The Instigator
Cart
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
conscious
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Alcohol is a hardcore drug. If you drink alcohol, you are a drug user.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
conscious
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 509 times Debate No: 80678
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

Cart

Pro

An exception can be made for someone who has a drink with their meal on occasion. But when you're drinking to "have fun" or "unwind", it's not much different than snorting something like PCP to unwind.

If it's taboo for a restaurant to serve you a Vicodin with your meal, it should be taboo for a restaurant to serve you alcohol with your meal. If it's taboo to have a social event on every street corner entirely based around the consumption of marijuana, it should be the same for alcohol.

When 1 person at a rave dies from MDMA/ecstacy, it makes news as a hardcore drug but when thousands of people die from alcohol, it's tolerated (because of tradition)

Alcohol:
* Has no currently accepted medical use
* Has a high potential for abuse and addiction
* Is neurotoxic ; It kills brain cells
* Kills 6 Americans each day via overdose
* Kills 10,000 Americans each year via car accidents
* Can kill their user in their sleep via vomit/suffocation
* Makes people crazy, violent and aggressive
* Is the cornerstone of child abuse, domestic abuse and homelessness
* Heavily impairs coordination and judgment
* Is a date-rape drug, aiding in many college campus rapes
* Increases risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, seizure, nerve system damage
* Increases health risks when mixed with almost any drug/medication

And people are okay with it.

If a new designer drug came out with all of these properties, no matter how "fun" or "relaxing it is", it would be condemned in an instant. It would be seen as deadlier than all drugs except for meth/heroin/crack. But alcohol gets a pass because of tradition.
conscious

Con

We as a society define what is socially acceptable; is alcohol a traditionally consumed societal good? Sure! Point conceded. Technically, I will concede that alcohol is a drug. I will also concede, that if you drink alcohol, from a pedantry perspective, one can say that person has used drugs. Canonically, a drug is anything that has physiological effect on your body. A similar technically true statement would be the following "If you drink caffeine, you are a drug user."

But first a point of motivation. You lead in with "Alcohol is hardcore drug". I recognize (or at least subjectively interpret) the intention here is to paint the word drug in the negative light, that which illicit imagery of vagrancy and degenerate behavior, i.e., hardcore drug users and hardcore addicts, so the first mental image somebody has after your first sentence is your framing of alcohol as a vast negative, which is wholly subjective. You follow with a physiological fact. I contend your argument is false on the basis that leading in with subjective sentiment not supported by fact, followed by a commonly accepted medical fact is a red herring. You cite these points. Let me unpack them.

* Has no currently accepted medical use
Because something has no acceptable medical use does not make it a hardcore drug. Unicorns do not have an accepted medical use, and are not a hardcore drug.

* Has a high potential for abuse and addiction
So does nicotine. Society does not accept it as a hardcore drug.

* Is neurotoxic ; It kills brain cells
So does carbon dioxide in excess. It is not a hardcore drug.

* Kills 6 Americans each day via overdose
Cars kill 100+ a day. They have no generally accepted medical use either and they also are not a hardcore drug.

* Kills 10,000 Americans each year via car accidents
There were 32,000 car deaths in the US in 2013. That would imply that 12,000 died not drinking alcohol. More sober drivers died than drunk drivers. Sober driving seems pretty deadly and sober driving isn't hardcare drug use.

* Can kill their user in their sleep via vomit/suffocation
This is a side effect of over ingesting. The same can be said for countless other prescription pharmaceuticals when taking too much and having a full stomach while sleeping.

* Makes people crazy, violent and aggressive
It also makes people happy, calm, and reflective. These are all subjective.
Note also that politics also make people crazy, violent, and aggressive. So does religion. They are not hardcore drugs.

* Is the cornerstone of child abuse, domestic abuse and homelessness
Mental health issues in the US are traditionally pointed at as being the root cause here.

* Heavily impairs coordination and judgment
1) So does unadulterated anger or emotional instability onset by traumatizing events.
2) Only in excess. Minimal amounts do not yield this result; with traditionally accepted hardcore drugs, the opposite is true. Sample 100 people drinking 1 beer worth of alcohol and poll their physiological response. Envision another group of people taking 1 snort of Cocaine or 1 shot of Herione. A single dose of socially defined hardcore drugs like Heroine or Cocaine has much stronger effect than 1 drink.

* Is a date-rape drug, aiding in many college campus rapes
I agree. It can be used as a date-rape drug and has been cited as a factor aiding in many college campus rapes. I do not feel this qualifies it as a hardcore drug.

* Increases risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, seizure, nerve system damage
This is not a qualifying criteria for a hardcore drug. The same can be said for people working in poorly ventilated industrial zones in 3rd world countries with toxic air pollution.

