Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Drugs, getting old, and terrorists

What is the most harmful drug? Not cocaine or heroin, but alcohol. (when you take into account the damage to society as well as damage to the user.) This article was written based on a 1-day workshop held by a bunch of drug experts. In open discussions, they divided all drug harms into 16 types, weighted them, and rated each drug on each type of harm.
Interesting numbers (100 is the most harmful):
Alcohol: 72
Heroin: 55
Crack: 54
Crystal Meth: 33
Cocaine: 27
Tobacco: 26
Speed: 23
Cannabis: 20
Ecstasy: 9
LSD: 7
Mushrooms: 5

I'm surprised alcohol is as high as it is, of course. I wonder how much of that is because it's so widely used. That is, if it were as illegal and taboo as say cocaine, would its rating be in the 20's also? (I'm sure the authors addressed this, and I would love to know, but the article is paywalled.)
I'm surprised cocaine and speed are as low as they are. I thought speed was meth; shows what I know. I'm surprised cannabis is as high as it is; I thought it was virtually harmless. And check out where all the hallucinogens are! (Well, the Dutch could have told you that. Also, I wonder if they've taken into account the benefits of mushrooms.)

It should be noted for my dad's sake that the authors did not consider the conscription risks of mushrooms.

When do we stop being interested in new things? For new foods, 39. For new experiences, twenty-three. Aw hell. For new music, about 20. So 2004 might always be the best year in music. (I'm basing this solely off Blueberry Boat, the Moon and Antarctica, and Funeral. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

How many people do terrorists kill? In the UK, less than bathtub drownings, and as many as bee stings.  In the US, as many as are crushed to death by furniture. The moral of the story is, watch out for your furniture.

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