Thursday, November 4, 2010

Alcohol more dangerous than illegal drugs, according to UK study

AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng wrote an article entitled "Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine," which was published on Yahoo! News on Monday, Nov. 1, at 7:54 a.m. ET (so I guess it's not really news at this point, but it's still important).

The article covers the results of a study that was published online in the medical journal, Lancet. Funded by Britain's Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, this study was designed to assess the dangerousness of various drugs/substances. Researchers determined final "scores" based on harm to individuals, environmental damage, how often families are broken up, and crime and health care costs.

On the whole, alcohol surpassed all other substances. Cheng noted that "[e]xperts said the study should prompt countries to reconsider how they classify drugs."

I haven't read the study itself, so I'm not sure if it was restricted to the U.K. or included other countries as well. If it was strictly a U.K. study, it may be that the enormity of the problem is due, at least in part, to Britain's deregulation of alcohol (see Oct. 15 post). Personally, I would not be too surprised if similar results were found in the U.S. -- but, to be fair, the differences between our countries in this area should be kept in mind.

For the whole article, click here.

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