Election results

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

That might be true, but having actually seen or experienced something can rule out the "does not", "wont", "will", etc things people say if you have personally seen or experienced the contrary.
Also a lot of people have the "it cant be so bad" attitude, especially those that are for legalizing drugs. They are usually the kind of people middle class, educated liberal that smoke the occasional joint in their closets at home and philisophize about "how great" it would be to be able to do that in public. At the same time they complain about the evil smokers in their favorite cafe... These people have never seen anything beyond their college campuses. We have to many of those doing politics here.

Oh and in regards to something you said earlier. I am not a religious person at all. I am an atheist and proud to be one.

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

To get back on topic...
I am hopeful that the new government will differentiate between spending money on military research, new technology and new equipment (good) and spending money in a useless war (bad).
The cost of first is small at the moment compared to the cost of the second. If the new government has a good grasp on reality they will realize where the better place to save money actually is.
I am not a fan of wars (other than fighting drugs), but I am for a well equipped military and research for military applications has more than once benefitted the general public.

Mike Holmes
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:15 pm

Post by Mike Holmes »

Not sure your point about religion... I was talking about it as a socializing force.

In any case, as for annecdotal evidence being able to prove "never" and such untrue, well nobody has said that addiction isn't a bad thing. Or that nobody ever got damaged by it. Everyone here is in agreement that addiction can be horrifically harmful in many cases. We'd all do away with it if we could.

The question is how to reduce addiction. Your solution, if I have it correctly, is that we can cut off supply. Thirty years of America's "War on Drugs" and prohibition ways that the idea of cutting off supply is nonsense. We DO bomb suppliers, etc, and that just means that somebody else will step into the chain to produce the supply. It's economics. If somebody wants something, somebody will supply it.

And criminalization has done nothing to stem the tide either. In fact, during the period where penalties got worse and worse for offenders, that just increased our jailed population. Statistics say that, during the period of increasing criminalization of drugs that drug use has actually gone up. I won't make a correlation there, but at the very least criminalization is not working.

And why would it? Again, you're not treating the disease. You're punishing those who have fallen susceptible to the disease. Are they blameless "victims?" Perhaps not blameless in becoming addicted. But there usually are reasons that people turn to drugs for surcease of sorrow, rather than other societal supports.

Find a cure for clinical depression, for instance, and I'm pretty sure that you'd drop the rate of addiction in affluent people (who really don't have any other reason to feel the levels of stress that usually cause addiction). Cure poverty, and you cure the reasons for the vast majority of other people.

I'm not sure how feasible any of that is. But it addresses the actual cause. Until we look at that, no other solution will work. Give people some sort of support system that they can go to with a sense of self-esteem intact (hence why welfare won't suffice for this purpose), and you'll go a long way to curing addiction.

Once again... I hope I'm not having a kneejerk reaction here, but your implication seems to be that somebody in this thread is a liberal college ivory-tower intellectual causal drug users. Well, again, you shouldn't make assumptions about people. From what little I know of MSimon, for instance, that doesn't fit him even remotely (he and I differ in that his views are far right of mine). As for myself, I have never even been drunk on alcohol.

I'll repeat that. Not only have I never had any illegal drugs at all, I've had few prescription painkillers. And I've never been drunk. Not once.

I'm not advocating legalization for myself. It would have zero effect on me. I'm advocating it because I believe that with legalization of marijuana especially, that we'd improve both the ability of people to make relatively better choices in their drugs, and be able to seek treatment without worrying about persecution for doing so. Consider for just one moment the possibility that we've thought this out rationally, and come to the conclusion we have. And then try to address our arguments, rather than trying to cast aspersions on the motives you suspect.

No, reducing social stigma is not a solution to the problem. But it would mitigate things. In the meanwhile, it would save the thousands of lives lost in the War on Drugs in the next generation (that's just the lives of the good guys). All the while cutting off the drug dealers, and making our farmers no more morally culpable than the cigarette manufacturers are right now.


