Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drug harm assessed

I came a cross and interesting diagram today on the internet.

 In my book to be published soon on counselling alcohol and drug users I talk about the dangers of various drugs and this diagram is consistent with what I hypothesize. This is a good thing as what I have said is a bit controversial. Not overly so but some people may have trouble with it.

 I talk about why some drugs are illegal and others are legal concluding that governments make such legislative decisions based on a complex array of factors. One small part is the dangers of drugs but they portray to their constituents that this is the main reason.

 If it was the paramount reason then alcohol and tobacco would quickly be made illegal and cannabis, ecstasy and LSD would be made legal. These three are the safest of the drugs currently doing the rounds.

In the diagram above the closer the drug is to the top right hand corner the worse it is and the closer it is to the bottom left hand corner the better it is. So you can see this does provide some support for my contention in the book. They add in the concept of dependence which makes it a little bit different from what I am saying but it generally agrees with my proposal.

 If I should come in for some criticism then it will be good to have references that back me up. This chart comes from some serious research reported in the Lancet, which is a reputable journal. So it would be nice to have the article.

 Anyways I clicked on the link and it took me to the journal article abstract which I read and it sounded good. Then I discovered to get the whole article I had to pay $31.50. Yes $31.50 for a single journal article! That seemed like a lot to me and I wondered if anyone actually will pay that much for one journal article. Did I need it that badly to spend $31.50?

Feeling a bit despondent I googled the title of the article and the second link I clicked on gave a PDf of the full article which I have now downloaded. The exact article in full! I now have the article and will cite it should that become necessary. Just goes to show you that it pays to look around on the internet!



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