Alcohol causes more harm than other drugs in society

Many people are aware that alcohol causes more harm than many other drugs available in our society.  

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As shown above - the UK study found that the most harmful drug with an overall harm score of 72 was alcohol, followed by heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54)1. The study measured -

  • harms to users (e.g., drug specific death and illnesses, dependence and loss of relationships, etc); and
  • harms to others (e.g. crime, injury and social costs).

Alcohol versus other risk factors

Among New Zealanders aged 15-49 years (% of the total population), alcohol causes more detah and disability than smoking, poor nutrition, or other unhealthy behaviours measured.

All 2016 data can be retrieved from

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Disability (losing valuable years as a result of disability from alcohol use)

Click here to go to the References list - Alcohol Harm