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The most dangerous drug in the world is probably not what you think

This lethal menace must be stopped

The most dangerous drug in the world is probably not what you think

Well, deep down, you probably did know, didn't you?

Yes, forget heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and all of those headline-grabbers - it's been confirmed once more that the demon booze is considered by a new study to be 'by far the most dangerous' of all known drugs.

An infamous 2010 British study first revealed this fact, and now a new expanded European study, published earlier this year, has confirmed the findings.

The original paper received widespread attention as it was co-authored by Professor David Nutt, one of the world's foremost expert on drugs - and the same man who was sacked as the chief drugs advisor to the then Labour government in 2009. His crime? To claim that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol; clearly a stance that no politician could be seen to be endorsing - even if it happened to be true.

Now the new study, performed by a group of EU drug experts, scored 20 drugs on 16 different 'harm criteria' - comprised of a combination of personal and economic 'harms', including the likelihood of dying, dependence, impairment of mental functions together with the likelihood of loss of home or job, physical injury, criminal activity and the economic cost to a country.

Out of a hundred, alcohol was the runaway winner, scoring 72, with heroin and crack lagging behind on 55 and 50. The remaining drugs all scored 38 or less, with cocaine ranked fifth, tobacco sixth and cannabis eight. The results as a whole effectively backed up the findings of the original 2010 study.

The study concludes that EU and national drug policy should focus on 'drugs with the highest overall harm, including alcohol and tobacco', whereas 'drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy should be given lower priority including a lower legal classification'.​

So, will anything change on the UK's drug policy? We doubt it - it'd be a brave politician who called for a curb on the social lubricant that is alcohol, while also telling everyone to get friendly and take some E instead. Although that is a politician we'd love to see.

(Image: Shutterstock)