* Increases health risks when mixed with almost any drug/medication
So do most over the counter pharmaceuticals. Most substances that induce physiological effects, when mixed, yield indeterminate results in a random person chosen from a population, hence the legal disclaimer in every OTC drug commercial.
Debate Round No. 1
Cart

Pro

Drugs don"t exist in a legal/healthy and illegal/unhealthy binary. It"s a spectrum. Marijuana and caffeine might be a 2/10 in harm. MDMA might be a 5. Heroin and Crack might be a 10/10 in harm. Alcohol would probably be an 8.
By hardcore drug, I simply mean the risk that it carries.

Most people are fine, but a fraction of the users are in serious danger. Drugs like PCP are used moderately at raves just fine (and work fine for most users), but I wouldn"t call them "light". Likewise with alcohol.

Although, alcohol carries a societal risk. Drunks often get physically active into fights and into cars for that matter. I'm more afraid of what an alcoholic might do to innocent people than what some star-gazing LSD hippie would do.

When employers, teachers and programs like DARE say "Drug A kills many people, so don"t do it" but also say "Drug B kills many people, but try to moderate it", it"s a very mixed message.

I'm not saying don't do alcohol ever. I'm saying, it's very dangerous, be really careful and be aware of the risks. And for god's sakes, stop demonizing people who use other drugs - because they're no more stupid or reckless than people who get drunk at keg parties.

I'm also saying, don't be afraid of things like skydiving and bungee jumping either, if they're less risky than alcohol.

Counter-arguments:

I agree cars and cigarettes are deadly too, but it doesn"t oppose my point that alcohol is a hardcore drug. With nicotine, at least, you are functional, able to work, drive and carry out other tasks. Alcohol? Nope.

Your other comparisons (like CO2 and factory work) aren"t even relevant to the subject. Snowboarding down Mount Everest isn"t a hardcore drug because it isn"t a drug period. Duh. Lol.

Minimal amounts of most drugs (heroin for example) won"t impair you. It doesn"t mean they aren"t hardcore.
My point about alcohol being a date-rape drug, is that it would be an unacceptable property for a designer drug to have (Fox News would be all over it), but alcohol gets away with it.

I"m just saying, if almost every single prescription warning (and not just a few) says a combo with alcohol is risky, then isn"t alcohol the problem really? They"re not actively warning you to avoid caffeine or Robitussin.

As for dosing, drugs don"t come in "snort" and "shot" units. Their weighed into milligrams and taken at precise doses. Comparing someone"s line of cocaine to your 1 beer isn"t analogous. It"s like saying cookies are worse than sandwich because 200 of them will do more damage to you than 1 sandwich.
conscious

Con

I take the greatest issue with the first assertion:

"Drugs don"t exist in a legal/healthy and illegal/unhealthy binary. It"s a spectrum. Marijuana and caffeine might be a 2/10 in harm. MDMA might be a 5. Heroin and Crack might be a 10/10 in harm. Alcohol would probably be an 8.
By hardcore drug, I simply mean the risk that it carries."

I agree with the first sentence -- true, drugs do not exist in a binary system. Then you immediately state, "By hardcore drug, I simply mean the risk that it carries." That's a pretty big false equivalence. Many, many ingested substances carry risk. Carrying risk does not make something a hardcore drug. This entire premise is flawed and the logic breaks down when you acknowledged that there is a spectrum, and immediately backtrack and classify alcohol into the extreme end of the spectrum for the fact that it carries risk, disregarding the spectrum of outcomes one can experience with alcohol you mentioned a priori.

You back track with this "Most people are fine, but a fraction of the users are in serious danger. Drugs like PCP are used moderately at raves just fine (and work fine for most users), but I wouldn't call them "light". Likewise with alcohol."

Here you acknowledge that most people are fine drinking alcohol, and that only a fraction of the users are in serious danger. That doesn't sound like a hardcore drug to me. However, most people are not fine shooting Heroine or smoking crystal meth, and a very large, non-trivial portion of real hard drugs have a user-base significantly more impacted. The percentage of people that drink alcohol and end up ok in life is pretty high, compared to the percentage of regular users of traditional hard drugs like crystal meth or crack cocaine end up with much worse sociological and physiological outcomes, as the latter are real hardcore drugs.

You then go on to say this "Although, alcohol carries a societal risk. Drunks often get physically active into fights and into cars for that matter."

Lot's of things carry societal risk. Life is dangerous. Guns carry societal risk. So do cars, wars, and an ignorant populace voting with their fears at heart rather than logic and reason. This is not a reason to classify it as hardcore.

You: "I'm more afraid of what an alcoholic might do to innocent people than what some star-gazing LSD hippie would do."

