Heroin isn't an illness...and we should stop spending millions 'treating' it.

By mickenator · Jul 10, 2008 · ·
  1. mickenator
    Heroin addiction isn't an illness...and we should stop spending millions 'treating' it
    Last updated at 20:35 18 August 2007


    • It's very hard work to become an addict

    • Going cold turkey is quite easy
    • People choose to get hooked...
    For the past 14 years, I have worked as a doctor in a large general hospital in a deprived area of Britain, and in the even larger prison next door.
    In that time, I have seen heroin addiction rise from an infrequently encountered problem to a mass phenomenon.
    It has now become so widespread that the city council has politely asked residents not to put used needles and syringes in the weekly rubbish collections.
    No stairwell in any housing estate is complete without the discarded paraphernalia of drug abuse.
    Scroll down for more...
    heroinMS1808_468x444.jpg Rehab chic: The 'horrors' of drug withdrawal are faked for a fashion shoot that appeared in last month's edition of Italian Vogue

    Drug-addiction services have also grown massively. In our society, every problem calls forth its equal and supposedly opposite bureaucracy, the ostensible purpose of which is to solve the problem.
    But the bureaucracy quickly develops a survival instinct, and so no more wishes the problem to disappear altogether than the lion wishes to kill all the gazelle in the bush and leave itself without food.
    In short, the bureaucracy of drug addiction needs drug addicts far more than drug addicts need the bureaucracy of drug addiction.
    The propaganda, assiduously spread for many years now, is that heroin addiction is an "illness". This view serves the interests both of the addicts who wish to continue their habit while placing the blame for their behaviour elsewhere, and the bureaucracy that wishes to continue in employment, preferably for ever and at higher rates of pay.
    Viewing addiction as an illness automatically implies there is a medical solution to it. So, when all the proposed "cures" fail to work, addicts blame not themselves but those who have offered them ineffectual solutions.
    And for bureaucracies, nothing succeeds like failure. The Government spends more than a quarter of a billion pounds a year on drug treatment in the UK, despite there being little evidence of any reduction in the number of addicts.
    Since the bureaucratic solution to waste is to waste even more, you don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that funding in Britain will continue to rise.
    Before the expansion of heroin addiction in my city, I knew little about it. I'd known a few addicts in the higher echelons of society, but they had been peculiar even before their addiction.
    I had briefly run a drug-addiction clinic in a famous university town, at a time when I accepted what I now know to be myths about heroin addiction.
    But as more addicts came to my attention ? I see up to 20 new cases a day in prison ? I began to think about it more. The medical perspective, that these people were ill and in need of treatment, seemed less and less convincing.
    I discovered that most addicted prisoners stopped taking heroin in jail, even when it was available. They came into the prison starving and miserable, and went out relatively healthy.
    But within a few months, many were back in their former condition, and when brought once more before the courts, some would beg to be imprisoned.
    When, soon after their return, I asked them whether they intended to give up taking heroin, some would reply: "I'll have to, I've got no choice."
    Asked why, they would offer replies such as: "Because my girlfriend's just had a baby and she won't let me see it unless I do."
    This answer was a strange one if these addicts truly thought of themselves as ill and in need of treatment. #
    Instead, they clearly believed a purpose in life was enough to enable them to abstain. This is not how pneumonia, for instance, is cured.
    No one would say: "I must stop having pleuritic pain each time I breathe deeply because I have just had a baby." Yet the medical services allow addicts to focus exclusively on the physiological aspects of addiction, which in practice means the prescription of a drug such as methadone.
    There is a strenuous, almost outraged, rejection of the idea that addiction is, at bottom, a moral problem, or even that it raises any moral questions at all.
    Of course, addiction to heroin and other opiates has serious medical consequences. I often saw addicts with deep vein thromboses or multiple abscesses; they would have TB; they would be malnourished and infected with Hepatitis B or C, or both, and HIV.
    It would be difficult to obtain blood from the veins in their arms or legs because they had injected so often.
    But medical consequences do not make a disease. Many mountaineers get frostbite, but mountaineering is not a disease.
    To conceive of heroin addiction as such seems to me to miss the fundamental point: it is a moral or spiritual condition that will never yield to medical treatment.
    Having started with a vague supposition that the medical approach to addiction must be right, I came to a different conclusion: that such an approach, having started no doubt as an honest attempt to help addicts, now represented a combination of moral cowardice, displacement activity and employment opportunity.
    The therapeutic juggernaut rolls on. It is easier, after all, to give people a dose of medicine than a reason for living. That is something the patient must minister to himself.
    In coming to these conclusions, I felt I was living in a world in which the plainest of truths could neither be said out loud nor acknowledged.
    Every day I saw addicts selling their prescription drugs or continuing to take heroin and any other drug they could get; addicts who, despite their "treatment", continued to commit crimes; addicts openly contemptuous of attempts to help them, who lied to and manipulated their helpers shamelessly; and addicts who had, without any assistance, given up heroin completely.
