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Harmful Drugs Ranked

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Scientists Say UK Drug Classification System Is Flawed

 

 

A new UK study suggests that the current UK drug classification system of A, B, and C of the Misuse of Drugs Act is flawed and should be replaced by an evidence-based system of potential harm that would place alcohol and tobacco higher than cannabis and ecstasy.

 

The study is published in The Lancet.

 

Professor David Nutt from the University of Bristol, Professor Colin Blakemore, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, and two colleagues developed a new drug ranking system that would class socially acceptable tobacco and alcohol as more harmful than cannabis, and considerably more dangerous than Class A drugs such as ecstasy and LSD.

 

They say the current classification system used in the UK is flawed and should be scrapped.

 

Their proposed system of classification asesses harm in an "evidence-based fashion". They use three main factors to determine the potential harm that a substance causes:

 

(1) Physical harm to the user,

(2) Tendency to induce dependence in the user, and

(3) The effect of its use on families, communities and society in general.

 

Within each factor there are three sub-categories which altogether made up a nine-category "matrix of harm". Each category attracts a score of between 0 and 3, with 3 representing the most harm. An overall mean harm score of between 0 and 3 is then calculated for each drug.

 

They asked two independent expert panels to score 20 different substances using this new system. The 20 drugs included five legal potentially misused substances (alcohol, khat, solvents, alkyl nitrites, and tobacco) and one recently classified one (ketamine) so that the league table showed some familiar "benchmarks".

 

The two panels found the method easy to use and came up with very similar harm scores for each drug.

 

In order of overall harm, the 20 drugs were given the following ranking (the most harmful, heroin at number 1 scored nearly 3, while the least harmful khat at number 20 scored less than 1):

 

(1) Heroin (most harmful).

(2) Cocaine.

(3) Barbiturates.

(4) Street Methodone.

(5) Alcohol.

 

(6) Ketamine.

(7) Benzodiazepines.

(8) Amphetamine.

(9) Tobacco.

(10) Buprenorphine.

 

(11) Cannabis.

(12) Solvents.

(13) 4-MTA (para-methylthioamphetamine).

(14) LSD.

(15) Methylphenidate (ritalin).

 

(16) Anabolic steroids.

(17) GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid).

(18) Ecstasy.

(19) Alkyl nitrites.

(20) Khat (least harmful).

 

Prof Nutt who led the study said, "Drug misuse and abuse are major health problems. Our methodology offers a systematic framework and process that could be used by national and international regulatory bodies to assess the harm of current and future drugs of abuse".

 

Prof Blackmore said that while drug policy is aimed at reducing harm to users, their families and society as a whole, the present system was not a "Rational, evidence-based method for assessing the harm of drugs". He said the system they have devised, on the other hand, is.

 

"We hope that policy makers will take note of the fact that the resulting ranking of drugs differs substantially from their classification in the Misuse of Drugs Act and that alcohol and tobacco are judged more harmful than many illegal substances," he added.

 

Under the current system in the UK, which is regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act, drugs are classified in three groups, A, B and C. The heaviest conviction penalties are applied for possession of Class A drugs (up to 7 years in prison or unlimited fine or both), while Class C drugs are liable to the lowest penalties (up to two years in prison, unlimited fine or both).

 

Class A drugs include: Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms (if prepared for use) amphetamines (if prepared for injection).

 

Class B drugs include: Amphetamines, Methylphenidate, Pholcodine.

 

Class C drugs include: Cannabis, tranquillisers, some painkillers, GHB, ketamine.

 

(Crystal meth is pending classification as a Class A drug.)

 

Profs Nutt, Blackmore and colleagues criticized the current Class A, B, C system saying it was too arbitrary, put too much emphasis on unusual reactions that affect very few users, and did not specify the relative risks of a drug.

 

In their conclusions they comment on what they see as its most glaring deficiencies:

 

"The fact that the two most widely used legal drugs lie in the upper half of the ranking of harm is surely important information that should be taken into account in public debate on illegal drug use. Discussions based on a formal assessment of harm rather than on prejudice and assumptions might help society to engage in a more rational debate about the relative risks and harms of drugs".

 

 

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=65988

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no drug talk on 12oz?

 

eh, i thought this would be scientific...:)

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eh, i thought this would be scientific...:)

 

:lol::lol:....true...nevermind then.

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amp should definitely be above Ket, though.

i'm pretty sure a tweaker is probably more likely to die of a heart attack that a k-zombie is to die from onsley's lesions (<no proof that O.L. have developed in anything other than rats), or better yet, falling down and choking on drool.

 

maybe once apartments start blowing up and melting people's faces off all over the UK they'll change up the list again.

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(11) Cannabis.

(18) Ecstasy.???

 

ectsasy (MDMA, not all that other newfangled crap), when used in moderation by a healthy individual, has no proven long-term adverse effects on bodily health or brain function.

 

same applies to weed, aside from that little lung cancer thingy. that's why.:)

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ectsasy (MDMA, not all that other newfangled crap), when used in moderation by a healthy individual, has no proven long-term adverse effects on bodily health or brain function.

 

same applies to weed, aside from that little lung cancer thingy. that's why.:)

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729_pf.html

Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection

 

 

also, heroin is the least dangerous when not used intravenously

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Alcohol is worse than weed....?!?!?!?!

 

Hmmm, Im fucked....

 

Mauler, whatchu think about this?

 

 

Haha, Prof Nutt...Mr. Nutt...mmmm, nutter butter...

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but heroin i mad addicting isnt it^^^^^^^^^^

 

it is addictive, but i was speaking of physically harmful.

brain damage, etc.

 

if heroin (and i know this is goofy to say) were taken in moderation (very few can do this

because of the addictive nature) it would be less harmful.

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I use pasta as a downer right now as we type

The effect of carbohydrates is starting to kick in... must... sleep

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good lord. i just read over that list slowly.

i glanced the first time....speed reading...

 

they have that list all backwards and fucked up...

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there's less tar in a joint of marijuana than in a single cigarette.

that just doesn't hold up. too many studies contradict it.

this is how anti-drug propaganda works, though.

 

i also think you had what you said backwards...you mean "the weed smoke is filled with tar that collects in your lungs and causes cancer"???

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there's less tar in a joint of marijuana than in a single cigarette.

that just doesn't hold up. too many studies contradict it.

this is how anti-drug propaganda works, though.

 

i don't think this is anti-drug propaganda at all, considering that ecstasy is one of the most widely used drugs in the UK and is listed as one of the safest.

 

i think the problem lies shoddy research.

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i don't think this is anti-drug propaganda at all, considering that ecstasy is one of the most widely used drugs in the UK and is listed as one of the safest.

 

i think the problem lies shoddy research.

 

 

perhaps. i had no idea that mdma was the most widely used in the UK atm.

figured it was still crack and coke. (why can they get those more easily than marijuana over there?)

 

i know why heroin is accessible (middle east and asia ship through UK)

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Alcohol is worse than weed....?!?!?!?!

 

 

hell yeah! its called cirrhosis.

 

and

 

alcohol turns people into monsters

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Other than 16, 19 and 20...

 

I've consumed everything on that list..

 

But in safe amounts.. So it's okay..

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