Your personal fears do not make alcohol a hardcore drug. There is a vast portion of the population that share your fear. I fear what X religion taken literally might do to innocent people, but I am not going to call X religion hardcore because of potential for extreme behavior. Nor will I classify those who casually partake in that religion as "hardcore X adherents".

"I'm also saying, don't be afraid of things like skydiving and bungee jumping either, if they're less risky than alcohol."

Risk is also subjective -- are we talking societal risk? Risk to emotional trauma? Risk of financial loss? Risk of exploding ones skull on the ground at terminal velocity? Less risky is a totally subjective sentiment. It's less risky to lie in bed all day. It's also more risky to lie in bed all day, depending what you classify as risk. Is becoming lethargic and experiencing muscle atrophy your largest perceived risk, or is going out and getting mugged by a random person the larger perceived risk? Both orthogonal situations can carry perceived equivalent risk, so perceived risk versus measured, quantified risk are vastly different concepts.

Lastly, the language implications of the pro side:

If alcohol is hardcore drug, then this implies one of two things:
a - either users of alcohol are "hardcore-drug users"
b - or users of alcohol are "hardcore drug-users"

Point a is mostly what we've been debating, the merits of classifying alcohol as a hardcore drug. But assuming you are interspersing point b into your defense, as I have contested previously, casual users of alcohol aren't "hardcore" into using drugs.
Debate Round No. 2
Cart

Pro

== DRUG USER ==
Back to one of the core points of my arguments: "If you use alcohol, you are a drug user".

I didn"t mean it as simple pedantry or to make a silly point. Like I said early on, I don"t consider having a drink with one"s meal to be tantamount to drug use.

Note how I said drug user and not "junkie". I don"t think people who do drugs are automatically junkies. Moderate recreational drinkers aren"t junkies.

If you put a psychoactive chemical in your body to alter your mind state, you are ingesting a drug.

== RISK SPECTRUM ==

This is of course arbitrary, but everything carries risk. It"s just a matter of how fatal the risk is and how likely it is to happen. Dying from a vending machine fall isn"t a risk worth worrying about. Dying from heroin injections aren"t risks worth taking.

But with drugs like alcohol (legal) and Ketamine (illegal), both are capable of being used in moderation, both are pleasant for the user and both carry serious risks. Not enough risks for people to stop using them but enough risks for people to use them with great care and realize it"s no joke.

== FRACTIONS ==

People have a misconception of how drugs work. They think that in order for a drug to be hardcore, most users have to get seriously hurt. So, when we see alcohol, we think it"s different than most drugs when it"s really not.

Heroin is arguably the most harrowing drug imaginable, and the addiction rate is only about 23% (according to drugabuse.gov). That means three quarters of people who use heroin will be fine. That doesn't mean it isn't hardcore.

The fact that the majority of people who use alcohol will be safe doesn"t convince me that it"s a low-lethality drug like caffeine or marijuana.

== LANGUAGE IMPLICATIONS ==
As a corollary of my argument, I"ll say that casual users who drink for recreation are consuming a hardcore drug. It doesn"t mean they"re reckless irresponsible people.

Lots of things are hardcore. Doesn"t mean you can"t do them safely and responsibly.

== SOCIETAL RISK ==

Before we get into the "cars and guns kill people too" discussion, I"m not asking to prohibit alcohol. I"m not even asking that we demonize alcohol.

I ask is that we acknowledge that the majority of legal drugs are less fatal and toxic than alcohol.

I ask that if you have two sons, one of them is drinking with his buddies and the other is eating magic mushroom with his buddies, you don"t say "Okay have fun " don"t get too drunk" to one and "No! Are you crazy? Don"t do drugs!!!" to the other.
conscious

Con

>> "Back to one of the core points of my arguments: "If you use alcohol, you are a drug user"."

We've got some crosstalk going on. I agree, if you use alcohol, you are a drug user, but as previously stated, so are coffee drinkers, so this is a wasted point in respect the the hardcore aspect. But to debate your original assertion, I do not believe either categorical classification of alcohol drinkers as "hardcore-drug" users or as hardcore "drug-users". Hardcore is the key word. I feel the evidence is insufficient to show either the former or latter showing merit.

>> "I didn"t mean it as simple pedantry or to make a silly point. Like I said early on, I don't consider having a drink with one"s meal to be tantamount to drug use."

And therein lies the rub again. I agree too. However, having a dose of heroin in the amount of a user seeking a high with a steak & lobster five course is a completely different story, and the effects sought after "1 usage" of Heroin versus "1 usage" of alcohol are vastly different, hence their societal classified distinctions between hardcore and not hardcore. When is the last time anybody heard of casual heroin use becoming popular? It's a hardcore drug, you don't even do it casually because of its severe biological and neurological impact is devastating --- hence why Heroine is hardcore and alcohol is not.