    Above all, I observed the true triviality of heroin withdrawal symptoms.
    Yet my observations did not seem to matter. It was almost impolite, and increasingly impolitic, to mention them to colleagues who dealt with addicts, though they must have observed the same things.
    I felt like a heretic who had better keep his beliefs to himself. Had I not been lucky enough to work with three eminent physicians who had observed precisely what I had, and drawn the same conclusions, I might have broken down.
    The orthodox view of addiction is that a person is somehow exposed to heroin more or less by chance. It has a pleasurable effect, and he or she keeps taking it.
    Before long, the person is addicted and, to avoid the terrible suffering of withdrawal, must take more.
    Of course, to pay for this, addicts usually resort to crime, for their addiction precludes normal paid work but requires a large income.
    All powers of self-control are destroyed by heroin, and unless they take a substitute drug, such as methadone, or enter a lengthy rehabilitation programme, addicts cannot give up.
    They are hooked for life and need help ? from the drug-addiction bureaucracy.
    There is only a tiny grain of truth in all this. That physiological addiction exists is indisputable. But in practically all other respects the standard view is wrong, a masterpiece of rhetorical tricks.
    It is to heroin addicts what Marxism was to the Politburo of the former Soviet Union: a systematic pseudo-scientific justification for everything they do.
    The orthodox view is self-serving for addicts because it implies no possibility of self-control and so no blame.
    What, perhaps, is more surprising is that many doctors, therapists and social workers swallow such nonsense. The truth is people who are genuinely exposed to strong opiates by chance, such as after an operation, rarely become addicted to them.
    It might once have been the case, before awareness of the addictive properties of heroin was so general, that unsuspecting people were introduced to the habit by others and were thus "hooked".
    Whatever may have been the case in the past, this is not a plausible explanation now.
    Children may no longer know the date of the Battle of Hastings, but they know heroin is addictive. Many addicts say they did not know what they were getting themselves into when first they took heroin, but this is not credible; they could not have failed to know.
    Again, the standard view is that the process of becoming addicted to heroin is swift. The future addict has to take the drug only a couple of times and then ? hey presto ? his willpower is gone.
    He is hooked forever. But actually, you have to work quite hard to become a heroin addict. It is not something that creeps up on you unnoticed. In fact, addicts are people intent on rebelling against received norms.
    They enjoy the feeling of swimmy calm that heroin produces and make a free choice to become an addict.
    Nor are the withdrawal symptoms from heroin anywhere as terrible as normally painted. In the popular conception, going "cold turkey" is dreadful beyond all description, involving cramps, insomnia, vomiting, shaking and sweating.
    But not a single addict has ever caused me as a doctor to feel anxiety for his safety on account of his withdrawal.
    And all the genuine symptoms, which are never severe, such as muscular aching, diarrhoea, crying, sneezing and insomnia, have been relieved by simple, non-opiate medication.
    Certainly, most withdrawing addicts have portrayed themselves to me as being in the grip of dreadful suffering.
    They writhe in agony, claiming they have experienced nothing as bad in their lives, and they make all kinds of threats if I do not prescribe "something" ? they mean an opiate ? to alleviate their suffering.
    The threats range from damaging their cells to killing themselves, others or even me. (Withdrawing alcoholics never make such threats.)
    In fact, heroin addicts rarely carry out their threats. Those who say they are suicidal quickly admit they were merely trying to get methadone when I suggest they be put in a cell so bare that there is nowhere from which to suspend a noose.
    My counter-threat produces in most cases the most miraculous improvement in their mood.
    Not all the addicts I see exaggerate in this fashion. Some admit with a laugh that anyone who says cold turkey is terrible is lying and more than likely trying to bluff his way to getting methadone.
    As long ago as the Thirties, experiments showed that salt solution could be substituted for morphine without the addicts' knowledge, and they could be deceived out of their withdrawal symptoms.
    Yet the established fact that withdrawal from opiates is not a serious medical condition is a truth universally ignored by doctors.
    The great glory of withdrawal agony, from a career point of view, is that where suffering exists, it is necessary to employ more and more doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and counsellors to relieve it.
    Yet consider what happened in China after Mao took power in 1949. At the time, China had more opiate addicts than the rest of the world put together ? about 20million.
    But Mao gave them a strong motive to give up: he shot the dealers and any addicts who did not give up their habit.
    Within three years, Mao produced more cures than all the drug clinics in the world before or since, or indeed to come. He was, indeed, the greatest drug worker in history.
    The point of this story is not to advocate a repetition of Mao's methods. It is to demonstrate that, when a motive is sufficiently strong, many millions of addicted people can abandon their addiction without the paraphernalia of help considered necessary today.
    It demonstrates that people take heroin out of choice, ultimately, and so can stop out of choice. Addicts are not blameless victims of some terrible illness they have no control over. Junk Medicine: Doctors, Lies And The Addiction Bureaucracy, by Theodore Dalrymple, is published by Harriman House Publishing on August 27, 2007, priced £14.99. To order your copy with free p&p, call The Review Bookstore on 0845 606 4213.

