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No safe level of alcohol for brain health: observational cohort study [pdf] (medrxiv.org)
64 points by antattack 33 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 99 comments



I need some more context in order to understand the actual risks being suggested here. I fall into the "low to moderate" drinking category described in the study.

First, when we say 0.8% of gray matter, over what time period does that loss occur? The authors don't seem to know.

Second, what sort of effects does losing, say, 1% of gray matter integrity have? Increased risk of stroke, seizure, etc.? Effects on intellect?

It's all about risk/reward. If losing 0.8% of my total gray matter over, say, my lifetime (I don't know if that's what it is) results in a 1% loss in intellect over my lifetime, in exchange for thousands of hours of happiness resulting from moderate drinking, I'm probably OK with that. I don't intend to live forever. If it were 10% of intellectual capacity... maybe not.

Alcohol is a poison, the only totally-safe dose is 0% - in the same way that the only way to never get into a car accident is to never go outside. But I'd still like to better understand the relative harms before altering my (already reasonable) habits.


The study doesn't infer causality. It could just be that people who drink happen to belong to the same class of people who lose 0.8% of grey matter.


That's sort of what I inferred. Given that, I feel uncomfortable with their recommendation that we should start telling people there is no safe level of drinking. It is true in a literal sense, but I don't think there's sufficient evidence to suggest that people who genuinely drink very moderately need to change their habits radically in order to live healthier or happier lives.


This is true, however, the sample size is quite large, they controlled for confounders, and they address the possibility that this is all a coincidence:

> Whilst we controlled analyses for all known confounders and were more thorough in this than any previously published study, we cannot exclude the possible of residual confounding. However, the sensitivity analyses estimated that unobserved confounding would need to be of a greater strength than any recognized observed confounder, including age and smoking, to obviate the association between alcohol and brain health, which seems implausible.

As an informal / heuristic argument, it seems practical to conclude there is some causal relationship.


Controlling for confounders and demonstrating causality are different things though. They explicitly acknowledge that they don’t demonstrate causality as a study weakness.

People who drink alcohol may simply tend to have a slightly different brain structure.

In this regard it would be more interesting to see a large scale longitudinal study demonstrating an effect in the same individual over time.

Combined with population level studies and a demonstrated mechanism, I think that would be fairly definitive.


In spite of what the submission title seems to suggest, the study does not claim that they found a 0.8% loss of all gray matter for alcohol drinkers.

What they actually found is that of the total variance in the amount of gray matter, they could explain 0.8% of that variance by alcohol consumption.


That's an important qualifier, yes... but I think my questions still stand. In order to know how to change our behavior, we need to know what that additional variance means in terms of implications for one's health.


The studies I've read also suggest the grey matter may come back if the drinking is ceased; it might just be a water ratio adaption.


> in exchange for thousands of hours of happiness resulting from moderate drinking

I would be concerned if my happiness depends in any way on how much alcohol I consume.


Then you shouldn't drink any, being as it's a drug that makes you (general you) happier and more social, and that's one of the primary reasons it's consumed.

Possibly you are confusing momentary happiness/qualitative enjoyment of a given experience with overall life happiness/mental state?


Haven’t had a drop in fourteen years after being a weekend binge drinker. I don’t begrudge the substance, but it has been transformative being this far removed from it.

The downside? Dear god have I missed the taste of beer. La Croix and other products don’t fill the gap. There has thankfully been an explosion in the NA craft beer scene in the last few years, and some of them are good enough that I’ve had friends who drink buy them so they don’t have to have a buzz to enjoy the taste.

I’d recommend Athletic Brewing and WellBeing for a first go. The IPAs in particular hold up well.

Edit: Fun thing I've had happen: I got pulled over speeding with an "open container" of one of these beers. The cop became immensely excited when she thought she'd get me for a DUI, demands to see it, I point out it's an NA, she inspects it, and this is followed by silence and disappointment. "Sir, you should probably not drink this while driving regardless".


When I was in Amsterdam just before Covid I went to the Heineken factory and they gave us samples of their Heineken 0.0 which is brewed entirely without alcohol rather than the usual “non-alcoholic” beer approach of brewing it and then removing the alcohol. It was surprisingly good! Unless you do a side by side comparison of the regular and the 0.0 I doubt you’d ever know.

Tangentially related, I wish I could remember the name of the Dutch tech company that created the “experience” (and have done several others throughout Europe & the US) because they’re really cool and did a great job.


