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FPS Doug:
In the real market, the chance of getting a lot more than you paid for is about the same as being hit by a meteor.

In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine - some because it was cut with all sorts of dodgy substances - including ventinery drugs - and some because it was mixed with alcohol, and some because people react in different ways to the same drug.  Cocaine is lethal for some people and you don't know how your body will react.  So being "savvy" doesn't necessarily protect you.

FPS Doug:

nd it isn't exactly dignified for lucky travelers like most of us who contribute to EuroTrib to argue against any escape from an increasingly brutal reality, unless we can also offer the unlucky majority a better way out than video games and TV.

Ah right - the ultimate cop-out - which must be music to the ears of any corrupt elite - screw the masses and give them drugs to forget their pain.  The real "opium of the people" to replace the religion of old.

DIGNIFIED?  There is nothing dignified about drug addiction.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And not all drug use is drug addiction! Look, we don't expect people to work 365/7/24, we give them some time off, some vacation. Why not allow for some drug induced vacation from reality? Cannot be worse than the one that involves watching junk on TV after all.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:36:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you probably know, I don't see an important distinction between internal and external 'drugs' - except the taking of the former is usually voluntary. Going through puberty is frequently the most powerful 'trip' anyone can experience. It can totally change personality by changing how you look at the world and feel it.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:50:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
someone:
Why not allow for some drug induced vacation from reality? Cannot be worse than the one that involves watching junk on TV after all.

Ah but unfortunately it CAN be an awful lot worse than watching Junk TV

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:37:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll have to disagree. 'Junk TV' is a far greater threat to both the individual and society. Junk food too. Junk anything.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And watching Junk TV CAN be an awful lot worse than getting high. And playing computer games CAN become 'addictive'. So much so that it is pursued to the exclusion of all other activities. Shall we ban computer games?
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:53:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we are talking about different things  My (little) experience is with heroin addiction and for a variety of reasons and factors it reduces life expectancy very dramatically and has hugely traumatic impacts for the family concerned..  To compare this to junk TV is just crass.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, a few things.

First, someone was not reacting to your heroin story so

To compare this to junk TV is just crass." may be true or untrue but it's not what someone was doing--she simply was not comparing junk TV to your experience with heroin addiction ["this" in your quote above].

  1. I think you are conflating "drug use" with "drug abuse".  A puritan (the body and mind must be free of impurities such as drugs) believes there is no drug use without abuse.  There are probably 1,000,000,000 drug users across the planet who would disagree (Isis put the use-abuse ratio as 95%-5% and I'll go with that.)

  2. Your experience has "a variety of reasons and factors".  If we remove "illegality", "cut product", "family disfunction", "mental illness", "criminal system", etc. (none of which are "heroin") would we also have "reduced life expectancy" and "hugely traumatic impacts for the family"?  Remember that heroin (or varitations thereof) is a pain killer administered in hospitals on a daily basis.  It is only life-threatening in high doses.  It steadies the hand (surgeons) and removes anxiety (GPs and surgeons).  It apparently creates constipation (or at least laudanum did according to de Quincey.)

The worst I've heard of opiates taken as a mind-altering drug is that it replicates the chemicals we receive through social interaction and hence isolates the taker from wider society.  Here's the article from an ex-user (Richard Hell from "Richard Hell and the Voidoids"), it's worth a read, here's the start:

The Problem With Heroin by Richard Hell

What is heroin? It amounts to a concentrated, injectable form of opium. Opium drips right out of the seed pods of the opium poppy when incised a few days in their growth cycle after their petals fall. A simple process discovered in the early 19th century isolates morphine from opium, and another simple process, discovered late in the 19th century, makes heroin from morphine. Morphine is about ten times the strength of opium, and heroin is about four times the strength of morphine. Opium was legal, freely available, and widely used in both the U.K. and the U.S. until the early part of the 20th century. It's been an indispensable medicine wherever it has been known throughout human history. It is referred to as the "joy plant" in Sumerian texts 6000 years old. In 19th century Britain it was the drug indicated in the treatment for any pain from infant teething to rheumatism, as well as for sleeplessness, diarreah, coughs and colds, and depression. It was and is very effective against all these complaints. It is in fact the cure for the common cold, or all its symptoms. It was largely self prescribed, since medical care for the mass of people was still mostly a matter of traditional remedies, and it was as popular as aspirin is now. Every home had its bottle of laudanum -- opium dissolved in alcohol --, and in areas where living and working conditions were their worst, shop counters on Saturday market day would be laden with two or three thousand vials to meet the demand for the week. None of this caused alarm, in fact it was so much taken for granted that it is hard now to know how many people were physically addicted. That term "addiction" has become so loaded for us who have been force fed the image of the drug "fiend" that it takes some effort to imagine a society where widespread addiction is tolerated, but it was true of both England and America just 150 years ago. At worst it was regarded as a bad habit, an unfortunate weakness, like laziness. It was neither a crime nor a disease.