The idea that anyone is saying that we ought to make drugs legal to sell to minors is ridiculous, another straw man. It's illegal to sell alcohol to minors. Why would legalizing it for sale to adults mean that we would automatically make it available to 13 year old kids? Because you disagree with the policy that means that we must have taken leave of all of our senses?

Next you'll imply that we're suggesting that Marijuana use be made mandatory for kindergarteners. Try to give us a little credit.

Will legalization make it easier for kids to get? Can't get any easier. 50% of kids have tried it before they leave high-school in the US. The other 50% didn't refrain because it wasn't available, but because they're smart. 21% of kids are regular users in the US before they leave high school. If we're to bomb farms to get rid of marijuana, we're going to have to start with the US state of Alabama, because we grow it here. We don't have to get it from Colombia, the source is in our back yards.

I don't think there'd be a lot of support for bombing inside the USA, by the USA.


What's your position on alcohol? More people are arguably addicted to alcohol than any single other drug. And it is, in fact, the most debilitating sort of addiction that one can have. On a heroin high? Does that compare remotely to the debilitation of being drunk (alcohol makes you actively stupid, and sometimes violent)? So I assume you feel we should bomb the corn fields, too, to prevent ethanol production?

Or is it just the drugs that you have a personal gripe with that we need to eliminate?

Is heroin worse than alcohol? http://www.reason.com/news/show/28809.html

We have to stop seeing substance abuse in terms of the substances causing the problem, and figure out how to eliminate the societal causes that give people reasons to become addicts.

Mike

{Edited to note that I cross-posted with Skipjack's last post, and to say that, in fact, I have always been against the war in Iraq (or at least the way in which it's been prosecuted). We need to get out now, and start spending that money on energy. Or at least not spend it to reduce debt.}

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Alcohol does not make you addicted on first use, by far not.
Even drinking an average of one beer a day does not make you addicted. People are still highly functional after one beer. They are not after one shot of heroin. Also "normal" people can moderate their alcohol consume, heroin users can not moderate their heroin consume, since they are addicted after the first time use.
You are not drunk after one beer. Actually you are pretty far from being legally drunk. It will even be quite difficult to even detect the affect of one beer in the average person.
Yes alcohol does make you addicted and that is a problem, but you have to consume a lot of alcohol over a very long time in order to become addicted and you have to drink the "wrong way" and for the wrong reasons. Wrong is allone and because you are depressed. This is something that most young people from good families learn from their parents here. You NEVER drink allone! It is bad conduct and the first step to becoming an alcoholic.
I had a time as a youngster where I drank a lot and frequently too. But I drank at parties and with friends. Still, I am not proud of it, but I did not turn into an alcoholic either, neither did any of the people that I went drinking with. Yes that is annectodal evidence, but it is nevertheless true.
Actually, here we have less alcoholics than there are in the US, besides people here drinking younger and more.

Some alcoholic drinks can also actually be good for your health. I have to look up the actual study but a glas of red wine in the evening is according to at least one study (I am sure I have seen more) beneficial for your heart. I dont think there is any such benefit to heroin.
That said, I am very much for consuming alcohol with moderation. Personally I have an average of one beer a month. That is very little, but I do not really feel like more usually (I got over my craving for alcohol and parties in my "wild youth days").

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Just for the record: I am not so much for punishing the victims (the addicts) but the bastards that make money off of them.
The victims need to be cleaned and detoxed (probably in methadone clinics), then resocialized. When I say resocialized then I mean in the correct social environment, which is far away from wherever they got into contact with the drugs.
To give some more annectodal evidence (I know I cant stop it), but we have had the most signifficant drop in smokers in the last few years here. The reason was multiple steep increases in cigarette prices over the last 8 years or so. Many quit last year (heck even I finally got the motivation to quit). Me and many of my friends wanted to use that new drug that is supposed to help (I even still have the package here somewhere), but all of us managed to do it without. The high cigarette price allone was enough a deterrend ;)

Mike Holmes
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:15 pm

Post by Mike Holmes »

Can you cite any studies that corroborate what you're posting?

