Alcohol and tobacco are deadlier than ecstasy, report warns

The British government is to be urged to consider a controversial plan to reclassify drugs according to the harm they do. The new ranking system would see alcohol placed high on the scale because of its links to violence and car accidents. Tobacco, estimated to cause 40 per cent of all hospital illnesses, would also come before the class-A drug ecstasy.

However, there is no suggestion that alcohol and tobacco should be banned. The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce’s commission on illegal drugs, communities and public policy has been examining what it believes is a ‘serious misfit between the law relating to drugs and the way in which drugs are actually used by members of society’.

The Drugs league table

Drugs assessed in order of danger

1 Heroin

2 Cocaine

3 Barbiturates

4 Street methadone

5 Alcohol

6 Ketamine

7 Benzodiazepine

8 Amphetamines

9 Tobacco

10 Buprenorphine

11 Cannabis

12 Solvents

13 4-MTA

14 LSD

15 Methylphenidate

16 Anabolic steroids

17 GHB

18 Ecstasy

19 Alkyl nitrates

20 Khat

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