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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Drug Experts Say: Alcohol Worse Than Crack, Heroin

Hello Precious Visitors of this blog... I've read such a wonderful article and I like to share it with you all...

Source: Healthy-Discoveries


British scientists said that alcohol is a more harmful drug than both heroin and crack when the combined dangers to the user and to others are assessed.

Displaying a new scale of drug dangers that rates the damage to users themselves and to thier wider society, the scientists rated alcohol the most dangerous overall and almost three times as dangerous as tobacco or cocaine.

According to the scale, which devised by a group of scientists including Britain's Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and an expert adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), heroin and crack cocaine rank as the second and third most dangerous drugs. 

Also according to the scientists' analysis, ecstasy is only an eighth as dangerous as alcohol.

Professor David Nutt, chairman of the ISCD, whose work was published in the Lancet medical journal, said that the results presented that "aggressively targeting alcohol damages is a valid and necessary public health strategy".
Also he said they showed that current drug sorting systems had little relation to the proofs of harm.

Alcohol and tobacco are legal for adults in Britain and many other countries, while drugs like cannabis and ecstasy and LSD are illegal.

Nutt, who was formerly head of the influential British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), said in a statement about the study that It is intriguing to note that the two legal drugs assessed --tobacco and alcohol -- score in the upper segment of the sorting scale, indicating that legal drugs cause at least as much damage as do illegal substances.

Nutt was forced to quit the ACMD a year ago after publicly criticising ministers for ignoring scientific advice suggesting cannabis was less dangerous than alcohol.

The World Health Organisation assesses that dangers linked to alcohol cause 2.5 million deaths a year from heart and liver illnesses, road accidents, cancer and suicides --accounting for 3.8% of all deaths--. It is the third leading danger factor for disabilities and premature death worldwide.

In an effort to offer a guide to policy makers in health, policing, and social care, Nutt's team classed drugs using a technique called multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) which assessed harms according to 9 criteria on harm to the user and seven criteria on harm to others.

Dangers to the user included things like drug-specific or drug-related death, damage to health, drug dependence and loss of relationships, while damages to others included crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and damage to community cohesion.

Drugs were then scored out of 100, with 100 given to the most dangerous drug and zero indicating no danger at all.

The scientists found alcohol was most dangerous, with a score of 72, followed by heroin with 55 and crack with 54.

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