Study finds alcohol more harmful than heroin and crack

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Considering I awoke from a hangover yesterday and went straight to a brunch full of Bloody Marys, this is sad news for me. A study from the UK — conducted by the former government drug advisor — has found that alcohol is the most dangerous drug as far as the harm it causes, much more than harder drugs like heroin:

[The study] examines nine categories of harm that drugs can do to the individual "from death to damage to mental functioning and loss of relationships" and seven types of harm to others. The maximum possible harm score was 100 and the minimum zero.

Overall, alcohol scored 72 – against 55 for heroin and 54 for crack. The most dangerous drugs to their individual users were ranked as heroin, crack and then crystal meth. The most harmful to others were alcohol, heroin and crack in that order.

Obviously there are caveats here: alcohol is much more available, of course, and so it's much more likely that people can use it and make bad decisions. And it seems like alcohol is responsible for the less severe consequences included. (Like "loss of relationships." Who needs other people when you have a bottle of Merlot, right?) So you can probably go ahead and have that next beer.

And the harmless drugs? Pot, ecstasy, and mushrooms. Shocking!