Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

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Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by GD on Mon 01 Nov 2010, 7:27 pm

Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet.
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.
Gavin Partington, of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said alcohol abuse affected "a minority" who needed "education, treatment and enforcement".
The study also said tobacco and cocaine are judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD are among the least damaging. Harm score

Prof Nutt refused to leave the drugs debate when he was sacked from his official post by the former Labour Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.
He went on to form the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, a body which aims to investigate the drug issue without any political interference.
One of its other members is Dr Les King, another former government adviser who quit over Prof Nutt's treatment.
Members of the group, joined by two other experts, scored each drug for harms including mental and physical damage, addiction, crime and costs to the economy and communities.

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. 'Valid and necessary'
The findings run contrary to the government's long-established drug classification system, but the paper's authors argue that their system - based on the consensus of experts - provides an accurate assessment of harm for policy makers.
"Our findings lend support to previous work in the UK and the Netherlands, confirming that the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm," the paper says.


"They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports that aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy."
In 2007, Prof Nutt and colleagues undertook a limited attempt to create a harm ranking system, sparking controversy over the criteria and the findings.
The new more complex system ranked alcohol three times more harmful than cocaine or tobacco. Ecstasy was ranked as causing one-eighth the harm of alcohol.
It also contradicted the Home Office's decision to make so-called legal high mephedrone a Class B drug, saying that alcohol was five times more harmful. The rankings have been published to coincide with a conference on drugs policy, organised by Prof Nutt's committee. 'Extraordinary lengths'
Prof Nutt told the BBC: "Overall, alcohol is the most harmful drug because it's so widely used.
"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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Government advisor Professor David Nutt likens the effects of alcohol to a range of other drugs including heroin.

The Lancet paper written by Prof Nutt, Dr King and Dr Lawrence Phillips, does not examine the harm caused to users by taking more than one drug at a time.
Mr Partington, who is the spokesman for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said millions of people enjoyed alcohol "as part of a regular and enjoyable social drink".
"Clearly alcohol misuse is a problem in the country and our real fear is that, by talking in such extreme terms, Professor Nutt and his colleagues risk switching people off from considering the real issues and the real action that is needed to tackle alcohol misuse," he said. (from BBC)

Well its been said for years that this was the case but what can the authorities do about it now?


......THE BOSS......

"Always be yourself because the people who mind don't matter, and the people who matter don't mind"

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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by Spirit on Mon 01 Nov 2010, 8:47 pm

lies, damn lies and statistics


"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by Thistle on Mon 01 Nov 2010, 9:29 pm

tried sniffing a vodka and coke but the ice got stuck up my nostril xxxx
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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by schoolyjo on Mon 01 Nov 2010, 10:03 pm

ive been saying this for years, everyone jumps on smokers but drinking alcohol is far far worse!!

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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by Thistle on Tue 02 Nov 2010, 8:02 am

it is when drank in excess schoolyjo....some people have an addictive gene and become very ill through alcohol....it is addictive and people try for years to get off it but all it takes is one drink for them to start again... .here is a very true saying where youngsters are concerned today drinks in and wits are out xxxx
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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by kingcolemk on Tue 02 Nov 2010, 9:48 am

These kind of reports do more harm than drugs and alcohol combined.

They are kidding themselves.

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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by karma on Tue 02 Nov 2010, 11:12 am

they have to justify their huge salaries :-) pale
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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

Post by Deebay on Tue 02 Nov 2010, 4:49 pm

A related article from the UK's Independent here:
LINK

As usual, they start delving in to the causes of the problem. Suggestions from public education to licensing changes.
I see the problem as being acceptance of large quantities as 'normal' (the commonplace co-workers' conversations about how they got 'blasted' at the weekend) and soft punishments for alcohol-fueled offenders (in fact, it is often used as a defense of their actions in court).
Just last month, there was a case of a drunken troublemaker (in the UK) who headbutted the arresting officer. His punishment, GBP 50 compensation to the officer and 100 hours community service.
There has to be a zero-tolerance policy with more severe penalties.
Cars can be dangerous, but it is the driver who creates any risks (assuming the vehicle is maintained). The same can be said of alcohol.
It's too late to take the nanny-state approach of education and endless expensive 'studies'. People have to take responsibility for their actions, whether sober or drunk.
If you drive dangerously, you lose your license. If you commit drunken crime, you should be 'blacklisted' and banned from obtaining alcohol.

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Re: Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'

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