Thursday, May 29, 2014

Death Toll of Marijuana Overdose Still Sits at Zero, Alcohol Related Deaths Occur 360 Times Per Hour.

Natural health advocates and truth-seekers often question the reasoning of prohibiting medicinal plants (like Cannabis), while other drugs – like pharmaceuticals and alcohol – are still legal. Late research only confirms this conundrum, and raises awareness as to why change is very much needed.

After a night at work, to enhance celebration, or to forget one’s woes, alcohol is a liquid commonly reached for by 34% of the population on a daily basis. A beer here, a glass of wine there, it’s a substance that is often drunk without second thought – but it’s long-term implications are not so easily forgotten. While consuming alcohol is socially acceptable, the number of deaths that accompany uninhibited drinking are not as easily swallowed.

Latest research has found that alcohol kills approximately 3.3 million people worldwide each year, or about one person every 10 seconds. This news (according to the World Health Organization) was released in a statement on Monday, May 12, 2014. This toll of death is more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and violence combined, and results in 1 in every 20 deaths.

According to the “Global status report on alcohol and health 2014,” 5-9% of deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol. Even more shocking, it’s 7.6% of all male deaths (HIV is responsible for 2.8%, tuberculosis 1.7%, and violence just 0.9%). This is a substantial amount of deaths attributed to a perfectly legal drug.

Image Credit: WHO

Something needs to be done: As stated in the report, alcohol abuse is a global pandemic and governments need to take action to protect their citizens. Some of the best solutions so far offered up include: higher taxes, raising legal drinking ages, and regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages. The WHO also calls on governments to conduct national awareness – raising campaigns and providing treatment services for alcoholics.

Dr. Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, stated “More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.” He continued, “The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”

The majority of deaths come from associated cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but also cirrhosis and increased susceptibility to disease. 17.1% of all alcohol-related deaths involved a vehicular collision or other accident, while others are mainly attributed to alcohol induced violence and abuse.

Trends around the world are changing with the shifting of global wealth as well. The WHO reported that nations experiencing an economic boost, like India and China, are taking up drinking at higher rates, and in effect are increasingly becoming victims of alcohol. But in particular, it’s eastern Europe and Russia that were singled out for particular concern. In Russia, men who drink averaged 32 liters of pure alcohol a year, nearly twice that of the average drinker around the rest of the world.

With these statistics, it’s very clear that officials are cracking down on the wrong substances at the moment. The death toll of marijuana overdose still sets at zero, but alcohol-related deaths occur 360 times per hour.

If the government was truly committed to fighting substance abuse, this drink would be more strictly regulated. While prohibition didn't work out very well the first time, there are other measures that could possibly be taken to reduce the devastating death toll caused by this drug.

Sources:
True Activist, Amanda Froelich, Policy Mic, who.int, huffingtonpost.com, archives.gov

4 comments:

  1. I been sayin this for a decade

    ReplyDelete
  2. hypocrisy, hypocrisy everywhere says Buzz Lightyear

    ReplyDelete
  3. Money's involved, that changes the rules of game which they created in the first place. when Michael Jackson said "they don't really care about us" he meant that quite literally! Then they murdered him so.........?

    ReplyDelete

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