The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 03-21-2017, 01:49 PM
CosmicManiac CosmicManiac is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
I'll bet you loved Reefer Madness, but moving past that, let's keep in mind, I'm quite sure, there's plenty of things you do that aren't 100% exactly perfect and by you're own definition, the next time you're roll through a stop sign or take that second Vicodin 3.5 hours later instead of 4, just remember what you said here.

And who decides what's moral, you?
No, I don't, and never have loved marijuana.

Also, I just looked up what Vicodin is, and there are two uses for it: one as a illegal narcotic drug and painkiller, the other as a legal prescription medication. If the Vicodin the driver in your hypothetical is taking is perfectly, validly licensed by a medical doctor because of the driver's medical needs, there is nothing morally or legally wrong with him taking it, provided he doesn't overdose on it when driving, or exceed the limit of Vicodin allowed in his system when driving.

Societal standards and the law decide what is moral. We are a nation of laws for a good reason; we are also a civilized society. Murder and the sale and manufacturing of illegal drugs is never, ever justified, no matter how bad of a sob story the person might try to cook up. There are a lot of people who are down on the luck and not doing well financially who don't use heroin illegally to get by.

As such, I don't see why some preppy, rich heroin addict should be held to a different standard than the rest of us.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #52  
Old 03-21-2017, 02:43 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 25,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicManiac View Post
No, I don't, and never have loved marijuana.

Also, I just looked up what Vicodin is, and there are two uses for it: one as a illegal narcotic drug and painkiller, the other as a legal prescription medication. If the Vicodin the driver in your hypothetical is taking is perfectly, validly licensed by a medical doctor because of the driver's medical needs, there is nothing morally or legally wrong with him taking it, provided he doesn't overdose on it when driving, or exceed the limit of Vicodin allowed in his system when driving.

Societal standards and the law decide what is moral. We are a nation of laws for a good reason; we are also a civilized society. Murder and the sale and manufacturing of illegal drugs is never, ever justified, no matter how bad of a sob story the person might try to cook up. There are a lot of people who are down on the luck and not doing well financially who don't use heroin illegally to get by.

As such, I don't see why some preppy, rich heroin addict should be held to a different standard than the rest of us.
You put my two hypotheticals together. I was suggesting that perhaps moral absolutism isn't always the correct path. IOW, by your standards, someone shoving $80 worth of smack into their arm each day is no different than someone taking an extra Vicodin. Both illegal, therefore it's not normal, we shouldn't rationalize it and it'll lead to violent mood swings and murder. This was basically what Reefer Madness was about. All black and white, no middle ground,

As for the stop sign thing, again that was just a play on your moral absolutism thing. Next time you roll through a stop sign, just remember what you said here. It's illegal and you shouldn't rationalize it, you should be punished for it.


But, then trying to talk about drugs, drug laws and more importantly, how people act while under the influence of drugs isn't really possible with someone that's never heard of Vicodin (unless you simply know it by a different name). It's like talking about rolling through a stop sign with someone that's never been in a car before. Sure, you can discuss the facts and data, but until you've been behind the wheel, in traffic, it's hard to tell someone why a driver might not come to a complete stop every single time.


TLDR, I'm sure you break the law, and rationalize it, too. We all do.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 03-21-2017, 03:09 PM
CosmicManiac CosmicManiac is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
You put my two hypotheticals together. I was suggesting that perhaps moral absolutism isn't always the correct path. IOW, by your standards, someone shoving $80 worth of smack into their arm each day is no different than someone taking an extra Vicodin. Both illegal, therefore it's not normal, we shouldn't rationalize it and it'll lead to violent mood swings and murder. This was basically what Reefer Madness was about. All black and white, no middle ground,

As for the stop sign thing, again that was just a play on your moral absolutism thing. Next time you roll through a stop sign, just remember what you said here. It's illegal and you shouldn't rationalize it, you should be punished for it.


But, then trying to talk about drugs, drug laws and more importantly, how people act while under the influence of drugs isn't really possible with someone that's never heard of Vicodin (unless you simply know it by a different name). It's like talking about rolling through a stop sign with someone that's never been in a car before. Sure, you can discuss the facts and data, but until you've been behind the wheel, in traffic, it's hard to tell someone why a driver might not come to a complete stop every single time.


TLDR, I'm sure you break the law, and rationalize it, too. We all do.

Alright. I understand where you're coming from.