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  1. Lobsang
    Well I agree with a couple of things the guy says. But he is a little out of touch relative to the human factors in heroin addiction.
  2. chillinwill
    WTF is this guys problem....SWIM is a heroin addict and knows from experience that this guy is so full of bullshit....if all these addicts he keeps talking about keep relapsing from bad morals and judgement, why do you think they are doing it? does he really believe that these addicts want to keep living this lifestyle?

    SWIM knows exactly how hard it is to go through a gram a day heroin addiction and is still battling that part to this day but SWIM is honestly trying to make a change in his life from the past.

    This is brought up a lot but if someone had cancer and it had disappeared after treatment and then came back a couple of weeks, months, or even years later, is it the cancer patients moral fought for not trying hard enough to keep the cancer out of their body?

    Anyways SWIM is just venting and outraged at this guy for thinking that but SWIM guesses a lot of people that don't know a lot about addiction think this way. Is just outrages SWIM that this author used to WORK TO HELP ADDICTS and after seeing the low success rate basically is saying that he gives up hope for all addicts. Also, how does this guy know how bad the withdrawal symptoms are? SWIM is sure that some people exaggerate their claims of withdrawal in order to be put on methadone or bupe but for some people, the withdrawal is the worst thing they have ever felt in their lives.

    SWIM agrees with this statement "The point of this story is not to advocate a repetition of Mao's methods. It is to demonstrate that, when a motive is sufficiently strong, many millions of addicted people can abandon their addiction without the paraphernalia of help considered necessary today." However, that doesn't mean that addiction isn't an illness and that everybody can stop their addiction all by themselves. Some might be able to, but SWIM believes that the majority need some assistance in stopping
  3. mickenator
    swim believes also that this guy is talking mostly BS but it's one of the prejudices that we as addicts have to face. He says that heroin addicts will be aggressive to get put on something for the withdrawl and alcoholics don't, when in prison an alcoholic knows they aren't going to set them up with a bottle of cider to stop them feeling ill if this was the case then these addicts to would make a fuss as anyone who's been through withdrawl knows it aint nice and swim and with regards to the mountainer but they choose to do that but when swim got in to this it was not talked about and you didn't get lessons on the dangers of drugs and swim knows that they could've said no but it didn't seem any different from smoking MJ at the time. For swim understands that swim has an addictive personallity if there is such a thing (another popular conception) and needs that rush so maybe for other addicts like swim replacing the same rush with something non-addictive may help reduce heroin addicts
  4. Paracelsus
    Thankfully such views are not very prevalent in the scientific community. It's fairly well established that addiction is a mostly chemical phenomenon and that people that are prone to addiction have certain abnormalities in brain chemistry. This guy could be compared to biologists who reject evolutionary theory.
  5. W!SE
    sorry to the two of swiyall above but... for the MOST part, swim thinks the guy is right. NOT the part about withdrawal not being so bad, although he did make a point when he proved that it is partially in the addicts head (salt solution cured w/d wtfff).

    What the man was trying to say was that GIVEN MOTIVE, this "inevitable, unbeatable addiction" isn't as bad as its made out to be.

    SWIM knows that once tolerance is upped and a routine of 3 of 4 doses/day is established, things get more serious. STILL swim agree's with him that it is solely the person choice to continue.

    "We ALL have a choice, or no one does."
