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2019-06-10 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 150 references Ignore this thread
Drugs And Hypocrisy
[Comments enabled]

Now let's talk drugs for a minute -- along with the jackassery in both the States and Washington DC.

Everyone is outraged about the number of opioid deaths -- and the peddling of synthetics, such as fentanyl.  In fact I can make a pretty clean argument for closing the Mexican border and nuking Beijing on that alone.  But..... how about something more-mundane?

30% -- or about 1 in 3 American adults -- don't drink at all.  20% more have less than one drink a month.  The next decile (10%) consume about one drink every two weeks.

The next 10% consume about one drink every three days; odds are they have them both in a given week on one day, probably Friday.  The next 10% (we've now accounted for 80% of adults) have slightly less than one drink a day.

Now it gets interesting.  The second-to-top 10% consume about 15 drinks weekly, or about two a day.  This is the limit, according to physicians and such, for alcohol consumption that is generally not (all that) harmful.  I have news for you -- as I've reported here before, I can, from the physiological data off my Garmin, tell you on which days I've had one drink, two drinks, or more.  So if you say it doesn't do any harm with the first one, well, yes it does.  And so does the second.

But the top decile -- the top 10% , which incidentally means more than 20 million Americans -- consume an unbelievable 73 drinks a week or more than 10 a day, on average, every day.

To put this in perspective if you add up all the drinks the other consume you get about a third of those that these people consume.  That's right -- 3/4 of all alcohol consumed goes down the gullet of 1/10th of the American adult population.

73 drinks is over 7,000 calories a week as a result of alcohol consumption or more than 1,000 a day.  That's enough to put on more than two pounds a week, all other things being equal.  Put another way the average sedentary person who is drinking that much is consuming roughly 60% of their caloric requirement in alcohol alone; if that booze is being consumed in the form of beer or mixed drinks that contain sugar in their mixers it's even worse, likely 2-3x as bad!

ALL of these people are raging alcoholics.  ALL of these people are either outrageously obese or nutritionally deficit at a level sufficient to do very serious metabolic damage or kill them, not counting the damage from the alcohol itself.

BUT MORE TO THE POINT EVERY SINGLE PRODUCER AND SELLER OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IS BOTH UTTERLY RELIANT ON SUCH PEOPLE TO SURVIVE IN BUSINESS AND THUS THEY ARE ALL AIMING THEIR ADVERTISING AND MARKETING EXPENSE AT THEM -- THEY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO STAY IN BUSINESS.

I personally do not care if you are (1) an adult and (2) wish to drug yourself to death.

But -- I refuse to sit quietly for the hypocrisy both from politicians who bitch and whine about far less dangerous drugs than alcohol (e.g. marijuana and especially CBD, which has no known intoxicating effect) while at the same time there is a store on every single corner that intentionally stocks, markets to and sells dangerous drugs that they known damn well are, 75% of the time by volume, going into the gullet of people who are committing slow suicide.

Further, while you certainly have the right to commit suicide, whether slowly or not, you don't have the right to demand that I pay for it.

What shocks me in these statistics, however, is that it's 10% of the population.  I knew two people who have drank themselves to death, am absolutely certain that's both what killed them and have no trouble believing they were consuming 70 drinks a week.  But what these statistics say is that this is an amazingly common thing.  1 in 10 American adults?!  Seriously?  1 in 10 adults in America are clinically alcoholic and well on their way to killing themselves by being so?

Well now that does put some perspective on things, does it not?

It also puts perspective on state and federal government activities related to various drugs -- including a whole host of them that are illegal, yet clearly are less-harmful than booze is.

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Captainkidd
Posts: 1388
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Houston, Texas
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But, in the eyes of Big Brother, it is only a sin when it's not THEIR sin....

Or when they can't profit from it.
Or when they can't control it.
Or when they can't extract YOUR money from it.
Or when they can't regulate it.
Or.....

Well...you know.

