Alcohol (and acetaldehyde, its metabolite) are confirmed, Group 1 carcinogens. Cocaine has not been proven to be carcinogenic. It’s far easier to die from alcohol than cocaine. The lethal dose of alcohol is about 30 drinks, with an effective dose of about 5 drinks (effective meaning drunk, not just tipsy). Meanwhile, the lethal dose of cocaine is about 7 grams compared to an effective dose of about 50mg. The lethal dose to effective dose ratio of alcohol is 6:1, but cocaine’s is 140:1.
Now let’s sprinkle in a bit of ethos. Neuroscientist David Nutt once scored common drugs out of 100, with a higher score meaning more harmful. Alcohol was found to, by far, be the most harmful drug.
But isn’t coke way more addictive? Well, No. About 20% of coke users end up addicted. Meanwhile, given that 12.7% of the adult population in America are alcoholics and 80.2% of American adults have drank alcohol before, this gives an alcohol addiction rate of 16%. Alcohol has a lower addiction rate, but it’s not actually that much lower. And again, actually getting off alcohol is much harder; the physical symptoms are far more intense.