us with valuable information about different drugs. That information can help us greatly in addressing the drug crisis that our nation is mired in.
Drug use and excessive alcohol consumption cause and worsen a very long list of physical and mental illnesses. To maintain a healthy life, avoiding drug use, or recovering from addiction, are vital first steps.
When people hear that alcohol is the most addictive drug in the world, their instantaneous response is usually one of disbelief. Most people do not believe this to be true, because after all, everyone drinks, right? Certainly, except for perhaps cigarettes, and maybe sugar or coffee, alcohol is the most commonly used substance that could be considered to be addictive.
Sometimes we hear this idea tossed around that, “Not all drugs are created equal,” or “Not all drugs are the same, some are worse than others.” We have to be careful with this concept because it precludes the general fundamental truth that all drugs are unhealthy and risky.
Giovanna is a lively, attractive 44-year old woman with a strong accent betraying her Colombian origins. With her siblings, she moved to New York City in search of the American dream when she was in her 20s. But her alcoholism threatened to steal that dream away.