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Unformatted text preview: Articles www.thelancet.com Published online November 1, 2010 DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61462-6 1 Published Online November 1, 2010 DOI:10.1016/S0140- 6736(10)61462-6 See Online/Comment DOI:10.1016/S0140- 6736(10)62000-4 Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, Imperial College, London, UK (Prof D J Nutt FMedSci) ; UK Expert Adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Lisbon, Portugal (L A King PhD) ; and Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK (L D Phillips PhD) Correspondence to: Prof David J Nutt, Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, Imperial College London, Burlington-Danes Building, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK email@example.com Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis David J Nutt, Leslie A King, Lawrence D Phillips, on behalf of the Independent Scientifi c Committee on Drugs Summary Background Proper assessment of the harms caused by the misuse of drugs can inform policy makers in health, policing, and social care. We aimed to apply multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) modelling to a range of drug harms in the UK. Method Members of the Independent Scientifi c Committee on Drugs, including two invited spets, met in a 1-day interactive workshop to score 20 drugs on 16 criteria: nine related to the harms that a drug produces in the individual and seven to the harms to others. Drugs were scored out of 100 points, and the criteria were weighted to indicate their relative importance. Findings MCDA modelling showed that heroin, crack cocaine, and metamfetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals (part scores 34, 37, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively). Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places. Interpretation These fi ndings lend support to previous work assessing drug harms, and show how the improved scoring and weighting approach of MCDA increases the diff erentiation between the most and least harmful drugs. However, the fi ndings correlate poorly with present UK drug classifi cation, which is not based simply on considerations of harm. Funding Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (UK). Introduction Drugs including alcohol and tobacco products are a major cause of harms to individuals and society. For this reason, some drugs are scheduled under the United Nations 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. These controls are represented in UK domestic legislation by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act (as amended). Other drugs, notably alcohol and tobacco, are regulated by taxation, sales, and restrictions on the age of purchase. Newly available drugs such as mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) have recently been made illegal in the UK on the basis of concerns about their harms, and the law on other drugs,...
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course PSYCH SY BEH 102 taught by Professor Raymondw.novaco during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.
- Spring '10