Friday, November 5, 2010

SPECIAL: World media about "The Most Dangerous Drugs"

World media is filled with opinions concerning the recent report according to which the most dangerous drug is alcohol. Here is a small selection of these articles. But first, the controversial list itself:

Time - The Most Dangerous Drugs? Alcohol, Heroin and Crack — in That Order
How often does life really imitate art? Let's imagine that a writer has been commissioned to develop a comedic screenplay about the deeply serious business of how to classify and control drugs. The plot is likely to feature that staple slapstick character “the mad scientist,” and since Hollywood tends to choose Britons to portray its eccentrics and villains, the writer makes the scientist a British professor. What's a good name for a nutty professor? Why not Professor Nutt?

The Portugal News - Portuguese experts agree ‘alcohol is more harmful than drugs’ in wake of controversial UK study
A controversial new study co-authored by a former UK chief drugs advisor which claims alcohol is more harmful than hard drugs like heroin or crack cocaine has been widely backed by Portuguese experts and clinical professionals.

The Guardian - Britain's drugs hypocrisy is a giant self-inflicted wound
A dreary ritual follows any pronouncement from Professor David Nutt, former government drugs adviser and brain chemistry pundit. First, politicians groan. Then civil servants hide. Then newspaper editors run howling back to the dark ages. Nothing happens, absolutely nothing.

The Economist (blog) - A new study suggests alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack
MOST people would agree that some drugs are worse than others: heroin is probably considered to be more dangerous than marijuana, for instance. Because governments formulate criminal and social policies based upon classifications of harm, a new study published by the Lancet on November 1st makes interesting reading.

Herald Scotland - We have to take a sober look at excessive drinking culture
Alcohol is more damaging to society than heroin, according to the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. You bet it is. In Scotland, 93% of men and 87% of women over the age of 16 drink alcohol – as do almost half of 15-year-olds. But we drink with such recklessness that it lands 115 of us in hospital every single day.

BBC News (blog) - Drugs debate hots up
Today sees the publication of two pieces of scientific research that threaten to destabilise further the orthodoxy on drug policy in Britain.

The Independent - Leading article: A welcome injection of science
No wonder they got rid of Professor David Nutt. The man who was the Government's chief adviser on narcotics – until he was sacked by the previous Home Secretary – has produced a new guide to the relative harmfulness of drugs and it runs almost entirely counter to the official classification. Dr Nutt and others have formed a breakaway Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs which has produced the new study.

Toronto Star - Why study says alcohol more dangerous than heroin, cocaine
The former U.K. drug czar has published a study damning alcohol as a more dangerous drug than heroin or crack cocaine and urged governments to radically readjust their targets in the fight on narcotics. One Canadian expert said the study should prompt a new discussion about the dangers of alcohol abuse and a “more rational” consideration of our overall drug policy.

Scotland Courier - David Nutt's alcohol study backed by Scottish groups
Drugs and alcohol charities have thrown their weight behind a controversial new study which claims alcohol is more harmful than heroin. Although the licensed trade said any such comparisons are spurious, SNP politicians claim the research shows the need to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol.

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