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  #101  
Old 01-01-2019, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Let's just take heroin as an example. What would I learn from using heroin once or twice (and thankfully not becoming addicted) and then stopping? How would my attitude change and how would it change? How would society benefit from my increased knowledge more so than the knowledge I could gain by reading articles about how heroin works on the human body?
If you chose to try heroin, you would gain first-hand knowledge of what it feels like. This is something that you might be able to get from a book, but I doubt a book could be utterly complete or give you what you could get from first-hand experience. This would provide you with a more complete understanding of why people do become addicted and what kinds of strategies might work best to help them manage or break their habit.

All of which is your choice. I do not think anyone here is advocating anything like compulsory substance abuse.
  #102  
Old 01-01-2019, 04:08 AM
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This would provide you with a more complete understanding of why people do become addicted and what kinds of strategies might work best to help them manage or break their habit..
Last I heard, no one really knows why one person gets addicted and another doesn't, and we sure as hell don't know how effectively help people break a drug habit.

Mind you, I think the list of what is and isn't forbidden should be reviewed and adjusted. But while I could OK marijuana if you're talking about something like fentanyl, where the the effective dose is tiny and so damn close to something fatal, I can't condone that. That's not for amateurs to play with and should remain a controlled substance.
  #103  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:26 AM
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I don't think I've heard that.
What I have heard is that legalizing marijuana may cause a decrease in abuse of other, harder drugs. The theory being that marijuana isn't a gateway drug that leads to others, but rather it's grouped in with all the others due to being illegal. If I could go to the store and buy some weed, that's what I'd do. On the other hand, if I have to go to my dealers house to buy it, he might happen to have some coke or ecstasy or percocets...and as long as I'm there, maybe I'll try/buy some. Similar to an impulse buy.
Make marijuana legal and a lot of people will never get into the harder drugs because they aren't casually introduced to them.
If I were your dealer I might well offer free samples of stronger and more profitable drugs to 'trusted' buyers of marijuana.
  #104  
Old 01-01-2019, 11:23 AM
andros andros is offline
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Are will still talking about recreational use of heroin and cocaine? That's what I meant. You believe there are societal benefits to that?
Inasmuch as any recreational drug provides some benefit to individual users, absolutely. I don't think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in a broad sense, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

People use recreational drugs--caffeine to nicotine to ethanol to heroin to khat to betel nut to whatever--to feel better. Individuals feeling better is a gross benefit to society. Not necessarily a net benefit (cf nicotine).
  #105  
Old 01-01-2019, 12:00 PM
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Inasmuch as any recreational drug provides some benefit to individual users, absolutely. I don't think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in a broad sense, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

People use recreational drugs--caffeine to nicotine to ethanol to heroin to khat to betel nut to whatever--to feel better. Individuals feeling better is a gross benefit to society. Not necessarily a net benefit (cf nicotine).
In case I wasn't clear, I mean a net benefit. The violation of any law would provide a gross benefit to the person who wants to break it, solely by satisfying his own desire.
  #106  
Old 01-01-2019, 12:06 PM
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If you chose to try heroin, you would gain first-hand knowledge of what it feels like. This is something that you might be able to get from a book, but I doubt a book could be utterly complete or give you what you could get from first-hand experience. This would provide you with a more complete understanding of why people do become addicted and what kinds of strategies might work best to help them manage or break their habit.

All of which is your choice. I do not think anyone here is advocating anything like compulsory substance abuse.
So, I try heroin and one of three things happen:

1) I am fortunate enough not to become addicted.
2) I become addicted and never overcome it and die, or
3) I become addicted and am able, after possibly years of personal, societal, and family destruction to break the addiction.

You think having thousands of people do this in addition to those already doing it now would be a net societal benefit? #1 and #2 provide no insight to the problem, and as for #3, why don't we just talk to and study the people who have overcome addiction?

I don't think having untrained amateurs trying this on their own is a good thing.
  #107  
Old 01-01-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
So, I try heroin and one of three things happen:

1) I am fortunate enough not to become addicted.
2) I become addicted and never overcome it and die, or
3) I become addicted and am able, after possibly years of personal, societal, and family destruction to break the addiction.

