Dealing with the Dangers of Alcohol

September 7, 1990

Report Outline
Special Focus

Introduction

Many health-conscious Americans, aware of the risks of alcohol use and abuse, have cut down on their drinking in recent years; per capita alcohol consumption has been declining since 1981. But drunken driving and other alcohol-related problems continue. These problems are not caused only by a small group of chronic alcoholics, and specialists say America needs to pay attention to some drinkers who are not alcoholics.

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Overview

Like most drugs, alcohol has a beneficial side. It relieves anxiety, improves many meals, promotes good fellowship, and helps turn ordinary events into festive occasions. If consumed in moderation, it may even have a positive effect on one's health. Some studies indicate that alcohol consumption actually reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

But like other drugs, alcohol also has its darker side. Taken in excess, it tends to add to, rather than subtract from, the sum of human misery. In fact, if alcohol were now being introduced to America, and all the consequences of its use and abuse were known, it's quite possible that the psychoactive drug would be made illegal—put in the same category as cocaine, heroin and the like.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Alcoholism
Jun. 08, 2012  Alcohol Abuse
Sep. 07, 1990  Dealing with the Dangers of Alcohol
Dec. 26, 1973  Resurgence of Alcoholism
Nov. 17, 1965  Treatment of Alcoholism
Mar. 22, 1949  Alcoholism
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Drug Abuse
Motor Traffic Safety
Prohibition
Substance Abuse