Australian researchers have evaluated the dangers of two dozen different drugs according to 16 criteria. Drug use has its effects, which can be very devastating in some cases. Which of the legal and illegal drugs has the worst impact on individuals and society?

An Australian Study Looked at the Effects of 22 Drugs

Society comes under the influence of legal drugs. People take readily available alcohol and cigarettes, or prescription drugs. The black market offers other illegal substances, such as heroin, amphetamine, and hallucinogens. However, the harmfulness of individual drugs is very different. Australian researchers have therefore decided to answer the question of which drug is the most harmful overall in their country.

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A team of experts carefully assessed the harmful effects of 22 selected legal and illegal drugs according to 16 different criteria. Nine of these criteria concerned how the drug harms the user directly – from addiction, through mental or physical damage, to relationship loss and death. The remaining seven criteria involved how the drug used harmed others, such as economic losses to society or crime.

Opiate Kills; Alcohol Destroys Society

The worst harmful drug to the users themselves is the opiate fentanyl. The opiate causes severe addiction and has recently been mass-killing in Americans. It is followed by heroin, alcohol, meth, and tobacco.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

But when experts also considered the damage done to other people, the order of the most harmful drugs changed. Alcohol came to the infamous first place, as in a recent similar study in the UK. It is followed by meth, heroin, fentanyl, and tobacco.

On the contrary, the least harmful of the studied drugs are intoxicating pepper, also called kava kava, e-cigarettes, LSD, bald eagles, antipsychotics, and ecstasy., featured photo by Colin Davis on Unsplash