Monday, March 12, 2012

Drug harm assessed - Part 2

Here is another interesting graph from the same article I referred to in the previous post. 4-MTA is an ecstasy like drug.

This can be seen in more detail here.

Here is a quote from them in the discussion: 
Our findings raise questions about the validity of the current Misuse of Drugs Act classification, despite the fact that it is nominally based on an assessment of risk to users and society. The discrepancies between our findings and current classifications are especially striking in relation to psychedelic-type drugs. 
(i.e. ecstasy, LSD & 4-MTA)
We saw no clear distinction between socially acceptable and illicit substances. The fact that the two most widely used legal drugs lie in the upper half of the ranking of harm is surely important information that should be taken into account in public debate on illegal drug use. 
(i.e. alcohol & tobacco)
Discussions based on a formal assessment of harm rather than on prejudice and assumptions might help society to engage in a more rational debate about the relative risks and harms of drugs.
(end quote - I added the information in parentheses)

This is based on the UK system of drug classification. Class A drugs are the meanest and nastiest with Class C drugs being the most benign. The Australian system would be very similar. They also note that 3 class A drugs are clearly in the bottom half of the list with ecstasy being third from the bottom. This is a glaring anomaly that defies logic. To understand why this anomaly exists all you have to do is read my book!
Tobacco would usually be higher but shows up lower as a consequence of how harm is defined in this research. For physical harm they use three criteria
Intravenous use - tobacco gets a zero
Acute use harm - tobacco is low here as well
Chronic use harm - tobacco scores very high.


  1. Oh well I thought it was a good idea. In my post here I say that to discover why the anomaly exists all you have to do is read my book. I am afraid that is not possible anymore as I have been asked to remove it. It seems that section of the book goes to that great waste bin in the sky.

  2. So all they want is standard stuff. Nothing outside the box hey? Bummer.

  3. That was Madeleine, by the way, Tony.