  6. Panthers007
    True, Paracelsus, with one exception - "...certain abnormalities in brain chemistry." I don't view this as an abnormality, but, rather a genetic difference. If it weren't for the existence of the opium-poppy, we might never have known about such variations. Granted, however, someone with the viewpoint of that piece has no business attempting to help people who wish to stop using narcotics. He might get them to stop using heroin by morally crushing their spirits like a bug. But he'd likely create a new crew of hard-core alcoholics.
  7. Lobsang
    My friend got sent to prison for repeated theft. He was a heroin addict. He was so despirate for a fix one day but he had no money. So he walked right up to a lady on the street getting in her car and grabbed her car keys out of her hand and said "That's my car bitch!" and tookk the car. Well he got caught and thrown in prison. Well he had horrible withdrawls. Very very sick. They would give him nothing to even sleep. It went on for a long time. He wrote a note to the prison doctor describing how bad he was and a guard gave it to the doctor. The doctor wrote him a not back saying "If you can write me a note you must be OK". Very mean. Now I do not think they should have given him an opiate. No way. However something to let him sleep or take away anxiety was in order.
  8. mickenator
    When swim was in prison and doing there withdrawl swim would have been happy just to have been given something to help them sleep. But atleast it's changed now in the UK as some inmates took the goverment to court and won and now addicts can be given a proper treatment regime whilst in jail. No more 'doing your rip'.
  9. Panthers007
    Not surprising, Lobs. The concept is to make you suffer as much pain as possible in prison. The prison doctor is the same one who would give the okay to continue the torture of a suspect as he wasn't likely to die - yet. Might get a position on the CIA payroll if he does his job correctly.
  10. Lobsang
    Well the reason I tell the story of the friend being so bold as to rip a womans car keys from her hands is to make the point how irrational one can get in the addiction process. How they stop thinking straight. When my friend did that he was so irrational that he was in a mindset that the entire world was between him and his heroin and anything was fair. So that is why he called an innocent lady a bitch. So the physician in the article clearly does not understand human nature as it relates to addiction. Especially heroin.
    [​IMG]I caught you knockin at my cellar door
    I love you, baby, can I have some more
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

    I hit the city and I lost my band
    I watched the needle take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done.

    I sing the song because I love the man
    I know that some of you dont understand
    Milk-blood to keep from running out.

    Ive seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkies like a settin sun.
  11. mickenator
    Swim being an addict themselves understands swils friend as when swiy feels that withdrawl coming on then there is no force greater apart from a locked cell door that will stop a fish from getting there next fix. The thing with being in prison is you know there is nothing you can do about it so you just get on with it even if you do feel like death warmed up. It is a funny thing how a good person can change so dramtically that even there own flesh and blood wouldn't know them as an addict.
  12. Nature Boy
    I wouldn't call heroin addiction an illness either. It is what it is: an addiction. Not an illness. Some people may be more vulnerable than others insofar as full-on addiction but the fact of the matter is, heroin is highly addictive and it isn't surprising that people struggle with it. That's not to say these people shouldn't get treated. I personally feel sorry for someone who's that dependent on something.
  13. enquirewithin
    They probably would if alcohol was illegal and that was the only way they could think of to get it.

