Alcohol ‘more dangerous than crack cocaine’: Study

November 2nd, 2010 - 1:14 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 2 (ANI): A new controversial study has revealed that alcohol is a more dangerous ‘drug’ than heroin and crack cocaine because of the harm it causes to the individual and society.

The research was led by Professor David Nutt, the former head of the influential British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, who was sacked from the ACMD a year ago after publicly criticising the Labour government’s decision to upgrade cannabis from class C to class B, reports the Daily Mail.

His latest study was widely criticised by mental health campaigners, who claimed it downplayed the dangers of illicit drugs to vulnerable people.

If heroin and cannabis were more widely available, the harms would rapidly escalate, say experts.

Professor Nutt’s new research team, the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, analysed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, as well as factors such as health care, social services, and prison costs.

They found heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, to be the most lethal to individuals.

However, when considering the wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most dangerous. And overall, alcohol outranked all other substances.

Professor Nutt said alcohol was the most harmful to society because it was so widely available.

Asked if he was suggesting a drug such as heroin was not dangerous, he said: “Of course heroin is dangerous.

“What I am saying is in terms of the cost to UK society today, alcohol is the biggest harm.

“It has such a huge impact on society,” he said.

Professor Nutt said his team’s job was to ‘keep putting the evidence in front of the public and in front of the Government’.

Professor Nutt’s study, published in The Lancet medical journal, marked substances from zero to 100 based on their criteria, with alcohol scoring 72 overall, compared with 55 for heroin and 54 for crack. (ANI)

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