>> "Note how I said drug user and not "junkie". I don"t think people who do drugs are automatically junkies. Moderate recreational drinkers aren"t junkies."

Agree. A recreational user of alcohol will have little to no adverse affects on theirlife. A recreational user of heroin on the other hand has a different experience, further evidence of the "hardcore" distinction we seem to be really debating.

>> "If you put a psychoactive chemical in your body to alter your mind state, you are ingesting a drug."

Conceded. I agree with your second sentence. But your lead-in is why we are debating. Yes, pedantically, all chemicals that induce physiological effects are drugs, so by that merit everybody is a drug user. But hardcore is what I take issue with for aforementioned reasons.

>> "Dying from heroin injections aren"t risks worth taking."

That's why they're hardcore and alcohol isn't. And to boot, an injection is the typical dosage, whereas a typical dosage of one casual drink isn't going to lead to having the severe bad time that heroin would.

>> "The fact that the majority of people who use alcohol will be safe doesn"t convince me that it"s a low-lethality drug like caffeine or marijuana."

Again, you concede that the vast majority of people that use alcohol will be safe. The vast majority of heroin users will not be safe long-term. Hence the societal accepted distinction.

>> "Lots of things are hardcore. Doesn't mean you can"t do them safely and responsibly."

Agreed. No relevance here. Nowhere have I argued that hardcore things can't be done responsibility. Hardcore porn is watched responsibly everyday by netizens across the world.

>> "I ask that if you have two sons, one of them is drinking with his buddies and the other is eating magic mushroom with his buddies, you don"t say "Okay have fun " don"t get too drunk" to one and "No! Are you crazy? Don"t do drugs!!!" to the other"

This does not have to do with the hardcore-ness of alcohol. Most folks who buy/sell underground drugs by trade would not consider shrooms to be hardcore. The vastly different reaction by parents to kids doing shrooms is due to their illegality, not their true hardcore nature. Blame Reagan's war-on-drugs for that point.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Cart 1 year ago
Cart
I'm taking this debate as a lesson. I don't think my thesis or points were wrong. Moreso, it was my debating techniques themselves which could have been improved.

What did me in was the fact that I used a term like "hardcore" which is really vague and impossible to assign meaning to. My resolution should have been "Alcohol is a drug in the same sense that many illegal drugs are". It would have been much more feasible to prove.

Also, a more diplomatic tone and sourcing all of the points I made in my initial argument would have gone a long way as well.
Posted by Kreakin 1 year ago
Kreakin
Shame there was not just one resolution rather than the two.
Resolution 1: Alcohol is a hardcore drug.
Resolution 2: If you drink alcohol, you are a drug user.

R2 was easily conceded and a bit pointless, leaving R1 to refute. Hardcore is a fairly vague term and was not defined in the first round.

On a personal note I think users of alcohol can be hardcore but not the substance in itself.
Posted by Kreakin 1 year ago
Kreakin
Any questions on RFD's please leave a comment.
Posted by Cart 1 year ago
Cart
@MagicAintReal

Alcohol is a drug that can be good for your blood in moderation yet deadlier than most other drugs in excess.

Numerous studies (including the US govt itself) have shown that illegal drugs like Ketamine have anti-depressant properties in small therapeutic doses, but if you tell people that you're snorting a really small line of powder every night because it's healthy, I doubt they'll be happy.

I just think of all the drugs that require medical licenses to administer, and see the double standard when just about anyone can get a job distributing alcohol.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
vvv That What a drug addiction looks like.
(this one simply doesn't get you fired from work*** so they go on appearing to be well off excepted members of society . )
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
I can't vote. Cause: I am not a phone owner.
But I vote pro.

obviously alcoholics are dependant on their liquor for satisfaction and productivity. They pretty much keel over and cry, bitch and pout without it. They use excessive funds, ignore responsibility, deny logic and reasoning, don't care about their health, and suggest the "little" problems they cause socially and within their family or finances are "no big deal" because their drinking enjoyment exceeds the issues.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
I agree with you, but alcohol does have blood thinning properties, which can be used medically, and antibacterial properties.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 1 year ago
Kreakin
CartconsciousTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Agreed with after - Sided with Con on this as Pro did not prove his resolution that alcohol is a hardcore drug. If the resolution had not stated that alcohol is a hardcore drug Pro would have won, however Con easily refuted this part of the resolution. Conduct - Con, purely because Pro made a "duh" comment to his opponent. S&G - Tied. Argument - Con for remaining logical and conceding the obvious. Sources - Tied. Neither party used sources to back any claims made.