You think having thousands of people do this in addition to those already doing it now would be a net societal benefit? #1 and #2 provide no insight to the problem, and as for #3, why don't we just talk to and study the people who have overcome addiction?

I don't think having untrained amateurs trying this on their own is a good thing.
As to your last point, having untrained amateurs trying this is exactly what is happening right now, exacerbated by the fact that it is happening in the environment of a totally unregulated marketplace. So, I am not sure what your objection to not changing the fundamental situation would be.

Regarding addiction as a moral failing/character flaw does no one any favors, not you, not the addict, not anyone well, maybe the Scientologists who run Narconon, from a business standpoint. Marginalizing junkies removes people from mainstream society instead of trying to work out ways to have them contribute and to manage their issues. And, quite frankly, I think I am not the only person who believes that addiction is not a simple behavior that occurs in a social vacuum, and the drug problem will resist any solution that tries to approach it from a moralistic angle.
  #108  
Old 01-01-2019, 04:18 PM
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As to your last point, having untrained amateurs trying this is exactly what is happening right now, exacerbated by the fact that it is happening in the environment of a totally unregulated marketplace. So, I am not sure what your objection to not changing the fundamental situation would be.

Regarding addiction as a moral failing/character flaw does no one any favors, not you, not the addict, not anyone well, maybe the Scientologists who run Narconon, from a business standpoint. Marginalizing junkies removes people from mainstream society instead of trying to work out ways to have them contribute and to manage their issues. And, quite frankly, I think I am not the only person who believes that addiction is not a simple behavior that occurs in a social vacuum, and the drug problem will resist any solution that tries to approach it from a moralistic angle.
I never said that addiction was a moral failing. Indeed, as it is not, the general public should not be exposed to heroin at the gas station precisely because anyone could become an addict by using heroin just by starting it and through no moral fault of his own.
  #109  
Old 01-01-2019, 04:49 PM
MortSahlFan MortSahlFan is offline
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Pro-legalization cut Portugal's drug usage. I'm all for it. Wouldn't mind if they sold stuff over-the-counter. Opiates, benzos, etc.
  #110  
Old 01-01-2019, 07:01 PM
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I never said that addiction was a moral failing. Indeed, as it is not, the general public should not be exposed to heroin at the gas station precisely because anyone could become an addict by using heroin just by starting it and through no moral fault of his own.
Hold up. Are you under the impression that a single dose of heroin can turn someone into an addict?
  #111  
Old 01-01-2019, 07:44 PM
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Hold up. Are you under the impression that a single dose of heroin can turn someone into an addict?
Very possible. It can start a love affair with it. I never done it but what I heard it's very good. Because of that I will not taste it.
  #112  
Old 01-01-2019, 07:57 PM
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Hold up. Are you under the impression that a single dose of heroin can turn someone into an addict?
I read that it could, yes.
  #113  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:21 PM
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Ok, so...no. That's not how drugs work, despite the horror stories we're told. One hit does not create addiction. Not even with nicotine or heroin.

But SigMan does bring up a useful point--like nicotine, heroin and its relatives hit some very specific receptors in human brains, leading to an intensely pleasurable experience that many wish to continue. It also comes with tolerance effects, requiring increasingly large doses to get the same effects, and can come with very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can be instantly alleviated through further use. These in combination make opioids easy to use in increasing quantity, and therefore more likely to result in substance use disorder and addiction than drugs that aren't in the same neuroreceptor sweet spot.

That's not the same as "one hit and you're addicted." Hell, my first orgasm was pretty awesome, and I immediately wanted more. Didn't mean I was addicted.
  #114  
Old 01-01-2019, 09:41 PM
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Exactly my point but I get the question. It does not make you an addict right off. It's how you react to it.

You may find it disgusting or you find it lovely.
  #115  
Old 01-02-2019, 08:54 AM
UltraVires UltraVires is online now
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Ok, so...no. That's not how drugs work, despite the horror stories we're told. One hit does not create addiction. Not even with nicotine or heroin.

But SigMan does bring up a useful point--like nicotine, heroin and its relatives hit some very specific receptors in human brains, leading to an intensely pleasurable experience that many wish to continue. It also comes with tolerance effects, requiring increasingly large doses to get the same effects, and can come with very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can be instantly alleviated through further use. These in combination make opioids easy to use in increasing quantity, and therefore more likely to result in substance use disorder and addiction than drugs that aren't in the same neuroreceptor sweet spot.