    This article is from the Daily Mail, hardly a reliable source of information. There is some truth in it, but the tone is very unprofessional for someone who is supposed to be a doctor. Many addicts do give up by themselves, it's true (SWIM has known a few), but long time addicts are often self-medicating. If heroin addiction is not a significant problem, why is heroin considered to be such an evil?

    What a crass statement. The Chinese government still shoots dealers but they have a huge heroin problem, even to the point of trying brain surgery on some of them. Why don't they just threaten to shoot them?

    Ironically, China's original addicts were a product of the UK opium trade and the abundance of heroin in the UK is not unconnected with the US's disastrous aggression in Afghanistan, supported fully by the UK government.
  14. chillinwill
    SWIM was going back and reading the article again and sees where this guy is coming from but at the same time, SWIM still thinks he isn't connecting it all together. It's true that the desire to want to get and stay clean has to come from within but since heroin is such a powerful addiction, taking other meds either to try to decrease the withdrawals or even to take common over the counter meds in order to sleep or whatever seems to make perfect sense, at least for SWIM.

    SWIM doesn't try to put the blame for his heroin addiction on others and accept the blame for his addiction and his behavior due to the addiction because heroin dependency is considered an addiction which is considered an illness just like cancer by the AMA and many other medical communities. SWIM is just glad that this guy's viewpoint seems to be limited to a certain extent across the medical community

    Also, WTF is he talking about for the salt placebo trials. Sure if you think you might be getting methadone in a trial and don't, your positive thinking will help some of the withdrawals and all of that. However, I am sure that the people receiving methadone did feel better than the people who didn't during the withdrawal process from heroin.
  15. Lobsang
    While the placebo effect in people can be substantial this physician is talking basically like an idiot somewhat. Let's see salt water change the status of someones pupils. He forgets the physical aspects of heroin addiction. He also fails to have empathy for the human condition.
  16. stoneinfocus
    Placebo effects are the most manipulating and misleading, dishonourable methods known (when not used in double-blind studies -one time it's the best, in another consent, it's the worst) and the widespread TV-reports on their effectiveness an affront to those in pain.Other, than the author's obeservation on withdrawl, where a placebo might come in handy, to demonstrate the psychological power, after the withdrawl had lost grip on the addict.

    They rely on the trust and good will of the most desperate people, or -very much contrary to those- on the imagination of bored -same time lonely- hypochondric luxury victims.

    If asked, wether it helped or not, you might admit for several humanly and psychologically polite reasoning and even for betraying yourself and your pain/condition, that the fake-medicine might have helped, for you probably felt better, like 15-20 minutes at this-and-that time, and ascribed that to placebo and not to the ever present hope of relieve and that your conditions varies anyway, during the days and weeks.

    After 3 years or so, ususally, you get very pissed, because of even having admitted, in good trust and the before mentioned reasoning, to the statement, that those made-up bull was of any use.

    After one has recognized, that humans behave very similar in extreme situations and then are the most predictable and as such, most easily manipulated, one feels even more pissed.

    Even more pissed, because we then realize, we supported solely an insane ideology of even more isanes, we used -even were forced to trust and called them "professionals", while our, with huge experience, and times passed and tremendous suffering and tried and true conclusions are then not taken seriously, made criminal/illegal and smallered by those professionals and the average guy, who are living quite well and made to believe, that we all were supermen and could manage anything by willpower and buying aroma-therapy kits on QuuVC. *lol* wish those could just have a months in my shoes.

    stoneinfocus added 38 Minutes and 35 Seconds later...

