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Alcohol “worse than drugs”

A new study released yesterday has claimed that alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs, kicking heroin off the top spot into second place, with crack cocaine following closely. British experts took alcohol along with cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other substances ranking them based on how destructive they were to both the individual and society. The study was paid for by Britain’s Centre for Crime and Justice studies, entering the medical journal on November 1st 2010.

Researchers looked at various factors to come to a conclusion including; how addictive the drug is, what it does to the body, the environmental damage the drug causes, and it’s role in breaking up families. Economic damage was also looked at in terms of social services and prison costs should an individual become convicted of crime.

Heroin, crack and methamphetamine (crystal meth) were shown to causes the most damage to the individual. Alcohol however, outranked all other substances when compared to the social after effects caused by the drug, followed closely by heroin and crack. Marijuana, LSD and ecstasy scored lowest.

When drunk in excess, alcohol nearly damages every organ system. Alcohol statistically has a higher death rate, and is involved in a larger percentage of crime when compared to other drugs.  But not everyone agrees that elimination of alcohol all together would solve the issue.

“We cannot return to the days of prohibition,” says Leslie king, advisor to the European Monitoring centre for Drugs. “Alcohol is embedded into culture and society, and simply won’t go away.” King went onto say that targeting problem drinkers would be a short term solution, along with raising the price of alcohol so that it wasn’t so widely available.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “In England, most people drink once a week or less. If you’re a women and stick to two to three units a day or a man and drink up to three or four units, you are unlikely to damage your health. The government is determined to prevent alcohol abuse without disadvantaging those who drink sensibly.”

For more information on the study, please visit the following site.