LONDON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Alcohol is the most harmful drug overall, a British analysis found.
Researchers assessed the impact the misuse of drugs has on health, policing and social care using multiple criteria decision analysis.
Twenty drugs were scored on 16 criteria -- using a 100-point scale -- and the criteria were weighted to indicate their relative importance, the researchers said.
Their study revealed alcohol was the most harmful drug overall with a score of 72, followed by heroin at 55 and crack cocaine at 54.
In addition, the study found heroin was the most harmful drug for the users themselves with a score of 34, followed by crack cocaine with a score of 37 and methamphetamine with a score for 32. The most harmful drugs for society were alcohol with a score of 46, heroin at 21 and crack cocaine at 17.
The study, published in The Lancet, was conducted by David J. Nutt of Imperial College London, Leslie A. King, a British expert adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Lisbon, Portugal, and Lawrence D. Phillips of London School of Economics and Political Science.