<i>Alcohol 'more harmful than heroin'</i>
Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet.
The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009.
It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.
Gavin Partington, of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said alcohol abuse affected "a minority" who needed "education, treatment and enforcement".
The study also said tobacco and cocaine are judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD are among the least damaging.
Prof Nutt refused to leave the drugs debate when he was sacked from his official post by the former Labour Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.
He went on to form the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, a body which aims to investigate the drug issue without any political interference.