Survey Says: Alcohol Still the Deadliest Drug | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Survey Says: Alcohol Still the Deadliest Drug

The most dangerous drug is still the most popular—and the most legal.



By Bryan Le


| Share

Despite messages in the media and laws that suggest otherwise, alcohol remains the most deadly drug available. In fact, alcohol has been involved in more homicides than all other drugs combined.

Surveys of those in prison have found that about 40% had been under the influence of alcohol during their offenses that landed them behind bars. The average incarcerated drinker has been three times above the legal limit when committing their crime, which includes murder, sexual assault, and domestic violence.

While alcohol isn't the deciding factor of whether these people would have committed crimes, it has played a distinct role in lowering inhibitions and increasing the likelihood that violence will happen.

Alcohol's effects aren't just limited to inhibiting the judgement of a perpetrator, but the victims' judgement as well, which could make them more vulnerable to crime than they would be sober. According to an analysis of Illinois violent deaths, 40% of homicide victims had alcohol in their blood systems at the time of death. In contrast, 10% had cocaine and only 3% were on opiates.

But the issue is complicated by alcohol's legality and availability. Some states have implemented programs to help control alcohol-fueled crime, such as South Dakota's 24/7 sobriety program that helps keep alcohol-related offenders away from alcohol through a support network rather than draconian penalties. And more could be invested into the treatment of alcoholism. For example, in 2011, four million uninsured Americans were in need of help for their alcohol disorders.

The Affordable Care Act has brought with it the biggest expansion in alcohol treatment resources in American history. While these steps have helped with America's alcohol problem, influences in our popular culture still need to be addressed, such as beer companies attempting to sell their products at the World Cup and their frequent sponsorship of violent sports such as ultimate fighting and boxing. 

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv