Despite the fact that it is difficult to assume that it is a drug because of how integrated it is in our society, it is certain that alcohol is the drug most consumed in our country and the substance that produces the most problems of all kinds.
There are several ways of calculating the dangerousness of a drug beyond the number of people that it kills, and one of them is to measure how high is a lethal dose with respect to a “typical effective dose“.
Here are ten substances that are less deadly than alcohol, for two reasons: first, each kill fewer people. And in the second place, there is more leeway between an effective dose and a lethal dose.
10 Drugs less deadly than alcohol:
1 – Caffeine
We really do not know how much caffeine is a lethal dose. The research suggests that tolerance to caffeine differs greatly depending on each individual and that women are more vulnerable to its effects than men. Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system and is the only psychoactive drug that is not strictly regulated.
Here is where it is important to distinguish between the caffeine which can be found in many products, and the coffee, a beverage that contains caffeine. An average cup of coffee is relatively benign, as it only contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine. Even decaffeinated coffee has a few milligrams of this substance.
That said, it is possible for a person to suffer from caffeine overdose. This can occur if you exceed the dose by taking caffeine in the form of pills or powder. You’d have to drink an enormous amount of coffee for which to run the danger of an overdose. If you are around 68 kilos, you would need to drink over 50 cups of coffee for the caffeine to be lethal.
2 – Cocaine
We already know that cocaine is dangerous but how much exactly? Cocaine is the main stimulant associated with overdose and death, surpassing other drugs such as amphetamine and methamphetamine. Like caffeine, cocaine is a stimulant of the central nervous system.
Cocaine works by blocking the removal of dopamine from synapses in the brain, causing it to accumulate and cause an intense feeling of euphoria. Of course, in excess, cocaine is associated with irregularities in the mood, hallucinations, and psychosis.
While cocaine is less deadly than alcohol, combined with the same, it creates a toxic metabolite called cocaethylene, which has levels of toxicity that can be 30% higher than the cocaine and may cause sudden death.
3 – Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide often called laughing gas, is colorless and non-flammable. It has a slight metallic smell and the ability to cause severe dizziness. Despite the fact that nitrous oxide is used legitimately as an analgesic and as an anesthetic (the World Health Organization placed it in his list of essential medicines), has historically been used recreationally as well as medicinally.
Nitrous oxide was invented in the late EIGHTEENTH century. Since its invention did not take long to become a drug quite popular among the British upper class.
4 – Ketamine
Also called “Special K“, ketamine is known to be essentially a tranquilizer for horses. This substance is considered to be an anesthetic dissociative, placing it on the same line as other drugs such as PCP and DXM.
Currently, some research suggests that ketamine may have more medicinal uses in addition to functioning as an anesthetic. A study conducted by Yale University has shown that ketamine, when administered properly, can heal the entire part of the brain worn out by stress and fatigue.
5 – Marijuana
The growing enthusiasm for cannabis is in part related to its medicinal uses. This herb possesses proven benefits for those who suffer from glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety among others.
So how lethal is it? Well, in theory, it would be impossible to die from an overdose. In fact, it is one of the few drugs on this list that does not have reports about deaths caused by overdose.
Apparently, it is impossible for the body to reach high enough THC levels, the active ingredient in marijuana, to cause an overdose. You’d have to eat hundreds of pounds of marijuana in a matter of minutes to die.
6 – MDMA
MDMA is the abbreviation of the name methylenedioxymethamphetamine, usually referred to as ecstasy. It is a synthetic substance first produced by a German chemical in 1912 with a chemical composition that places it as a cross between methamphetamine and mescaline hallucinogenic.
MDMA causes various chemical reactions in the body, all of which is exacerbated because it is often taken along with other drugs. This substance catalyzes a flood of serotonin in the brain, which produces a sense of euphoria, empathy, and serenity that can last for several hours.
Unfortunately, immediately after passing the effect a steep decline occurs that causes a feeling of depression and fatigue.
One of the “problems” of this drug is that it is rarely purchased pure, as it often is cut with other compounds that may be even more toxic for the health.
7 – Codeine
Codeine is the only opioid that appears in this list, and as many of you know, the opiates, when used properly, they are destined to treat pains, moderate and severe.
Codeine is also used as a cough suppressant, often in conjunction with acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Many people flock to codeine, mistakenly believing that it is a substance that is safer than other drugs with a worse reputation such as oxycodone or heroin.
The codeine in cough syrup is mixed with promethazine, which has a sedative effect. Because the codeine and promethazine are central nervous system depressants, and overdose can cause respiratory failure.
Today, teens are the risk group most likely to consume codeine. In the United States, one out of every ten admitted to having used cough syrup to get high in 2014. Even so, codeine can’t be any more danger to society than alcohol.
8 – LSD
LSD, also known as acid, is the abbreviation of lysergic acid diethylamide, and its history is almost as fascinating as its effects.
According to the stories, this drug was discovered when Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann swallowed by accident a little bit of a substance that was synthesized from a fungus that is found in beans.
The LSD is a hallucinogen that gives to those who are under its influence auditory sensations, visual and sensory never seen before. In terms of toxicity, an overdose of LSD is almost as unlikely as an overdose of THC and would require that a person take 1,000 times the average dose. However, although chemical catalysts may not be life-threatening, people can do very stupid and dangerous things under the influence of LSD.
9 – Psilocybin
Unlike the LSD which was discovered in a laboratory, the following substance is a natural psychedelic. Psilocybin can be found in several species of fungi, called colloquially “magic mushrooms“.
In terms of toxicity, psilocybin, pure, like LSD, is almost unable to cause an overdose. One would have to take more than 1,000 times the effective dose average to die from the psilocybin, so it is much less lethal than alcohol.
10 – Mescaline
The latest drug less deadly than alcohol is mescaline, another hallucinogen. Interestingly, it is much easier to overdose on mescaline than with LSD or psilocybin.
But, what exactly is mescaline? Like psilocybin, is a hallucinogen of natural origin, most commonly found in a type of cactus called peyote.
Be that as it may, lethal or not, it is completely advised against the consumption of any drug because they do not generate any kind of benefits for the health.