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Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin
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Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin - November 1, 2010, 07:42 AM

Lets go smoke some crack, and heroin....it's healthier than chillin at the Pub.

Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin - CNN.com


By the CNN Wire Staff
November 1, 2010 2:42 a.m. EDT


The Lancet, a British medical journal, lists alcohol as the most harmful drug among a list of 20 drugs.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The study uses a new scale to rank the harmfulness of 20 drugs
  • Alcohol is the most harmful overall, according to panelists
  • A co-author of the study has said horseback riding is more dangerous than ecstasy


RELATED TOPICS
London, England (CNN) -- Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs -- beating out crack and heroin -- according to study results released by a British medical journal.
A panel of experts 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 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.
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 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 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.


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November 1, 2010, 07:45 AM

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November 1, 2010, 07:48 AM

hmmm, dont know about this one. "Once you go crack, you aint comin back"...

I mean when you look at a crack fiend you know they are cooked...
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November 1, 2010, 07:50 AM

Addiction to alcohol is much more socially acceptable and WAY more common. In addition, drunk driving has killed many more people than crack.

I'm not saying crack is good for you, but it's time to reevaluate what we, as a society, deem acceptable. The fact that you can go to jail for having a gram of coke but somehow being a degenerate alcoholic is ok is supremely fucked up


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November 1, 2010, 07:51 AM

Not even close. Way more lives and money is spent as a result of alcohol abuse.
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November 1, 2010, 07:58 AM

Hmm, I'll have to look at the original paper to see what all they considered in assessing "harmful", but I have some speculations. They probably figured in DUI-related injuries and fatalities for alcohol and then similar statistics for the other drugs. The problem with a study like this is that the drugs are examined and assessed within their current contexts. These contexts are basically that alcohol is legal while the others are illegal. The illegality of the "street" drugs inhibits an unknown number of potential users who would use otherwise. As a result, alcohol is used a lot more than these other drugs so of course the harmful effects are more widespread. Plus alcohol is much cheaper; the cost of illegal street drugs is another barrier to widespread use. It's difficult to predict what would happen if the other drugs were legalized, but I'm confident in thinking the "harm" scores would rise.


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November 1, 2010, 08:03 AM

And yet, after portugal legalized marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth, usage actualy declined, HIV infection rates went down, and utilization of voluntary treatment programs increased.


I remember hearing about it, i'll find a source.

here it is... Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal a Success, Says Report - TIME

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
Hmm, I'll have to look at the original paper to see what all they considered in assessing "harmful", but I have some speculations. They probably figured in DUI-related injuries and fatalities for alcohol and then similar statistics for the other drugs. The problem with a study like this is that the drugs are examined and assessed within their current contexts. These contexts are basically that alcohol is legal while the others are illegal. The illegality of the "street" drugs inhibits an unknown number of potential users who would use otherwise. As a result, alcohol is used a lot more than these other drugs so of course the harmful effects are more widespread. Plus alcohol is much cheaper; the cost of illegal street drugs is another barrier to widespread use. It's difficult to predict what would happen if the other drugs were legalized, but I'm confident in thinking the "harm" scores would rise.


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Last edited by Fitz; November 1, 2010 at 08:07 AM..
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November 1, 2010, 08:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
And yet, after portugal legalized marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth, usage actualy declined, HIV infection rates went down, and utilization of voluntary treatment programs increased.


I remember hearing about it, i'll find a source.

here it is... Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal a Success, Says Report - TIME

Aha,
This should be posted in the other thread Heist posted about war on drugs.

I guess in the end people just want to get high. If you have a legalized way to do it (besides drinking) i guess they would rather go that route vs. other shit they try out. Plus Weed is the only one you can smell a mile away vs. other drugs that can be discretley used.


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November 1, 2010, 08:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh;
And yet, after portugal legalized marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth, usage actualy declined, HIV infection rates went down, and utilization of voluntary treatment programs increased.


I remember hearing about it, i'll find a source.

here it is... Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal a Success, Says Report - TIME
This stuff is really interesting. A lot of our war on drugs is politically charged vs socially necessary.


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November 1, 2010, 08:50 AM

Quote:
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This stuff is really interesting. A lot of our war on drugs is politically charged vs socially necessary.
What do you mean?


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November 1, 2010, 09:14 AM

Meaning, that society might survive legalization, but no one wants to admit that a 50 year, multi-billion dollar war on drugs failed


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November 1, 2010, 09:24 AM

Approximately half of the worlds negative actions are caused by alcohol/drugs... the other half... religion
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November 1, 2010, 09:29 AM

I'd say greed/money beats alcohol and drugs on that one, david


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November 1, 2010, 09:41 AM

i wonder how many accidents were involved in DC this past weekend? and how many are alcohol related.


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November 1, 2010, 09:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh;
Meaning, that society might survive legalization, but no one wants to admit that a 50 year, multi-billion dollar war on drugs failed
Succinctly stated.

Remember there are plenty of guys who rode the Reagan bandwagon still in office... They based their morality centric campaigns on this stuff. It became cliche despite the science.


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