‘Alcohol Worse Than Hard Drugs’

Originally appeared at: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3206587/Alcohol-worse-than-hard-drugs.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News HEROIN, cocaine and Ecstasy are less dangerous than booze, experts have claimed. Professor David Nutt, who was sacked as chief drugs advisor to the government after opposing their toughened stance on cannabis, said alcohol wreaks more havoc on health and communities than hard drugs. And he argues that Ecstasy and LSD are the “least damaging” drugs. The professor warned that its cheap price and wide availability made alcohol so risky. And he said that it would be instantly banned if it emerged as a new drug today. He made the statements in top medical journal The Lancet. Prof Nutt said alcohol was the most dangerous substance based on the overall danger to the individual and society. His research team analysed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body. They also looked at other factors such as environmental and socio-economic costs, like health care, social services and prisons. Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals, they found. But when it came to the impact on the wider world, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most dangerous. Overall, booze outranked all other substances, followed by heroin then crack cocaine. Advertisement Marijuana, Ecstasy and LSD scored far lower. Prof Nutt said: “In terms of what is the cost to UK society today, alcohol is the biggest harm. “It has such a huge impact on society. “If the government chooses to ignore it, at some point eventually it will come home to roost. “I think people are frightened about drugs. They don’t want to look at the evidence. “We’ve had this mantra for 50 years – ‘don’t take drugs, drugs are dangerous, let’s use criminal sanctions’. “It’s almost habit. We’ve got the same kind of habit, people saying ‘alcohol isn’t a drug’. “We have to break through that. We have to say ‘all drugs are harmful, or potentially harmful’. “Let’s have a new approach to dealing with this much wider problem.” The study, which was produced by Prof Nutt’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, has been attacked by pub campaigners. Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The vast majority of people know it’s just not rational to say that enjoying a social beer with friends in the pub or glass of wine over dinner has the moral or societal equivalence of injecting heroin or smoking a crack pipe.” Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3206587/Alcohol-worse-than-hard-drugs.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News#ixzz149WZVX3E

Another article in the Sun about David Nutts study on the harmful effects of Alcohol compared with other drugs.