But I do believe that while some crimes are more heinous than others, they are all similar in the fact that they are illegal and not excusable. We shouldn't pretend that someone who shoves heroin poison into their arm each day, $80 worth, is someone better than the lowlife who stands on a street corner selling those drugs to impressionable schoolkids. The person who buys the $80 worth of drugs is profiting from that lowlife's nefarious enterprise, and as such should be considered a part of the problem.

Obviously, running a stop sign is different from illegally selling and using drugs, although I've prided myself on never running one, although I got really close one time when the light was on yellow. The fact of the matter is that it doesn't make running a stop sign right.

If I gave the impression with my moral absolutism policy that heroin addicts should be treated without compassion and shouldn't try to be helped by others, that was not my impression. However, they should not be coddled either; tough love can work wonders with troubled family members.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 03-21-2017, 03:45 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicManiac View Post
Alright. I understand where you're coming from.

But I do believe that while some crimes are more heinous than others, they are all similar in the fact that they are illegal and not excusable. We shouldn't pretend that someone who shoves heroin poison into their arm each day, $80 worth, is someone better than the lowlife who stands on a street corner selling those drugs to impressionable schoolkids. The person who buys the $80 worth of drugs is profiting from that lowlife's nefarious enterprise, and as such should be considered a part of the problem.

Obviously, running a stop sign is different from illegally selling and using drugs, although I've prided myself on never running one, although I got really close one time when the light was on yellow. The fact of the matter is that it doesn't make running a stop sign right.

If I gave the impression with my moral absolutism policy that heroin addicts should be treated without compassion and shouldn't try to be helped by others, that was not my impression. However, they should not be coddled either; tough love can work wonders with troubled family members.
So you don't believe a law can be unjust or immoral?
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 03-21-2017, 03:56 PM
CosmicManiac CosmicManiac is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
So you don't believe a law can be unjust or immoral?
If you believe a law is unjust, immoral or excessive, that's what we have elected officials for in our nation. You can mount a campaign to your state legislator as an effort to get it changed.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:39 PM
SpeedwayRyan SpeedwayRyan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Wouldn't it be the opposite for opiates? Constricted pupils?
Yep! Gotta love it when someone is being a know-it-all and what they say isn't just imprecise, it's the complete and total opposite of correct.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:50 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 17,973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Wouldn't it be the opposite for opiates? Constricted pupils?
Yep. I meanó uh, I don't know. Why would I know?
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:55 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicManiac View Post
If you believe a law is unjust, immoral or excessive, that's what we have elected officials for in our nation. You can mount a campaign to your state legislator as an effort to get it changed.
That's not what I asked you. Do you believe a law can be immoral or unjust?
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 03-21-2017, 11:41 PM
lel lel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
I used to know quite a few heroin addicts but after some funerals the number is much smaller.

None were rich. Most live/lived in the rural US Midwest. Their lives aren't / weren't very out of the ordinary. One even had a phobia of needles. Turns out you can smoke heroin. I had no idea until after the funeral. I even talked to one person about how their ex died of an overdose only to have them die of an overdose months later.

Heroin is out there. It's cheap, easy to get, and great for the funeral industry.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 03-22-2017, 02:48 AM
steatopygia steatopygia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Idaho mostly
Posts: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
I'm pretty sure someone here once posted about having to score heroin for Burroughs when he was on a book tour, and that dropping his name made sure they got "the good stuff" (think Vincent Vega.)

Assuming a reliable supply and clean needles, will heroin actually kill you?
While you can always use clean needles, your heroin is NEVER going to be reliable.

No part of the manufacture, transport, or selling is regulated. You never have any idea of what you are actually injecting.

And China has been selling Carfentanyl to anyone with money for several years now.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 03-22-2017, 12:33 PM
Crazy Canuck Crazy Canuck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
I'm a former heroin addict. I was considered less hardcore than most, as I'm not big on needles and mostly smoked H. I've met more than a few other addicts along the way. Far more than you would think live very normal lives. I'd bet money that most people have met one in their life and never noticed. If we expand the discussion to include people who abuse proscribed opiates, I'd guarantee it.

Also, pretty much everything CosmicManiac has said about H is wrong. Your pupils don't dilate, they constrict on opiates (also called miosis). Also, heroin isn't a poison, it's a psychoactive drug. Like every drug ever, it's the dose that makes the poison.

