?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Opiates not so Addictive? - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
June 4th, 2006
11:43 am

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Opiates not so Addictive?
I've just read an article claiming opiates (including Heroin) are not as addictive as popular representations (from De Quincey's charming book to modern movies) would have us think. I was surprised at the extent of the misrepresentation, if this article is to be believed. I remember arnulf making similar claims, and I was incredulous then, too. Now, with this added perspective, I am beginning to think I had been duped about dope.

What do you think?

No, I'm not going to try opiates because of this discovery. I take an interest because disinformation about drugs annoys me; it began ten years ago, when I found out the truth about marijuana and the gap between that truth and what it's made out to be by the authorities.

(22 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:sentjao
Date:June 4th, 2006 08:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
No, this is not mere popular interpretation, I believe. Articles are nice things, but I have few friends with reach experience in the field and they would probably disagree with what is written in the article.
[User Picture]
From:ijon
Date:June 4th, 2006 10:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
Specifically, do you know of people who got genuinely addicted, including withdrawal symptoms ("kriz"), from just a few doses of opiates?
[User Picture]
From:sentjao
Date:June 4th, 2006 10:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
I know people who had a obstinence syndrome after having used heroine for three consecutive days. Though it was still not the kind of "kriz" that one feels like dieing without a doze, as far as I can judge. Once I used heroine with a friend of mine; I didn't continue, but he did continue for the next two days and I could see how he felt.
[User Picture]
From:morin
Date:June 4th, 2006 09:27 am (UTC)

Disinformation is always problamatic

(Link)
Not letting you decide reasonably. but is negative disinformation about drugs any worse then positive disinformation about ciggarettes?
Either way, I try to check what I get in my mouth (said the woman who gave up meat and milk and never drank or smoked).
[User Picture]
From:dorable
Date:June 4th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)

Re: Disinformation is always problamatic

(Link)
*resists making jokes about putting things in mouths*

Where is there positive disinformation about cigarettes? Part of my job is to read everything written anywhere in Israel about cigarettes every day. It's quite a lot. None of it is positive.
[User Picture]
From:morin
Date:June 4th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)

I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
"Oh, how refreshing is [cigarette brand name" sort of ad. Including those stating it is healthy.
Today this sort of disinformation is not as easily sold to the public, but the articles about passive smoking - some saying it's worse than smoking, some saying it has no effect at all - must be lying. At least a part of them.
[User Picture]
From:orbar
Date:June 4th, 2006 11:10 am (UTC)

Re: I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
ads are not a valid example.

the articles: are just an example for negative disinformation.
[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:June 4th, 2006 12:43 pm (UTC)

Re: I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
How are they not? Ads are all about disinformation.
[User Picture]
From:orbar
Date:June 4th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)

Re: I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
morin contrasted ads to negative disinformation by the authorities. it's not valid just because of what you said - ads are all about disinformation, they are defined by it and to most of the people (hopefully) they don't hold the same level of credibility as the "authorities".
[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:June 4th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)

Re: I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
The anti-drug authorities here in the US run all sorts of ads; the distinction is blurry to me.
[User Picture]
From:orbar
Date:June 5th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)

Re: I had in mind the 60's ads

(Link)
I made a distinction between the commercial ads morin referred to, to the ads of the anti-drugs authorities. the latter are just their way of communicating their message to the public - which in this case is mostly negative disinformation rather than positive.
[User Picture]
From:ijon
Date:June 4th, 2006 10:11 am (UTC)

Re: Disinformation is always problamatic

(Link)
No, it isn't worse.

A physician I know once told me that the toughest, most persistent physical addiction, among all narcotics, is nicotine -- nicotine, not heroin, not alcohol, not crack cocaine, etc.
[User Picture]
From:iod
Date:June 4th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Disinformation is always problamatic

(Link)
Maybe, but you'll find it much more difficult to OD on nicotine. Plus, I believe the nicotine itself isn't harmful to you - just the rest of the gunk they put in tobacco products.

(Dubi, who never smoked, and probably never will either)
[User Picture]
From:avva
Date:June 4th, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the link. Does make you think, doesn't it?
[User Picture]
From:themoniker
Date:June 4th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The article displays a chilling lack of empathy towards addicts; I suspect that his point is valid, in so far as addiction is probably more psychological than physical.
This doesn't make it less of a problem, though.
Demonizing the drug mostly helps society continue to ignore the causes for addicted behaviour. Rather than confronting the combination of psychological problems and social circumstances that reinforce addiction, just blame it on chemical dependency.
Hard addiction and related personal and social problems can be associated with Alcohol or other "legal" drugs just as easily as with Heroin.
[User Picture]
From:ellenlouise
Date:June 4th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This article is really interesting, but it is from the Wall Street Journal--a classically conservative paper.

Ultimately, does it really matter if the difficulty of withdrawal is an old social construct? If people still feel it, doesn't it count? Also, I am skeptical of this because it seems to claim that all addicts experience addiction and withdrawal similarly, and I doubt that is true.
From:gamahucheur
Date:June 4th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I wouldn't call the WSJ classically conservative; their ideological stance has been in flux for at least the last quarter century, shifting to maintain support for the Republicans.

In an event
If people still feel it, doesn't it count?
Yes, but it counts very differently. The sort of addiction truly associated with opiates is not so much different from that which can be associated with virtually any other activity. Most of us wouldn't find excuse in philatelic withdrawl. (Nor would there be much of a case for outlawing stamps collecting because someone had shot-up a liquor store to support that habit.)
[User Picture]
From:goliard
Date:June 4th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Theodore Dalrymple generally knows what he's talking about, and I find his claims quite plausible here. A point I think he misses (one which Andrew Weil made long ago in The Natural Mind) is the suggestive power of the popular image of drug withdrawal. Assuming he's right and giving up heroin is not the ordeal it's made out to be, I still don't think his addicts are manipulative frauds: the withdrawal-is-hell-on-earth story is the only one out there, from De Quincey to Trainspotting, and this makes it very likely that anyone trying to give up heroin will recreate that scenario for themselves and never know they are doing so.
[User Picture]
From:guygrobler
Date:June 4th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
off course there is plenty of disinformation. it might not be on purpose, it might be the outcome of particular people in power with old fashioned views.

after all, the chinese loved their opium and that was well before any drug related issue's became an issue to so many western governments.

i am pro partial legalization, there have to be limits because the stuff can have dangerous outcomes... but its not all devil's work either.
[User Picture]
From:orbar
Date:June 4th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
how can disinformation not be on purpose?

like, "oops, we didn't check the information before we published it"?
[User Picture]
From:guygrobler
Date:June 4th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
well.. i termed it the wrong way.

what i meant to say is that i think there's a chance that the people who have a say in the matter (those with power, IE government) are stuck in misbelief's (and have been mis-informed themselves) and are hence opposed to it.

as for:
"oops, we didn't check the information before we published it"?
- in israel, i think this situation is highly possible.
From:ed_brandt
Date:June 6th, 2006 10:55 am (UTC)

weed

(Link)
I agree with the partial legal option, eventhough I wouldn't use them. If others do, well it's their health not mine. The harder ones should still be illegal, since they are still addictive in some form and they have much more harder effects (including overdosing, which wouldn't happen with the back-garden variety...).
Project Ben-Yehuda [Hebrew] Powered by LiveJournal.com