That's not the same as "one hit and you're addicted." Hell, my first orgasm was pretty awesome, and I immediately wanted more. Didn't mean I was addicted.
So, one hit doesn't get you addicted, it just makes you want to take another hit, and then another, and another?
  #116  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:27 AM
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So, one hit doesn't get you addicted, it just makes you want to take another hit, and then another, and another?
My apologies; clearly my post was poorly worded if that's how you interpreted it.

I'm assuming you've done something pleasurable at some point in your life. Did you wish to do that thing again?
  #117  
Old 01-02-2019, 10:34 AM
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My apologies; clearly my post was poorly worded if that's how you interpreted it.

I'm assuming you've done something pleasurable at some point in your life. Did you wish to do that thing again?
Of course. But the vast majority of those things do not have chemical properties which lead to addiction in the overwhelming majority of people who engage in the pleasurable thing.

You mentioned sex, but that is simply a natural human function. Some people do become addicted to sex, but the vast majority of people do not. Much like food, water, and oxygen, using modest amounts of those things are good for you. Heroin not so much.

Different things have different addiction rates. Alcohol and gambling are good examples. I don't have a cite, but the addiction rate of 10 to 15 percent has been bandied about with regards to those things. So while me and 85 to 90 percent of others can use those things in a reasonable manner, and possibly be a net benefit of pleasure to me, society has to deal with those 10 to 15 percent who cannot. Is that a good tradeoff? Society seems to say it is.

But heroin (and nicotine) are the opposite. Something like 90 plus percent of people become addicted to those substances after they begin using them. It is the rare person, probably 1 in 10, who can take or leave cigarettes, just smoking one here and there on occasion (cigars are a bit different because a smoker typically does not inhale).

So I simply do not believe that your idea of more people using heroin a few times so that they can "understand" addiction holds much weight given the high societal costs when these people, far from studying and understanding addiction, become addicts themselves.

Yes, people who want to get heroin can get it on the black market. But when it is next to the Doritos at the grocery store, you cannot deny that more people will decide to pick it up and give it a try.
  #118  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:00 AM
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But heroin (and nicotine) are the opposite. Something like 90 plus percent of people become addicted to those substances after they begin using them.
Cite for that, please? I can absolutely accept that 90 percent of regular users will be addicted. But the idea that 90% of people who ever take an opioid or smoke a cigarette will become addicted is ludicrous. Neither physical dependence nor addiction occur instantaneously.

Quote:
So I simply do not believe that your idea of more people using...
Not my idea. Some other interlocutor.
  #119  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:04 AM
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Also,

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...But when [heroin] is next to the Doritos at the grocery store...
You recognize how over-the-top this is, right? I get that you're using it for rhetorical purposes, but I'm certain you won't find anyone in this thread, or in the broader decriminalization/legalization movement, who advocates for heroin to be available without restriction. We manage to place restrictions on cigarettes, alcohol, and cannabis without putting them "next to the Doritos."
  #120  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:26 AM
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Not my idea. Some other interlocutor.
It was his own inference,

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I cannot think of any societal benefit to the increased use of the drugs ...
Is that still part of your hypothetical, or your actual opinion? Because I certainly can.
that making those substances legal will lead to an increase in use, and, I presume, an unchanged environment for users and addicts. I am not quite sure upon what he bases that inference, because the real-world evidence points in the opposite direction.
  #121  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:00 PM
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But heroin (and nicotine) are the opposite. Something like 90 plus percent of people become addicted to those substances after they begin using them. It is the rare person, probably 1 in 10, who can take or leave cigarettes, just smoking one here and there on occasion (cigars are a bit different because a smoker typically does not inhale).



try.


That’s funny, every cite I found put it closer to 25% than 90%. What was your source for that number?
  #122  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:15 PM
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This is an interesting first-hand account of heroin use and dependency. I know, Cracked, but they do not seem to be devoted to satire, and they have been known to put out some seriously good material.
  #123  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:32 PM
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Thank you for posting that link! I remember being astonished and grateful for it at the time, and I hope more people read and grok it.
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