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Registered: 07/06/10
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UK: New Drug Classification System Ranks Alcohol above Heroin
    #493992 - 11/01/10 08:10 AM (5 years, 11 months ago)

Rasik Sharma


Monday 01 Nov 2010

A recent study has ranked alcohol as the most dangerous drug, surpassing heroin and crack cocaine in the overall damage it does to the user and to others.

The research was led by former Government drug adviser David Nutt, who was fired last year for challenging the existing drug classification system, in collaboration with colleagues at the breakaway Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs.

In line with this proposed system, the present study rated a range of drugs along 9 categories of harm to the individual and 7 categories of harm to others, including society and the economy. Drugs received an overall score from
0-100. Alcohol score 72, while heroin and crack score 55 and 54, respectively.

The study's authors propagate a new system of classification that reflects the true harm that certain drugs cause, as evidenced by real outcomes.

The authors wrote: "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. They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports that aggressively targeting alcohol harm is a valid and necessary public health strategy."

This system would place alcohol in the same class as cocaine and cannabis (B), while ecstasy and LSD would end up in the lowest drug category. The authors hope that the UK can learn from the innovative policies of the Portuguese and the Dutch, whose evidence-based approach to classification and tackling drugs have reduced criminalisation.





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