In a world where teenagers are becoming more inducted into habit-influencing groups of friends, it is becoming highly inevitable that the rate of drug and alcohol consumption will keep being on the rise. Now this topic is not a new one at all, as it already has the reputation of an everyday debate among not just the consumers but also professionals, experts and even non-consumers. So, it’s fair to say that it is indeed one particular topic that requires that much attention that it’s getting.
A lot of people prefer alcohol over marijuana and vice versa while there are some other ones who are not even selective based on the fact that they consume both. But come to think of it, have you ever paused to wonder which one is damage-inflicting to the health? Well if you haven’t, a host of people have and although opinions may vary, both still have their injurious impact on the health of the people who consume them – when taken in overdose quantity.
Studies are coming out, more laws are being legalized on the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana which may be a key point to consider when trying to rule out it’s usage or consumption and as for alcohol, it’s popularly known worldwide that it shouldn’t be consumed by people under the age of 21 in some countries and 18 in some others. So, with these facts, we will therefore feed you with both sides of the debate so you can decide for yourself.
This is the most important aspect to invest much attention on because as a matter of fact, taking an overdose of any one of the two can lead to the unleashing of devastating consequences that might escalate to the extent where the situation becomes uncontrollable. Okay, this is not me trying to say alcohol is a very health-dampening commodity, I’m simply saying when its intake is in an overdose quantity, it could result to fatal damage.
According to a report by the CDC, nearly 88,000 deaths occur each year that are as a result to the overdose intake of alcohol but when this is compared to the consumption of marijuana, there’s a very wide margin in between because the death toll caused by marijuana is a lost zero. According to a study, an overdose of TCH, the very potent chemical contained in the marijuana, would be between 15 and 70 grams. Now to have a full grasp of what this translates to, a typical joint contains about half a gram of marijuana. This is equivalent to the fact that for someone to overdose on the drug, that person must smoke between 238 and 1,113 joints in a day. Now that’s a whole lot of joints.
· Crime Rates
When crime is talked about, the easier go-to cause to consider is alcohol, no doubts. Alcohol is a very huge influencer when it comes to compelling people to engage in acts of violence, getting hurt or getting to hurt others. A report was released based on a study carried out on marijuana and it was found out that couples who used marijuana had an extremely low rate of intimate partner violence in the first 9 years of their marriage. As a matter of fact, it was also discovered that the men who consume marijuana are the least likely set of people to indulge in practices of intimate partner violence against their own spouses. In simpler terms, marijuana doesn’t play a role in causing violence or infliction of harm upon others by its consumers.
Although it’s equally dangerous to drive after taking marijuana, it’s not as dangerous as driving when drunk. Originally, marijuana is the second most commonly detected drug in drivers that have been involved in car accidents, with alcohol claiming top spot. One study concluded that marijuana increases the chances of car accident by 83%. Yes, 83% but before you think that’s outrageous, compare it to how alcohol increases the same car accident by 2,200%! Now only one of both poses a risk to individuals who consume them before taking the wheels en route to wherever they want to go to, how much more when one takes both.
· Learning and Memory
There’s a very little chance of someone who had a night of heavy drinking to remember what happened the night before. This is often known to be referred to as “blackout”. Overdrinking dampens your ability to create new memories which is a very bad thing. It was recorded that over 50% of heavy drinkers suffered black outs and totally forgot what they were supposed to do or where they were supposed to go to when they were still busy drinking.
After an email survey was carried out, there were findings that after suffering black outs, students, especially college ones like drink-driving, indulge in risky behavior and in most cases have unprotected sex as a result.
Furthermore, according to recent studies, adolescents who have adopted the habit of smoking marijuana suffer a greater risk for memory-related problems and would have issues with their learning abilities later in the future. Although the studies remain uncertain about how much intake of marijuana can become detrimental to learning and memory, it has been demonstrated that these types of changes in the brain can increase the danger of psychological difficulties later in life.
It remains a controversy as regards what percentage of psychosis risk can be directly linked to the usage of marijuana and also how much dependence it has on the genetics of an individual.
Even in the first few weeks of pregnancy, the intake of alcohol can cause a very severe and long-lasting effect on the child. 3.3 million pregnant women are at an alarming risk of exposing their babies to alcohol, that’s according to the CDC. Drinking during pregnancy imposes a risk of having a child that has behavioral, physical and intellectual disabilities – these effects are referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).