Heroin is, in fact, just potent morphine. Chemically the same stuff they give you in the hospital. If, in fact, heroin always addicted people on the first time they used it, then they couldn't possibly use morphine in the hospitals.

The fact is that the idea that heroin, or any substance, can be instantly addictive, is a product of the same mindset that created the prohibition scare. That is, before prohibition, the exact same rhetoric you're using to condemn heroin was used to condemn alcohol. One drink, and you were garunteed to be addicted for life. That's what they said. When heroin started to become a problem, they just turned the same rhetoric on for that drug. Best way to warn people off it, they figured.

I could even make an argument that psychologically telling people that it's permanently addicting on the first try is likely to increase the chance of addiction. But statistically a study done in the 1990s showed that while some four million people had tried heroin at least once (and possibly more times), only about 400,000 used it regularly. And some would say that there is such a thing as a functioning heroin user.

Like Joseph McCarthy, for instance. My favorite example. Or the father of modern surgery (can't recall his name off the top of my head).

In any case, the fact is that heroin is not instantly addicting, and only addicts some fraction of its users. That's not to say that it can't happen to somebody that they become addicted more or less from the first try. But it can also happen to alcohol users. The prediliction to become addicted has far less to do with the substance than with the level of problems that are being suffered by the person encountering the drug.

Mike

{Cross posted again... could you try to get all your ideas into one post, please? I'd argue that your cigarette addiction was a simple physical one, and not that bad psychologically... you weren't using cigarettes to cope. Cost will stop a casual user, but not somebody who is psychologically addicted. That's in fact where the problem begins, as the person doesn't have the money to support their habit, and then must either kick or turn to somthing illegal to maintain their habit. Interestingly many heroin users actually do kick when they run out of money. Rather than steal to support their habit. The stereotype of the "crack-whore" is but one visceral portrait of the myriad actual stories of addicts. You don't see the ones who deal well with their addictions on TV... it's not good drama.}

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Can you show me any studies for what you are saying?
I have to admit that I can not do that of the top my head. Most of the things that I heard and saw from you are more close to anarchistic propaganda materials than anything else.
Heroin gets you addicted a multitude faster than anything else. It might take multiple uses for some, but the risk of a one use addiction is very high.
Alcohol is far away from that. You can get totally drunk hundreds of times before you get addicted and even then it depends on the circumstances.
People that get treatment with morphines or derivates therof are usually under severe pain, many terminally ill. In my country doctors are very careful with who gets what kind of pain- medicine. The risk of addiction is one driving factor in the decision making. This is one reason for the few addictions resulting from this. The other is dosage, which is strictly monitored and then slowly reduced as the patient recovers. Finally there is a difference whether someone who suffers severe pain gets a dosage of morphines versus someone who is all well. It makes the person in pain feel (not exactly, but in lack of a better word) normal, while it means pleasure for the "normal" person.

Mike Holmes
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:15 pm

Post by Mike Holmes »

For one, check out the article that I cited above. Lots of good references there (though the narrative is driven by a couple of annecdotes, there's good research behind it). From that article:
In 1989 Charles Schuster, then director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, confessed, "We have been so effective in warning the medical establishment and the public in general about the inappropriate use of opiates that we have endowed these drugs with a mysterious power to enslave that is overrated."
That's a quote from a personage from the NIDA, who are in the business of collecting data on the subject. Also:
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicates that about 3 million Americans have used heroin in their lifetimes; of them, 15 percent had used it in the last year, 4 percent in the last month.
And:
A 1976 study by the drug researchers Leon G. Hunt and Carl D. Chambers estimated there were 3 or 4 million heroin users in the United States, perhaps 10 percent of them addicts.
The figures I cited above about the 1992 study were also from the NIDA. NIDA is a branch of the National Institute of Health. The US government, that is. The same folks who are pushing the War on Drugs. Here's their site: http://www.nida.nih.gov/

I'm seeing if I can track down at least an abstract of the actual study, instead of these second-hand cites. Here's their own page on heroin: http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReport ... roin3.html

Note:
One of the most detrimental long-term effects of heroin use is addiction itself.
Nowhere do they claim that casual one-time use leads to addiction.

