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Legal Drugs Pose Highest Health Threat
    #2447572 - 03/18/04 02:35 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)


The health threat from legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco is much greater than that from illegal narcotics, the World Health Organization says.

The first report of its kind by the global body found that dependence on alcohol and cigarettes has a much greater cost for societies than illegal drugs like cocaine and crack.

The Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence report said that drug addiction is a growing problem, especially in poor countries which have rising rates of alcohol consumption and smoking.

There are about 200 million illegal drugs users worldwide, or 3.4 percent of the world population, it said. Illegal drugs contributed 0.8 percent to global ill health in 2000, while alcohol accounted for 4.1 percent and cigarettes 4 percent.

The percentages are based on a measurement used by WHO which gauges the burden that premature deaths and years lived with disability impose on society.

The "main global health burden is due to licit rather than illicit substances," the report said.

Men in rich countries are especially vulnerable to suffer from alcohol- and cigarette-related bad health.

"Health and social problems associated with use and dependence on tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances require greater attention by the public health community," WHO Director-General Dr. Lee Jong-Wook said in a statement.

The report also found that it may not be possible to fully cure drug dependence because of long-term changes to the way the brain works.

Health experts need to consider a range of factors in treating drug dependence because it is a disorder caused by genetic disposition, as well as psychological and cultural factors, it said.

"Like major psychiatric disorders, substance dependence may not be curable but improved effectiveness of available treatment has contributed significantly to recovery," said Dr. Catherine Le Gales-Camus, assistant-director general of noncommunicable diseases and mental health at WHO.

The global launch of the report took place in Brazil, a country with spiraling drug-related violence, which has in the past led to rough treatment of drug users.

Any person can become a drug addict and that dependence is a disorder, making it crucial to eradicate the stigma suffered by drug users that can make treatment more difficult, the report said.


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Registered: 08/08/03
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Re: Legal Drugs Pose Highest Health Threat [Re: Sheepish]
    #2447860 - 03/18/04 03:39 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

that article has some good points but saying that alcohol and tobacco has a much greater cost to societies than crack is just retarded imo. obviously that guy has never lived in the projects or met any crack heads. it's like saying well more people have died form regular bombs than nuclear bombs therefore nuclear bombs aren't as dangerous, when the fact is they are much more dangerous they just aren't used nearly as often. if crack was legal and there wasn't all this drugs are bad mentality i guarantee it would be a much greater cost to society than alcohol or tobacco could ever be, same as if nuclear weapons got into the hands of the masses. the same would go for methamphetamine, any other drug though i believe alcohol and tobacco are worse than including herion, but defentaly not crack/meth.


The "main global health burden is due to licit rather than illicit substances,"

only because these substances are easily obtained and are accepted in todays society. i dunno like i said the article has good points but the way it's written it seems that making alcohol and tobacco illegal are the anwser rather than reforming drug laws. like these two substances are legal and look at all the health dangers it poses because they are accepted in society unlike illegal drugs which are not accepted and aren't killing as many people so the logical conclusion would be if these things were made illegal than use and related deaths would go down. i'm all for freedom of what you put into your body btw just this is a poorly written article i believe.

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Re: Legal Drugs Pose Highest Health Threat [Re: John]
    #2450542 - 03/19/04 03:04 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I have lived in the projects and seen plenty of crack heads and it still has always seemed obvious to me that legal drugs do more harm and there are far more people harmed than by crack and heroin. yeah crack is ugly and when someone gets in they really get in far, but there are far more alcoholics running around this country and certainly this world than crackheads.

this article isnt pushing for prohibition it is clearly saying we need to take a closer look at what people stereo-type as addicts and *bad* drugs. it also says that all substance abuse is substance abuse not just bad drugs.

i think this is actually a pretty good article. the facts are simple and clear and appear to be unbiased toward any drug, urging treatment for any dependant person. saying also that anyone could be a dependant person.

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Re: Legal Drugs Pose Highest Health Threat [Re: John]
    #2451403 - 03/19/04 11:44 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I think crack is a terrible drug, but i'll bet you that if you look at most of the problems associated with crack, you'll see that prohibition is the cause.

Legalize all drugs.


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Registered: 11/17/02
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Re: Legal Drugs Pose Highest Health Threat [Re: Sheepish]
    #2464723 - 03/23/04 05:40 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I think if tabacco and alcohol were illegal they'd be considered hard drugs. You'd see powder nicoten and only hard liquor out there.

If it were all legal I dont think being a crack-head would be the same as it is now. The worse part imo of crack is the come-down, it creates a very bad addiction. If it were legal you could make the come-down alot less effective. Just take some downers/uppers/pot and that greatly reduces the come-down, not to mention that there would probably be several alternative methods to consume crack/coke which would make things much better like coca wine and coke gum which have slower comeups and downs so it would help alot w/ addiction.

It definaltey sucks that articles like this never get any attention, if it were the other way around it'd be all over the news even tho its considered information we already know.

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