Is Alcohol Worse Than Ecstasy?

Is Alcohol Worse Than Ecstasy?Recent research has analysed the link between the harmful effects of drugs relative to their current classification by law with some startling conclusions. Perhaps most startling of all is that alcohol, solvents and tobacco (all unclassified drugs) are rated more dangerous than ecstasy, 4-MTA and LSD (all class A drugs). If the current ABC system is retained, alcohol would be rated a class A drug and tobacco class B.

The scientists involved, including members of the government's top advisory committee on drug classification, have produced a rigorous assessment of the social and individual harm caused by 20 of the UK's most dangerous drugs and believe this should form the basis of future ranking. They think the current ABC system is arbitrary and not based on any scientific evidence.

The drug policies have remained unchanged over the last 40 years so should they be reformed in the light of new research? (Excerpt from

Watch the full documentary now

Ratings: 7.23/10from 13 users.

More great documentaries

47 Comments / User Reviews

  1. GodmanEnki

    ALCOHOL......the truest "gateway drug" there is! Then, after "the right" lost their fight to keep it illegal, because of the ability of Federal TAXATION, "they" say now that the "gateway-drug" is mariuanna. BECAUSE Mariuanna CANNOT BE "controlled AND taxed." As soon as the Federal Government finds a way, Mariuanna will be legal YESTERDAY and the Federal-Government will choose ANOTHER "gateway-drug" such as Rice Crispies, Coa Coa Puffs, or coffee; as their "gateway-drug" of choice............

  2. Chris Shady

    How is methamphetamine not included on this list?

    1. Jeremy Newman

      meth is not a real drug its just cocaine cut

  3. jason

    Contrary to belief. Heroin doesn't cause overdoses. It's the street drugs mixed in with the heroin since it's really hard to get pure grade heroin.

  4. Mindey

    Worth noticing that the word "worse" is used in the sense "is currently worse for society". It would be interesting to see, what would be the list, assuming that we have equal numbers of users of each different substance.

  5. glawrence

    ...This is the biggest bullshit documentary I have ever seen. These people do NOT know their shit. Whoever says ecstasy is better for you than marijuana is straight up retarded. And I'd like to know more information about this 1 recorded death. I've never heard of anyone dying from smoking pot, unless it was laced with something.

    1. Ben

      Its because they are using the amount of people that are using it as an indicator of its effects on society and alot more people use marijuana than X. If this documentary was only about health effects pot would be on the bottom.

  6. Leonard55

    What everyone below, in respect to marijuana that is, seems not to understand is that yes, it may be impossible to over dose on the substance, but it is perfectly possible to get into a car accident while high or from performing some other form of activity that requires one to be fully alert. Same as with alcohol, clearly all of those deaths are not caused by alcohol poisoning, but by the particular circumstance the individual was partaking in while impaired e.g. driving, fighting, ect. I smoke pot and I love it, but get real, nothing is perfect, especially when humans are involved.

  7. J.p. Morgan

    While I have no desire to take MDMA (Ecstacy), I will always go to bat for the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana should never have been made illegal in the first place. I dispute the assumption that marijuana has killed even 1 person per year, while it's a simple fact - not a political opinion - that alcohol ruins the lives and health of millions. Still huge sums of taxpayer money is continually being wasted prosecuting people for the "crime" of smoking a joint.

  8. Yusiley S

    I've seen more aggression, anger and violence among alcoholics than on pot heads. Also from personal experience, I've been more suicidal and depressed using alcohol than weed. In fact with weed, I was more quite and peaceful. I didn't have the nasty effects that alcohol would normally give me. I was also more aware of my surroundings. The only bad side effect I had with weed was overeating. I passed out on Burger Kings' double stackers and fries, not on weed. LOL

  9. Billy

    stupid. alcohol isnt that dangerous. dumb government funded film. if no one used alcohol it would be at the bottom of the list. If i did almost any drug rated blow alcohol as much as i drink alcohol i would probably be dead

    1. His Forever

      I disagree. It's not all about YOU, fella! I think alcohol is REALLY dangerous! How many people do you personally know that have been killed or permanently injured by a drunk driver--let alone what it does to the drinker him or herself? I can name several that were innocently killed and/or braindamaged from alcohol-induced accidents alone, and numberous alcoholics that are terrible fathers, and lousy husbands with ruined kids and marrages to prove it! My opinion of course.

