A new study out of the UK looked at the combined harm done — to both the user and to others — by a host of different drugs. The conclusion: While alcohol might not damage the body as much as some other drugs, its ill societal effects make it the most dangerous intoxicant on the list.
From the BBC:
[T]he study involved 16 criteria, including a drug’s affects on users’ physical and mental health, social harms including crime, ‘family adversities’ and environmental damage, economic costs and ‘international damage.’
Considered in this light, the study puts alcohol well ahead of the number two and three finishers, heroin and crack.
Crystal meth ranked a distant fourth, as the study claims that drug’s “harm to others” value is lower than many others on the list, including tobacco and cannabis.