Alcohol: Most dangerous drug in the world...

boozeScore one for the Potheads...

Contrary to the position taken by most politicians in response to questions about the feasibility of our nation's drug laws, a study has found that the most dangerous drug in the world is not marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth...

And it can be found in almost every home in the Western world...

In a study of the negative impact of twenty drugs (including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, LSD, 'shrooms, tobacco, and marijuana) on an individual and on a society, alcohol was found to be the most dangerous drug to use overall.

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 scale of 1-100, the panel evaluated the effects of the twenty drugs researched on 16 different criteria.

overall-graph

Alcohol received a final average score of 72; three times more likely to harm than cocaine and tobacco and four times more likely to harm than marijuana.

I don't like the drugs...

But that is not to say that the other drugs are not dangerous...

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.

usersvothers

(It was in the average of these two scores that alcohol won "Worst Overall"...)

In the article for The Lancet, the researchers state that the three tiered drug classification system that Great Brittan uses (the United States use a similar system) in order to determine the criminal penalties for possession and dealing has little relation to the societal impact of the drug. (For example selling a beer to a kid most likely will get you a fine and maybe probation while selling that same kid five dollars worth of crack might get you a few years behind bars).

pie-chart

This study is not the first time that the drug classification system of Brittan (or the United States) has undergone public criticism...

druuuugsLast year, in an article for the Journal of Psychopharmacology, one of the co-author’s of The Lancet article- a Professor David Nutt- made a claim that ecstasy was nowhere near as dangerous as riding a horse.

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

(For the record, the study found that ecstasy only scored a 9, only an eighth as dangerous to users and the public as alcohol.)

...  But the drugs like me...

stop_the_war_on_drugs_designOf course, this isn't to say t hat alcohol needs to be banned right away in order to insure the public good...

No more than it is saying that mushrooms LSD, and ecstasy should be handed out at every major sporting event next weekend...

It is just saying that maybe our current drug policies are a little bit hypocritical.

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