A Global Study Reveals The Most And Least Dangerous Drugs

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Drugs have a whole range of effects on people, and it’s pretty common knowledge that some are much more harmful than others.

But which recreational drugs pose the biggest threat to users? Well, at the end of a study by the Global Drug Study (GDS), who document each year which substances cause the biggest danger to people, methamphetamine/amphetamine has been deemed the biggest threat to its users.

The results are based on which drug causes the most emergency room visits, and the data taken from 6,000 meth users shows that the chances that someone will need medical treatment after using it are higher than any other drug.

For every 100,000 meth users, 4.8% will seek emergency services. Specifically, the numbers show that the risk of women heading to the emergency room after using the drug is more than double than it is for men (8.2 percent for females versus 3.7 percent for males).

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that there are 24.7 million meth users worldwide and the effects of it can be severe – both mentally and physically. Short terms dangers range from elevated blood pressure, mouth sores, ulcers, scarring due to scratching the skin and weakened teeth, whilst long term abuse can cause drastic weight loss, brain haemorrhages, convulsions, as well as kidney, heart, lung and liver failure.

For the past three studies, synthetic cannabis was the most dangerous drug. Results showed that around 3.2% of men seek emergency medical attention after using it.

Alcohol and MDMA/ecstasy came behind at 1.3% and 1.2% respectively, with cocaine at around 1%.

The drugs that cause the least amount of hospital visits were psychedelic drugs, such as magic mushrooms, whilst cannabis also posed little danger.

Only 0.2% of magic mushroom users reported having to seek emergency medical attention after taking the drug. Out of 10,000 consumers surveyed, only 13 men and four women had to go to the hospital after taking it.

It also found that magic mushrooms are safer than LSD, mainly because of a reduced chance of taking the wrong dosage or type of mushroom. One single LSD tab is much stronger than a single mushroom, and LSD users are almost never aware of the amount of acid they are taking. Having said that the dangers of using LSD were significantly less than meth or synthetic cannabis.

Regarding overall drug use, the GDS says:

“Cannabis remains the world’s most widely used ‘illicit’ drug. Regulatory change in many countries and the development of new technologies to deliver cannabis in less harmful ways are an important accompaniment to this change and pave the way for new public health approaches to reducing the public health harms associated with its use.”

Nearly 22% of Americans admit to smoking a joint within an hour of waking up in the morning, which is more than double the worldwide average.

Americans seem to enjoy a much stronger smoke too, with only 8% using tobacco when smoking weed- which is in contrast to around 93% of people mixing tobacco into a joint in Italy, Greece and Hungary.

Basically, avoid using meth altogether, and if you insist on using any of the other recreational drugs, take everything in moderation, and make sure you are aware of the health implications of what you are doing.

Have you ever had a bad experience of any of these drugs? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via iStock

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