And speaking of the dose, if you put $80 worth of H in your arms, it's game over. That's about a half a gram in my parts, and unless your tolerance is quite high or you weigh 400 lbs, that's a lethal dose. The tolerance is a huge part of what makes H so dangerous to use. Once you've used long enough to drive up your tolerance, the line between euphoria and death is razor thin. Combine that with it being impossible to accurately know how strong the drug you are using is, and it gets real scary, real fast.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 03-22-2017, 01:58 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Eastern Connecticut
Posts: 16,258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
I'm a former heroin addict..
Might I ask you why you did heroin? I am one of the dopers who is in a pain control situation [opioids] so as long as I am doing the correct dosing it doesn't do anything except moderate my chronic pain enough to let me move. I do remember how wonderful it was getting morphine [broken back and assorted injuries] but I didn't like the effects of being effectively braindead and asked to be off it way before they would have normally tapered me off. I can't imagine wanting to do morphine recreationally to be honest ...
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 03-22-2017, 02:29 PM
kayaker kayaker is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
I can't imagine wanting to do morphine recreationally to be honest ...
While we await that Crazy Canuck, let me mention that I've had recreational experience with various opioids and found the experience (too) pleasant. Imagine all your pain being gone, even pain you didn't even realize you had. Physical, emotional, whatever, kinds of pain. All gone.

That's why I liked it and also why I seldom travel that road today.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 03-22-2017, 04:23 PM
xizor xizor is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 4,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
While we await that Crazy Canuck, let me mention that I've had recreational experience with various opioids and found the experience (too) pleasant.
As a little sidetrack, Kayaker's comment makes me realize that I have known several heroin users, but none of them were heroin only users. They all had drugs of choice, but would use whatever they could get a hold of when a fix was desired.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 03-22-2017, 06:20 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor View Post
As a little sidetrack, Kayaker's comment makes me realize that I have known several heroin users, but none of them were heroin only users. They all had drugs of choice, but would use whatever they could get a hold of when a fix was desired.
Many, many, many heroin addicts use cocaine to counteract the heroin's sedative effects. I've known many heroin addicts who were also cocaine addicts. Heroin to get feeling euphoric and sleepy...Cocaine to lift them up out of that stupor...Heroin to bring them back down. And on and on.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 03-22-2017, 06:43 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
My childhood best friend was married for years to a heroin addict. he managed the family grocery store and did a fine job as long as he was able to get his drugs. He did this for at least 12 years before he started methadone, and I believe 25 years later he's still doing the same job. I don't know if he ever got off the drugs though.

He worked fine but he was a mess any other time. I don't know how he did it. He drank a lot of beer too, like a couple of those 12 packs a day but as soon as that alarm went off he was like a robot. I don't even know if customers knew because he was just a regular ol' business-casual grocery store manager.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 03-22-2017, 07:00 PM
Crazy Canuck Crazy Canuck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
Might I ask you why you did heroin?
Short Answer: I was a coward, trying to commit slow suicide in the most pleasant manner possible.

The longer and much more depressing answer:
I should point out that at this point I wasn't just doing heroin, I was drinking, smoking or snorting anything I could get my hands on. My life was in a very bad place. In the year previous, I had lost everything and everyone I cared about. I didn't care if I lived or died.

Then, one day out of the blue, a buddy invited me to come over and try something new. I didn't even know what it was until I arrived. I'll remember that first hit forever. All the pain went away. The self-hatred went away. The anger went away. All the negative emotions I was going through where gone, replaced with pure euphoria. I was floating on a cloud of happy, and while I was there nothing could hurt me. Until it was over ....

Even if heroin was only as physically addictive as pot (and it most definitely is not) just the feelings (or lack therefore of) might have hooked me. But this was more than that. For the first time in longer than I could remember, I wanted to live. The problem was that I just wanted to live so I could smoke more heroin.

And so I did. For many months, I used every day. The cash ran out in the first month, so I started shoplifting. I convinced myself that I wasn't a thief, but a modern day robin hood, stealing from the rich to feed my poor habit. That was a lie, but if the voices in the back of my head wouldn't shut up, I could shut them up with more drugs. I continued down the spiral, and my memories get fuzzy. I think it was four or five months in when I found myself on the street. I remember being happy it was spring, so I could sleep outside and stop paying even a minuscule amount of rent and buy more heroin.

Eventually, I hit bottom in the worst way. I quit cold-turkey on the spot, which was probably not the best plan, as I ended up in the hospital and almost died. I have to thank an amazing doctor who saw a person in pain, and treated me like a person, not like a sub-human junkie parasite like most did. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here today. I got into a treatment program, and I began the oh-so-slow process of rebuilding my life.

