Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alcohol More Harmful to Health than Crack Cocaine or Heroin

A new study claims that alcohol is more harmful to health than crack cocaine or heroin. The takeaway from this is not how harmful alcohol is when it's abused. That isn't news. It's how misguided the "War on Drugs" is.

Scientists from Britain's Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) recently released a study that assessed which drugs cause the most overall harm to both users and society. According to their analysis, alcohol is the most harmful drug, scoring higher on the list than both crack cocaine and heroin.

Published in the journal Lancet, the study used a system called multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) to assess damage caused by various drugs. Nine of the criteria evaluated specific harm inflicted on users of the drug, while seven criteria looked at the harm caused to others. Upon investigation, alcohol scored nearly three times more harmful than cocaine and eight times more harmful than ecstasy. Read more

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