Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, coke

Drinking and a not so secret deathwish: it may not kill you quickly, but it will make your body and mind old, sick, and feeble right away. Moreover, breaking the fifth precept soon leads to breaking the other four. And such karma results in ruin.

LONDON – Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.

Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.

Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD scored far lower.

The study was paid for by Britain's Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and was published online Monday in the medical journal, Lancet. More>>

Witches in Europe got their reputations and pointy hats because they brewed liquor in cauldrons and hung out brooms as a shingles to indicate they had ale for sale. (Photo: witch Caitlin Little, Virden, Illinois, The State Journal Register/Ted Schurter/AP).

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