Various effect of drug that affect behavior.

Last week, we went into a debate about the long term effect off MDMA ( Ecstasy ). Two major position were taken :

  1. MDMA Has not been used illegally by many people long enough for scientist to be sure about it’s long term effect.

  2. MDMA adverse effect are only related to usage ( that is bad usage has bad effect ).

Also, we were starting to talk about psychological addiction of behavioral drug ( alcohol, mdma, heroin, but not tabacco ). Since this may last for while, here it is !!!

To get started, I think that on the long run, psychological effect of drug is really a bigger problem then physical effect. I read in some study that psychological addiction is develop when one take a drug as a defense mechanism against his/her environment and that this kind of addiction is much more severe then physical addiction to a substance.

What do you think… The Debate is open :slight_smile:

Well, the problem is, regardless of whether psychological addiction is harder to break or more dangerous than physical addiction (both positions I find highly questionable - it may be very hard to break a psychological addiction, but it won’t potentially kill you, like quitting heroin “cold turkey” can), if we start regulating on the basis of psychological addiction, where do we stop? Anything can be psychologically addictive - and potentially harmful - from cheeseburgers to giving excessively to charity.

Add to this, of course, the fact that, for most drugs, only a small percentage of users get “hooked” - physically or psychologically.
On this page is a chart of rates of addiction of various drugs. You get beyond cocaine, and at most about 1/8 of users get hooked (the chart combines physical and psychological addiction). And users are more likely to be the type to get hooked than non-users.

Sua

:confused: Doesn’t this go without saying? How can you get addicted to a drug you don’t use?

SuaSponte pointed to a really good article! But, i must point out that it would have been interesting to compare addiction of rat to a substance with this table. Doing so would really gives and idea about social/psychological impact on addiction to a drug.

The thing is that nicotine is far more accepted socially then heroin, this might explain why people get more hooked to cigarette then to heroin.

Also, I think we should look at psychological addiction to a substance more like an additive to physical addiction. You see, one person hooked on heroin who uses the substance not for fun but to forget reality will have a hard time quitting because he will return to his environment after he quit and probably start using heroin again. When I say it’s a bigger problem, it’s mostly because it’s a lot harder to control. You can cure physical addiction really rapidly and effectively in a controlled environment. I might add that psychological compulsion to take a drug may lead to bad use and therefore render the substance really dangerous for health. But, I don’t neglect the fact that physical effect of heroin can be devastating.

For regulation, well, I don’t think that any regulation can really be base on psychology because it differ to much from people to people. But it should definitly be taken into account when treating a patient for an addiction.

Sorry, Sua, but quitting any opiate won’t kill you either. That’s the great thing about opiate withdrawal, you won’t die from it. You just wish you would. Contrast that with physical withdrawal from alcohol or barbituates, which can be fatal.

Other than that minor quibble, your point is well made.

Sorry, poorly worded. The point I was trying to make is that personality types more likely to become dependent are the ones more likely to start using drugs in the first place. Ergo, if a drug has a 10% dependency rate among users of that drug, it would likely cause a lower percentage of the general population to become addicted.

Qadgop, thanks for the info. I recently read Opium: A History, that definitely led me to the assumption that opiate withdrawal without medical supervision could be fatal. I’ll have to reconsider some other contentions in that book now.

Sua

meta-x, Well, I’m making an appearence as promised.

So far, don’t see to much to debate yet.

My only thing to say so far is:

Suasponte, I can second Qadgop’s info. Opiate withdrawl can be unpleasant but not life threatening.

Shall I just wait for something outragous, or start raking the muck myself?

scotth : happy to see you :slight_smile: Go ahead start raking the muck!

I’ve just find a very interesting article :

http://www.drugabuse.gov/MedAdv/99/NR-614b.html

If we can trust the NIDA I think it make it quite clear that drug that affect behavior such as MDMA can ( and most probably ‘do’ ) cause long term damage to the brain.