I've not touched an opiate in over three years now. I still dream about it sometimes.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 03-22-2017, 07:20 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Yes, opiates are just so damn good that they're too good. It's a shame to know such a pleasant human experience exists, but cannot be had without paying a pretty awful price on the comedown/withdrawal afterwards.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 03-22-2017, 07:50 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
For the first time in longer than I could remember, I wanted to live. The problem was that I just wanted to live so I could smoke more heroin.
Very succinct.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 03-22-2017, 08:52 PM
brendon_small brendon_small is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
About two years ago, I was sitting around thinking about a girl I went to school with. We hadn't talked in probably 10 years, at least. Being a normal adult, I looked her up on social media and asked how she had been doing. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Finished school at a university nearby, had been married for a few years, was staying at home while he worked, was very friendly still, seemed a lot like I was talking to the same girl I remembered from when we were kids.

After a few months, there was an out of the blue conversation around Halloween. Her husband and her split up. It seemed sudden, but I didn't know him, maybe he was nuts? From time to time over the next few weeks, I sent her job listings, helped her with interview advice, all that type of stuff. She landed a pretty sweet job in middle management at the university nearby. Figured I was hearing less from her because she was doing well. Then, she posted something about "Taking a break from Facebook" -- not entirely out of the normal.

A few weeks later, her sister posted that she was doing well and wanted to let everyone know that. I honestly had no idea what she was talking about. Then, after more time passed, she was back.

She had been at a residential facility and getting clean. I'm not sure how long she was using heroin before, but apparently for quite a while. She's now been clean for over a year. Often, I think about how surprising that all was. I mean, I am not the brightest crayon, but it was just a complete shock that she was as stable in life as she was and no one had any idea.

It does happen.

Last edited by brendon_small; 03-22-2017 at 08:57 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 03-22-2017, 11:33 PM
guestchaz guestchaz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Does a heroin addict ever stop being addicted to it? I work with a guy who doesn't use heroin anymore. He went through treatment for the addiction and is now on one of those alternative-to-heroin drug therapies. Last week me and another coworker had to drive him and his car home because something went haywire with his meds and he could barely stay awake for the drive to the other side of the parking lot.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 03-23-2017, 04:21 AM
guitario guitario is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2013
As a society, it seems as though people who take illegal drugs are called 'addicts' while those who take legal drugs or socially acceptable drugs, are for the most part not judged in the same way.

Not all heroin users are 'addicts' in the same way not all alcohol users (sounds weird) are addicts. Although, obviously a larger percentage of heroin users will be addicts compared to alcohol, it's not a one size fits all logic, and every person is different.

Whether it's heroin, alcohol or any other substance - there are people out there who are capable of managing their usage.

An easy way of thinking about this is to compare those who can open a packet of chocolate biscuits and only eat 2, with those who after the seal is broken, just devour the lot in a single sitting.

Personally, I struggle with the former.. and will happily eat a packet of anything just because it's there - however, that doesn't mean I'm fat. In the same way some people can limit themselves to just 2 compared to those who finish off the packet, there are people who can eat the lot but keep their waistline in check, and others who just keep putting on weight (obviously eating a whole packet doesn't help).

So yeh, there's heroin users out there who know what they're doing. They know about the drug, its effects and risks, what they can handle, what they can afford, how to live a healthy and productive life, and most importantly.. how to avoid detection.

You can't find them, because it's like trying to prove a negative.

Gerard Depardieu reportedly used to drink around 14 bottles of wine a day.. but you wouldn't look at him and think 'oh, yeh, he's definitely drinking more than 5 bottles a day', not unless he was perma-hammered, but even then, you'd just assume he's had a few too many down the pub.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 03-23-2017, 06:48 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Just like alcoholics, there are always a certain number who will be very high functioning. They'll hold down jobs, go to church, family events, etc, all undetected.

So I'm going to go ahead and say you HAVE known both a secret alcoholic and a secret drug addict, without being aware. I'd wager we all have.

But, like a lifetime of alcohol abuse, no matter how high functioning, for how ever long, sooner or later it will begin to tell. And then, seemingly from out of nowhere, their world will entirely destruct. Job, family, home, all lost. It can literally be from boardroom to gutter.
Yup.

