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The problem is that addiction and its successful treatment have very little to do with the actual chemical properties of the drugs concerned and an awful lot to do with the cultural and physiological context in which they are taken.  

Do you have AIDS, are you drinking, taking other drugs as well, could you be pregnant, do all your friend take it, is it the only rush you have in your life, are you the nerd in the corner of the party if you don't, do you know about dosages, purity of the product ...... the issues around the impact of drugs are hugely context specific which is why many people experience none of the down sides and consequently argue that its all a lot of establishment scare stories.  

It is also a hugely political area, with much of the "establishment response" determined by that.  Thus Heroin is often the drug of choice for drop outs, petty criminals, working class people etc. - and often attracts a severe police response.  Cocaine is a fashionable middle class drug and is tacitly condoned in many respectable, fashionable, and politically correct circles.  It is partly this blatant hypocrisy which feeds the anti-establishment drug culture.

That is why I have deliberately avoided the topic of the specific chemical properties of individual drugs - they are often almost entirely tangential to the POLITICAL debate around ther criminalisation.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 05:48:50 AM EST
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