Aside from that, I would like to point out that a lot of drug does not cause physical addiction ( or at least many scientist argue in this direction ). Drugs like canabis, lsd and mdma are such drug, so one only get’s hooked to those drug only by psychological mechanism. Symptom of psychological addiction are : anxiety, depression and the like, taking the drug will remove those symptom. Anxiety, for exemple, can not be cure by medication but does feel real to the person. This mean that, you’ll probably take the drug for a long time before stopping, and then putting you at risk of long term effect. I do think that psychological addiction is the real danger.

Some scientist even say that physical addiction to heroin and tabacco ( which are the two worstly addictive drug ) can be cure in 72 hours or so. I find that impressive!!!

NIDA has got to do better than that. No mention of the dosage of MDMA given to the squirrels (and why did they use squirrels? Aren’t pigs, chimps, etc. established as the better comparisons for mimicking affects of drugs on humans?), and why in god’s name would giving MDMA (in whatever amount) twice a day for several straight days be indication of anything?

Hell, you overdose a squirrel on distilled water for several straight days, you’d probably get some brain damage.

I’m not saying that MDMA doesn’t cause long-term effects. I’m saying that if NIDA takes that study as “proof” that it does, NIDA’s bias is blatantly demonstrated.

Sua

meta-x wrote, in the OP:

Pluralization is your friend.

as a veteran if the drug world. i have a different take on addction and usage than most. there is two main ways to use any pshycoactive substance. what i call ’ doping’ and ‘blasting’ . ‘doping’ = using a little bit to keep a buzz going as long as you can. ‘blasting’ consuming a substance to have take you as far as it can…with or without body damage. when i used to get blasted on (ether-cut snortable meth , coke,120 proof rum,opiates, high stregnth hashbrownies) it would wear me out to where taking more before i got sober wouldn’t be a fraction as satisfying because the original high couldn’t be matched… my theory is that the freshness of intoxication had everything to do with the thrill. on the other hand…doping(off of smoking crystal meth , crack, weed, opium,adderral, vicodin, beer) I wasn’t looking to be alter my state, but to maintain the state i achieved. getting blasted is addicting because of the intensity of the event . while ‘doping’ is addicting because it can take away the dullness and boredom of the minutes tha make up the day. this is my personal, but intimate knowledge on how drugs affect the mind (or at least my mind).

Very interesting to have an experienced user getting in the debate :slight_smile: Welcome mangomerlot!

For my part, i’ve been using a lot too ( that was a while ago ) but i did not get hooked so i can’t tell. One thing is sure, some high i had was worth the trip and i’ve looked for quite a time to get such quality high as those but never succeeded before I stop it all.

This might be a little personnal for you mango so if you don’t want to answer those it’s ok. But, how was your life before you got on the drug scene ? Was it just for fun ? Did you get hooked ? And, How hard was it to quit the stronger drug ? It would be very interesting to know about that first hand :slight_smile:

Oh and to respond to tracer, i’m really sorry about my pseudo-english writing. I write in french normally and the only thing i can write correctly in english is c++ ( not to many word there :wink: ) I’ll try to do my best!!

i was a ‘drugee’ ever since i was born,… i carry the gene wether i wanted to or not, i started usingbasically out of …i guess subconscious compulsion but now i limit myself to only the select few. opium, pot, beer and nitrous. with those four, i can fufill my needs for ‘blasting’ or ‘doping’ and still have my sanity (or what little i started with) and most of my money… ive always held down a decent job (about 50 hrs a week avg since high school and im 21 now)and im not promiscous in the sexual tense. so im not the stereotypein most peoples heads…

mangomerlot. Been there, done that, it stopped being fun for me a looooong time ago. I too was born with a drug deficiency, and lived to use drugs, and used drugs to live.

But after well over a decade clean and sober, my worst day now is still better than my best day back in my using days. YMMV.

I’ve been talking to a guy over the week-end, he happen to be involved in research on MDMA. He told me that there’s at least one long term effect common to any psychoactive drug : Memory Loss. He said to me that those memory lost could be either temporary or permanent depending on the lenght of exposure to a substance.

I remember my “drug abuse” days and i had, at that time some memory problem… What about you Qadgop and Mango… have U ? If you do, then I think we can settle on one long term effect!