One of my aunts may be a high functioning alcoholic. She managed to hold down a middle class job for several decades but time is catching up to her rather quickly now. For her it is going to be her health in some way - a lifetime of drinking that much has surely done some non-trivial damage that is likely to shorten her life a bit. Either that or she will get involved in some alcohol-related car crash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecurtis View Post
people dont use drugs because their job is stressful. they use their stressful job as an excuse to use drugs. people dont use drugs because theyre in pain or theyre depressed, or theyre poor or theyre rich, etc, they use all these as an excuse for their drug use....
I don't understand this statement? What is the difference between a reason and an excuse? Are you saying that they would use drugs anyway even if they did not have a stressful job, etc., or are you saying that having a stressful job, etc. should not be considered a socially acceptable reason for drug use even if some people use it as a reason?
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 03-23-2017, 07:26 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
. . .I don't understand this statement? What is the difference between a reason and an excuse? Are you saying that they would use drugs anyway even if they did not have a stressful job, etc., or are you saying that having a stressful job, etc. should not be considered a socially acceptable reason for drug use even if some people use it as a reason?
i was responding to the post above mine that intimated that stressful jobs had more than their share of addicts. stressful jobs dont make addicts, addicts say "i'm an addict because my job is stressful."
a reason is a cause, an excuse is an attempt to lessen the blame attaced. i'm saying that addicts will give any reason they can think of not to take responsibility for their actions.
there are myriad reasons why someone becomes an addict and some of these are not (or are very little) in their control, but external factors such as job or class or status, etc are not reasons.

mc
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 03-23-2017, 08:01 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
Yes, opiates are just so damn good that they're too good. It's a shame to know such a pleasant human experience exists, but cannot be had without paying a pretty awful price on the comedown/withdrawal afterwards.
I think I just found the reason I'm getting so much crap in my MD Ethics thread...

Opioids (including opiates) can cause euphoria - or so I'm told.
I have been using increasing dosage/strength opioids since 2005, when my right shoulder stated it wanted a divorce. Loudly and for a bit over a year.

I was recently hospitalized for "Morphine OD".

Now - upon reading that statement, what was your mental image (I'm an old white guy with brown beard and pony tail, if that helps)?

Wrong. the morphine was started in 2009 and took until 2/16/17 to try (and very nearly succeeded) to kill me.
I have kidney failure. Morphine, it turns out, is a very bad drug for kidney patients.
The morphine was used as prescribed my a licensed (and employed by the State of California) MD.

On a total of 11 times from 4/2005 - 2/2017, I had a psychotropic reaction to vicodin (hydrocodone) dilaudid (hydromorphone) or morphine.

This just may be why, after several thousand years and development of 100's of pain control techniques and drugs, opiates are still prescribed and used safely.

IOW: use of opiates does not ALWAYS cause misery.

If you want giggles and history: Heroin was created and hailed as "Salvation for Opium Addicts". Which may explain why Methadone was not universally regarded as "Salvation for Heroin Addicts".
If heroin were manufactured to the same standards as methadone, would there be any reason for methadone? You are just (again) substituting one disabling addiction for another.

Had my kidneys been up to it, I would still be using it (my PCP is in deep shit for prescribing high-dose morphine to a known kidney patient and never even running a blood test*).





* - she will say "I sent him to Nephrology - they should have found the problem".
Nephrology will say "He was HER patient, SHE prescribed it, it is HER problem, not ours".
(yes, I do suspect a court will get to decide)
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 03-23-2017, 08:52 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
opiates (any of them) should NOT be used for chronic pain! the problems arising from long term use are often worse the the original problem. the reason theyre so good for acute cases (such as after surgery and for musculature injuries) is they allow the patient to sleep. and sleep is where the bodies restorative powers shine! however, their soporific effects will lessen over time requiring larger and larger doses to achieve the desired effects at the great cost of undesired problems.

mc
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 03-23-2017, 10:33 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Yeah - we have noticed that (me and about 5 MD's involved).

I will attempt to just put this out there without being a lightening rod:

I have high tolerance for all CNS depressants. They just don't work.

Before the OA developed, I had found exactly two drugs which would control serious pain for me.
That is the important paprt - for me.

Vicodin and demerol (which is used for post-surgical patients) were the only ones.

I have been prescribed Gabapentin (a wonderful drug for nerve-based pain. Not so good with bone) by 3 MD's who really, really did not want to believe it would take an opioid to control pain.

I would love to be able to go to the store, buy a bottle of OTC pills and live happily ever after. Given the hell that getting a controlled substance involves now, I would really, really love it.

It is just that I'm not wired that way.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 03-23-2017, 11:03 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 24,329
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
If heroin were manufactured to the same standards as methadone, would there be any reason for methadone? You are just (again) substituting one disabling addiction for another.
Yes, yes there would be a use for it.