    Alternatives? Working alternatives?:confused:

    Have you ever had the comparison of the supposed hardship going through freely available, by the society accepted and from all media unattached, e.g. 400mg/day pharma-grade, labled, properly dosed, cheap heroine? Just once, for maybe a year or three, to check it out, if it's that bad and harder to wean off, with that system given? I don't think so, the propaganda issue given nearly impossibel, but I'm a shizo, anyway.

    Comparing apples with oranges. *later on that one

    He didn't say, he had given up hope, on the contrary, he says they're forced into a hopless situation, which cannot help them and fails to address the underlying uissues and causes of an addiction.

    He also needn't know how bad withdrawl feels like, when it can be easily avoided or overcome with the right motivation.I'm not complaining on how hard years of training were and how cruely my competitors in a sportsevent were forcing me, when I, in the end, know I'll be lucky with what I'll then have achieved, because I know that ever since I'm doing it, and don't give up halfways shaking and cramping of cold and hypoglycaemia, short sleeved at 8°C with snow around, heavy fogs and rain at 1400m of hight and fearing the descend with 80km/h on a wet street, the finish line is worth it.

    Right, withdrawl, the worst thing in their lives, but there might be things even worse than withdrawl and addiction to a substance.Much worse.

    He didn't say `stopping all help´, he said, that the methods are wrong and there might be more efficient methods, given, the system of buraucracy changed. And I admit, I'd rather live among in secrecy addicted humans, than among slaughtering ideologists.

    And down the line, are most addicts ashamed of their addiction, because they have an addictive behaviour, or are they ashamed of the way they're treated, having this addiction? Peer-pressure can bring one down to the ground and beget opportune(where is our hero?On TV, right!), even if the reason for that pressure is wrong.(as seen within fascist Germany)

    We all want to be accepted by the society we live in, accepted in what we're achieving and in what our personality really is made of -imho- it's easy to make desparate addicts talk by the mouth to those Peers, as we all want to be accepted, nor be treated like dirt or excuse the sitaution they're in.

    We, once being kicked out of the Peers' system, therby doomed to fail in every way and every effort given and not being recognized in a positive way, easily admit to the situation, as it, being the fault of a drug-"desease" or illness and all resulting faults were ours, but mostly that of that said illness, thereby making ourselves the ones (admitting to an own failure, to look like one were honourable according to the Peers' conventions,) the society should take care of and failing in changing addictive habits (aka chemically induced addiction, like eating and drinking is chemically induced) were an illness, so our on the society relying existenze is not threatened that much anymore and bureaucratic help granted; the Peer-pressure is turned partially away, swapped for an nearly incurable desease, by convention, making us look like heroes *(wishful thinking, with cancer or a heart-attack, you're seen as a hero, but not with an mental illness or an addiction, with that, you're a fungus or mold on the feet of society and those keeping you in check are seen and see themsleves as heroes, maybe you get an chritian-inspired hand-shake or grin or pray, but that's just not for you neither respecting the situation you're in).

    stoneinfocus added 120 Minutes and 24 Seconds later...

    So shall we again rely on dictatorship and killing to control the human factor? Or might there be drawn a line between freedom and dictatorship in controlling the habits of the human factor, within constitutional power and by the definition of a, then hardly be called free anymore, society? -not going into an discussion about the philosophy of freedom in your privacy, as in the sense of a state's constitution, a constitution can be clearyl defined as free or as a dictatorship.
  17. Lobsang
    Well I was not aware that one could control the human factor. Only nurture it.
  18. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus added 11 Minutes and 10 Seconds later...

    I feel/felt exactly the same, without any addiction, when I was forced to live on the streets, wounded, by the witneesing of my family and the judge's verdict. He didn't evne have to see me, or hear my opinion. One court-employee, coming to me in hospital at my bed, handing me out the letter and disappeared(powdered nutrition supplements are of course just about to explode, like citrulline malate or acetyl carnitine).It's just that easy and heroin is just the perfect metaphor and actually the heroin addict is right, he just found another way to express it, without getting insane or breaking down on seeing the injustice done. Artists don't make failures, they perfectly express the music around them.
  19. Stiney
    Swim does actually agree with the overall message, however badly put it is, that this guy is trying to get at. That is, that simply handing out substitute drugs to addicts forever is not an adequate way to treat heroin addiction. Chemical maintenance is supposed to be, or at least should be, used as an emergency temporary interveening measure. Prescribing an addict methadone/phi/buprenorphine should be a short term thing designed to create a buffer period of time to allow an addict to begin genuinly beneficial treatment. To address the reasons behind thier continued use of heroin beyond addiction and to help them overcome these issues.

