Why aren’t policy makers wringing their hands over this?

Image: Michigan.gov

While our current political conversations often involve concerned discussions about marijuana’s imagined dangers or potential benefits (recall that the most recent Republican and Democratic debates both dedicated time to the question of pot legalization), our most problematic relationship actually seems to be with alcohol. America, it seems, has a drinking problem—and studies indicate it is only getting worse. There are real reasons, in addition to the pressing issue of mass incarceration and the failure of the drug war, for us to start thinking seriously about the cost of our increasing reliance on alcohol when we consider the ravages of drug use. Particularly since the toll of alcohol, though often left out of that conversation, actually outpaces those of every other legal and illicit drug combined.

Drinking is on the rise in the U.S. Precipitously. A study released this year from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation finds that heavy drinking among Americans rose 17.2 percent between 2005 and 2012. Not only are Americans drinking more, but in an increasing number of cases, they’re consuming those drinks in rapid succession.

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

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