Studies

Alcohol 'Most Harmful' Drug

A new study in the medical journal The Lancet argues that alcohol is the most damaging drug—worse, even, than heroin or crack. The study measured both a drug’s effects on the individual, covering things like mortality, poor health, and loss of friendship, and the drug’s effects on others, covering things like crime, environmental damage, and family conflict. While heroin, crack, and crystal meth were the most damaging to the individual, the study showed that alcohol was the most damaging to others. Alcohol scored a 72 on the study’s scale, versus 55 for heroin and 54 for crack. Marijuana, meanwhile, scored a 20, while ecstasy scored a nine and LSD a seven. The study’s author, David Nutt, was fired by the British government last year for challenging the government to downgrade ecstasy from a Class A drug and to keep cannabis a Class C drug.