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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  638 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: YOU DRAW IT: The Opioid Epidemic

    The line you draw between opioids and other drugs is a false one. Addiction will happen regardless the medium you choose to express that addictive tendency.

    . . .

    Same with heroin, or any other narcotic. It's a choice.

Except different substances react with the body differently and opioid use literally reprograms your brain. So once you start going down that rabbit hole, it's pretty easy to get lost.

    According to position papers on the treatment of opioid dependence published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization, care providers should not treat opioid use disorder as the result of a weak character or will.[21][22] Additionally, detoxification alone does not constitute adequate treatment.

Edit: The Wikipedia article has a video that's very informative in very plain English. It's very much worth a watch.

goobster  ·  638 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Except different substances react with the body differently..

Right. Which is exactly my point: Legislating the use of the substance is dealing the the symptom of the problem, because one person can try heroin and decide it isn't for them, and another can get instantly addicted.

Whether it is legal or not has zero effect on that.

And, it turns out that when you just legalize everything, MUCH of the attraction of it goes away. (See: Portugal, Amsterdam, etc.) The illicit nature holds much of the initial appeal to throw caution to the wind, and try it out. Especially for people in the heady invincibility of youth.

Once you focus on the actual problem - why someone thinks it's a good idea to start taking mind-altering substances in the first place - then you get down to societal issues that need to be addressed through legislation and community programs, etc.

The substance abuse is simply a symptom of other problems. So legislating the use of a substance is never going to stop people from using it, and will always provide an easy market for n'er-do-well's to exploit.

user-inactivated  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think we're mostly in agreement that it's important to treat heroin addicts as people who need medical help and not criminals. Where the disconnect comes in for me though, is that heroin is demonstrably much more dangerous than say alcohol or other types of illegal drugs, in its addictiveness, in the health problems it creates, the risk for and severity of overdoses, etc. With that in mind, I don't think it's unreasonable at all to aim to keep it from being produced and distributed, especially now that we're seeing it being made with more dangerous substances.

goobster  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah. It's not something either you or I are expert in, and it's a complex problem. But any time we have prohibited a substance in the USA, it has only increased its availability, and created a violent and profitable black market supply chain.

And, knowing the US Politician's tendency to stick a band-aid on major problems, and then run far away crowing about how they fixed it... I don't want to give them more power over a weakened and victimized populace that's already got a hard enough time fighting addiction, etc.

Make the politicians focus on the real issue, and don't give them an "easy out" or untenable platitude like, "Heroin is bad, mmmkay?" Prohibition has never worked for us. Liquor, drugs, nukes. It always fails and creates much worse secondary effects.

user-inactivated  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think around here, things are getting bad enough that it's being taken seriously now. The other month, on the morning news, was a segment that was basically a public advisory that could be summarized as "There's some bad heroin in the area right now and a few people have died from it already. If you have loved ones with problems, keep an eye on them, make sure you have Naloxone and if you don't, here's a number you can call to find where you can get some. The county sherif is saying that they will not make any arrests in response to 911 calls for overdose and here is a list of numbers you can call if you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse."

Let's be honest. That's a shitty thing to have to handle. The fact that's on the news though? It's amazing. People out there, in power, know it's a problem and they're working with eachother to try and handle it. Silver linings.

goobster  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That is truly a silver lining on some shitty news.

Man... the federal government is so totally out of touch with everyday American's lives... it's defeating...

user-inactivated  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, but a lot of times situations like these are exactly why state and county organizations exist. This is a big country with a ton of different economies and cultures and challenges. Shit that might work in New York might not work in New Mexico, so really they oughta focus on big things, like collecting taxes, national security, diplomatic relations, etc., and really trust the States and smaller governments to implement policies that work for them. You know, as long as they're fair and constitutional and shit.

goobster  ·  636 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And here is a really good article, supporting your point.

Although I still think that the author is getting tangled up a bit with their cause-and-effect analysis.

The opioid epidemic can pretty much be traced right back to the doctors who over-prescribed them in the first place, and thereby transitioning opioids from "street drugs" to "my doctor gave it to me, so it's safe!"

Once you make that mental leap, sharing "prescription drugs" with others - or selling your extras, or prescribing it for people who are simply addicted - becomes a really easy justification to make.

The big picture is that, where we are now, there is no easy path to the light at the top of this hole.

user-inactivated  ·  636 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the link. I'm checking it out now. This article is an interesting read as well. It's a messed up world we live in.

Edit: Vox's site is buggy as fuxk on mobile. I'll have to check it when I get on my PC.

OftenBen  ·  637 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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