    2. Yusiley S

      Thank you so much for your respected comment. I agree with it full hearty. While under the influence of Mongolia Motherf^cker (a very strong alcoholic beverage), I grew extremely depressed, cried a lot and had suicidal tendencies. If it weren't for my boyfriend and his friends, I would seriously kill myself through walking into the ocean and drown myself. More people (that I know of) died from alcohol than any other drug. Some had their heart stop on the spot of a bar and many more through driving. A very close family friend (through my brother) ended up paralyzed and had to relearn how to live independently, which is such a waste... having to relearn how to eat and use the bathroom, very sad indeed. Anyways I just wanted you to know that I agree with you and again thank you for posting it.

    3. Laurie Sheridan

      So true what you say about alcohol. Alcoholics have smaller brains than other people. It is really bad, and we kid ourselves when we say otherwise. And in addition to all the terrible things you mention, it makes you fat, fat, fat, sick and lethargic the next day, and is carcinogenic to boot.

    4. mike jones!

      Billy you are an alcoholic....kinda hard for you to give an unbiased opinion. Stick to your alcohol...your government, in particular the DEA condons it. Besides, most all politicians are either alcoholics themselves, or are paid off by the alcohol lobbyists.

    5. Fredrik Pedersen

      You need to take into account not only the amount of users, but the dosage, effective dose and then overdose. Alcohol is very weak in the sense that the volume needed for an effective dose is higher then any other known recreational drug. You cannot map the pattern of alcohol use and culture, directly over any other drug use and culture. Each substance has its own drawbacks and risks, following their individual dose ranges and levels of toxicity.

  10. Patricia Ribeiro

    yap, really.

  11. Pixi Vixi

    cannabis after mdma? really?

    1. His Forever

      I was surpised they listed Cannabis so high up actually. They attributed 1 yearly death to it even (I think). I wonder what the criteria would be for that. All the other docs I've watched said that no one has OD'd from it, ever. Hum. Not sure who to trust here, but my gut is telling me not to smoke it!

  12. @cumfox

    Ecstasy is a slang term for the chemical 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine, and since it is supposed to be the active ingredient in the tablets you by (though it is often not) they are called ecstasy pills.

    1. GodmanEnki

      Don't lie, you looked up that word!

  13. cumfox

    Number 18 "Ecstasy"... I hate when people use that as an official name, Ecstasy is not an official drug name, it's a street name. When you buy "ecstasy" pills, they can contain combinations of anything from amphetamines, piperazines, cathinones, 2c-b etc. I think the drug they are describing is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or simply MDMA. I can't believe a scientific study would ignore such a critical detail.

    1. His Forever

      Wouldn't that make them MORE dangerous than just the one chemical MDMA alone? I was surprised at this ranking too.

  14. In_Vitro

    I do think that if you have mental problems, cannabis can enhance them, especially on heavy use but like ricktheruler said so does every other drug, especially booze. Nevertheless, i think it's sort of therapeutic because people who are paranoid (like i used to be) even when sober, have this irrational distortions of reality; so when you smoke a lot and you get really paranoid it exaggerate things for you to the point of ridiculous. Then, when the effect is worn off, you remember how ludicrous it was and you laugh about it and you get to see thing much more clearly, from a new perspective.
    This concept of exaggerating stuff can be applied to phobias and fears with a much healthier form of altering consciousness - hypnosis.
    Anyways, this is just a subjective opinion. I really want to try LSD now.

  15. Randy

    Yes. Alchohol is worse than X. Much.

    But, booze is legal... *shrug* and I'm too pretty to go to prison...

  16. Shawn P

    I'm from BC Canada. The amount of weed my friends and me have smoked in one session let alone a day has topped a quarter pound between 4 people. To OD on pot one must smoke 7g per LB of body wight in one continuous sitting. Aaaand it has to be good pot. 15% THC or more. If I inhale one hit of tobacco I get ill. I rarely drink. Mushrooms grow like grass here. Politicians are silly people.

  17. dave

    i heard it is possible to OD on weed in theory but not in practice cos u gotta hav like the equivalent of 45,000 splifs in 15 mins lol duno if its true

    1. glawrence

      It's possible to OD on ANYTHING in theory... too much of anything isn't good.

    2. jason

      Two words. In Theory.

    3. jason

      Splifs are mixed with tobacco.

