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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    How could this medical and social disaster ever be allowed to happen? If authorities had told me that Ontario, just one Canadian province, was treating 400 addicts in methadone clinics, I’d believe them. But, the actual number is 42,000. But how many of these addicts need methadone? And what is the solution for this madness?

    Dr. Theodore Dalrymple is not an arm-chair commentator on addiction. Rather, he’s an internationally renowned expert, a British psychiatrist, and prison doctor who has treated thousands of addicts over years.

    In his book, Romancing Opiates, he writes that heroin is not as highly addictive as claimed, and withdrawal not as difficult as treating an alcoholic. He claims, “It’s a myth that treating the heroin addiction 'cold turkey' causes withdrawal symptoms that are virtually unbearable.” He adds that, after witnessing withdrawal symptoms in thousands of patients, “they are hardly worse than the flu. Moreover, the sudden withdrawal of heroin is not dangerous.”

    To prove his point Dalrymple reports that researchers examined the records of thousands of addicts between 1875 and 1968 who had been taken off heroin. They did not find a single death from withdrawal symptoms. Dalrymple makes another poignant observation. He has observed addicts laughing and having a great time in his waiting room. But once inside his consulting office they acted as if they’re “in extremis.” And when he points out this abrupt change in health, they have admitted they were “blagging.” He cites another experiment that shows how addiction is largely a myth. Morphine addicts, who believed they were being given morphine, but had only received water, reported their withdrawal symptoms had disappeared!

    Dalrymple claims that the use of methadone has had a low success rate. The result is that addicts end up being treated indefinitely with medication at great cost to society. And he says doctors have a long history of treating trivial conditions dangerously with drugs such as methadone. This prison expert says there is nothing an addict likes more than to continue his personal way of life and place the weight of responsibility for his situation somewhere other than on his own decisions.

    So Dalrymple contends that a useless medical bureaucracy has been established to deal with addicts. After all, why would doctors and staff want this merry-go-round to end when it’s become financially lucrative? In effect, he says, doctors and administrators need the addicts more than the addicts need them!

    I couldn’t agree more that North America has followed an asinine approach to heroin addiction that’s causing major public health problems for this country. Years ago, I interviewed Singapore authorities about how they had attacked the illegal use of drugs. They accused North Americans of being “irresponsibly permissive.” This message was dispensed on my flight even before landing. A handout card to passengers read, “Death to drug dealers.”

    Singapore authorities told me that the illegal use of heroin had been rampart in the country, and destroying young lives. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew decided to stop this trend. He realized you should never show your teeth unless you’re prepared to bite. Criminals quickly got his message when drug dealers were hanged.

    I recently read that Alberta has a rat patrol and has been rat-free for 65 years. The Albertan policy is to take no prisoners. What a shame North America doesn’t use the same approach for humans. I’m referring to human rats that pedal illegal drugs which trigger health problems, misery and crime at a huge cost to society.

    Congratulations to Dr. Dalrymple his research. So I believe he would agree that the majority of addicts would be quickly cured by sending them to northern Canada to chop wood. They would be happy to return south without the methadone. As Aristotle remarked two thousand years ago, “punishment is a form of medicine.” I’m sure this column will be criticized by do-gooders that it’s a mortal sin to to deny methadone to addicts. But I believe health care dollars could be better utilized.

    I appreciate hearing what you think and will report comments in a future column.

    By Dr. W. Gifford-Jones - Edmonton Sun/June 4, 2016
    Art: SciTech
    Newshawk Crew

    About Author

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. coolhandluke
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    I think this guy looses any credibility he may have when he said he agreed with Singapore hanging drug dealers. Also his opinion that heroin withdrawal is no worse than the common flu brings his expertise into question. People do things like prostitution, robbery, stealing from family for something so benign as the flu, I don't buy it.

    Does he have an approach aside from hanging drug dealers? Pay inpatient facilities 2000 dollars a day for a 1 in 7 chance you will stay clean for a year?

    Methadone saved my life, When I started I was using a couple hundred dollars a day and now I've been clean 2 years, am going to a university, have an apartment all because methadone has given me a chance to stabilize my life. Next summer I'm going to taper off when I don't have class, by then I will have hobbies, friends, things that make me want to live and be sober.
  2. oliverslife
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    It's "experts" like this that cause issues for addicts. Agreed-- i never sold my body over the flu -- but I sure bent over in an alley for 20$ to not get sick. So tell me dope sickness is no worse than the flu.

  3. DeepGreenSea
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    This person is only an Expert in Complete Medical/Social Fuckery. That's My Medical Opinion!
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    I think a long, ill-prepared phone-less trek into the northern Canadian woods on a forced mission to chop wood, under duress, while prison guards hover over his shoulder, urging him to move quicker and produce more by product may be just the ticket for improving what appears to be Dr. Theodore Dalrymple's lack of a truly humane heart. Maybe even supplied with only a low battery-ed flashlight and no bread crumb trail to follow home. Yes.
  5. oliverslife
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    Only AFTER he has developed a proper addiction to any Opiate based drug, and is in severe withdrawal HIMSELF. I can't listen nor respect any opinion of anyone that hasn't been through it.

  6. oliverslife
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    Only AFTER he's developed a proper addiction to any Opiate based drug. I can't listen nor respect the opinion of anyone who hasn't been through it themselves. No matter how many people they have "observed". I like him to Observe my middle finger proper like ��

    Well shit don't know how I managed to post twice, bit I like my second post better. :)

  7. DeepGreenSea
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    I know this isn't a proper "post" but you Ladies have hit this Turds nail right on His Empty Head and His Useless, Bloodless heart...
  8. abuseforapie
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    You guys realize this is the same guy who inspired Ann Coulter?

    I read his book on opiate addiction years ago, where he tried to destroy modern conceptions of addiction. The only point I agreed with is his idea that opiate addiction is romanticized through media and has a mysterious/elusive color pallet. However, he says things like "The only reason people see opiates in a positive like is because of the likes of DeQuincy" which is completely untrue in my experience. Essentially his point is that all modern conceptions of addiction are wrong and unfounded, hence the flu equation. Which is also completely untrue. The only difference is, and it is hard to overlook, is that the flu will lay you out for a little bit but there is no intense craving. Craving I think is what causes relapse, not just the physical symptoms. While they do suck, the mental component is huge. But then again, this guy is a hardcore conservative, so "personal responsibility" trumps all, right?
  9. Baba Blacksheep
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    I have seen this man in several debates.
    He is an abolitionist and puritan in his approach and although supposedly respected it is only within those who support this element of society.
    On argument he is on the side of the prohibitionists and is not particularly regarded by notable scientists.
    He is a product of our times and the sooner he retires the better.
    For a man to make such statements I would at least to expect him to use modern records and to at least have experienced 'cold turkey' himself before speaking out on such matters with such enthusiasm.
  10. oliverslife
    Re: British Prison Psychiatrist Has Bizarre Take on Treating Canada's Heroin Addictio

    Exactly. You can watch 1000 people, read a million accounts, it is NEVER going to give someone a TRUE insight into how it FEELS. Even then, everyone feels is differently-- even reading here shows that. One member just posted about how relatively"easy" he got through it, which even that is the minority, and there's hundreds off posts about how horrible it is. I don't know but I've always felt that addicts are pretty smart, hardy individuals, and if it was purely a mind over matter thing, just based on the type of people we ARE to begin with we would have withdrawals licked. If it were that easy.

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