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Making a Comparison Between a Heroin User and an Alcohol User

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 11 comments

Morals and the legal system have no natural connection

Comparison between a person on alcohol and heroin.

What’s the difference?


One can be arrested and locked up for a long time just for taking the drug. The other only if his behavior warrants.


Where is the intelligence in one being illegal and the other not. In us calling one a criminal and the other not.


Alcohol just as dangerous or more so.

Should it be made legal? Yes. I don’t agree with big brother. Everyone should be entitled to do with themselves what they will as long as it don’t interfere or harm with others. If alcohol is legal then why not heroin.

Heroin and all the other Illegal drugs combined kills approx 250,000 people a year.

Alcohol, a legal drug, kills 3.5 million every single year.

Tobacco, another legal drug, kills 5 million every year.

You could say that the reason alcohol and tobacco kills so many is because it is legal and used widely.

Yes. That would be true.

But most of the reasons for deaths through using the illegal drugs are because they are illegal. If you want to get your hands on these drugs, you have to deal with criminals. Dealing with criminals can cause your death. You don’t know the purity of the drug. It’s easy to overdose if the purity is high. Because people inject.

It’s the same with alcohol, mixing alcohol with different substances will kill you. How many deaths are there through overdosing on alcohol? How many deaths are there from drinking impure alcohol? Take alcohol in the wrong purity, you’ll overdose and die. People have actually injected alcohol. For more about this, take a look at my video on what would happen if you injected alcohol?

I’ve seen some very strange ways of taking alcohol from snorting it (which I vaguely remember doing on one alcohol fuelled stag night) to sticking alcohol soaked tampons up their arses.

These are very bad ways of getting alcohol into your system. At least when you drink it, your digestive system has a way of attempting to deal with it, of expulsion if the dose gets too big. With injecting or butt chugging as it’s known, the alcohol gets into the system way faster and there is no natural reaction like vomiting to count on. You can overdose very easily.

So the only real difference between legal and illegal drugs is the legality.

It differentiates. It tries to legitimize others drug taking. They are not taking drugs, they are partaking of wine, beer, or whatever. They might be going above the recommended dosage, every day, binge drinkers…. He’s an alcoholic, I’m just loving my glass of wine in the evening.

We don’t do that with any other drug, differentiate, even other legal drugs like cigarettes. We might say that he’s a ten a day, a pack a day, or a two pack a day. We might say a light smoker or a heavy smoker.

Alcohol can cause people to do some bad stuff, Jekyll and Hyde, force you to change into someone who’s different, not in a good way.

I’ve been around drinkers all my life and I know how quickly a person or situation can change when there’s alcohol involved.

People understand that on a deep level. We have to differentiate. For me, my granny who never drank except at Christmas. She escapes my alcohol use label. False divisions to legitimize normal peoples drinking. There’s nothing normal about it, only we have made it normal. So long as society doesn’t apply the same rules to alcohol as to other drugs, there’s always going to be a problem. There’s always going to be people who get into trouble with alcohol, a massive problems in our society.

If you allow a drug like nicotine, millions of people dead. People try to legitimize this awful habit by saying the same things as alcohol. I take it to relax, because I’m bored, blah blah.

It doesn’t really do anything for you except kill you very slowly.

It’s suicide through lifestyle.

Same with alcohol… millions dead. Not just directly but indirectly. How many deaths are caused by alcohol but there’s something else on the death cert. They don’t appear in the stats.

“Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice” Leon Blum

Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. ron

    Well said Kev

  2. Paul D

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the video update this week; this is a subject area I have been fascinated with ever since I picked up my first copy of “Junky” by William S.Burroughs about 30 years ago!

    I don’t know about you, and others on here, but I grew up believing that Heroin was the biggest-baddest, most addictive of all drugs. This was mainly fuelled by the public-health adverts of the time (including the “don’t share needles” Aids campaigns of the 80’s).

    It wasn’t until somebody put this question to me that I really began to think more about this: “What is the difference between heroin and ordinary medical morphine?”

    “Morphine” is morphine sulphate.
    Heroin is simply morphine with an acetyl molecule attached.

    In terms of effects, they are exactly the same — and medically interchangeable (except for dosage). In fact, they are both converted to the same form of morphine when they get into the body.

    So, why is one legal, and the other not?

    At this point, being a right ol’ bookworm, I’ll recommend another book:
    “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari.

    In it, he profiles early figures in the drug-war such as jazz musician Billie Holiday, a long-time heroin addict; racketeer Arnold Rothstein, an early drug trafficker; and Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (who himself had a daily morphine habit).