In fact, there is a use for methadone already beyond treatment addiction. You see, heroin runs through your system relatively quickly, 4-6 hours or thereabouts. Methadone takes a lot longer to be processed, up to 72 hours. For people with extreme pain - terminal cancer patients, for example - methadone can be used to maintain a steady level of pain relief, with another shorter-acting painkiller for "breakthrough" pain and spikes of discomfort.

In theory you could have someone on a regular dose of methadone (which, being long-acting, doesn't have to be taken often) and use heroin for breakthrough pain. If heroin was legal. Which it actually is in some countries, and used therapeutically for terminal patients.

And, strictly speaking methadone treatment is NOT intended to get the patient high, or be disabling. It's to stave off withdrawal to enable the person to work on solving the problem(s) that lead to addiction/abuse in the first place and, given the long acting nature, can do this job with a once-a-day dose instead of a 4 times a day dosing.

Does it work? Sometimes. It is NOT a cure all and is not suitable for all addicts. Many people can eventually "detox" off the methadone. Some can't, but frankly if giving them a daily dose of methadone reduces the harm done by their addiction, enabling them to hold down a normal job, avoid crime, etc. I'm OK with using it for harm reduction. I am opposed to using it as a cure-all, mandating it as a treatment as part of criminal sentencing, or holding it out as a miracle cure which is most certainly is not.

Of course, there are people who are methadone addicts who abuse it terribly just like other drugs can be abused.
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 03-24-2017, 02:18 AM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post

. . .Vicodin and Demerol (which is used for post-surgical patients) were the only ones. . .
vicodin is acetaminophen with hydrocodone (synthetic codeine) if used long term, youre better off with just acetaminophen (tylenol),
demeraol is just hydrocodone a medium analgesic with high tolerance aspects. demerol and vicodin are (shoud be) prescribed in short terms (less than 3 month) dosages. after that it starts to build up in your system and becomes less and less effective.

mc

Last edited by mikecurtis; 03-24-2017 at 02:20 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 03-24-2017, 06:10 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
If heroin were manufactured to the same standards as methadone, would there be any reason for methadone?
Yes. Methadone is prescribed for pain relief.
Reply With Quote
  #81  
Old 03-24-2017, 09:10 AM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
My takeaway from this thread is that if someone is to be a heroin addict, the smart approach would be to buy a lifetime supply of heroin up front. What would that be, kilos? I don't know, but with that on hand, 1. you don't spend all that time and hassle chasing street dealers to score and 2. even if it is not pure, you can assure yourself of a consistent product.

You take your lifetime supply of heroin and sift it and mix it carefully and thoroughly. Now your chances of an OD just fell off a cliff- you are always shooting the same product so you always know what to expect. And you don't go through the stress of freaking out about withdrawl- you have a lifetime supply already on hand, the planning part is all taken care of.

Like with so many other problems in life, a little financial/advance planning goes a long way. I blame the education system.
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 03-24-2017, 09:25 AM
running coach running coach is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 27,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
My takeaway from this thread is that if someone is to be a heroin addict, the smart approach would be to buy a lifetime supply of heroin up front. What would that be, kilos? I don't know, but with that on hand, 1. you don't spend all that time and hassle chasing street dealers to score and 2. even if it is not pure, you can assure yourself of a consistent product.

You take your lifetime supply of heroin and sift it and mix it carefully and thoroughly. Now your chances of an OD just fell off a cliff- you are always shooting the same product so you always know what to expect. And you don't go through the stress of freaking out about withdrawl- you have a lifetime supply already on hand, the planning part is all taken care of.

Like with so many other problems in life, a little financial/advance planning goes a long way. I blame the education system.
Fentanyl is so potent that you have no guarantees of an even mix using home methods.

That's part of the recent increases in ODs, dealers are adding Fentanyl to heroin to increase potency at a cheaper cost.
The uneven mixing is causing the ODs.
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 03-24-2017, 01:57 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
I just don't believe anyone who claims they take a potent narcotic and don't get high from it, saying it just treats the pain and nothing else. Yeah it treats the pain very well, but you also feel damn good. You're not somehow better than an opiate addict just because you got a prescription from a doctor. If he got the same meds as you he would take them in a heartbeat, and they achieve the same effect that heroin does (except your drug is actually more pure).

