A new study suggests alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack

MOST people would agree that some drugs are worse than others: heroin is probably considered to be more dangerous than marijuana, for instance.

Because governments formulate criminal and social policies based upon classifications of harm, a new study published by the Lancet on November 1st makes interesting reading. Researchers led by Professor David Nutt, a former chief drugs adviser to the British government, asked drug-harm experts to rank 20 drugs (legal and illegal) on 16 measures of harm to the user and to wider society, such as damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime.

Alcohol is the most harmful drug in Britain, scoring 72 out of a possible 100, far more damaging than heroin (55) or crack cocaine (54).

It is the most harmful to others by a wide margin, and is ranked fourth behind heroin, crack, and methamphetamine (crystal meth) for harm to the individual.

The authors point out that the model’s weightings, though based on judgment, were analysed and found to be stable as large changes would be needed to change the overall rankings.

“Drug harms in the UK: a multi-criteria decision analysis”, by David Nutt, Leslie King and Lawrence Phillips, on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. The Lancet.

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Do note the date of the article and just how little it seems to have been taken into consideration by those seeking to promote alcohol & control untaxed drugs which seemingly do far less harm to society and involve only a fraction of the numbers of addicts that are obsessed with alcohol!

We are given many reasons why pubs are closing down but no one seems to give what seems to me to be the primary reason which is they are in the main rather unpleasant places to be!

I appreciate that certain politicians were foolish enough to bail out the professional gamblers who ran the banks when they made a series of bad judgements and caused the currency crisis only to reward themselves by stealing yet more under the guise of bonuses – in a manner not disimilar to politicians and civil servants who have so often stolen money either as expenses or inflated incomes and pensions as with many council executives!

Had todays policies been around at the time could we expect flint axe makers to be subsidised well into the bronze & iron ages and still be with us to this day! Surely that would be the economics of the economically illiterate like Gordon Brown and poor old Vincent Cable! We would still be subsidising the economically catastrophic extension to the dole cueues in the form of the unprofitable, dirty, unpleasant and dangerous deep coal mines that so many foolishly wanted to keep open!

Surely the same level of intelligent thought as those who dishonestly and unfairly believed that a widow on a pension living alone in a house should pay the same local taxes as a home with 5 wage earners! Though I do understand the corrupt expedient of pandering to the 5 voters rather than being just and fair!

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