Alcohol: Worse Than Heroin and Cocaine

Would it surprise you to know that the most dangerous drug of all is consumed by 71 percent of American adults? After a team of drug experts rated 20 substances on a variety of criteria, the committee deemed alcohol “the most harmful drug” overall.

The three most dangerous self-harming drugs were found to be heroin, crack cocaine and meth. Even though alcohol didn’t place in the top three in its harms to the user, alcohol still scored the most cumulative points.  Alcohol primarily earned this distinction because of how drastically alcohol abuse impacts society.

Alcohol placed first for its harm to others, scoring almost twice as high as its nearest competitor, heroin. Alcohol causes the most societal pain scoring highest for bodily harm, crime, environmental damage, and economic cost, amongst others. Meanwhile, drugs like heroin scored higher in regards to the physical, social, and psychological harm, including dependency, bodily harm, destruction of brain functioning, and loss of relationships. The lowest scoring drugs were mushrooms, ecstasy, and LSD.  Though these substances do pose certain risks to the users, their low overall scores were mainly due to their negligible harms inflicted upon others.

Some factors the scoring system didn’t take into account were any advantages a drug might have.  Though the scientists stress that the cons typically outweigh the pros, they acknowledge, “all drugs have some benefits to the user, at least initially, otherwise they would not be used.”  Moreover, while products like alcohol and tobacco are clearly dangerous, their industries do generate jobs and tax revenues, so they aren’t complete banes on society.

Given that alcohol is so objectively harmful, why then is it available on most street corners while less hurtful substances are severely criminalized?  The irony is not lost on the the committee. Unaffiliated with government agencies like most drug study commissions, the committee’s members feel they are in a unique position to deliver an unbiased report that points out the inconsistencies in the way the government has developed drug legislation.

Just because a drug is legally allowed doesn’t necessarily make it any safer.

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1 Comment

  • So if I ingest 10 ounces of cocaine or heroin a week, my health will improve? Because that’s the minimum amount of alcohol that it takes to measurably INCREASE your life expectancy. It’s also well above the lethal dose of these supposedly less harmful drugs.

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