    It’s an interesting read, and details the mix of religious, political, greed/power and personal guilt/shame elements of individuals who passed ill-advised legislation to make certain drugs illegal whilst keeping other equally harmful drugs (alcohol, nicotine) legal.

    Thanks again Kevin; and what a great view from up on that hill-top! 🙂

    My best as always,

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Thanks for that Paul. Yep, I grew up with the same fear. It probably kept me from touching the stuff, but there again it made alcohol and cigarettes just seem more normal. I also couldn’t believe that the only physical long term effects of heroin is constipation. Addiction is another thing, but even that is not as dangerous as some heavy alcohol hitters. More uncomfortable though.

  3. Kevin

    Most drinkers would be horrified with the comparison but the reality is that “the cap fits”

    Nothing tells me that the alcohol companies with there “please get wankered responsibly” slogans are any less cynical than Tobacco dealers.

    I read once how companies had flooded third world countries with packs of cigs at 3p a pack for 5 yrs.Of course when they had there audience up went the price.

    They know how many millions will die and the ensuing misery they cause.

    On a lighter note that camera harness makes you look like your growing an awesome pair of tits!

    all the best and thanks again


  4. Gerry

    Hi Kevin,
    Very informative. I always thought the hard drugs were much more addictive and harmful than alcohol.
    I was always terrified of even trying pot when I was younger definitely not Heroin or cocain
    Now I realise alcohol is just as bad if not worse.!

  5. Andrew

    Well, I dunno Kev. I get your point and I agree with what you’re trying to say, but heroin is a bad example. The level of physical addiction with opiates is much worse than with alcohol. If I had consumed heroin to the extent I’ve consumed alcohol I don’t think there would be any coming back from that.

    Weed is a good comparison though. I’ve been through both, only getting to the weed because I drank. Alcohol for me was the gateway drug.

    All that said, I certainly do agree there is a huge amount of hypocrisy in societies attitude to alcohol vs other drugs. The industry does an amazing job of dressing alcohol up as something special, a real treat.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      That’s what everyone thinks, the level of addiction in heroin is higher. It’s just not true. It’s all part of the mythology surrounding illegal drugs. The biggest heroin experirment ever was the Vietnam war. There were so many men that went into that war and became addicted to taking heroin. The US government thought they were going to have a horrible time with all the junkies that were going to come home after the war was over. The funny thing was, most of them just stopped when they arrived back in the US. They didn’t need programs, dry out clinics, all they needed was to get away from the war. There are many, many examples of the same thing. There are people who are completely addicted to the fat and sugar in fast food, real addictions. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was overcome my addiction to nicotine. There are plenty of people who’ve been addicted to heroin and nicotine who say that nicotine was worse. If you wanna see a real modern day representation of junkies, take a look at all the people who are so desperately sucking on an e-cigarette, wishing it were the real thing.

  6. Rebecca

    A very deep and somber video, but certainly one that we all need to be thinking about. In America,the police make money off the drug trade, not to mention the prison system. I believe that we have all been taught to fear hard drugs but to think of alcohol as a friend, the social lubricant that seems so bright and shiny.
    I’very made 28 days today, sober. Your videos have been a very important anchor
    Thanks so much

  7. Dave

    One more thing…..I believe alcohol to be the biggest gateway drug …I’ll bet most heroin users started with drinking long before they stuck a needle in their arm.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I agree. My gateway drug was cigarettes.

    • Mark

      With alcohols ability to lower our inhibitions or render us senseless in larger quantities.
      There is no question it is the biggest gateway drug.

      It is also the biggest “we’re only 14 but lets have sex to soon” drug.

      Its connection to domestic violence is widely known.

      No better route of administration for a “date rape” drug than alcohol.

      I am still with the author. People who are not endangering or hurting other people should be allowed to do what they want. Even if what they want is Heroin.

      If heroin were legal there would be no use for “Krokodil” heroin and the horrible consequences of its use.

      Our prison systems would not be so full.

      Our cops could start worrying about community policing instead of only making arrests to get federal grant money or “asset forfeitures”
      Prohibition bred corruption and so has this drug war.

      Legalization would free up a lot of money spent on enforcement and that could be used for treatment.

      People could work. I am trying to find work right now and I have a Bachelors and an Associates degree and it is tough. Imagine if I had no degrees but instead I had a felony for some non-violent drug charge. That is nearly impossible to find decent work with.

      Taxpayers don’t just pay to lock people up. They also pay for TANF and/or SNAP benefits for the family through the human services departments of their state. We usually pay for medical and psychological care for dependents too.

      The drug war is very expensive and very destructive. Unless you are a law enforcement agency, then it is profitable.


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