In the end it just comes down to moderating use and understanding that there is a consequence on the comedown/withdrawal. When you take it purely for the high and to treat non-physical pain, that price is usually not worth it. But when you're in actual, physical pain (i.e. the reason it's prescribed), it's worth paying the price later to have the pain gone now.
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old 03-27-2017, 05:09 PM
Crazy Canuck Crazy Canuck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
My takeaway from this thread is that if someone is to be a heroin addict, the smart approach would be to buy a lifetime supply of heroin up front. What would that be, kilos?
This might be the dumbest idea I have seen in sixteen years lurking on this board. Seriously. The. Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

I'd guesstimate that a kilo would last an addict about two years, assuming use of 1.5 grams per day, with one large caveat that I will get to later. First of all, a kilo has a street value of roughly $200,000 USD. So even assuming you only have 20 more years to live, that's ten kilos, with a total cost of two million. That needs to be in cash and up front.

So first you need a dude. Most street dealers are not going to tell you who their suppliers are. So you're going to need to bribe a lot of people to find the guy who can set you up. This is the easy part.

Next, you need a posse of dudes with guns. Otherwise you're not getting kilos of heroin, you are going to get shot and killed. It's an illegal drug, and the person selling it to you is already breaking the law. There is nothing stopping him from breaking it more to make even more money. The exception is that if he thinks HE might get killed, because you have a bunch of dudes with guns backing you. You still might get killed, but it's not guaranteed anymore.

Now that 2 million number is the street pricing. It might be as much as half price if you buy in big enough bulk, but as a one-time buyer you are not going to get much of a discount. I'm sure it's much cheaper if you go to Afghanistan personally to get it. I'm also sure that given the amazing civil stability that Afghanistan is noted for, there's no chance anything could go wrong with a westerner traveling with millions in cash to buy illegal drugs. If things go wrong, you can rest assured that you will enjoy the fine hospitality that Afghanistan prisons offer for many, many years.

So, let's say you've got great big balls and millions in the bank to spare. You bribe your way to a connection, and get yourself ten kilos of pure, uncut H. Congrats, you have done nothing to eliminate your chance of overdose. On the other side, you have exponentially increased your chances of being robbed, shot or killed.

First of all, the overdose problem, which is the caveat I mentioned earlier. Most junkies use it till it's gone and the money is gone. If you have an unlimited supply, I don't think there is a human alive with the willpower to withstand the constant cravings. Sure, for a while you might be able to keep to together. Maybe even six months to a few years for those who have strong ties to the world, like children depending on them. Sooner or later though, the cravings will win. You'll twist logic, deny reality, and do whatever you need to do to convince yourself that you can handle it. You'll even believe it, right up until the point where you end up dead. This is what addiction does, and I have seen it happen.

However, that's not your biggest problem in this scenario. Your biggest problem is that you have millions of dollars of drugs in your house, and too damn many people know about it. The black market is not as quiet as you would think. Your posse of guys with guns will talk. The people you bribed will talk. Anyone you "party" with will talk. It's as inevitable as the tides. Best case scenario is that the cops show up with a warrant. Slightly worse are armed junkies. I won't even go into worst case scenarios. I've seen what serious drug dealers will do to people who trespass on their "turf", and it scares the fuck out of me.

So, yeah, this is a very, very bad idea on many, many levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Like with so many other problems in life, a little financial/advance planning goes a long way. I blame the education system.
I blame the education system too .. but I suspect for very different reasons.
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 03-27-2017, 05:29 PM
raventhief raventhief is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
I have known heroin addicts- a few got clean, a few died by OD, and some got clean, relapsed and scored the wrong dose. Well, the ones in both of the last two groups died by OD.

I have also known heroin users who didn't seem to get addicted. Tried it a few times and walked away.
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old 03-27-2017, 06:12 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Fentanyl is so potent that you have no guarantees of an even mix using home methods.

That's part of the recent increases in ODs, dealers are adding Fentanyl to heroin to increase potency at a cheaper cost.
The uneven mixing is causing the ODs.
That would definitely be the case for powdered fentanyl. Pharmaceutical fentanyl for injection is diluted at a standard concentration; some people also acquire it by removing it from discarded fentanyl patches, generally with a syringe, and that would be nearly impossible to standardize.. A nurse in a local care facility was arrested a while back in my area for doing this; she got away with it for a long time and nobody suspected a thing until she left one of the patches out, with a small hole in it. Whoever found it knew what that meant, and an investigation was launched.
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:04 PM
Jennshark Jennshark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Interesting thread, I've often wondered if it's possible to hide a heroin addiction.