Note by rg--the emphasis is mine, and I'm happy if anyone can tell me Richard's numbers are wrong, and I want to emphasise that according to his formula heroin is forty times as strong as opium.  

And yet opium is illegal.  Why?

http://opioids.com/jh/index.html

P.S. I'm also happy for anyone--at any time!--to correct my bad maths!)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:43:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, correct. I was reacting primarily to this bit:
Frank Schnittger:

FPS Doug:

nd it isn't exactly dignified for lucky travelers like most of us who contribute to EuroTrib to argue against any escape from an increasingly brutal reality, unless we can also offer the unlucky majority a better way out than video games and TV.

Ah right - the ultimate cop-out - which must be music to the ears of any corrupt elite - screw the masses and give them drugs to forget their pain.  The real "opium of the people" to replace the religion of old.

DIGNIFIED?  There is nothing dignified about drug addiction.

I.e. reality escape as a necessarily bad thing, and use conflated with abuse and addiction.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were enough tranquilizers prescribed in America in the 70s to indicate that a large proportion of the population were borderline catatonic.

BTW there is no such thing as 'addiction' - it is all part of Learned Behaviour Disorders, with alcohol as the MOST destructive since we learn to consume alcohol in so many different circumstances, that almost anything can trigger the behaviour.

A huge 'addiction' problem was expected after the Vitenam war as soldiers who had been using heroin returned to the States. Almost all stepped off the plane and never touched heroin again. Why? Because all the stimulii for their behaviour were no longer present in their environment.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry that should have been 'a significant part'.

The point at which a Learned Behaviour (like putting milk in your tea) becomes a Disorder is more of a social question than a medical one. But alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such. Punishment is irrelevant - most alcoholics 'punish' themselves more brutally than anyone else can inflict. It also has nothing to do with willpower.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven Triloqvist:
BTW there is no such thing as 'addiction'

Er, actually, Big Wiki begs to differ; both addiction and physical dependency are recognized phenomena:

Addiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physical dependence on a substance is defined by the appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the substance is suddenly discontinued. Opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine induce physical dependence.

Could it be you are equating use with addiction?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am propounding a heretical view based on research at the Central Health Labratories of Finland. It is based on extinction, from a proven theory that states that parts of neural networks are reinforced by something called the Rest Principle for neurons. This is a natural development in changing networks.

The process can be changed artifically by the use of opioid blockers which prevent endorphins (released by eg alcohol consumption) entering receptors on neurons. These receptors are like locks which accept a specifically shaped molecular 'key'. (BTW Heroin is like a hotel master key which explains its more rapid change in neural networks) When these 'locks' are opened they promote more connections (over time) to neighbouring neurons that are firing at the same time. Thus the 'behaviour' gets hardwired.

But because of the Rest Principle, the opioid blockers only work over time IF THE BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES - ie they only work to reduce drinking if you carry on drinking! What you get is the same response to the stimulii, but no 'reward' (s it is called by Skinner) and thus no reinforcement.

Physical withdrawal symptoms are entirely different from 'addiction' or 'physical dependence'. Physical dependence doesn't exist - it is 'mental dependence' ie a Learned Behaviour Disorder.

Withdrawal symptoms do not last long and can be comfortably masked. But the process of extinction takes several months. There has been a 70% success rate in those patients presenting themselves for teatment at new clinics. These patients are in the 100 - 200 units week range (say 1 -2 litres of vodka a day)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no argument with the neurobiology, but merely with the semantic leap that seems to be made here. If withdrawal systems are dismissed as evidence of a physical dependency, then it becomes easy to argue that there is no such thing as "physical dependence".

I am not a neurobiologist, but given the imminently physical nature of this therapy - rebuilding neural pathways - I find it difficult to see how within the parameters of this therapy approach any addiction can be without a physical element.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:02:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a semantic difference of course. Most people believe, like Hemingway, that there is some kind of 'phsyical switch' located somewhere in the brain. There is no 'place' - it is the whole system. And so it is, in that sense, still physical.

But calling it by it's correct name - a Learned Behaviour Disorder - helps us to think about it as being part of the continuum of all behaviour learning, rather than some physical aberration to do only with alcohol and other drugs or drug releasers.

Dependence is the wrong word. Is an 'obsessive' who must have 10 locks on their door or carry out abnormal hygiene rituals 'dependent' or do they have a Learned Behaviour Disorder? At what point does a video game player become 'dependent' on playing or is the Learned Behaviour Disorder just becoming more dominant?

That is why withdrawal syptoms (adjusting to disruptive metabolic change) need to be seen as a separate issue.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine

Cocaine is lethal for some people and you don't know how your body will react

I think it is important to clarify the highlighted parts into real numbers/percentages.  A quick scroogle took me to this article:

Is cocaine killing our young people? Where are the facts? » Blog Archive » BifSniff

Dr Chris Luke, consultant in emergency medicine in Cork Universiy Hospital, says that long term users put their heart under huge strain over a long period such that eventually even taking a couple of lines could be the straw that broke the camel's back and the heart can just give out.