The CDC also released a report that there is no recognized amount of alcohol that a pregnant woman can take because of how much exposures their babies already have to its sensitivity. Marijuana on the other hand has its own impact on pregnant women too because it has been reported as a cause of low birth weight. Even though marijuana is still highly regarded as the most commonly used illegal drug during pregnancy, it’s still a bit difficult to tell what exact effect it has since there’s a scarcity of studies out there that are supposed to be carried out on it.
Now back to the question on the one that’s more dangerous, honestly speaking, it’s a tough call but if we are going to judge based on views and vast majority of the opinions, there appears to be a very transparent answer. Now moving forward, there’s also a plethora of of factors to put into consideration when comparing the health effects of both substances including how it affects the heart, brain, and behaviors, plus how vulnerable you are to get hooked.
Another important factor to note is time. Yes, time because there are some effects that are noticeable almost immediately while their others that do not surface until after days, weeks, months or even years of steady intake. This is also used to judge how very effective the substances are compared to one another.
There’s significant reason that makes this comparison slightly unfair because while scientists have invested a lot of time and effort in making researches on alcohol for decades, there is very little research that has been done on cannabis largely because of its illegal status. Should both of them get more attention on studies and researches, perhaps there would be more to talk about on marijuana compared to how much can really be talked about it at the moment.
Another new study has suggested that for individuals that are between the ages of 15 and 49 years old worldwide, alcohol was the leading risk factor for death toll in 2016. Now you would agree with me, that’s a massive impact. Also, published in the medical journal The Lancet was a large review that revealed that among persons that are aged between 15 – 49 years of age, alcohol intake was the health danger factor all over the globe in 2016, this was backed by an evidence of the fact that 3.8% of all female death toll and 12.2% male death toll were recorded, both attributable to the use of alcohol.
The review covered the data that was published from nearly 600 studies that comprised data on a total of 195 countries and territories between the years of 1990 and 2016. The results gave a convincing revelation that among the people of all ages, alcohol was ranked as the seventh leading risk factor for death tolls in 2016. It was collated that the more people kept drinking around the globe, the more there became an increase in their risk of dying as well as an increase in their risk to suffer from cancer. So, because of these discoveries, there hasn’t been any “safe” placed on the level of alcohol consumption.
In 2014, more than 30,700 Americans reportedly perished, and the cause of their death was linked to alcohol consumption but there hasn’t been any result of death cases linked to the use of marijuana yet, that is according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Also, a 16-year study of more than 65,000 Americans was published in the American Journal of Public Health that disclosed that marijuana consumers were not more likely to meet early death than healthy people who do not smoke it. It has in addition, been proven that marijuana appears to be significantly less addictive than alcohol.
In January, a study was published where researchers made use of fMRI scans to see how alcoholic drinks make impacts on brain functions in as many as 50 healthy adult males. It was noticed that the volunteers, after being intoxicated experienced a reduction in the performance of their prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is linked with the moderation of social behavior. The reduction in functionality was also linked with aggressive behavior.
The report had an alignment with some previous findings on the connection of alcohol with violence. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is an instrumental factor in a whopping 40% of violent crimes. That is huge. On the other hand, this relationship is inexistent for cannabis. This is backed by a real cent study on cannabis use and intimate couple violence in the first few years of marriage which found out that marijuana consumers have very little likelihood to commit violence against a partner, compared to those who did not use the drug.
It has been summed up that both cause harm to the memory, although in distinct ways. However, these effects occur mostly amongst heavy and frequent binge users.
These effects have been proven to persist even after several weeks after stopping the use of marijuana. A link can also be established between the daily weed use and poorer verbal memory in grownups who began smoking at a young age. Amongst chronic and frequent drinkers, there is a discovery of low memory performance, attention, and planning, as well as social cognition – these effects can persist even after several years of abstinence. Linked with both drugs are symptoms of increased asked risk of psychiatric disease but for weed takers, schizophrenia and psychosis are the two major concerns.
When we talk about the profiles for addictions, risk of death or overdose, and links to cancer, car crashes, violence, and obesity, the findings reeve that alcohol has a much higher health risk than marijuana
In conclusion, we have been able to let you in on the effects both have based on various categories so I think after reading this article, the decision about which one is riskier is something you can come to.