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The phrase "drugs and alcohol" should be amended to "illegal drugs and alcohol", or simply "drugs" to eliminate the misconception that alcohol is safer than other drugs, amirite?

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Alcohol is a drug, and so is nicotine.

You bring up a good point with this post. There are a lot of people who think alcohol isn't even a drug because it's so commonly used in our society. It's a shame that people aren't more educated about drugs and their effects.

I think that's why I just group everything under 'substances' when I talk about harmful drugs and alcohol because even though they are the same in that they have detrimental effects to your body but society has placed different connotations on drugs and alcohol

@Naggs I think that's why I just group everything under 'substances' when I talk about harmful drugs and alcohol because...

I've ended up shifting my position on this issue. I don't think the phrase "drugs and alcohol" creates a misconception that alcohol is ok, because it's so commonly used as a grouped vice that we warn children to stay away from. And you can't deny that the term "drugs" has become a generic one to refer to all ILLEGAL drugs, and so it's quite proper to separate tobacco and alcohol from those. It's not to say they're less harmful, just that they're legal. And, alcohol isn't any worse for you than say, fast food. Anything in excess will have a detrimental effect on your body. Moderation in all things is key.

@TommyUK1234 I've ended up shifting my position on this issue. I don't think the phrase "drugs and alcohol" creates a...

"Drugs and alcohol" may not create the misconception, but it certainly doesn't do anything to lessen it. And alcohol is worse than fast food. It is physically addictive, it impairs brain function, kills brain cells, impairs driving, etc. All fast food does is make your body unhealthy. Alcohol kills both the body and the mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm not coming out against alcohol use; I like alcohol. I'd just like to see people use it more responsibly and I think a good start is to stop pretending that alcohol is somehow safer than illegal drugs.

AtheisticMystics avatar AtheisticMystic Yeah You Are +1Reply
@AtheisticMystic "Drugs and alcohol" may not create the misconception, but it certainly doesn't do anything to lessen it. And...

You see, what you've done there is take commonly known effects of alcohol and tried to make it look worse than fast food by generalizing the myriad effects of fast food into one single phrase. Nicely done, but it's a total load. Alcohol can't be called "worse" for your health than fast food. Fast food can increase risks of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, bad skin, tooth decay...sometimes they contain chemicals that have been linked to behavioral problems in children. Who says fast food isn't addictive? You don't know any fast food junkies? I was one for a while. They contain high amounts of sugar and other things you can get hooked on just as easily as with alcohol, if not more so. Also, alcohol IS arguably safer than many illegal drugs, in addictiveness and physical harm, as well as the fact that it being legal in itself can be argued to encourage moderation. Returning to the point, making the phrase in question "illegal drugs and alcohol" in fact would be the thing to create a misconception, because it pushes the two vices further apart. Using the term drugs and alcohol in the way we do now is quite proper and accurate.

@AtheisticMystic "Drugs and alcohol" may not create the misconception, but it certainly doesn't do anything to lessen it. And...

But I think with some of the harder drugs you can become addicted almost lay instantly but the same doesn't hold true for alcohol.
Also alcohol can be found in pretty much everything, if you leave out any fruit juice for long enough it's become alcoholic.
Most drugs (excluding weed) have negative effects almost instantly and with much smaller quantities then alcohol.
Gram for gram drugs are worse then alcohol

@Naggs But I think with some of the harder drugs you can become addicted almost lay instantly but the same doesn't hold...

Well put - there's a chart somewhere on wikipedia which shows various substances and their addictiveness/harmful comparison. Alcohol is above things like poppers I think, but below most, if not all illegal drugs. For some reason, wiki isn't opening for me right now, but go search for cocaine on there or something and it should be there on that page.

Stupid politcally correctness grumbles

names avatar name No Way -1Reply
@name Stupid politcally correctness grumbles

I don't think this falls under the political correctness umbrella. It's just more accurate to put it that way. In saying "drugs and alcohol", you make a distinction that makes alcohol sound like it is not a drug, like saying "meat and vegetables" or "carbs and proteins". But alcohol IS a drug, but not an illegal one. I agree with the idea logically, but practically there's actually no need to make the alteration since the term "drugs" has become widely acknoweldged as meaning "illegal drugs".