"Tastes as good as regular Heineken" is not exactly high praise. :)


Heineken's domestic formula differs from the export formula (primarily due to the amount of hops added to the export formula, IIRC), which is covered on the tour. The domestic Heineken really is much better than the stuff we get in North America.


I live in Amsterdam and almost everybody I know considers Heineken only tolerable - it's the Bud Light of the region.

Personally I think Heineken 0% is better than the normal pils.


Much of the problem with many skunky lagers lacking taste is storing them in bottles that don't block UV (green, for example) for extended periods of time.

Not saying it's exemplary, but freshness is probably a factor sometimes


Personal preference and all that, but if Heineken 0.0 had been my first NA beer I would have never bought another after. It's why I push so hard on the craft brew brands, they bring real taste.


Highly recommend checking out hop tea/hop seltzers. Lagunitas makes a good one with distro across the nation. Stillwater makes some (alcoholic) seltzers with dry hopping as well that I'm a huge fan of. Those have been my favorite advancements in terms of lighter options


Yea, Athletic Brewing also does a hop fizzy water called Daypack which are good as well.


Same here, quitting changed my life. I started https://stopping.app/ to make it easier to quit


Love this. Quitting changed mine as well and I always thought there were a few ways I could give back. Would love to swap ideas some time. Love the concept.


That's great. I think there is opportunity to create a white-brand business providing similar functionality to treatment centers and IOPs. Happy to talk about it if you like, I have quite a large network in that industry and advise a small IOP that would probably be willing to test something like that.


There is still a small amount of alcohol in those n/a beers. Athletic brewing co is amazing though, especially the coffee porter.


Yea, but the alcohol level is on par with a bottle of Kombucha most of the time. You'd have to drink a ten pack to maybe even get the same feeling you'd get from a single 5% beer.

There is perhaps a danger to someone attempting sobriety, from the psychological response to the taste. It'd been twelve years for me when I had my first NA, and I had to take a real hard look at my near-overwhelming OMG YES feeling. Thankfully I just love the taste and am not secretly wishing for a real one.


> he cop became immensely excited when she thought she'd get me for a DUI

That alone is pretty messed up. A cop should be annoyed and disappointed to be in that situation. Arresting and booking someone should be a big hassle that they shouldn't want. And let's say you had been drinking alcohol; who knows how long you might have been drinking before you got pulled over... who knows who you might have killed. And a cop is reacting with happiness that they might have gotten you on a DUI? Gross.


Your narrative still makes it seem not unreasonable for the cop to be happy. After all, arresting a drunk driver before they manage to kill someone is the kind of goal that should motivate cops to get out of bed in the morning. I'd personally rather have them excited to take an intoxicated driver off the street than letting them go because the paper work is a hassle.


Real cops are not like the cops on TV. If their motivation truly was to help people, they would have a different job. People who want to be cops these days want power over other people.


Modern policing attracts exactly these sorts of individuals, which is why the current incarnation of the police should be abolished and a new system created from scratch. The combination of their attitudes and their immunity from all consequences necessarily leads to minor abuses like the parent comment describes and major abuses like the extrajudicial murder of innocent citizens.


Submission title gets it wrong. What the study found was that of the total variance in the amount of gray matter, only 0.8% of that variance could be explained by alcohol consumption.


Submitted title was "Behavioral study finds 0.8% gray matter loss from alcohol consumption [pdf]". Submitters: please follow the site guidelines, which say: "Please use the original title, unless it is misleading or linkbait; don't editorialize."

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

If you want to say what you think is important about an article, that's fine, but do it by adding a comment to the thread. Then your view will be on a level playing field with everyone else's: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&so...


So basically the result from this study could be re-stated as "alcohol consumption has no significant influence on grey matter volume"?


In the study they say that 27% of the variance is explained by age. So the effect of alcohol consumption certainly is insignificant compared to the effect of age.

However, the authors think the effect of alcohol is notable because that 0.8% was still larger than any other factor they tested, like smoking.


> Alcohol consumption was linearly and negatively associated with indices of brain health across most of the brain.

> Detrimental effects of drinking appear to be greater than other modifiable factors. Current ‘low risk’ drinking guidelines should be revisited to take account of brain effects.

The authors are pretty clear. You are, of course, free to draw your own conclusions.


