Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin

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    Nov 01, 2010 11:27 PM GMT
    I thought this was an interesting read... What do you guys think?

    Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    November 1, 2010 1:14 p.m. EDT
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/01/alcohol.harm/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    London, England (CNN) -- Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs, beating out crack and heroin when assessed for its potential harm to the individual imbibing and harm to others, according to study results released by a British medical journal.

    A panel of experts from the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs weighed the physical, psychological, and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet on Sunday.

    Using a new scale to evaluate harms to individual users and others, alcohol received a score of 72 on a scale of 1 to 100, the study says. It was compared to 19 other drugs using 16 criteria: nine related to the adverse effects the drug has on an individual and seven on its harm against others.

    That makes it almost three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco, according to the article, which is slated to be published on The Lancet's website Monday and in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

    Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals, the study says, while alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others.

    In the article, the panelists said their findings show that Britain's three-tiered drug classification system, which places drugs into different categories that determine criminal penalties for possession and dealing, has "little relation to the evidence of harm."

    Panelists also noted that the rankings confirm other studies that say that "aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy."

    The Lancet article was co-authored by David Nutt, a professor and Britain's former chief drug adviser, who caused controversy last year after he published an article saying ecstasy was not as dangerous as riding a horse.

    "So why are harmful sporting activities allowed, whereas relatively less harmful drugs are not?" Nutt wrote in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. "I believe this reflects a societal approach which does not adequately balance the relative risks of drugs against their harms."

    Nutt later apologized to to anyone offended by the article and to those who have lost loved ones to ecstasy. He said he had no intention of trivializing the dangers of the drug and that he only wanted to compare the risks.

    In the article released by The Lancet on Sunday, ecstasy's harmfulness ranking -- 9 -- indicates it is only one-eighth as harmful as alcohol.

    The study was funded by the London-based Centre for Crime and Justice studies.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 01, 2010 11:38 PM GMT
    I saw a similar article on WebMD here:

    http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20101101/alcohol-more-harmful-than-crack-or-heroin?src=RSS_PUBLIC

    Here's the list to make it a bit easier to compare:

    Alcohol 72
    Heroin 55
    Crack 54
    Crystal meth 33
    Cocaine 27
    Tobacco 26
    Amphetamine/speed 23
    Cannabis (marijuana) 20
    GHB 18
    Benzodiazepines (e.g. valium) 15
    Ketamine 15
    Methadone 14
    Mephedrone (aka drone, MCAT) 13
    Butane 10
    Khat 9
    Ecstacy 9
    Anabolic steroids 9
    LSD 7
    Buprenorphine 6
    Mushrooms 5

    For Californians, it lends itself to an argument in support of Prop. 19.

    I wish the articles linked to the actual research though. It would be useful to know if they weighted the score proportionally against how widely the drugs are used. Perhaps the seven criteria for judging a drugs damage to others would be greater if the drug was more widely used.

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    Nov 01, 2010 11:40 PM GMT
    Yay mushrooms!
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    Nov 01, 2010 11:41 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo saidYay mushrooms!


    does that count as a serving of vegetables for the day? icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 01, 2010 11:45 PM GMT
    KardioKing said
    Ciarsolo saidYay mushrooms!


    does that count as a serving of vegetables for the day? icon_lol.gif


    It counts as an awesome serving, mostly because the hallucination distracts you from the terrible cake cravings I keep having. CAKE.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 02, 2010 12:36 AM GMT
    sadly, cake is scored at a 29. right between cocaine and crystal meth.
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:48 AM GMT
    Ciarsolo saidYay mushrooms!
    icon_cool.gif
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:48 AM GMT
    tongun18 saidsadly, cake is scored at a 29. right between cocaine and crystal meth.
    LMAO! icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:53 AM GMT
    tongun18 saidsadly, cake is scored at a 29. right between cocaine and crystal meth.


    Damn right it is. Betty CRACKer.