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Booze ‘much more harmful than heroin’

Always looked down upon 'druggies'? Well, you may be doing yourself more damage drinking. Read on to know why alcohol may cause much more damage to health than heroin or even crack cocaine.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 01, 2010 20:22 IST

A new study has revealed that alcohol causes much more damage to health than heroin or crack cocaine. Professor David Nutt, the government's former chief drug adviser, conducted an analysis that assesses both harm to the individual and harm to the rest of society – and alcohol turned out to be worse than both cocaine and heroine.

The "harm to self" categories cover mortality, poor health, impaired mental functioning, loss of friendships and injury. While heroin, crack, and crystal meth fell under the former category, alcohol, heroin, and crack fell under the latter.

Teen drinkingEcstasy is only one eighth as harmful as alcohol in this new analysis. "Our findings lend support to previous work in the UK and the Netherlands, confirming that the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm," TheTelegraph quoted the researchers as concluding.

"They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports that aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy.” The article was published in the Lancet.

First Published: Nov 01, 2010 19:03 IST