An interesting fact is that there are only 2000 deaths each year due to heroin "overdose." About the same as for Acetaminophen (Tylenol). And it's suspected that most of those are due to contamination of the supply, given that nobody can explain how morphine could kill somebody. You'd have to take a stupendous dose, at which point stuff like water is lethal. Nobody has ever died directly from Marijuana use itself (driving on it, yeah, or cancer eventually).

Compare this to alcohol. Do we really want to look up the number of people who die each year from alcohol overdose? To say nothing of the long-term costs like from Cirrhosis of the Liver. In dollar costs, alcohol abuse in the US accounts for twice as much damage as all other drug use combined. That's somewhere on these pages, too.

Also interesting, heroin is on the decline in use in the US already (despite what the fearmongering media would have us believe): http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/heroin.html

Another interesting read is this article by Consumer Reports (a consumer advocate group that's generally out to look out for the average consumer and would not have any political predilections towards legalization in particular - note that the site in question where it's quoting is biased, however): http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library ... cumenu.htm

Mike

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Heroin might be in decline in the US, but it is booming here. 13 year olds getting on the train... The dealers recruit them in front of our schools. It makes me want to puke, just when I think about it.
And further, I do not need to get my information from the massmedia, which at least here is controlled by the same people that downplay the problem and want " more relaxed drug regulations". I do get my information more first hand and I have eyes in my head.
I can see the drug- prostitutes stand along the streets here (prostitution is legal here) and there are more "nightclubs" here than is healthy for a city of this size. It is gross and disgusting! The problem has increased in the last 15 years also. Everyone is looking away!

2000 deaths a year is a lot. There were "only" what, 3000 casualties in 9/11 and the US happily went into one of the biggest and longest wars they have been in over that. 2000 a year means 20,000 in ten years. That is an incredible number and that does not include people that are killed in crimes associated with drugs, like robberies and wars between drug dealers, etc. It also does not include people dying from illnesses that often come with long term heroin abuse (HIV, hepatitis,etc).
And that is also just heroin. Cocain is even worse in the US (thanks to all the stuff coming from Mexico).

On the cigarette addiction: You can ask my wife, I am very sure I was mentally addicted as well (at least judgeing from my moodswings). I also started for psychological reasons. The anger issues, I had for a while are getting better, but I am still not completely over it, after almost 6 months.

Mike Holmes
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:15 pm

Post by Mike Holmes »

In another study of people addicted to both cigarettes and heroin, and trying to quit both, something like a third of them said that quitting cigarrettes was as painful physically. That said... I'll get back to this below.

40,000 people die each year from cars in the US... it's a populous country. I think something like 200,000 die from cigarettes each year. You keep bringing up 9/11, but, as I said, I think that the reaction from that was overblown, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make there.

As for people killed in the associated crime... you're making our argument for us. If it's legal, no crime associated with it. Again, see American Prohibition. There are no bootleggers any more. They've been replaced by honest alcohol merchants. If it's not illegal, it's relatively cheap, and people don't have to steal to support their habit. Like cigarettes.

If your 13 year-olds are getting sold heroin in front of schools, you need to elect different people, I'd say. That's illegal in your country, no? In the US, simple possession of narcotics within... 1000 feet (something like that?)... of a school is mandatory hard jail time.

And, again, you're going with your annecdotal evidence. The prostitutes you see are tragic cases. But what percentage of the populace or addicts do they really represent? Are you sure that they'd be doing something else if not for the existence of drugs? Was it drugs or people who drove them into what they're doing?

