Posted on: July 16, 2010
When pondering what the most dangerous drug in the world is, alcohol probably doesn’t top your list, but according to a British study, alcohol outranks 20 other drugs, including crack and heroin, as the most harmful.
Alcohol ranks No. 1 in a study conducted by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, based on the physical, psychological, and social problems caused by the drug. On a scale of 100, alcohol received a 72, using 16 criteria: nine related to the adverse effects the drug has on an individual and seven on its harm against others.
As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer I’m shocked to see alcohol top the list and receive much higher scores than illegal drugs, such as ecstasy, which received a 9 rank, indicating it is only one-eighth as harmful as alcohol. While it’s interesting to look at the results, however, the study shouldn’t downplay risks from low-ranking drugs.
The convenience and availability of alcohol may have increased its ranking to the top of the list. The drug is commonly linked to car accidents and personal injury and is done more often in large social settings than other drugs.
Critics claim the study, published in a British medical journal, is a societal approach which does not adequately balance the relative risks of drugs against their harms, according to news reports . Consumers should remember all drugs are dangerous and remember to make safety a priority when consuming alcohol and not drive drunk or binge drink.