No, it was found to have a statistically significant influence on grey matter volume.


Statistically significant just means that the results are correlated at greater than some probability, not that the effect itself is significant.

I.E. you can have a statistically significant but unimportant effect.


Alcohol has been found to be a powerful suppressor of REM sleep. REM sleep is important for brain health. I wonder if controlling for the sleep disruptive factor would see the negative grey matter relationship dissappear. Ie is 3 shots after you wake up less harmful than 3 shots in the evening?


I'm pretty bad about alcohol, I still abuse it very often (I'm getting better at cutting back though).

Back when I went on week long benders, nothing was worse than the lack of REM sleep. Worse than blackouts, injuries from bumping into stuff, doing regretful things, etc. Waking up tired and needing to go to work is the worst feeling.


Median alcohol intake was 13.5 units ( 102g) weekly

That was among people who drank at all; for reference, that's just under two standard drinks per day, which is apparently what the UK considers the threshold of "low risk".


There is a very large population of non-drinkers. Some surveys say that upwards of 50% of North America has less than a handful of drinks a year (ie only holidays/weddings and such). While that doesn't qualify as total abstinence, from a medical/safety perspective such people are dry. What has happened in recent decades is that those who do drink regularly tend to drink more.

https://www.alcohol.org/guides/volume-of-non-drinkers-by-us-...


> Glasses were converted to UK units as follows: red or white wine = 1.7 units; fortified wine=1.2 units; pint = 2.4 units; spirits = 1 unit; other (e.g. alcopops) = 1.2 units. Amounts were also converted to grams pure ethanol (1 UK unit=8g) to aid international comprehension and comparison.

Can someone explain these numbers to me? They claim to measure one “standard drink” (all of which are equal), yet each variant is a different number of units? Furthermore, wine is more (stronger?) than spirits? I must be missing something.


They are multiplying the size of a wine glass by the ABV of red wine, the size of a shot glass by the ABV of vodka, the size of a pint glass by the ABV of beer... it's all estimation, but it's what they've got.


But you just defined what a "standard drink" is, no? All of those values are supposed to be equal:

5oz of wine * 12% = 1.5oz of spirits * 40% = 12oz of beer * 5%

so I'm still confused...

Edit: Wait, do you mean the size of a full glass? That's... an odd way to measure things.


You go to a pub and order a pint of lager. In the UK, that's 568mL, and you think of it as one drink -- even though it's clearly not.

You go to the same pub and order a shot of whiskey, and it's about 1.5oz, so it's the same as you think it is.


Two drinks a day, every day of the week is a lot of alcohol.


It is. 14 is well above the median number of drinks for the US population.

https://slate.com/technology/2014/10/how-much-alcohol-do-ame...

One of the rare articles that discusses median consumption rather than mean average.

"The more I thought about these data, the stranger they seemed. My 11-drink-per-week habit corresponds almost exactly to the national average, 556 drinks per year. But according to this chart, that number would be grossly misleading, since it combines the huge number of people who never quaff at all with the much smaller group who drink like it’s their job. (Those in the top decile of consumption swig an incomprehensible average of 74 drinks per week.) When I compare my habit to the median instead of the mean, I find that I’m dosing myself with 10 times more alcohol than the typical American."


I make 102g of alcohol about 1 bottle of 14% abv wine (so, strong-ish, but not exceptionally so) per week, or about 3 cans of 10% stout. Unless my math's wrong (1ml ~= 1g [not quite since it's not pure water, but close enough], 750ml * 0.14 = 105ml ~= 105g)


For those playing along at home, regulator "drinks" always seem to convert to 0.25-0.75 actual drinks a normal person might call "one drink". I'm not sure why they do that, unless it's to confuse people on purpose so they drink more.


When I was younger, reading about the history of Prohibition in the US, I thought it was completely bonkers. The idea that alcohol was even worth a ban, let alone whether such a ban could be enforced, was silly to me.

But the more I read about stuff like this, the more I realize that alcohol isn't special among the various things we call "drugs". It's not good for your physical health, and "everything in moderation" may not really apply to it either. I know several people for whom drinking was destroying their mental health. Why is alcohol legal, when other drugs are heavily restricted? (Those restrictions, sadly, mostly don't work either.)

I enjoy drinking. I like cocktails. I like wine. I don't love beer, but I do find some beers tasty and worth drinking. I find the very occasional night of heavy drinking with a big group of friends to be fun (though I realize that my memory of those nights ends up being hazy to the point that it's hard to really claim it was worth it).