    "Again, the standard view is that the process of becoming addicted to heroin is swift. The future addict has to take the drug only a couple of times and then ? hey presto ? his willpower is gone.
    He is hooked forever. But actually, you have to work quite hard to become a heroin addict. It is not something that creeps up on you unnoticed."

    This is the first place I laughed, shook my head and realised how little he actually understands heroin addiction. Now everyone is different, but for swim and many freinds and people he has spoken to addiction to heroin was indeed swift. In some cases the word instantaneous would be far closer than swift. In swims case in particular he was going through utter hell in his life and had been for an extended period of time, he was constantly racked with anxiety, frequently suicidle and on the verge of a nervous breakdown from the moment he woke untill he slept. There wasn't a moment of waking peace. Then one day, Heroin, and for 4 or 5 hours nothing but bliss, all the problems seemed so insignifigant and more than that, for those few hours, he was 100% certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that things were nowhere near as horrible as they had seemed the day before and 100% certain that everything was going to be fine from now on. He was completely addicted to heroin within 10 minutes of first taking it. If that is not the definition of swift I need a new dictionary.

    "...all the genuine symptoms, which are never severe, such as muscular aching, diarrhoea, crying, sneezing and insomnia, have been relieved by simple, non-opiate medication."

    This was the second head shaking, eye rolling moment purely for the fact that for the rest of his discussion of cold turkey withdrawl he fails to mention even once any of the psychological effects of withdrawl that many people experience, the panic attacks, the instant acute depression, the guilt and regret and sense of hopelessness that the heroin has been keeping at bay for so long, all hitting at once, dragging on for hours that seem like weeks and the knolege that you have the ability to end them all with one phone call.

    Like I say, I do agree with alot of what he says, but the things I disagree on show a distinct lack of understanding on his part. If my mechanic was to tell me changing the spark-plugs on my car wouldn't help its ignition problems and that the ignition coil needed to be changed instead I would agree with him, but if he was to then go on to say that the reason it would be better to change the ignition coil was because the little monkey that works tyhe controls inside it had lost his sight I would not be letting the fucker anywhere near the car.

    ..........................ok I'm not sure where that analogy veered off to but I hope you get what I mean.
  20. stoneinfocus
    the problem of heroin addicts can't be addressed by addressing the addiction.It's their choice or fate and uninteresting, or should be uninteresting in the best case.

    Addressing the problems of heroin addicts is to change the whole system.

    The motor has to be built around the spark first.

    In my humble experience with drugs' effect on users (why are there much more getting along and stay secret, than otherways), users, likely to fall immediately, were totally desperate and outcluded of anything or felt like they and their nature weren't addressed in this society. Lonely, confused, tormented by lonelyness and a system that didn't fit them in any case or took care of their needs as humans. As human beings!

    Those took like one pill and were gone, as being in the misery of pill- and drug seeking and using was and is much easier to take, than living in such a society in which you don't coun't, nor are allowed to speak out freely, or pursue your plan of live and make your own failures, same time, intimidated and threatened to loose even their, in this society non-existent, existence.

    It's much easier to take and chose your own failure to fail on, than doomed to fail for and logically then due to a hated system, to which you couldn't morally contribute, but which forces you doing so.You had to deny you totally for this system and so, you chose to give your live for your addiction.

    It's quite simple. Expectations and failing on them.

    stoneinfocus added 271 Minutes and 39 Seconds later...

    the spark-metaphor and th emotor analogy was great, on which I would like to elaborate a bit more on.