  18. benny

    omg, i heard the woman say at about 29.35 that "if u smoke 3 or 4 ciggarettes u are likely to be addicted for life" after hearing this i took none of the documentary seriously and it became apparent to me i have more scientific knowledge of tobacco than this woman

    1. GodmanEnki

      I BEGAN SMOKING....BECAUSE my Dad smoked. I quit when I was 31. I'm 62 now and never, ever smoked another cigarette since. HOW did I quit? 50 bucks, one time, I got hypnotized. Say whatever you like, I never smoked again. 50 bucks aint much these days, but imagine how much money I'd have WASTED if I continued another 30+ years!

  19. Chelsea

    i completely agree ^^^ ive never heard of anyone OD on weed.. i actually find the fact that ppl think that weed is bad very amusing.. since weed is one of the less harmful plants known to man.. also one of the most useful.. u can do so much wit Hemp.. its completely irrational and ridiculous that its still illegal.. tisk tisk.. soo sad

  20. dave

    "cannabis 1 death per year"? u cant die from doing weed if anything to do with weed kills you it is the smoking related diseases and even then its mainly the tobacco that causes that. but u cant overdose from weed its impossible

  21. ash

    I believe that some commects above may be from our american cousins! i.e "Meth" erm, theres V V little Methamphetamine use in the UK due to it being a very recent phenomenon. As for "politically motivated", cannabis was downgraded to class C by these same people for a couple of years and then , albeit for political reasons, back to being a class B!! Im wondering how many people started taking the drug because of this bad decision. I myself had a friend who started to openly smoke cannabis whilst walking through town because he knew it was a class B at that time!! Yes, Prof Nutt was "resigned" after he compared taking ecstasy to horse riding and requested E to be downgraded to a class B. The government didnt like this one bit!! even though, ive taken E for the last 20 years and have no health problems at all. I wouldnt like to ride a horse, however, its FAR FAR too dangerous!!

  22. Zlatko

    Yes, after I wrote the comment I did a little research and realized that meth is actually methamphetamine.

    What about McDonalds' fast-food? Are they considered more addictive from... let's say Marijuana? :) There are a number of studies that I've came across[citation forgotten] that state that McDonalds's food has "flavor enhancers" which can make you addictive and craving for more. Of course, those studies are not accepted by the general public, as it will lead to economical implications.

  23. psytaco

    They do mention it, but they put it under 'amphetamines' as meth is a type of amphetamine (its called methamphetamine).

  24. ricktheruler

    Also saying that if you are psychotic or schizophrenic you shouldn't use cannabis? whats up with that if you are pschotic or schizophrenic you shouldn't be using any psycho-activer drugs unless prescribed by a psychiatrist. and what was up with the video of the lady jumping out of a building, can anyone say propaganda?

  25. ricktheruler

    umm i have an interesting inquiry. why do they have 1 recorded death a year from cannabis when in all reality there hasn't been one recorded death from it in the history of earth. i think that may have been politically motivated as they are trying to get cannbis changed to a class a drug before this documentary was manafactured.

    1. Adam Peel

      Technically no death certificate states tobacco as the cause of death they just assume a certain percentage of say lung cancers are caused by tobacco. As Cannabis is illegal and isn't likely to be taxed there is no motivation or money in attributing deaths to it. I'm not saying cannabis is as dangerous just there's a bias in research that makes it really hard to compare illegal and legal drugs.

  26. Zlatko

    What about METH. They didn't mentioned nothing about that drug when in fact it's considered the most addictive and harmful drug known to man. I thought it's going to be at number 1.

  27. noah

    holy **** that is powerful

  28. Derped

    Stopped watching at number 11.

    Then again, what could you expect from a government funded program?

  29. eddie

    great insight. i guess this is ranked by the fact that if all these drugs were legal, which would be the most dangerous. thats why tobacco and alcohol aren't 1 and 2, because if cocaine was legal and sold at the street corner, they would cause just as many deaths as alcohol or tobacco...

  30. Charles B.

    That's too bad. People shouldn't be fired for thier opinions, espeically when they are well-informed ones with valid medical documentation!

  31. charles s

    The man in this show David Nutt has recently been fired from head of something to do with drugs in the UK for saying that tobacco and alcohol should be illegal. Obviousbly because theyre earning so much money from alcohol and tobacco.

  32. Charles B.

    Very interesting. I wish this study had been done in the U.S.A. It was noteworthy of them to point out the dangers of tobacco and alcohol and how many deaths yearly are associated with them, and still not rank them as #1 and #2 as the U.K.'s most dangerous drugs.