But I also drank a ton of soda when I was a kid, gave it up completely in college, and don't miss it at all. Alcohol should be no different, but the social and cultural pressure around it makes it different.

I've definitely decreased my alcohol consumption over the past 5 years or so, and I'm happy with that decision. I don't think I can bring myself to cut it out of my life entirely, though.


> Alcohol should be no different, but the social and cultural pressure around it makes it different.

I don't think it's just that. I think it's also that (potentially in quite modest quantities) alcoholic drinks are an important part of/accompaniment to some cuisines, providing a balancing sweetness, acidity, and so on.

I find the idea of steak without a glass of robust red wine terribly disappointing. Seafood soup without a crisp white wine, ditto. Crêpes or galettes without dry cider ... the list goes on ...


Similar to your own refined sensibilities, I find the idea of a rare weekend brunch without at least one fruity mimosa, or two, or three, quite disappointing.

Or celebrating New Years without a perfectly crisp champagne, or prosecco. Preferably a Dom Perignon vaguely reminescent of tart green apples. Conversely, he bargain hunter in me loves the liquid sunshine in a hayfield that is Zardetto DOC.


> the more I realize that alcohol isn't special among the various things we call "drugs".

But it is.

Humans are pretty good at metabolizing alcohol. Other species are not as good (carnivores in particular). Why is that?

Every day bacteria in your gut produce alcohol. Every day you ingest it. Some percentage of carbs get converted daily. It's conceivable that our bodies are fine with small amounts.


I wonder if the OP accounted for the effects of carbs in general? Could alcohol be just another carb?


It does also compare with BMI and if I recall from my skimming a higher BMI also correlated with higher alcohol intake. Alcohol does get used as energy for your body meaning your body isn’t using up the carbs you had, and you end up gaining weight.


The current evidence suggests that Prohibition in the US was far more successful than most of us have been led to believe: https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/6/5/18518005/prohibit...

> Across the Hudson River, in Manhattan, the number of patients treated in Bellevue Hospital’s alcohol wards dropped from fifteen thousand a year before Prohibition to under six thousand in 1924. Nationally, cirrhosis deaths fell by more than a third between 1916 and 1929. In Detroit, arrests for drunkenness declined 90 percent during Prohibition’s first year. Domestic violence complaints fell by half.


Welp, that does it. I'm definitely not getting smarter, and can't afford to lose what little I'm still holding onto.

I live in a US state where weed is legal, and I was discussing this with a friend: it's starting to seem like a terrible idea to drink at all if weed is available and has lesser harmful effects. For me personally, it comes down to that I'd hate for my kids to see me using weed, but I acknowledge that's pretty silly because they've seen me drink (small amounts of) alcohol. I've got a case of good beer in the fridge that I've whittled down over the last 6 months, and in all objective ways I can think of it sets a worse example for me to drink one of those every couple weeks than to use a similarly moderate amount of weed. My upbringing still insists that weed is a much worse example because it's a "drug".


Weed absolutely has cognition issues, especially among young people.

http://m.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657.full (2012)

> "Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife"


That's just adolescents, so I would presume not applicable to OP.


If I have one beer I am generally a lot less impaired then if I were to have the minimum dose of weed


I hear tell that in places where it's legal, you can get measured doses that would allow you to determine exactly how large of a dose you're taking, or adjust it to meet your own needs.


Interestingly they also found alcohol consumption was positively correlated with node interconnection, a metric (per the paper) associated with higher cognitive performance. So alcohol will shrink your brain, but apparently it will make you smarter?


* 1.5% OF gray matter loss

Meaning 1.5% of the loss can be explained by alcohol


Yah, the paper says that alcohol consumption explains 0.8% of the observed variance in grey matter, while age explains 54% of variance.

Following a few references, this paper seems to show a average 20%(!) reduction in brain volume from age 60 to 90: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690968/ . Don't get old, folks...


>> Alcohol explained up to 0.8% of grey matter volume variance


I started drinking about 8. Drank heavy thru high school. Tapered down and quit by 24.

The only time I miss it is after some TV series bombards me with episode-after-episode of all day drinking w/o the expected consequences. Otherwise I'd never even think about alcohol.

I'm generally a better living thru chemistry guy, just not w/ alcohol. I'm kind of put off by the stinky breath and how jail feels like it's one drink away.


