A controversial new study originating in the UK claims that alcohol is more dangerous than heroine and causes more harm.
Alcohol is even more harmful than heroin and crack according to the study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet.
The experts involved in the study examined a variety of social, physical and psychological problems that associated with drugs and alcohol and the results showed that alcohol caused the most harm to others. Illicit drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine are the most harmful to individual users.
The study took into consideration twenty drugs and scored them on 16 criteria, including the harms drugs do to the user and the harms they do to others. The drugs were each given a score out of 100 points and alcohol proved to be the most dangerous with 72 points out of 100. Heroine came in second with 55 points and crack cocaine came in third with 54 points.
According to the study cocaine and tobacco are equally harmful and the least harmful drugs are LSD and ecstasy.
The report was made more controversial by the fact that it’s co-author was Professor David Nutt who last year claimed that riding a horse was more dangerous than taking ecstasy.
There are millions of people who have alcohol problems, in the UK and Oz but because alcohol is legal and easy to access, most people don’t realise that it can lead to addiction when abused and can affect their health and safety. One addiction experts explains:
But because alcohol is legal and easy to access, many people don’t think it is a problem for them, says addiction expert Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, chair of the psychology department at Hunter College.
“It is legal and socially sanctioned, so it does not carry the same stigma and issues that illegal drugs do,”he says. “But the negative health consequences of alcohol are even greater than with many illegal drugs.”
Drinkers tend to equate “legal” with “safe,” but that’s not necessarily the case, says Lebanon Valley College psychology professor Lou Manza. “In the general public’s mind, because you can go and buy alcohol in the store, it is okay,”he said.
Experts explain that the one major difference between alcohol and illicit drugs is that there is a “safe level” for most people when it comes to alcohol but even one hit of an illicit drug can be dangerous. Men shouldn’t have more 2 drinks daily and women should stick to one a day if they wish to avoid harm, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t drink every day. The following excerpt explains:
“It’s not the same with nicotine,” Levounis says. “We have not been able to find a low threshold under which smoking cigarettes is safe. There’s no such thing.”
Alcohol dependence tends to be masked more often than dependence upon other drugs, Parsons says. “With alcohol, someone can feel like a law abiding citizen despite the fact that they’re abusing a drug,” he told The News.