Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin' says Prof David Nutt
Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack when the overall dangers to the individual and society are considered, according to a study in the Lancet.
The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former government chief drugs adviser who was sacked in 2009.
It ranked 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.
Heroin, crack and crystal meth were deemed worst for individuals, with alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine worst for society, and alcohol worst overall.
The study by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs also said tobacco and cocaine were judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD were among the least damaging.
Prof Nutt told the BBC: "Overall, alcohol is the most harmful drug because it's so widely used.
"Crack cocaine is more addictive than alcohol but because alcohol is so widely used there are hundreds of thousands of people who crave alcohol every day, and those people will go to extraordinary lengths to get it."