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According to The Lancet, a well-established British medical journal, alcohol ranks among the “most harmful” among a list of 20 drugs. Measuring the physical, psychological, and social problems caused by each drug, the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs helped determine where each drug ranks.

After creating a scale that combines factors that relate to the effects of each drug on an individual and its harm against others, scientists determined a ranking for each drug, with alcohol scoring 72 out of 100. Participating panelists suggest that the results of this study confirm the implications of other studies which indicate that “aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy.”

Dr. Karl Benzio, Executive Director of the Lighthouse Network, comments on the results, saying that he is not surprised that alcohol ranks first, considering that it is “the most addicting drug” available and that there are “twice as many people addicted to alcohol as there are to illegal drugs.” He also adds that although alcohol ranks first, “they’re all very harmful.”

The research team that headed the study is led by Dr. Petros Livados, Director of the Addiction Institute of New York; he says, “Alcohol has tremendous repercussions in our society in terms of drunk driving and societal consequences.”

The next dug in the ranking was heroin, which earned a score of 55 out of 100.

The study was funded by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies in London.





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