In any case, if you make marijuana legal, it'd be dang cheap, and people would have that economic incentive to use it, instead of heroin. Heroin is something like 50 times as expensive a habit already. Give them a better option.

No, again that won't cure the current heroin addicts. But it will likely mean that folks who would have become addicted anyhow end up with a far more benign drug. More benign by far than alcohol.

Cocaine use is also on the decline in the US. Yep, again the media don't want to admit it. Same folks who'll tell you that school shootings are on the rise each time it happens, despite the statistics being the opposite.

You're not getting what psychologically addictive means. It doesn't mean "I get irritated if I can't smoke." It means, I'm feeling stressed about my mortgage payment, so I have to get my smoke on so I don't feel that.

You were drowning your life pains with cigarettes? Few (or none) do, I think. They don't numb you. Same with caffiene. It's only the physical effects of cigarettes that are addictive. And they are just as addictive as heroin that way. But not psychologically.

Uh... put another way, there's no such thing as "Tobbacco Abuse" (ohmygod he's had a tobacco overdose!!!) It's not the sort of addiction we're talking about here. It's just a useless habit with a significant cost.

Sorry if I've trivialized your plight. But it's not the same, you'd agree, as somebody recovering from alcoholism or heroin abuse.

Mike

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Dude, normally I would be off to smoke a cigarette right now reading our post, since smoking helped me dealing with things that upset me. Of course once you are weened of the nikotine you can deal with anger without it... to some extent anyway. You are talking very knowledgeful about nikotin addiction. Have you been a smoker? Are you still one? If so, your experiences are very, very different from mine.
Btw, I did not feel any physical pain when I quit smoking.
I did have problems with anger management and with dealing with stress. I was cursing arround and slamming my fist on the table more than once for rather small reasons. The physical issues were neglectable, almost unnoticeable. The first 3 days or so, I was feeling some discomfort, nothing that I could put into words though. Breathing also felt "weird" almost painful at times. That was all very faint though. Mind you that I have been a smoker for 16 or 17 years and at times a very strong smoker too.
The heroin withdrawals that I have seen or got described to me were more physical than that. These people had anything from severe cramps to compulsive vomiting.
Quitting cigarettes compared to that was a piece of cake. The people arround me suffered more than me from my withdrawal ;)

That video here pretty much sums it up quite nicely:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V83sU64r6N4

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Mike,

12 step programs are a fraud. Due to natural decay of structures in the amygdala (those involved with trauma memories) 5% of all heroin addicts in a given year will stop being addicted. The same is true for rehab.

Now that 5% is counted as a "success" for what ever program is being touted.

You could have the same success rate by doing nothing except supplying the "addict" with suitable pain relievers.

http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrations ... ws0217.htm

The above link shows that the decay rate depends on genetics. Which is why some people "get over it" quickly and others take longer. It may also be a function of the severity of the trauma.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Marijuana potentiates heroin. So if your pain is severe enough to require heroin you will use less of it when you use pot as an adjunct.

It is all about filling those empty receptors the CB1 receptors and the endorphin receptors.

Tobacco is an anti-depressant. So is marijuana. Of the two marijuana may actually be beneficial if smoked as it has anti-tumor properties. Tobacco of course causes tumors.

BTW tobacco is a favorite drug of schizophrenics.

http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives ... t_439.html
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
Posts: 6051
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Well I can tell you that smoking pot cant be any healthier than smoking cigarettes. I have yet to see a filter with one of these things. I think that it will kill you just as efficiently as cigarettes do, especially since marijuana is rarely smoked pure but "stretched" with tabacco. So the whole notion is bogus invented by some potsmokers that want to legitimize their hobby.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Skipjack,

Drugs do not cause "addiction" they can cause habituation which is different and we know how to treat effectively.

Addiction is caused by genetics and trauma. Which is why the first 10 people heroin was tried on did not get addicted. After that "clinical trial" it was originally deemed a non-addictive substance.

Addiction is when some one treated for habituation "relapses".
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Post Reply