New study claims alcohol is more harmful than heroin and crack

The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009.

It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.

Tobacco and cocaine are judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD are among the least damaging.



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.

“Crack cocaine is more addictive than alcohol but because alcohol is so widely used there are hundreds of thousands of people who crave alcohol every day, and those people will go to extraordinary lengths to get it.”

He said it was important to separate harm to individuals and harm to society.

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