Alcohol Causes More Harm Than HeroinS

According to a new study from a former UK chief drugs adviser, alcohol is more harmful to users and to wider society than heroin or crack, and all three are far more harmful than cannabis, ecstasy, or magic mushrooms.

David Nutt, a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist who was fired from his position as the British government's chief adviser on drugs after releasing a similar drug-ranking study, put together the numbers for this study by giving each drug a score in categories like mental damage, physical damage, addictive qualities, contributions to crime, costs the economy, and harm to communities.

And, surprise surprise, alcohol came out on top! Even though booze didn't rank among the top three for harm to one's self—heroin, crack and methylamphetamine took those spots—its harm to others score was so high that when the two were combined, it took the top spot of the entire survey with a whopping 72. Heroin came in next, with a score of 55, while crack scored 54.

Here's the list (ranked from most harmful to least):

Alcohol 72
Heroin 55
Crack 54
Crystal meth 33
Cocaine 27
Tobacco 26
Amphetamine 23
Cannabis 20
GHB 18
Benzodiazepines 15
Ketamine 15
Methadone 13
Butane 10
Qat 9
Ecstasy 9
Anabolic steroids 9
LSD 7
Buprenorphine 6
Magic Mushrooms 5
Getting high on life 0

The only real solution is to make them all illegal.

[BBC; Guardian; photo via Shutterstock]