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Study Results: Alcohol Causes More Damage Than Drugs

Study Results: Alcohol Causes More Damage Than DrugsAs per a recent study, it has been seen that alcohol is worse than illegal drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin. With high destructive properties, alcohol came up on top. As per the British experts who evaluated the ill effects of illegal drugs such as heroine, crack cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and ecstasy and ranked them as per the destructive properties to the individual and society as a whole.
The study was financed by Britain’s Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and has been recently published in Lancet, a medical journal of repute.  According to the researchers, the analysis was done on the basis of the degree of addictive properties of the substance, harmful affects on the body, environmental damage that it causes and the consequences of the drug on society, family break ups, and economic effect on social services, health care and even prison. Considering the social effects, it was found out that crack cocaine, alcohol, heroin was lethal but methamphetamine, heroine was found to be deadly for people. Out of all of the substances, alcohol came on the top followed by crack cocaine and heroine while LSD, ecstasy and marijuana came far lower than what is usually thought.
According to the experts, alcohol came on the top of the list because of its devastating high use and socio-economic factors that affect not only the drinkers but their family and friends too. The Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam, Wim van den Brink said that think about what happens at every football game due to alcohol. Though he was not directly linked to the said study, he is the co-author of a commentary published in Lancet.
Alcohol damages most of the organs when there is excessive intake and is directly linked to high rate of mortality. Alcohol has been linked to higher percentage of crimes than even heroine and other drugs. However, alcohol cannot be prohibited and is deeply embedded in the culture and cannot be removed, says Leslie King, one of the authors on the study and advisor to the European Monitoring centre for Drugs. He says most of the countries need to target excessive drinkers and not those who enjoy drinks in moderation. More educational programs by the government and hike in price of alcohol can become a deterrent.
Other experts involved in the study said that this study needs to become an eye-opener for the government to reconsider the categorization of the illegal and legal drugs. In the past year, the British government enhanced the fines or penalties on the illegal possession of marijuana. One of the lead authors of the said Lancet study, David Nutt was fired after he criticized the decision of the British government.
According to Wim ven den Brink, it is not necessary that the government’s decision is based on scientific facts but in most cases, taxation is the main consideration. Taxes from tobacco and alcohol manufacturers are the main considerations that influence the government’s decision on substance regulations. He also said that drugs that are legal cause equal, if not more damage as any illegal drug.

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