Alcohol: figures from the The British Crime Survey indicate that 32% of incidents of intimate partner violence are committed when the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol.
While alcohol helps to boost confidence and decrease inhibitions, the sexual trade off is that it also diminishes the ability to say no, the ability to get it up (Brewers droop), to locate a condom, to get a condom on and should you get to sex without losing consciousness, alcohol impairs the ability to have an orgasm too.
The good news is that you actually have to work quite hard to get cirrhosis of the liver and only 7.3 per 100,000 female deaths in 1999 (10.9 for men) are caused by people murdering their internal drinking buddy. The bad news is that governments studies show women are now drinking more than ever and female deaths from cirrhosis of the liver are rising accordingly.
What Government studies don’t look at is the fact that alcohol is directly responsible for behavioural changes, which are actually a much bigger threat then liver damage. Within relationships, drink-fuelled arguments turn nasty more quickly, and figures from the The British Crime Survey indicate that 32% of incidents of intimate partner violence are committed when the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol. Whether it is walking into doors, drink driving, fighting or having unprotected sex, lack of inhibition makes people take risks that they would not otherwise have taken. And that includes unintentionally having sex with someone other than their long term partner.
In a study of ‘Risky sexual behavior among married alcoholic men’, the proportion of alcoholic men who reported 1 or more extramarital affairs in the previous year (14%) was significantly higher than that of the community sample (4%), and none of them men reported consistent condom use. Which was bad news for their wives because just one act of unprotected penetrative sex with a gonorrhea carrier gives you a 50% chance of catching it and GUM clinics all over the country have queues of patients daily whose excuse for practicing unsafe sex is that they were ‘pissed’.
Professor David Nutt’s report on the dangers of alcohol
Last week The Lancet published a study which states that alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack when the overall dangers to the individual and society are considered.
The report was co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former government chief drugs adviser who was sacked in 2009.
Nutt and his team ranked 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.
Heroin, crack and crystal meth were deemed worst for individuals, with alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine worst for society, and alcohol worst overall.
The study by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs also said tobacco and cocaine were judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD were among the least damaging.