Log In
Friday 25th May 2018

Is alcohol a class A drug?

23rd March 2007

The debate over the dangers of alcohol and tobacco rages on as experts warn the two substances are more harmful than many illegal drugs.

According to drugs specialists, the current system for assessing drugs - as set out in the Misuse of Drugs Act - is ‘arbitrary’ and they have called for widespread changes.   Under current guidelines, a class A substance is deemed the most dangerous and a class C the least harmful.  Scientific evidence proves that heroin and cocaine are rightly ranked as class A substances due to the harm they cause but LSD and ecstasy are proven to be low risk in terms of health but are also deemed to be class A drugs. 

Campaigners are so worried about what they see as the misclassification of some drugs that they have drawn up a new league table of 20 drugs and the harm they cause to try and effect a change in the law.  The league table highlights flaws in the current system as the eight drugs ranked by the new research as most dangerous include two that are currently unclassified in the Misuse of Drugs Act (alcohol and tobacco) while the eight judged least dangerous by the new research includes two class A drugs (ecstasy and LSD).

The new research found that the amount of physical and social harm caused by alcohol means it should be re-classified as a Class A drug and cigarettes have been shown to be as dangerous as Class B drugs amphetamines and barbiturates. The team who put together the new league table included forensic, police and medical experts.  Lead researcher Professor David Nutt, from the University of Bristol said the current system was "not fit for purpose" and was not helping deter young people from using drugs.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Is alcohol a class A drug?
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 2342
Date Added: 23rd Mar 2007


The Independent

Recent Related Articles

Energy drinks ban in the UK


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2018