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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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(p.24) 2 Alcohol
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the story of alcohol as among the most important in any reckoning of the war on drugs, considering alcohol is one of America's most widely consumed substances. It discusses how the word “drug” does not immediately bring alcohol to mind as it remains legal for everyday usage. It also cites drug policy scholar Mark Kleiman, who reminds that alcohol is the archetypal drug: the drug most widely used and the drug that causes the most addiction, disease, and violence. The chapter looks at estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wherein alcohol accounted for 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year between 2006 and 2010. It examines how excessive drinking caused one in ten deaths among adults between twenty and sixty-four years.

Keywords:   alcohol, war on drugs, drugs war, Mark Kleiman, archetypal drug, excessive drinking

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