Is there a safer alternative?


Well, there's this newish hangover-free thing: https://www.sentiaspirits.com/

Has some reviews floating around the internet: https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/22/alcohol-free-spirit-sentia-pr...

The creator, David Nutt, has a long history of trying to bring attention to the problems alcohol brings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Nutt


Does anyone know of a way to get this shipped to the USA?


If you're ok with comparable alternatives, Amazon sells a variety of non-alcoholic wines.


That might work, I'm interested in this one specifically because in the article that was added, the person reviewing it said it made them feel tipsy-drunk, but never more than that, which sounds absolutely ideal for me.

I do wonder how much is due to the claimed GABA uptake enhancement from the ingredients and how much of that would be attributed to placebo though.


Safer in what dimension? Alcohol when abused is consumed in huge amounts and damages pretty much all body organs. Other drugs with comparable effects (say CNS depressants like GBL or benzos) are also very unsafe but mostly damage only your brain, make you dependent, make you do stupid stuff to yourself (like choke on your vomit or sleep behind the wheel) or people around you but probably won't fry your liver.


ketamine? weed once your frontal lobe is developed?


Legitimately very interested to see a comparable study for cannabis, in adult users.

[EDIT] everything I could find with a quick search is about heavy, long-term use only, which evidently has little effect on white matter, and uneven effects on grey matter, increasing it in some areas and decreasing it in others. Nothing about long-term light use, occasional "binge" use, anything like that.


I read that heavy cannabis users regain their full capacity just after few weeks. So probably if there's any damage it's nowhere near as extensive as in the case of alcohol.


Not sure why you're being downvoted. Both are extremely safe compared to ethanol — in terms of both self-harm and harm inflicted upon others.


Tons of studies show that weed effects emotional processing, increases risk of of sudden psychosis, and yes, even gray matter loss. [1] This idea that weed is safe due in part to its associations with "Nature" is really a social fabrication. People just fought for another thing they wanted to imbibe that wrecks us in another, not necessarily equivalent, way.

Personal experience is it's one of the few recreational drugs I can't handle as I experience extreme paranoia, rarely terrifying out of body experiences, and always an inability to speak, which is extremely uncomfortable as I deeply value my ability to communicate.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/npp201467


I didn't say it was safe — I said it was safer than ethanol. With that said, I appreciate your comment. I didn't know all of this specifically.


> Personal experience is it's one of the few recreational drugs I can't handle as I experience extreme paranoia

I get those too. After considering it for decades, I'm fairly convinced it's due to my psychological makeup - specifically fearing an unmasked loss of control.


My guess is because they're not really an alternative because they don't produce the same numbing effects many people seek in ethanol consumption. Also, they are still illegal, stigmatized, and difficult to find in many places.


GHB is kind of similar to alcohol, but I'm not sure that the long term effects on the brain are any better.


Alcohol is drugs such as weed, mdma and heroine. One is more dangerous than the other, but they have one thing in common.

Drugs damage the body and/or to some extent in some way, shape or form.

Don't do alcohol. If you have social pressure, fake it. Like order a beer and don't actually drink it, pretend to sip. I think people need to take this more seriously and start to think for themselves. I know it's hard, we have habits, but it's damaging.

The safer alternative being: don't do it.

If you want drug like feelings, I'd recommend exercising, being in love or sex. I'm pretty sure one is able to get pretty far with dancing on music as well.


This is a hilarious mental image to me. Like people aren’t going to notice your full pint glass after 10 minutes of fake sipping. Why would you not just tell them you don’t drink?

Also, alcohol is definitely really bad for you, but an occasional pub visit is hardly going to take years off your life.


I thought soda water (or sparkling mineral water) with lemon or lime was the official no-I'm-not-drinking-but-I-am-familiar-with-bars-and-don't-bug-me-about-it drink. Fake-sipping a beer would be bizarre.


That's news to me, IMO indeed a more fun alternative than drinking pure water. Thanks for mentioning it :)


In certain crowds you could also get away with still water w/o ice, since it looks like a vodka-water, especially if you're a woman (tends to be a women's drink—not pushing that norm, just observing it).

In either the still-water or sparkling/soda-water case, just get it in a highball or Collins glass and you'll fit right in. The glass is what sells it. 99% chance you won't be the first one to make this request to a given bartender. Unless they're a jerk they won't charge you for soda water from the bar's tap, and a slice of lemon or lime.

