Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Drugs: The Top Ten List

The UK government did a scientific survey that ranked drugs in order of their dangers to people and society -- then promptly hid it because (naturally)it showed marijuana far less damaging than tobacco and alcohol and the rankings didn't match up to how drugs were officially classified by the government. Here's the top 10, but go to the article for details on their effects, the number of deaths they cause, number of users in the UK, etc. Find your favorites! P.S. Where's marijuana? #11.

1. Heroin
2. Cocaine
3. Barbituates
4. Street Methadone
5. Alcohol
6. Ketamine
7. Benzodiazopines
8. Amphetamines
9. Tobacco
10. Brupenorphine
11. Cannabis (Darn, I didn't make the Top Ten!)


priv8pete said...

Interesting study. I kinda wonder what the "Danger Rating" is comprised of. It seems like it is a function of total users and death rates from the data which is presented. If that's the case then it fails to catch the true economic cost of the drugs. For instance, the estimated cost of alcohol in 1995 from the Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse was $166 billion while in 2003 we collected $4.4 billon in taxes. So, obviously alcohol consumption is a tremendous drain on our economy. It would be fun if an "economic effect" could be quantified for each drug and presented with the rest of the data.

Michael in New York said...

As you point out, ranking the "cost" of drugs is a wildly subjective enterprise that depends on what you include, how you measure it, what you don't include and so on. $166 billion? And I thought I was the only one who called in sick after a night at Stan's.