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A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. --Mario Puzo

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. -- Henry Ford
Robc
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Cincinnati
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I didn't understand this at first but it made sense after thinking about it for a bit. I kept thinking the numbers must be wrong because if I have 2-3 beers I am in no shape to drive, how are people drinking 10 per day? Then I remembered a friend whose grandmother was an alcoholic. She had an operation at the hospital and wasn't getting better and the doctors couldn't figure it out until they talked to the rest of the family. Apparently she was drinking 1/5th liter of vodka everyday, about 10-16 drinks depending on the strength. As soon as the hospital figured this out they hooked her up to an IV of alcohol and she got better right away. Alcohol is possibly a truer hard drug than even opiates because you can literally die from withdrawal. Any tolerance at all means you are an addict and are flushing money down the toilet just to maintain a baseline.
Amused
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I could rant about this subject all day from the other end. I used Kratom to get off of opioids and the DEA and FDA have been threatening to ban it for years, an action that will literally kill recovered addicts I know.

Themortgagedude
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Saint Charles MO
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I used to be in that club. Now I drink less than that in a year. I've gained weight since I stopped drinking. Makes me think caloric intake doesnt matter so much? I got no clue.

As for drinking every day in large amounts it doesn't make you an alcoholic. I was a drunk, just not dependent. I never had problems going off the sauce. Generally did January as a "cleanse". JMTC

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Bluebird
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SW Ohio
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"1 in 10 American adults?! Seriously?"

So how many adults were in this survey? and where was it conducted? and 10% actually admitted to drinking this much alcohol?

Aztrader
Posts: 8348
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Scottsdale, AZ
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And they are treated equally under Obamacare as a star athlete as premiums and coverage go. Completely insane. Drink yourself into oblivion and you pay the same premiums as most others in your state because of the mandatory coverage in the ACA.
Tickerguy
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@Themortgagedude -
Quote:
I used to be in that club. Now I drink less than that in a year. I've gained weight since I stopped drinking. Makes me think caloric intake doesnt matter so much? I got no clue.

Alcohol directly impairs absorption from the gut; you get the alcohol calories but you also get fairly severe malfunctions in your GI tract. In small quantities this won't do anything horrible but in large ones it sure does.

It's not just the calories of course; it's also the nutrients that are essential. Without a fairly complete set of amino acids, for example, you're in BIG trouble. Ditto if your potassium levels get out of whack; the latter can kill you outright.

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Winding it down.
Stee_man
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I was never a heavy drinker except for some stupid college parties. Then in my late 20s an old friend came to town and dragged me out to the bars. I felt like I had the flu for 3 days. Not fun.

Never again. That put me in the lower 50% in this survey. About 2-3 a year.
Asimov
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I come from alcoholics and I see the draw. I stopped drinking heavily when I was 18, only drank infrequently up till about 25 and haven't had even a single drink in 15 years now.

Known far too many of that 10% to want to become one.

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
Flappingeagle
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Quote:
But the top decile -- the top 10% , which incidentally means more than 20 million Americans -- consume an unbelievable 73 drinks a week or more than 10 a day, on average, every day.


I do not know how that translates into number of beer, but there are a ****-load of people who drink a 6-pack every afternoon evening. This is especially true of the Natural Light crowd.

As for the hard-drinking crowd, that would be some individuals on my Mom's side of the family, especially her father, aunts and uncles. They were an odd bunch, drink straight liquor out of the bottle, chain smoke unfiltered cigarettes and die in their 90's.

Flap

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Aquapura
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Based on the number of breweries, craft cocktail lounges, wineries, liquor stores, etc. it surely seems that the vast majority out there are regular drinkers. Not denying the stats but where are all these teetotalers? Booze today seems more pervasive than ever. They put a bar in my local movieplex of all things.

There was a time in my life when I was probably putting down more than 15 drinks/week. Vividly remember in college getting a 24 pack on Thursday and by Sunday evening it was gone. No telling how many were drank by drop-in friends and such but the majority was me. But even at those levels there was never a time when I was putting down 10 drinks per day every day. I imagine that top 10% probably goes up like a hockey stick when graphed going from the heavy drinker to full blown boozehound status.

I've cut back considerably since then (and drink more quality than quantity now) but in the words of Brett Kavanaugh, "I like beer."
Tsherry
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Spokane WA
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I'm not one bit surprised, but that's just based on what I've seen in my own life experience, and the damage paths others carved around me. I'll have a beer or two in a week; maybe two weeks later a nice bourbon or single malt, maybe a half glass of wine mixed into that month somewhere along the way. Water and no sugar iced tea all the time.

My late father would put away a gallon of bourbon in a week, and did this, I later calculated for at least the last 15 years of his life. He died at 71 after two open heart surgeries, three heart attacks, and smoking for 40 years but not the last ten. It's a wonder he made it that far. He functioned well enough in his career as an engineer to do this. I have no idea how.

