The study -- commissioned by Britain's Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and published online Monday in the medical journal Lancet -- evaluated and ranked alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana based on how destructive they are to individuals and to society. In other words, the study factored in the collateral damage caused by a substance -- the breakup of families, health care costs, etc.
Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, aka crystal meth, were found to be the most deadly to individuals. But factoring in the wider effects to society, alcohol was deemed worse than heroin and crack cocaine. Drugs like marijuana and LSD ranked much lower.
(1975 photo of drunk men in Tokyo in front of sake wine and whiskey dispensers: AP)
- crack cocaine