Monday, March 12, 2007

Tobacco & Alcohol: Class A Drugs?

Why do Alcohol & Tobacco remain unclassified when they are the drugs which kill the most?
Why are these drugs legal when other less harmful drugs are illegal?

(Some questions which have come to mind during our Drugs Awareness Workshops)

A recent investigation into drug laws (BBC Report & Guardian Report ) looks at the 'harm' of drugs and their classification and looking at the figures below its not hard to figure out why.

Drug-related deaths in England and Wales 2000 to 2004


Cocaine
575

Amphetamine
384

Ecstasy
227

Solvents
246

Opiates (heroin, morphine & methadone)
4,976

Alcohol
25,000 - 200,000 approx.

Tobacco
500,000 - half a million approx

(Source: Drugscope)

6,000 die annually from alcohol abuse & alcohol is involved in more than half of all visits to accident and emergency departments and orthopaedic admissions.
100,000 die annually from tobacco.



GLOSSARY
Benzodiazepines:
Wide-ranging class of prescription tranquilisers
Buprenorphine: Opioid drug used in treatment of opiate addiction
4-MTA: Amphetamine derivative sold as 'flatliners' and ecstasy
Methylphenidate: Amphetamine-like drug used to treat ADHD
Alkyl nitrites: Stimulant often called amyl nitrites or 'poppers'

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