There was only one drug which fell under “Low Risk”
People have been saying it for years. Presidents, doctors, lawyers, mothers – there’s always someone speaking out in favour of cannabis. Up-to-date, solid, scientific research to back up their points is usually hard to come by. However, a new study which looks into the deadliness of recreational drugs, found that booze is up to 114 times more lethal than weed. (Whatever that means)
The study posted in the Scientific Reports journal (part of Nature) also found that cannabis was the least likely to kill you out of all of the top 10 most commonly used substances.
Authors of the study, Doctors Dirk Lachenmeierand and Jorgen Rehm,used an approach called margin of exposure, which measured the ratio between the estimated amounts of each of the recreational drugs usually taken by users against the point where the doses of the substances become lethal.
After this part of the study, the researchers then moved onto ranking each of the substances based on their risk posed on an individual. There were 3 different categories. “High Risk” which included recreational drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and heroin. Other drugs like ecstasy and crystal meth were categorized as “Medium Risk”. The only drug that fell into the final “Low Risk” category, was marijuana.
This unique test has reinforced the findings taken from other more traditional studies that have taken place in the past. Dr Rehm remarked that the most surprising outcome of the study was the “absolute differences in riskiness between substances.” Due to the fact that the study applies to the general population, the only addiction related substance in the “High Risk” category was alcohol. This was likely down to it’s wide exposure within society as well as it’s constant availability.
Lachenmeier and Rehm both agree that more should be done to inform governments and encourage them to look at ways to minimize impacts of alcohol and tobacco on society. As well as this, governments should also look into adopting “a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach” to cannabis.
Another main fact outlined in findings of the study was that the “results confirm that the risk of cannabis may have been overestimated in the past” and that efforts would be far better spent on “risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco, rather than illicit drugs.”
In short – Governments should learn to live with the fact that a vast amount of their populations like to occasionally smoke a bit of weed. What’s your take on recreational drugs? Let us know in the comments.