What do you think, what is the most dangerous drug in the world? Is it heroin, or maybe crystal meth? Or perhaps it’s one of those drugs that is only known by it’s chemical formula?
Well, the answer is – none of those. According to some recently made studies that have ranked the drugs by their harm both to individuals and to society as a whole.
But if you want to rate chemicals by level of addiction, of course – alcohol is not on the top of the list.
Professor David Nutt who recently has published his works in the Lancet medical journal show that ‘aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy’.
“It is intriguing to note that the two legal drugs assessed – alcohol and tobacco – score in the upper segment of the ranking scale, indicating that legal drugs cause at least as much harm as do illegal substances” said the head of the British Advisory Council on the Misuse of drugs – David Nutt.
Actually, this is the list of the top five (in order): heroin, nicotine, cocaine, barbiturates and alcohol.
Eric Bowman from the University of St. Andrews wrote a article for The Conversation: “In Addition to being arguably the most addictive drug, heroin is dangerous, too, because the dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high”
Bowman suggests that about 21 percent of all the people who tried cocaine, eventually will become dependent on it at some point in their life.
According to a report by WHO, by 2020 tobacco will kill around 7.5 million people in the whole world – which roughly means that this is the main cause for every 1 in 10 of all deaths. In general, more than two thirds of all Americans who tried smoking, after a while became addicted.
In the past these tablets were used as an anxiety medication and sleeping pills, but nowadays this drug is not that easily found.
The World Health Organization estimated that in 2012 there were around 3.3 million deaths (which actually is 5.9% of all the deaths on a global scale) led to alcohol consumption.
“Alcohol has been ranked as the most damaging drug by other experts. Alcohol has many effects on the brain, but in laboratory experiments on animals it increased dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system by 40-360% – and more the animals drank the more dopamine levels increased.