LONDON – A new study shows that, in Britain, alcohol use causes more harm than heroin and/or crack.
Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in England by a large margin, beating heroin and crack cocaine into second and third place, according to an authoritative study published today which will reopen calls for England’s drug classification system to be scrapped and a concerted campaign launched against beer, wine and hard liquor.
The study examined nine categories of harm that drugs can do to the individual “from death to damage to mental functioning and loss of relationships” and seven types of harm to others. The maximum possible harm score was 100 and the minimum zero.
Overall, alcohol scored 72 – against 55 for heroin and 54 for crack. The most dangerous drugs to their individual users were ranked as heroin, crack and then crystal meth. The most harmful to others were alcohol, heroin and crack in that order.
For overall harm, the other drugs examined ranked as follows: crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (18), benzodiazepines (15), ketamine (15), methadone (13), butane (10), qat (9), ecstasy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6) and magic mushrooms (5).
Dn Shenker, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern in London, said : “What this study and new classification shows is that successive governments have mistakenly focused attention on illicit drugs, whereas the pervading harms from alcohol should have given a far higher priority. Drug misusers are still ten times more likely to receive support for their addiction than alcohol misusers, costing the taxpayer billions in repeat hospital admissions and alcohol related crime. Alcohol misuse has been exacerbated in recent years as government failed to accept the link between cheap prices, higher consumption and resultant harms to individuals and society.”
The Obama Administration quickly reacted to the study and is putting together a bill for Congress banning alcohol in all 50 states. “We need to take good care of our citizens,” said Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, “and if they we can’t let them drink alcohol anymore. It’s just too dangerous.”
The White House hopes that the new Prohibition Law will pass swiftly through Congress and be the law of the land by New Year’s Eve.
“We have been fighting a war on drugs for over three decades and we’ve never listed alcohol as an enemy in that war,” said David Axelrod, Senior Adviser to the President. “Alcohol is now public enemy number 1!”
Even though the Administration wants to ban alcohol, they are supporting California’s Prop 19, which will legalize marijuana in the Golden State.
“Pot is good for you, alcohol will kill you,” said Valerie Jarrett, White House senior adviser. “We will no longer be serving alcohol and White House state dinners, but there will be plenty of Afghan Train and Thai Sticks at the event. ”
Say no to alcohol, say YES to pot!