Why alcohol is the most harmful drug

Considering the harm that alcohol has to drinkers, their friends and family, and society as a whole, alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world. When considering the overall danger to users and others, the harm of alcohol even exceeds the harm of heroin and cocaine.

This is the conclusion of the British expert panel’s assessment and ranking of the harm caused by 20 different drugs (legal and illegal). Members of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) in the United Kingdom and two experts from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) carefully assessed the harm caused by each drug in 16 different categories.

Ranking harmful drugs

The scientists ranked each drug on a scale from 0 to 100 in nine aspects related to the harm caused by the drug to the individual. They also classified the harm that each drug caused to others into seven categories.

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When ranking drug hazards, the researchers looked at the effects of drugs on life expectancy, health risks, dependence, mental function, loss of tangible assets, loss of interpersonal relationships, crime, social costs, family adversity and other aspects of the physical, Psychological and social hazards. factor.

By applying a multi-criteria decision analysis to each drug, and then weighing which hazards are more important than others, scientists can give each drug a score that can be compared across all 16 criteria.

Harm caused by drugs

Some harm to the human body user include:

  • Drug-specific death
  • Drug-related deaths
  • harmful to health
  • Drug dependence
  • Lost relationship

Some hazards other It is considered to include:

  • crime
  • Environmental damage
  • Family conflicts
  • International damage
  • Economic cost
  • Impaired community cohesion

The team’s analysis showed that heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine are the most harmful drugs for individual users. Alcohol, heroin and crack are the most harmful to others.

Combining these two hazardous areas, the drugs that are generally the most harmful are alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine.

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The most harmful drugs

The following is the overall injury score for each drug in the range of 0 to 100 points:

The ISCD team chaired by Professor David Nutt concluded that the current drug classification system does not take into account the actual harm caused by various drugs and has little to do with the harm caused.“Interestingly, the two legal drugs evaluated—alcohol and tobacco—are scored in the upper half of the ranking table, which shows that legal drugs cause at least as much harm as illegal drugs,” Nath said.

This work shows that public health strategies need to be adjusted to actively address the harm caused by alcohol. Solving these problems can lead to plans and policies centered on harm reduction.