    I think, and have been excessively making abstracts to this reasoning, that any law is abstractable to other systems (as such being an abstract, parabel, metaphor, law of nature), which are alike and fit this logical reasoning, the more analogies can be logically drawn, the better this abstract holds true in applying it for new strategies on other systems and can be considered as tried and true. Please feel free to call me retarded.

    So taking a spark into other systems with their attributes:

    A spark in a desert might be detrimental and ought to be avoided, because it's likely to cause a fire there. A desert stands for human hardship, hunger, due to the hard enviromental conditions, thirst etc. One might feel like in a being desert or deserted in our society for the same reasons; one, not enviromentally fitting in, noone of theirkind around, no water = no education, love, comrads, money, job, acceptance, outlooks future, not being able to move freely without thinking twice and the fear of loosing one's existence, health or even live, when moving.

    Having found a place, still a bad place, but seemingly the only one around, with some dry weed and some dirty water, where one's chosen to stay, though being lonely and confused, a spark (= a drug), though very much needed due to the enviromental hardships, might cause a fire and the existence there to stop, or be detrimental to it, though a fire might also bring about a change, to a maybe greener place, but only if the latter one existed, one will fail and die.

    In e.g. Ireland, a spark (a drug) might be seen as something beautiful, coming from a fire, which gives light, warmth and brings the people together and share their stories and wisdom, maybe fall in love over it, keeping the fire burn at just the right pace.

    Within this fire, they are able to build a society, on ground of the stories told, the wisdom and ressources shared and keeping the fire burning.

    They make houses, families and soon a motor will be built in one of a big house, called factory. Though noone in the factory is seeing the fire anymore, but still knows, it was there and the rewarding fire is what they're working with and for, they put the fire into a motor, with wich its help they built even bigger factories and better motors.All the time they had the fire in them and their minds and knew, they were just making a different form out of it, soon they realized, that they were a motor, too, a motor which they were able to control the fire, to drive with it, out of joy, use it for their activites and their lives' work, making even more efficient motors for them and the heritage of their children.though they had built their own cars, in which they could control the speed at which they were going, the fire-output and the sparks needed to keep it running, at the end of the day, they refrained from using their tamed fire and went back to their roots, where they came from, because everone knew, the open fire was the place they enjoyed most adn it was the only place to share their wisdom and love with others, the only place, that whrer caring the same about everyon and the rest were just sprouts of that root and nothing and noone were allowed to come between them and their sacred roots; not the artificial motor, not the factory, nor its products, nor were they speeding that much, so noeone could follow, knowing this would satisfy all, them the most and everything, which has been achieved ever since, was just a praphrenalia to make everything even more glowing, warm and just running at the right pace in harmony to their and everbody's needs, just like it was ever since, since the first human was born, spending warmth and security for the dark infinite wisdom roaming in their existence in the infinity of the universe, being home.

    So with this said, i#ll leave it open, what conclusion can be drwan, if one was to leave behind the artificial words "addiction" and illness" behind and what live#s really about and how the human nature's working. I wouldn't know, how we could have ever made it so far, coming from 40.000 years back, if our nature had been that prone to accidents and failure, without the definition of addiction and prohibition laws.

    @stiney, how do you know that he had know clue, if he's been working as doctor with and for heroin-addicts and draw his conclusion, from his observations?
    He also indicated, that heroin addicts (those you were talking to?)were lying about their misery, just to get on with their addiction and are unable to ever possibly adapt to our truth.

    I might add to this point, that the misery, again, lies within the system and the resulting psychological effects are due to prosecution -you do panic, when you realize how far away a society has put you out, due to not providing your heroin for free, forced you living on the streets, realizing that your body had suffered more than the imaginable and you're and were swimming on an empty ocean, with no recueboat in sight.Of course you panic, like lying in a hospital, knowing, that after that, your trial is just about to come with its consequences about your live, future and everything, fearing of forced treatments and having no choice to be recognized for your truth. Of course you lie, when your existience is endangered and that lieing could bring at least a better compromise, than the truth.You don't openly criticise someone representing your future and your logistics you rely on, when you've been put down so far, by the representatives of the same sytem, before.
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