My late brother (died at 54 in 2005 due to SEVERE alcoholism) drank at least 2x what my dad did, if not 3x. When I booted him out of my parents place (our Mom was essentially in Hospice care at that point), I cleaned out 71 empty 2-liter vodka bottles that weren't there three weeks before. He continued that pattern I suppose for the next seven years until I got The Call.

Another young relative was on the way to the same fate, but managed to get himself turned around four years ago. He's pretty preachy about the evils of booze, which is fine, but not everyone who has a glass of cabernet, or has 40 or a hundred bottles laid down, is him. He doesn't see the distinction, though.

I know of at least five other cases in our extended family where the outcome was the same. A couple were dead in the 30's, so they hit it hard early. Numerous HS classmates met their end this way as well. At least 10 out of about 380 or so in my class. Probably more, if we were to learn the real circumstances of several fatal single car accidents. "Losing control of his vehicle" looks better in a news story or obituary, than "was a raging drunk and drove his Camaro under a semi at 85 mph without ever touching the brakes."

The ONLY thing that surprises me is the human bodies' capacity to continue on through this kind of abuse.

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Omne mendacium est.
Asimov
Posts: 111374
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East Tennessee Eastern Time
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Quote:
The ONLY thing that surprises me is the human bodies' capacity to continue on through this kind of abuse.


We evolved fighting against predators and fighting wars among ourselves.

The amount of abuse our bodies can take is commensurate with our ability to survive long enough to reproduce and raise the child during that evolution.

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
Rufust445
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Emerald City
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Tickerguy wrote..
...Everyone is outraged about the number of opioid deaths -- and the peddling of synthetics, such as fentanyl. In fact I can make a pretty clean argument for closing the Mexican border and nuking Beijing on that alone.

FDR's grandfather made a good chunk of the family fortune in the 19th century peddling opium during the Opium Wars in China.

Most of the fentanyl that makes its way here across the Mexican border is produced in China. The Chinese have long memories and tend to plan long into the future.

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Tickerguy
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Oh absolutely @Rufust445.

HOWEVER, I will point out that the very same reason I want to nuke to beyond Mars all the "reparations" people applies here too. Neither I or anyone else alive today got ANYTHING out of the Opium Wars nor were we responsible for it, just as we were not for slavery.

Start that **** and I'm all-in on being willing to go to war over it and feed your remains to feral hogs, and I have no problem saying so publicly. I don't give a flying **** if the people pushing that crap are here in the US or elsewhere.

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Winding it down.
Rufust445
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Emerald City
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Tickerguy wrote..
Start that **** and I'm all-in on being willing to go to war over it and feed your remains to feral hogs, and I have no problem saying so publicly. I don't give a flying **** if the people pushing that crap are here in the US or elsewhere.

I am NOT one of the "reparations" idiots. Just observing where the Chinese may be coming from.

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"The stock market isn't bullish, it's bull$hit." -- Alan King
Tickerguy
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I don't give a wet crap where the Chinese are coming from. My view of that sort of bull**** is that they should be nuked to beyond Mars if that's their intent and purpose, and I really do mean it.

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Winding it down.
Steelpiston71
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Michigan
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I'd like to see the urban vs rural breakdown for the highest 10%, and as an aside, I've known folks that would be severely cutting back to get to 74...

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Mannfm11
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I was a member of that top 10%. I knew when the beer companies used the ad, know when to say when, they didn't mean it. If the people who needed to know when to say when said when, they would go broke in a week. Also, I would be dead, if I hadn't stopped 27 years ago.

My intake was 6 to 16 drinks, 6 nights a week. Later, it was 12 to 20 3 times a week. I can't say I averaged 73, but in my prime, I was in that region. That group includes the people who drink a case or a quart of 100% proof every day. The only way an alcoholic can drink safely is to not drink at all. The subtle craving insures they have another.

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Mannfm11
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I will throw in one more thought. I believe a lot of deaths caused by excessive drinking are blamed on something else. Overloading ones liver, prevents the cleansing of blood supply. Especially in years past, most heavy drinkers were also smokers. Rather than blame alcohol, they blamed cigarettes, or something they ate.

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The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.---John Kenneth Galbraith
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