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Ear to the Ground

Study: Alcohol More Harmful Than Crack

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Posted on Nov 1, 2010
Flickr / foodiesathome.com (CC-BY-SA)

Martini of doom: The Lancet study puts alcohol at the top of its list of destructive drugs.

Startling but true, according to one of those expert sources that make these kinds of pronouncements: Alcohol is more harmful to both users and those around them than crack cocaine. It’s worse than heroin too.

The study that says so was just published and publicized by the U.K. medical journal The Lancet. Here’s a link to the study itself; the BBC expounds below.  —KA

BBC:

The BBC’s home editor, Mark Easton, writes in his blog that the study involved 16 criteria, including a drug’s affects on users’ physical and mental health, social harms including crime, “family adversities” and environmental damage, economic costs and “international damage”.

The modelling exercise concluded that heroin, crack and methylamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, were the most harmful drugs to individuals, but alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most harmful to society.

When the scores for both types of harm were added together, alcohol emerged as the most harmful drug, followed by heroin and crack.

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By Barbara Saunders, December 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The point, SarcastiCanuck, is that we have been fed an inaccurate and
irresponsible set of ideas about these things we call “drugs.” There is no special
black magical power in crack. People from Nancy Reagan to your friendly high
school stoner to the local bartender to the GP who blithely prescribes mood
stabilizers without a proper psych workup have all bought into false and
oversimplified narratives.

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By L2k4FC, December 12, 2010 at 12:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How did i miss this article?  I must have been in a drunken haze!  Seriously though: I can’t speak for heroin, meth or crack since i’ve always figured if I did those drugs i’d 100% for sure end up dead or in jail with a death sentence hanging over my head because i’ve seen it time and again.  If you abuse alcahol; bad things are likely to follow.  If you abuse Big Mac’s; bad things are likely to follow.  If you abuse your neighbor’s dog; bad things are likely to follow.  Greed is the most potent intoxicating and addicting drug known to man.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alcohol and nicotine enable a person to overrule his conscience; that’s why they are the most popular drugs.  Tolstoy said that before committing a crime a man will always have a smoke and/or a drink.  These days many people need to overcome a bad conscience in the everyday battle of life.

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By Lloyd English, November 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Given Britains illustrious history of addicting populations for the sake of economy this is probably a precursor to legalization of heroin, meth and pot to help pay the national debt.

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By SarcastiCanuck, November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny,I have had numerous aunts,uncles,cousins and friends who drank alchohol,lived into thier 80’s,contributed to society thru jobs and volunteerism and maintained great friendships and family ties.I have known others who drank heavely to bury the pain of a lousy marriage or family life but their problems were just compounded by alchohol.Luckily,The Lancet is here to enlighten me and show me the destructive path I have embarked on with my beer drinking.I will now be more socially responsible and quit beer for crack and heroin.Thanks Brits,pip pip and cheerio

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By BobZ, November 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Anyone who has ever gone to a sporting event will have seen the appalling effects
of too much alcohol, or grown up with alcoholic parents. I drink but in moderation
and it is disgusting to see what too much alcohol does to people. But of course
drinking is legal and drugs are not. Pot has been demonized for decades and it is
far less damaging than alcohol. It was legal in the U.S. until 1938 when the U.S.
government started a campaign to denigrate it . We should stop being hypocrites
as a society and vote to make some drugs legal and at least get the tax money and
the control over its distribution.

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