In research published Friday in The Lancet magazine, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.
Nutt and colleagues used three factors to determine the harm associated with any drug: the physical harm to the user, the drug's potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use. The researchers asked two groups of experts _ psychiatrists specializing in addiction and legal or police officials with scientific or medical expertise _ to assign scores to 20 different drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD.
For the impact on society did they factor in how much of the population regularly uses it? I'm actually hoping they didn't, thought of course its relevant, but those numbers could change, so they should not use that, and then as numbers increase/decrease governments and organizations can focus on whats becoming more dangerous because of number of users.
One thing though... how many long term studies can be done on the impact of other drugs compared to tobacco and alcohol to the user or society? Has other drugs shown to cause the user cancer or (incase of inhaled drugs) others?