How Harmful Are Drugs According to YOU vs SCIENCE?
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How Harmful Are Drugs According to YOU vs SCIENCE?

Disclaimer: These aren’t our stats. This is taken from BBC Free Speech and recent information obtained from a YouGov poll. We can’t guarantee their accuracy, but we are using them as a guideline for this article. Read the full stats and details here.

Take a look at this graph:


Statistics like these provide a really interesting insight into the kind of misunderstandings we have about substances and their effects. Whether it’s misinformation, sensationalised media coverage or plain old miseducation/ignorance, it’s clear that something needs to change.

Some of us have clearly got the wrong idea about ecstasy, LSD, and mushrooms. There’s a LOT of evidence supporting the fact that these drugs are not only non-addictive, but not particularly harmful to your insides.

The main chemical in ‘ecstasy’ is MDMA, but it’s not the MDMA that harms you. According to DanceSafe, a VERY excellent website, heatstroke is the most common form of hospitalisation and death related to MDMA, followed by a reaction to pre-existing medical conditions such as heart conditions and high blood pressure. (Anybody with health conditions should not take any drugs.) Additionally, recent deaths and hospitalisations related to MDMA have usually shown to be related to a mixture of far more harmful chemicals, either in the ‘ecstasy’ or in other consumed substances.

The amount needed to overdose on most hallucinogens, specifically LSD (acid) and psilocybin (mushrooms) are extremely high – more than a thousand times your average dose. They are essentially considered completely non-addictive. Again, most injuries or deaths related to hallucinogens are not actually caused by the chemical itself.

At this point it’s important to remember that these statistics do not include, or relate to people with mental illness. If you do suffer from any kind of mental illness (or really, if you have a genetic predisposition to one,) you should not use recreational drugs – ever. Not only can some drugs interact badly with medication (SSRIs, other antidepressants, antipsychotics etc) but you are far more likely to have an adverse reaction to any drug and their after-effects.

What is perhaps the most interesting statistic on this graph is the gross misunderstanding of the harmful effects of alcohol. Only 63% of those interviewed thought alcohol was dangerous, compared to the harm ‘score’ of 72 rate as found by scientific research. Compare this to the next highest stat, heroin, at a 55 harm score.

It’s interesting but terrifying to look at how the most dangerous substance is legal, and that, because it’s legal, some people are unaware of how harmful it can be.

Some more interesting stats have also come out of this research, looking at how harmful drugs are to the user and to other people.

The same UK research team produced this graph (Disclaimer: I have not included specific numbers or information about this graph. Read the sources for further clarification.)

moredrugsSource 1   Source 2

This was their conclusion: “..heroin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals, whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others. Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug, with heroin and crack cocaine in second and third places.

Moral of the story: don’t drink. Use heroin instead. It’s safer.

….just kidding! Don’t do heroin.

I will now once again implore my unending advocacy of the need for drug testing and the need for education, awareness, information and understanding.

Learn what’s bad, learn what’s a little less bad. If you’re gonna take drugs, do it safely. And for the love of god don’t use fucking bath salts or synthetic ANYTHING.


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