He says this is why we are now seeing an increase in cocaine related deaths, because long term users are begining to suffer the consequences.

Also mentioned is a general figure believed by medics, though not backed in the article by any specific report: `between 0.1 and 1% of people who dabble in it (coke) will pay with their lives'

(My emphasis)

(btw, I knew a man in Italy who died aged 46--he was a notorious sniffer and was always to be seen in a white shirt, pack of Marlboros visible through the breast pocket.)

Another point from the article (and oh, yes!  How I wish papers would understand this basic point) is that "being stupid under the effects of a drug" does not make the drug dangerous--except for stupid people:

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Cocaine 'biggest killer of all'

Shane Coughlan and David White were both 18 when they went missing on 25 February 2007 after failing to return from a trip to a shop for cigarettes in the early hours.

Their bodies were found in the Grand Canal close to their homes at Clondalkin, a suburb west of Dublin, after a huge hunt for the missing youths.

Their inquest found that both men had taken ecstasy and cocaine, which may have led them to decide to go swimming in the icy water to cool down, according to the State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy's report into their deaths.

(My emphasis)

Overall, though, I think Turambar's comment is the key one.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rg:
`between 0.1 and 1% of people who dabble in it (coke) will pay with their lives'

I'm a bit dubious about that claim. The British crime survey says that

BBC NEWS | UK | Cocaine use 'continuing to rise'

The BCS found that 2.4% of people aged 16-59 had taken cocaine in the last year, compared with 2.1% in the 2002/03 survey and 0.6% in 1996`.

Which would give an excessive death level from cocaine which I don't think we are seeing.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The way I read "0.1-1.0" percent is the medics saying:

"Yes, there is a non-negligible effect, mostly heart attacks (late 30s and beyond) and overdoses [prob. cocaine and alcohol]"

But the numbers are so small that a 0.1 (one in a thousand) to 1.0 (one in a hundred) means that the deaths are at the very far edges (=most people won't get heart attacks or die of mix-overdoses--even if they sniff and mix)

The article said it was anecdotal from A&E medical staff so I'd guess they extrapolated a guesstimate from what they understand to be the total usergroup.  Or maybe it means "of a thousand people who turn up here with cocaine in their systems 1 will die (for whatever reasons), or maybe it's ten, that's the range."

I'd imagine their alcohol range might be something like "10-20%"

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine - some because it was cut with all sorts of dodgy substances - including ventinery drugs

That line of argument is dubious  and misinformed at best, if not downright dishonest (Not on your part, more from government sources) Firstly its just uneconomic to cut the drugs with much beyond either powdered milk or powdered dextrose. Getting hold of veterinary drugs in quantity to cut powders would raise all sorts of alarms and would be all over the papers, When was the last time you heard of a secure vets medical warehouse beink knocked over? which you would need to do to obtain the quantities you are talking about.

The majority of fatalities are caused by people who get a batch from higher up the supply chain than they usually do, and so as a favour to their mates decide not to cut it as much as they usually would. their mates end up with stuff that's 20% pure rather than the about 3% pure which they are used to so accidentally overdose.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent comment!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why thank you kind sir.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The evidence fro this comes from drug seizures and autopsies

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Links please.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is cocaine sometimes cut with? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
The first thing the monsters that distribute this poison can lay their hands on. Phenacetin, a banned pain killer which has been linked to kidney and liver cancer, is now the number one cutting agent used by cocaine dealers.
  • 4 months ago
Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember

ScienceDirect - Forensic Science International : Phenacetin and cocaine in a body packer

A case of acute intoxication of cocaine adulterated with phenacetin is reported. Twenty-four packages were found in the stomach and intestine of a 25-year-old male. The identification of phenacetin was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis.

PHENACETIN

DANGER! SUSPECT CANCER HAZARD. MAY CAUSE CANCER. Risk of cancer depends on level and duration of exposure. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. MAY CAUSE KIDNEY, LIVER AND BLOOD DISORDERS. MAY CAUSE METHEMOGLOBINEMIA.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thx!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Psychedelic Chemistry - Cocaine

The cutting or diluting agent used for cocaine again varies with the individual and the substance that is readily available to that individual. Some of the common cutting agents for cocaine are:

Procaine which is a synthetic preparation in powder form used as a local anesthetic; Mannite, a sugar substance used as a laxative and produced in Italy; Menita, a milk sugar from Mexico and South America; Lactose or Dextrose, a white powdered milk sugar used as a baby food supplement and purchased readily in the United States in any drug store; Powdered methamphetamine also known as speed; Epsom salts; Quinine used to treat leg cramps and malaria; Powder vitamins purchased in health food stores and just about any soluble powder that is not disruptive to the body can be used, such as baking soda, powdered sugar, powdered milk, starch, etc



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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