The Top 20 Most Dangerous Drugs

What is the most dangerous recreational drug? According to a study in The Lancet, it’s heroin— no surprise there. But according to their top 20 ranked by level of harm, alcohol and tobacco are still far more dangerous than a number of illegal substances.

As a person who has never used anything on a regular basis stronger than caffeine, and who drinks about one beer a year, I have no desire to use these drugs. But despite the danger inherent inherent in every drug, I believe the collective harm the illegal drugs on this list cause to both the users and society in general is vastly compounded as a result of their illegality. Moreover, the likely medicinal use of some of these substances is unfairly stigmatized and potentially valuable research on them is hampered. Society can only mitigate these harms effectively by legalizing, regulating, and taxing these substances. I’ve discussed these issues before here.

Documentary: Britain’s Most Dangerous Drug

The Top 20 Most Dangerous Drugs According to The Lancet

(most to least dangerous)

  1. Heroin
  2. Cocaine
  3. Barbiturates
  4. Street methadone
  5. Alcohol
  6. Ketamine
  7. Benzodiazepines
  8. Amphetamine
  9. Tobacco
  10. Buprenorphine
  11. Cannabis
  12. Solvents
  13. 4-MTA
  14. LSD
  15. Methylphenidate
  16. Anabolic steroids
  17. GHB
  18. Ecstasy
  19. Alkyl nitrates
  20. Khat

See Also

The Drug Policy Alliance.

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