First Dose of Heroin Free?

A counterpoint example would be a person who is experimenting with heroin, who tries it and has fun. So they do it again. They know a general timeframe after which dependence is likely to set in, and they stop before they reach that general timeframe. However, its only an approximate timeframe and individual metabolisms and chemistries vary and this person winds up suffering withdrawals when they stop. They are not addicted, however, only dependent, so they are able to tough it out and make it through the withdrawal period without using again.

I’m not sure why you think that such a vehement response is warranted. It’s pretty clear imo that mikecurtis does understand the distinction. Dependence is narrowly-defined physiological state, whereas addiction is complex, involving both psychological and physiological factors; indeed, they cannot necessarily be untangled, since psychological factors may have a specific physiological basis, as your own link attests:

In that context, your remark did seem like an oversimplification:

It may not have been what you intended, but I too took that to mean you thought the distinction between dependence and addiction is that the former is physiological (true) whereas the latter is purely psychological (false).

I should add, regarding the comment that you took exception to:

I don’t think mike was suggesting they are the same thing, or indistinguishable in principle. It was an empirical claim that with heroin in particular they are usually inextricably linked. I don’t know enough about heroin to know if that’s true, but I’d be interested to know the answer.

I didnt suggest that heroin addiction was purely psychological. Il By acknowledging that the dependence factor can and does impact the intractability of the habit for many addicts i was trying to say that both can be intertwined. I may have misunderstood what he was saying, but the examples i gave illustrated the points i was trying to make. Namely, each can exist without the other.

Also, many, many addicts have gone thru the misery of the withdrawal process, usually multiple times. After getting thru that misery, they still resume their habits. A user merely dependent on the drug would not resume usage once thru the withdrawals.

ETA: an apology to mikecurtis is warranted for my unneccessary tone. It wasn’t called for.

Do candyflipping, that is supposedly the most euphoric drug combo out there. LSD and MDMA.

Also supposedly opiates pair well with muscle relaxants, but I have no idea about the risks of respiratory depression from doing that. If I had a terminal illness, I’d probably just abuse drugs for the last year of my life.

If you find a dealer who offers free samples, just keep going back again and again with terrible disguises.

‘Hello, I hear you offer free heroin for first time users’

‘You’re just the last guy who bought from me and now you’re wearing a derby and fake mustache. Go away’.

Also, research suggests that addicts have a different learned-response mechanism (not sure if that is the correct term, im going off memory here) from recreational drug users. Drug seeking behavior begins with the same goal for each group, namely achieving the drug’s high. With repeated use, a devaluing of that goal occurs due to a dimished effect from usage of that drug.

In non addicts, that devaluing results in a decrease in drug seeking behavior. In addicts, however, this devaluing does not decrease the behavior. They develop a conditioned-stimuli response which drives them to use. These are environmental cues such as the sight of white powdery substances, the smell of burning tinfoil or even the sight of flame-charred glass.

One of the best books I’ve read in a long time is Dreamland -the True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

A large part of this book revolves around black tar heroin operations run by dealers from rural areas of Western Mexico. In order to stay clear of major cartel operations, these dealers concentrate in mid-major cities - Charlotte, Columbus, Salt Lake and operate on a direct to customer small business model.

These guys often give away product. When they set up shop in a new area, they will find the methadone clinic and hand out “balloons” with a phone number. A “balloon” is a single hit of heroin packaged inside an uninflated balloon. And if a regular customer stops calling (which happens when they are trying to quit), they will call them up and often send their drivers over with a freebie.

Also, they will enlist some of the more respectable addicts as partners, having them do things like sign rental leases and insure vehicles in their name in exchange for a free supply, but I’m not sure that really counts as a freebie,

So some dealers do give away freebies

I was reading a thread once on addition, and I’ll try to paraphrase what one recovered addict said. Excuse me if I don’t seem to know about drugs… because I don’t. His story went something like this:

*Nobody wakes up one day and decides to become a heroin junkie. You start with interesting pills. the right pills give you a rush ten times better than an orgasm. So you keep doing it. Then you do it a lot. You get a better rush with less drug by snorting crushed pills instead of swallowing them. then someone gives you a different drug, like heroin. You snort it. You get a better high for less money than illicit pills. So, you start doing that - more and more. Then you learn that injecting gives you a much stronger high using one quarter the drug - and of course, the overwhelming driver for the last while is getting enough money to get enough drugs to keep getting that rush, so by injecting you stretch your supply 4 times further… Then you are a heroin-injecting junkie. *

I think there’s a little truth behind the “first hit’s free” concept, which is: most people who start using illegal drugs first use them with a friend or at a party or something, and generally don’t have to pay that first time, or even first few times. I have to imagine the “now that I’m 90, I’m gonna go find a heroin dealer” market entry is a rare path. :slight_smile:

But then once they start actively using, then they are expected to pay. Lots of drug users are also small-time dealers (the retail supply chain can be quite long), so they might even end up paying their friend who gave them the drug for free the first (few) times.

That guy probably didn’t give away drugs the first time thinking “Yes, yes: this free hit will boost my retail drug-dealing empire.” They gave away drugs thinking “drugs are super fun! let’s do drugs! What a rush! You guys want some?!” And probably didn’t become a “dealer” to prey on addicts, but simply realized he knew five people who used drugs, and if he buys in bulk, he gets a discount. And so on.

Ta-da, you have a drug dealer who gives the first few hits away free.

ETA: looks like sitchensis said basically the exact same thing and I didn’t read that carefully. So, yeah. What (s)he said. Tom Lehrer for ya