Tag: nicotine

New Study Ranks Deadliest Drugs

The Deadliest Drug According to Science

A recent European study set out to find the deadliest drug. This in and of itself isn’t groundbreaking. These types of studies are conducted numerous times each year by government agencies and scientific institutes alike. What makes this particular report noteworthy is the method researchers used.

whats the deadliest drug

The study is called “Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach.” This margin of exposure approach is where things get interesting. It basically means that scientists identified the deadliest drugs by figuring out how much users normally take and comparing that data to how prevalent the use of a particular drug is. They also factored in the LD50, or minimum lethal dose of popular drugs of abuse.

The authors of this report, Dr. Dirk Lachenmeierand and Dr. Jürgen Rehm, believe this is the most accurate way to identify how deadly particular substances are. For example, alcohol is deadlier than meth because more people are exposed to alcohol and ingest it in higher quantities.

This type of common sense approach, mixed with the latest scientific data and analysis, seems like a sane way to approach studying drug abuse. We can only hope that policymakers in the United States follow Europe’s example. A sane and rational examination of drug addiction, overdose, and recovery may just lead to effective measures being implemented.

Now, without further ado, find out what the deadliest drug is below!

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What’s the Deadliest Drug?

According to this new data, the deadliest drug is, drum roll please…alcohol. This should come as a surprise to no one. Alcohol abuse is widespread, seemingly innocuous, and actually very dangerous.

Clocking in at number two are cigarettes. Again, this isn’t much of a surprise. What’s interesting is the remainder of the report. For example, when Lachenmeierand and Rehm analyzed probability, they found that heroin was actually the second deadliest drug, ahead of even cigarettes.

Find a breakdown of other key results below:

  • Based on both whole population exposure and probabilistic analysis, cocaine is the third deadliest drug.

  • Based on whole population exposure, opioid drugs are the fourth deadliest.

  • Based on probabilistic analysis, nicotine is the fourth deadliest.

  • Based on whole population exposure, benzo’s are the fifth deadliest drug. This is despite the fact that they have a lower margin of exposure and are used more frequently than opioids or cocaine.

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  • Based on a probabilistic analysis, MDMA is the fifth deadliest drug.

  • Meth is considered to be the sixth deadliest drug despite having a lower margin of exposure and being used more frequently than MDMA. This is most likely due to the fact that it’s harder to overdose on meth than MDMA (i.e. more meth is needed to overdose).

  • THC is considered to be the least deadly drug. This is due to the incredibly large amount of THC needed to “overdose.” It’s also due to the generally mild quality of a THC overdose.

    What qualifies as excessive drinking? (Hint: it’s less than you think)

    Limits of New Information

    The new research does carry with it a few caveats. It’s important to remember that Dr. Lachenmeierand and Rehm studied the lethal dose of drugs in animals, not humans. Usually the LD50 of a substance is higher in humans. Still, it’s important to remember these tests were not done on humans.

    ld50 overdose

    Also, chemical interactions weren’t taken into account. That is to say, researchers didn’t study what happens when someone drinks, does cocaine, and does heroin. When chemicals like these are combined, their LD50’s are, generally speaking, lowered.

    Despite the fact that alcohol is deadlier than other drugs in practical terms, individual experiences with illegal and “hard” drugs differ. There are environmental risks associated with illegal drug use. These include purchasing impure drugs, police behavior, and lifestyle factors like unsafe injection practices and risky sexual behavior.

    This study was based in Europe and on European research. However, Dr. Rehm had the following to say, “if you talk about the US or Cananca, we would project similar findings. For Latin America, results may change” (Vice News). Dr. Rehm believes this is due to the similarities between “high-income countries.”

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    Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug But Nicotine Is!

    By: Tim Myers

    Cigarettes are the Real Gateway Drug

    People who smoke are making a conscious decision to do something that will harm them. They’re doing something that will kill them and it gives them no mood-altering conclusion. No euphoria and no high.

    So, what’s to stop them from doing something else that will kill them, but gives them the greatest feeling ever? Nothing.

    Nicotine is and has always been the only gateway drug.

    nicotine is a gateway drug

    I’m pretty sure I could just stop right here. I’m pretty sure you don’t need any deeper analysis of this then the simple, plain, punch you square in face idea that once you start using nicotine you’re more likely to use other drugs!

    The logic behind this theory is so basic and so rock solid that further investigation and analysis shouldn’t be necessary. Although, I do anticipate that a small village of Virginia Slim smokers still exist in a dark ally somewhere. They’re might want to take me up on this issue before bingo starts.

    So, for those of you who think nicotine isn’t a gateway drug – here are the facts:

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    Nicotine Use is Directly Linked to Other Drug Use

    The New England Journal of Medicine stated on September 4th 2014 that, “Epidemiologic studies have shown that nicotine use is a gateway to the use of marijuana and cocaine in human populations.”

    This hypothesis that nicotine is a gateway drug came from Denise Kandel. Her studies found that, in 2012, 87.9% of adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 34, who have used cocaine, smoked cigarettes before trying cocaine.

    Only 5.7% of this group began using cigarettes and cocaine at the same time. Only 3.5% used coke first.

    Let those numbers sink in for a minute.

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    Focus on Preventing Nicotine Usage

    The study also concluded that one of the best ways to prevent substance abuse is to focus on preventing nicotine use first and foremost. Since the stats are so overwhelmingly in favor of nicotine being the first drug initiated into the system, and leading to the use of harder drugs, the study suggests that we stop the problem at the source.

    Duh. This makes too much sense.

    Essentially, if Officer Crumpky and his buddies at D.A.R.E spent their time only talking to kids about the dangers of smoking, they’d have a far greater success rate of keeping the tykes off the hard stuff. D.A.R.E. actually could have worked! They had a good idea, they were just fighting the wrong enemy.

    If marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, why do some people say it’s “as addictive as heroin?”

    Nicotine Use Makes People More Likely to Use Other Drugs

    In Science Translational Medicine, on November 2, 2011, it was reported that mice who were given nicotine for seven days were attracted to and sought out cocaine more than the mice who weren’t given nicotine.

    So, the brain is actually hardwired to start looking for the next great drug once the switch has been flicked by nicotine. Science is awesome.

    What Does This Study Mean for You and Me?

    is marijuana a gateway drug

    I’m sure Aunt Estelle will tell us that she smoked her Camels for fifty years and never once did she want, or use, cocaine. That’s great for Aunt Estelle.

    I’m sure there is a kid in a halfway house smoking his vape and screaming, “I vape and I have four months sober!”

    There’s probably an old-timer at a meeting smoking his Winston’s saying, “I smoke and I’ve never tried that jazz.”

    Good for you guys…it works if you work it! The point is that if you do something that will kill you and doesn’t give a high, you’re probably going to do another thing that can kill you that you do get high from.

    Oh, and there’s the point that 87.9% of people who used cocaine used nicotine first. Nicotine is a gateway drug. Period.

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