Southern Travel on Dutch and Dennis got Tommy onto a gur-ney and rolled him into the emergency room. Alcohol, in excess, is by far the most i devastating of drugs wrecking V families and friendships, impairing health, filling jails, hospitals, and morgues. In 1990 it cost American society an estimated 136 billion dollars and more than 65,000 lives, 22,000 of them on highways. The invoice for damages does not lie entirely on that severely afflicted minority we call alcoholics. Much of it is from other heavy and even moderate drinkers there being so many more of them who are not yet, but could become, alcoholics. (The point where heavy drinking merges into alcohol dependence is blurry.) Teh percent of drinkers in the United States drink heavily they account for half of all alcohol consumed. Southern Travel 2016.