Alcohol is more harmful and causes more deaths than the drug ecstasy. Of course, we already knew this. But maybe it helps changing drugs policies when it is coming from a leading scientist who advises the British Government on drug safety.
Professor David Nutt, who earlier recommended the downgrading of cannabis, is urging the government to change their views on the dangers of excessive drinking. The addiction expert says only 10 premature deaths a year in the UK can be blamed on ecstasy, compared with at least 22,000 attributable to drinking. Moreover, he stresses that alcohol related violence is also very common, unlike ecstasy, which is not linked with violence.
The professor agrees with conservative leader David Cameron who recently suggested that E should be in a lower category than class A drugs heroin and cocaine. He writes: 'Why is ecstasy illegal when alcohol, a considerably more harmful drug, is not? When we consider that the possession of a drug that is much less dangerous than alcohol can lead to a seven-year prison sentence, whereas alcohol use is actively promoted, perhaps David Cameron did not go far enough.'
Nutt's comments have led to strong reactions among drugs prevention associations.
'Ecstasy kills at random and there is a lot of cumulative harm,' said David Raynes from the National Drugs Prevention Alliance. 'Although there is a lot of harm from alcohol, very few people just die from drinking alcohol, but they do die from taking E. If the Government does downgrade E, then it sends a signal that it's less harmful than it was before.'
Source: The Independent