Thursday, 16 July 2009

Safer Alcohol - A dangerous drug to be banned

I was up in London this week for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Annual Eve Saville Lecture given by Professor David Nutt. David who chairs the Home Office's Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) spoke on Estimating drug harms: a risky business.

David has compared the dangers of (high risk) alcohol and (low risk) Ecstasy to highlighted the irrationality of the current system. Last year he got into trouble for pointing out the fact that horse ridding was more dangerous than taking Ecstasy. With colleagues he produced the chart below comparing the harms of both legal and illegal drugs.

What I found really interesting was an aside he made that he was sure he could create an alcohol substitute that had all the "positive" attributes of alcohol but had far less harmful effects. However such a 'drug' would be, he felt, banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act. I will follow up this madness and find out exactly why and the role of the Alcohol Industry in such decision making.

1 comment:

  1. Professor David Nutt speaks after being given the sack as Drug Advisor. You can watch it here.