@TommyUK1234 I don't think this falls under the political correctness umbrella. It's just more accurate to put it that way. In...

I'd like to see the change because I've run into quite a few people who grossly underestimate the damage that alcohol can do. People that think alcohol is safer than cannabis simply because it's legal. Our society has put alcohol on a pedestal and separated it from other drugs, when the only difference between them is legality.

AtheisticMystics avatar AtheisticMystic Yeah You Are +2Reply
@AtheisticMystic I'd like to see the change because I've run into quite a few people who grossly underestimate the damage that...

Well yes, you're right there. It's all to do with business and corporate lobbying of course. But in fact, I think the generic term "drugs" should be used to refer only to hard non-natural substances such as ecstasy, heroin, cocaine etc. I'm personally all for legalizing cannabis and mushrooms. Anyway, all I'm pointing out is that the same generic term "drugs" DOES refer to the illegal ones, and the argument about which are more harmful is a different one altogether. In addition, when people do use the combined term "drugs and alcohol", they are usually pairing them as bad. Alcohol is legal and so isn't part of the term "drugs" (even though it is one), BECAUSE "drugs" refers to the illegal ones. See what I mean?

@AtheisticMystic I'd like to see the change because I've run into quite a few people who grossly underestimate the damage that...

Adding illegal to the phrase you're talking about wouldn't help people think aclohol was worse...if anything they'd think it was better because it draws further attention to the legality of alcohol. What you should be arguing for is better education on the subject. These arbitrary additions of words you propose serve NO purpose

@name Stupid politcally correctness grumbles

It's not political correctness, it's actual correctness. Ants, bees, and termites are insects; methane, butane, and propane are hydrocarbons; and cannabis, heroin, and ethanol are drugs.

Mike_Hawks avatar Mike_Hawk Yeah You Are +3Reply
@Mike_Hawk It's not political correctness, it's actual correctness. Ants, bees, and termites are insects; methane, butane, and...

Yeah, but when you think about it, "drugs" refers to the illegal drugs, and alcohol has to be separated because it's not illegal. And the phrase "drugs and alcohol" is most often used to talk about a grouped vice that kids should stay away from.

@TommyUK1234 Yeah, but when you think about it, "drugs" refers to the illegal drugs, and alcohol has to be separated because...

I know, but it's unnecessary ambiguity. People are stupid, and there are a lot of people who assume alcohol is safer than "drugs" because the phrase is "drugs and alcohol". There are a lot of things that we could be more specific about; for example, ethanol is only one type of alcohol. There a bunch of different alcohols, but saying "alcohol" versus "ethanol" isn't too likely to lead to people drinking methanol or isopropanol. I do, however, think continuing to say "drugs and alcohol" will cause people to treat alcohol with less care than other drugs. I knew this one kid who was fine smoking weed every day, but refused to cook it into brownies because eating it felt "too much like taking drugs".

People are silly, that's my point.

Mike_Hawks avatar Mike_Hawk Yeah You Are 0Reply
@Mike_Hawk I know, but it's unnecessary ambiguity. People are stupid, and there are a lot of people who assume alcohol is...

No, there are silly people, but it's unfair and inaccurate to say "people are silly". Drugs and alcohol are grouped in such a way because they are BOTH being labelled as bad for one's health. They are not being separated because one is better than the other, they are being separated because drugs refers to illegal substances, and alcohol is not one of them. But used TOGETHER, they describe equally destructive forces.

@TommyUK1234 No, there are silly people, but it's unfair and inaccurate to say "people are silly". Drugs and alcohol are grouped...

The reason they are separated may be that alcohol is legal and other drugs aren't, but the effect created by that differentiation is that people take alcohol less seriously.

@AtheisticMystic The reason they are separated may be that alcohol is legal and other drugs aren't, but the effect created by that...

That's nonsense in my mind. I've certainly never done that, and if there was ever a moment that I've considered alcohol less damaging (I can't remember the last time I did), then it wouldn't have been because of that phrase. If the two are talked about together as a group, how is there a differentiation created? You're making a massive leap of logic there

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