I just ended a course of Percocet for four herniated discs, and thank Jeebus opiates exist. I was in agony for three months before being properly diagnosed by an excellent specialist. I'm now taking gabapentin, which has done miracles with nerve pain.
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old Yesterday, 09:51 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
I just don't believe anyone who claims they take a potent narcotic and don't get high from it, saying it just treats the pain and nothing else. Yeah it treats the pain very well, but you also feel damn good. You're not somehow better than an opiate addict just because you got a prescription from a doctor. If he got the same meds as you he would take them in a heartbeat, and they achieve the same effect that heroin does (except your drug is actually more pure).
I don't know. At various times in my life, after injuries and surgeries, I've been prescribed Vicodin, Percoset/Percodan, Tylenol 3, and who knows what else. Never Oxycontin, though. Maybe it wasn't invented yet the last time I had a serious injury. And I've had morphine, in the hospital, for a few days after my worst injury (it was New Year's Eve, no surgeons around, had to wait a few days for the necessary surgery).

Anyway, I never enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed the pain relief, but I never got all the euphoria that recreational users are looking for.

Mainly, I took whatever was prescribed just when I needed some sleep. Or had to do a lot of walking, which could be quite painful.

And when the injury healed, I stopped taking the prescribed drug.

Maybe those medications aren't what you mean by a "potent narcotic." I don't know. If that's the case, then I guess my experience isn't relevant.
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old Yesterday, 10:23 PM
mistymage mistymage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
The only time I had morphine was while I was passing a kidney stone in the ER. I was sitting up talking to the nurse as she administered it and I just kept talking and doing breathing exercises (similar to birthing ones... not that I was taught them other than from watching tv). She kept clicking and I kept talking and then breathing as the pain hit. Then I smiled and laid down.

A CAT scan later and then I peed the stone out (big enough I heard it ka-chink off the porcelain in the bowl).

That was when I found out my left kidney (where my infection stone had been 3 ESWL surgeries prior) was atrophied. The guy who did the scan was very, very concerned and let me know. And he was glad I had passed that large of stone without surgery, again.

Which led to a couple other tests and more surgery and I am now on daily antibiotics to keep my stone from growing (much... it grew 1 mm in 6 months while on the ABX).

But the morphine didn't get me "high". It just stopped the pain.

I've been high.... higher than a kite. Legally and illegally.

Pain relief is a whole different thing and ... well, that's probably why it took so long to find what was causing my pain and sickness because it was the decades of "people seeking pain drugs" so I didn't complain near enough. Because I didn't want to be seen as "one of those people" because I am a person of color and a woman.

That and my stone type (infelicitous) is unusual for adults (but I probably had it since I was an uninsured kid).
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old Yesterday, 11:15 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
I don't know. At various times in my life, after injuries and surgeries, I've been prescribed Vicodin, Percoset/Percodan, Tylenol 3, and who knows what else. Never Oxycontin, though. Maybe it wasn't invented yet the last time I had a serious injury. And I've had morphine, in the hospital, for a few days after my worst injury (it was New Year's Eve, no surgeons around, had to wait a few days for the necessary surgery).

Anyway, I never enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed the pain relief, but I never got all the euphoria that recreational users are looking for.

Mainly, I took whatever was prescribed just when I needed some sleep. Or had to do a lot of walking, which could be quite painful.

And when the injury healed, I stopped taking the prescribed drug.

Maybe those medications aren't what you mean by a "potent narcotic." I don't know. If that's the case, then I guess my experience isn't relevant.
Most people who take opiates have an experience comparable to yours. It sounds like you had the right drugs, at the right dosage, and they did what they were supposed to do and nothing more.
Reply With Quote
  #91  
Old Yesterday, 11:23 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
My takeaway from this thread is that if someone is to be a heroin addict, the smart approach would be to buy a lifetime supply of heroin up front. What would that be, kilos? I don't know, but with that on hand, 1. you don't spend all that time and hassle chasing street dealers to score and 2. even if it is not pure, you can assure yourself of a consistent product.

You take your lifetime supply of heroin and sift it and mix it carefully and thoroughly. Now your chances of an OD just fell off a cliff- you are always shooting the same product so you always know what to expect. And you don't go through the stress of freaking out about withdrawl- you have a lifetime supply already on hand, the planning part is all taken care of.

Like with so many other problems in life, a little financial/advance planning goes a long way. I blame the education system.
What happens when you get intradose withdrawals and have to up the dose? Did you build that into your schema?

You expect the product to be the same over the course of years? No degradation or change, no accidents?

You think that as an avowed lifetime heroin addict that you will not be subject to the psychology of having that much around and getting looser with your doses? Is your impulse control better when you're high, or worse maybe? Hey I'm Superjunkie!

This is very naive.

That having been said I think that it is possible to manufacture fentanyl. This might be the path for a lifetime habit. But only because the life may not be very long.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.