The drug deemed the most dangerous in the world might not be the one you would expect — even with the likes of heroin, fentanyl and crystal meth out there, alcohol has been judged to have the greatest negative effect on society.
Different drugs can harm you in different ways — they can kill you, cause serious physical effects, make you hopelessly dependent on them or isolate you from your friends and family. They can also be a drain on society, in terms of economics and a community’s quality of life, among other consequences.AsapSCIENCE says based on this complete picture, alcohol is the absolute worst.
Part of its achievement has to do with the fact that alcohol is found all over the world and is consumed quite a bit. When scientists across Europe have taken into account the drug’s toll on a person’s health and the community as a whole, they have determined that it is the most dangerous one out there.
In the U.S. alone, about 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, according to theNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. That includes diseases linked to alcohol ingestion as well as drunk-driving fatalities, the latter of which accounts for more than 10 percent of the total death toll.
Around the world, the annual death statistic is closer to 3 million.
AsapSCIENCE does, however, give a shout-out to heroin, which it says is the most dangerous when you only take the individual user into account — it is incredibly addictive and can interfere with vital functions such as respiration. Its unregulated nature also makes doses inconsistent, increasing overdose risk.
Opioids like heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller which is much more potent, act on opioid receptors in the brain and create a feeling of pleasure. During an overdose, people may fall unconscious and have depressed breathing, among other symptoms.