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Ethyl Alcohol—Ancient Plague and Modern Poison

George D. Lundberg, MD
JAMA. 1984;252(14):1911-1912. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350140057027.
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Ethyl alcohol (alcohol) kills every day in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and virtually every other city in the Western World. Considering all of its lethal effects, it follows right after heart disease, cancer, and stroke as a cause of death. Alcohol is almost a required social potion every day in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and virtually every other city in the Western World. This is a dichotomy of concepts and a damnably difficult dilemma of man with his frailties. Can't seem to live without it and can't seem to live with it.

Alcohol is a drug. It is the No. 1 drug of abuse in our society. Its only close rival is tobacco. Both are legal. One is socially acceptable in most settings; the other, less so, as this century winds down. Alcohol and its problems have been around for as long as history has been

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