Essay on Alcohol & Tobacco vs. Illegal Drugs

768 Words Sep 11th, 2010 4 Pages
In the article “Alcohol, Tobacco Worse Than Illegal Drugs” a new British study found that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal narcotics such as marijuana or Ecstasy. Professor David Nutt of Britain’s Bristol University and some colleagues proposed the study and found a new structure for the “classification of harmful substances based on the actual risk posed to society” (Conroy, 2007). The researchers used three factors to determine how harmful any drug is : “the physical harm to the user, the drug’s potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use” (Conroy, 2007). Then two groups of experts (psychiatrists or medical expertise) were asked to select scores of twenty different drugs. In the rankings, …show more content…
While marijuana smoke contains “some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations” ("Marijuana ," 2010). At the top of the charts is cocaine and heroin ,which is also accurate. Cocaine is at the top because it “is the most powerful natural stimulant available to man” (Kapperler & Potter, 2005, p. 194). While heroine is “the single most abused opiate in the US, and has one of the most serious addiction rates of all illegal drugs” ("Heroin: one,"). The reasons why these two are so dangerous is because when on heroin the “mental functioning is slow and disoriented”("Heroin: one," ), and while cocaine can result in “acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies—severe circulation problems to the heart or brain” ("Cocaine and crack," ). In the article, it is stated that “tobacco causes 40 percent of all hospital illnesses, while alcohol is blamed for more than half of all visits to hospital emergency rooms,” and “the substances also harm society in other ways, damaging families and occupying police services” (Conroy, 2007), which is true. In 2000, the leading cause of death was tobacco at 435,00 deaths (Kapperler & Potter, 2005, p. 203). Also, there were 85,000 deaths from alcohol and another 16,700 from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. This article stated facts conducted from a experiment that Professor Nutt and colleagues performed with the help of experts. Due to the

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