Scientists in Britain rated which drugs are the most pleasurable, on a scale of one to three.

Two famous drugs tied at the top with threes.

We're not sure how the researchers came up with their feel-good ratings. Did they do the work in the lab, with a disco ball and some fuzzy animals? Did they research after hours in a cuddle puddle? Did they set up a sub-committee of eager undergraduate volunteers?

Regardless of the methods, the ratings were published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, part of a major study of which drugs are the most addictive and harmful. The most pleasurable drugs are often the most addictive and therefore the most harmful — although not always.

Below are the highest "pleasure" scores researchers gave. Again, three is the highest possible score:

1. Heroin — 3

No surprise here. More people are willing to die for a heroin fix than for any other drug. This is the stuff that killed Belushi, Hendrix and Janis Joplin. In other words, people who are rich, famous and beautiful often say: my life feels pretty good, but not as good as heroin. So researchers gave heroin a three out of three.

2. Cocaine — 3

Again, not a shock. Stockbrokers and lawyers and truck drivers work overtime, cut corners and ignore their families — not so they can make money for retirement or their kids education — but for bumps. Americans spend $37 billion a year on cocke, the government says; cocaine's unofficial motto is "Damn That Felt Good Let's Do Another Where Did All My Money Go Ah Fuck It Let's Do Another Anyway." So the pleasurability ranking is three out of three. 

3. Alcohol — 2.3

This is surprising. That such a common drug — available at stores near you — was ranked as being the third most pleasurable in the world? Ahead of party drugs like amphetamines, ketamine, and ecstasy? Two-point-three? That number seems high. But, then again, alcohol is the most popular drug in the world, and Americans drink so much booze it contributes to 88,000 deaths a year. There must be a reason.  

4. Tobacco — 2.3

Again, a shock. Does tobacco really feel that good? Doesn't it mostly make your mouth feel ashy and you feel dizzy? What were the researchers smoking? Well, possibly tobacco, which they say is tied with alcohol as the world's third most pleasurable drug. 

5. LSD — 2.2

LSD is a weird drug, and not everybody thinks it's pleasurable. Do you enjoy seeing sounds and hearing colors? Do you like walking on carpet that won't stop moving? Do you think it's fun to forget how money works and how to use a phone? Then this drug is for you, as well as these researchers, who said LSD is the fifth most pleasurable drug in the world. 


As noted, these ratings were part of a larger study on harm and addiction. Heroin is the most addictive and destructive substance of the five mentioned here, followed by cocaine, alcohol and tobacco, in that order. LSD is by far the least addictive and least harmful drug on this list.

[A group of young people photographed by Shutterstock pretending to have fun. Presumably, these young people are not on drugs.]