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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Alcohol more dangerous than cocaine or heroin

GENEVIEVE CARBERY
Tue, Nov 02, 2010

A new study found alcohol was the most dangerous of 20 legal and illegal drugs when the two criteria of harm to the user and harm to others were combined ALCOHOL IS more dangerous than crack cocaine and heroin when damage to users themselves and to wider society are combined, a study has found. The research, published yesterday in theLanc et medical journal, rated alcohol almost three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco and some eight times as harmful as ecstasy. Alcohol was found to be the most harmful of 20 legal and illegal drugs examined when the two criteria of harm to the user and harm to others were combined. The study was conducted by a group of scientists including Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs and an expert adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. The criteria for harm to others included the extent to which the use of a drug leads to crime, causes family conflict such as breakdown and child neglect, costs of the drug to the economy including healthcare and loss of productivity, and the impact the drug has on social cohesion. The criteria for harm to the drug user included damage to health, drug-specific death (eg overdose) and drug-related death (eg road crashes, suicide, HIV), drug damage to health (eg cirrhosis and strokes), impact on mental health, and loss of relationships. Economic cost contributed “heavily” to the ratings of alcohol, heroin, tobacco and cannabis, the study found. Alcohol costs the Irish economy €3.7 billion per year, including health costs of €1.2 billion, absenteeism of in excess of €500,000 and crime-related costs of more than €1.18 billion, according to Fiona Ryan, director of the charity Alcohol Action Ireland, in response to the study yesterday. She also highlighted the harm of alcohol to the user. There were four times as many deaths in Ireland due to alcohol than due to all other drugs combined, Ms Ryan said. TheL ancet study concluded that “aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy”. This was “another damning report” that was not inconsistent with other studies, according to Joe Barry, professor of public health medicine at Trinity College Dublin. Commenting on alcohol’s harm to wider society, he referred to the recent child abuse case in Roscommon where alcohol was central, and news stories where people on a night out end up dead after a row.

There was still a need to lessen demand for alcohol in Ireland, to reduce cheap alcohol, have fewer outlets, and to restrict sports sponsorship and alcohol advertising, Prof Barry said. “Just because something is legal, does not mean it is safe,” he added. Rosemary Garth, director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, said, however, there was a “danger of associating a legal regulated product such as alcohol with illegal drugs”. “It runs the risk of distracting from efforts to deal with heroin and crack cocaine while doing little to benefit those who misuse alcohol,” she said. Most people enjoyed alcohol in a “responsible manner”, but “nobody would deny that there are issues regarding alcohol misuse”, Ms Garth said.– ( Additional reporting by Reuters ) © 2010 The Irish Times

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:55 am
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