You could also ask for a coke without ice served in whatever they serve jack & coke in (collins glass, lowball glass, old-fashioned glass, could be any of several). Even if someone hears you order any of these, unless they're socially clueless this will signal some things to them and they'll know you are pointedly Not Drinking, for whatever reason, and they won't bug you about it or offer you anything. This is assuming you're around people who care that others aren't drinking, to begin with (I'd still use the specific-glass trick just not to look out of place, regardless, personally).


Hmm so you're telling people what to do and telling them to think for themselves at the same time. You only listed illegal drugs, what about medications, food, etc? Humans evolved because of mutagens in our diet. The paper literally points out that even if you try to preserve your body, age is the biggest factor in degradation - in the end there is no "safe".


The dose makes the poison. Drinking too much water can kill you. Abstinence is not necessarily safer or better than moderation.


While I agree with that, I think it's better to start from a "better safe than sorry approach." It is much more likely that a study like this would have been published about alcohol than about 100% pure water.

So in that sense, the comment I made is not so much about the facts, it's more about strategy for optimal health.

Everyone has their own strategy of course.


Dancing is bad for the knees and music is bad for hearing loss...


You can buy earplugs specifically made for music. I recommend to actually tailor make them for your ear channel. Whenever I used them, the music volume felt like I was standing in a quiet-ish elevator.

You can dance without using your knees if you have knee issues.

My point with both of these is: you can patch these issues. When you smoke weed, your lungs will be hit. When you drink alcohol, your brain will be hit.

I agree that with everything we do, there is some form of upkeep. The argument about drugs is that the upkeep might be too much.

One could argue that 0.8% gray matter loss is fine. I'm simply not one of them.


So then if you eat weed... what then?


Eating weed is IMO a completely different experience than smoking it due to a different onset experience. But fair enough, it might not be as damaging. It could be though, when one eats weed it's almost never a light dose. When one smokes a joint you can do a very small puff. Since the onset with space cake is like an hour to 90 min. you can't really do light dosing.

The first time I took space cake I almost got kicked out of a nightclub because I couldn't handle it (in Amsterdam). Space cake is always such a hell of an impact. Taking one puff isn't.

But I guess one could research all of this and find a way to make it so that you can dose quite well and not take the lung damage. In that case, it would seem fine to me.


That's not realistic. Animals love drugs, from monkeys eating overripe fruits to get drunk to goats eating coffee beans to catch a buzz (and yes, caffeine is just as much a drug as anything else).

Telling adults not to use drugs -- don't come for my coffee mug without an army -- is about as reasonable and effective as telling teens not to have sex. However great you think the reasons might be not to do those things, people are going to do them. We've been doing it for millions of years and aren't likely to stop now.


I used to be a hardcore non-drinker and what I was rewarded with was somewhat relaxed sanity and reality perception as a substitute for regular alcohol consumption.

Now I feel a similar effect limited by physical substance intakes would have been a better alternative to that. After all our societies are built with alcohol in mind, including irrecoverable brain damages from it.


The parent was getting downvoted, and as someone who drinks, I don't necessarily find anything offensive about the parent comment (unless it broke a specific HN guideline).

It reminded me of my go-to when I don't want to drink alcohol at an event; I'll order a sugar-free Red Bull on ice. It looks like a cocktail, has more flavor than a water, and no hangover.


It's perhaps too opinionated and not substantiated enough. I was trying to be brief. Unfortunately, I was too brief. I don't want to write out an essay and get sources where there are comparisons between alcohol and other drugs and how alcohol is basically a drug (e.g. [1, 2]).

The reason I didn't is because I assume the average HN'er knows this.

[1] https://www.frontiersin.org/files/Articles/592199/fpsyt-11-5...

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.5921...


Most things damage your body in some way, shape, or form. Obviously the best solution is to not drink, but IMO it's not a great alternative. Something like what you mentioned at the end makes more sense.


Well, what I keep doing is make it more emotionally understandable to myself that alcohol fuck things up even at small levels (I've seen it, 3 glasses of wine and people are fighting :/).

> IMO it's not a great alternative.

Why isn't it?

I'm not implying I disagree, I am simply wondering what you think.


I wonder if I'll see the equivalent of a Truth campaign for alcohol in my lifetime.


For some, that .8% will never be enough.




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