The latest analysis uses nine criteria that relate to the harms that a drug produces in the individual and seven to the harms to others both in the British and overseas. These harms are clustered into five subgroups representing physical, psychological, and social harms.
Drugs were scored with points out of 100, with 100 assigned to the most harmful drug on a specific criterion. Zero indicated no harm. Explaining their model, the authors say: In scaling of the drugs, care is needed to ensure that each successive point on the scale represents equal increments of harm. Thus, if a drug is scored at 50, then it should be half as harmful as the drug that scored 100.
A zero means no harm is caused.
Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places by The Lancet, Volume 376, Issue 9752, Pages 1558 - 1565, 6 November 2010.
The nine categories in harm to self are drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, dependence, drug-specific impairment of mental function, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, and injury. The harm to others categories are crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and decline in community cohesion. , on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs:
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. They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports that aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy.alcohol harms is a valid as we know.