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If (illicit) drugs were legal.


dimreepr
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51 minutes ago, koti said:

its certainly not obvious like you’re trying to make it

I'm not saying it is obvious; I am saying it is certainly possible.

54 minutes ago, koti said:

It’s time for you now to show data on people who shoot heroin every day for 30 years straight and manage to be functional. Lets see it.

Others have analysed that sort of data better than I would.
Here's a report.
http://www.dldocs.stir.ac.uk/documents/prescheroin.pdf

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2 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Others have analysed that sort of data better than I would.
Here's a report.
http://www.dldocs.stir.ac.uk/documents/prescheroin.pdf

The article you linked to deals with prescription use of heroin, it does not provide any information on „shooting heroin for 30 years straight”  Please provide relevant and reliable data and conclusions instead. 

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Please explain how the molecule knows if it's being administered by a doctor.

The point I have made several times is that most of the deaths attributed to illegal drugs are actually due to the fact that the drugs are illegal.

 

There might be a quicker solution to this debate.
Would you accept the opinion of a pharmaceutical chemist about the harm done by long term heroin use by addicts who can get hold of "clean" supplies (for example, doctors who are also users)?


 

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John, I'm pretty certain you drink alcohol ( from previous conversations )

When are you gonna give it up and switch to doing heroin ?
Do your (adult ? ) children drink ? Would you prefer they did heroin instead ? 

And, if not, why not ?
( since its side effects are so much more benign )

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36 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Please explain how the molecule knows if it's being administered by a doctor.

The point I have made several times is that most of the deaths attributed to illegal drugs are actually due to the fact that the drugs are illegal.

 

There might be a quicker solution to this debate.
Would you accept the opinion of a pharmaceutical chemist about the harm done by long term heroin use by addicts who can get hold of "clean" supplies (for example, doctors who are also users)?


 

The quickest solution would be you providing evidence that shooting heroin for 30 years straight while leading a functional professional and private life is something common. Afterall you turned into „annoying” mode after I said that I can’t imagine this happening. I don’t really care if you’re a pharmaceutical chemist or a construction worker, I’m looking for evidence.

Edit: Visualising the data would be nice. Say last 50 years would be indicative - how many of those who shoot heroin for 30 years straight lead a functional life. It should be fairly easy for you to compile this data since I’m imagining things.

Edited by koti
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9 minutes ago, MigL said:

John, I'm pretty certain you drink alcohol ( from previous conversations )

When are you gonna give it up and switch to doing heroin ?
Do your (adult ? ) children drink ? Would you prefer they did heroin instead ? 

And, if not, why not ?
( since its side effects are so much more benign )

 

7 minutes ago, koti said:

The quickest solution would be you providing evidence that shooting heroin for 30 years straight while leading a functional professional and private life is something common. Afterall you turned into „annoying” mode after I said that I can’t imagine this happening. I don’t really care if you’re a pharmaceutical chemist or a construction worker, I’m looking for evidence.

When are you going to get it? the really bad shit happens because its illegal and criminals don't care.    

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Just now, koti said:

Thats not what I’m discussing with John.

But it is the point of this thread and it kinda is.  

2 minutes ago, MigL said:

I know, Dimreepr.

Some of us obstinate/argumentative mebers are still focused on the hard/soft question. 

1

Which remains irrelevant...   

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27 minutes ago, koti said:

 and private life is something common.

...And, once again, I never said it was common.

So, the "evidence" we are actually seeking is proof of your conjecture that it is impossible, (strictly, that it's "unimaginable").

 

32 minutes ago, koti said:

The quickest solution would be you providing evidence that shooting heroin for 30 years straight while leading a functional professional and private life

That evidence would- of course- be evidence of long scale criminal behaviour, and a confession to having done so. Clearly nobody will have recorded it.

It seems you "you turned into „annoying” mode ." by asking for something that is clearly never going to exist.

34 minutes ago, koti said:

don’t really care if you’re a pharmaceutical chemist or a construction worker, I

You are , of course right- my education isn't strictly relevant.

But, in the absence of any possibility of the evidence you "seek", w are going to have to make use of other sources. Expert analysis might be one option.
So, let's see how that goes.

I have studied the chemistry and pharmacology of diamorphine, and I don't see any long term lethal effects from it.

For example, it's not significantly hepatotoxic; nor is it a carcinogen.

So, long term use of (clean) diamorphine is scientifically perfectly plausible.

And functioning heroin addicts are well known.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/27/health/functioning-heroin-addicts/index.html

 

So, while you might be surprised by their existence, there's nothing to stop them happening.

And, to get back to what was once a point, alcohol abuse will almost certainly screw you up over that timescale.

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42 minutes ago, MigL said:

John, I'm pretty certain you drink alcohol ( from previous conversations )

When are you gonna give it up and switch to doing heroin ?
Do your (adult ? ) children drink ? Would you prefer they did heroin instead ? 

And, if not, why not ?
( since its side effects are so much more benign )

Let me know when they legalise it, and I will give it a try.

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6 hours ago, koti said:

Portugal then maybe?

Distribution is still restricted there, from what I understand. Nonetheless I think part of the discussion seems to be based on the assumption that certain drugs are fundamentally (biologically) harmful than others. Thus, legislation is or should address that as a means to protect public health. The counter-argument do this are that evidence point to criminalizing drug abuse does not ameliorate the situation. Moreover, as the discussion with soft and hard drugs has been shown, it is not based on medical effects, either. Specifically alcohol seems to be seen as harmless (and ironically is a prime example how abolitionist movements did not work). Yet if scaled systematically it is on par with lots of other drugs typically seen as "hard" in common parlance. This does not come to a surprise to folks who work on physiological effects on drugs. Likewise, the dangers of tobacco are vastly underestimated, simply because we are used to it.'

There have been efforts to use multiple criteria (which include harm to individual and harm to society) and according to one of the most cited study in the UK (Nutt et al. 2010 Lancet). The most damaging drug overall was alcohol, scoring higher than heroin or Crack cocaine. Of course one could surmise that the societal effects were driven by availability, but even on the harm to the individual user scale alcohol scores just behind Heroin, Crack Cocaine and metaphetamine. Drugs scoring lower than alcohol on the individual scale included cocaine and amphetamine. Tobacco scored close to cocaine and amphetamines. Tobaccos is a special case as it is generally not associated with overdose situations. However, if we include the increase in lung cancer, it suddenly becomes on of the deadlier drugs. Sure, it is less dramatic but lethal nonetheless.

If we look deeper into the type of harm, alcohol and tobacco are drugs with some of the highest drug specific damages. When we look into drug specific mortality (which excludes e.g. violence), alcohol scores lower than heroin but higher than (crack) cocaine, methamphetamine etc.

Especially the comparison between crack cocaine and cocaine is interesting. On the biological side, there is little difference in the damage they do bodily (mortality and damage are very similar). But on the overall damage scale crack cocaine causes more damage on the individual as well as societal level. A part of these different outcomes is based on the different policies surrounding those drugs, which, in my mind indicates that the additional punishment for crack cocaine is net harmful.In other words, the perception of what is considered a relatively safe drug (tobacco, alcohol) with actual medical data is quite different.  Pretty much the only clear overlap are probably mushrooms.

Of course, one could weigh different parts of the equation differently. E.g. focusing more on withdrawal, or availability of treatment options and so on. However, it does show our given perception not data driven but based on certain narratives that we built ourselves surrounding certain drugs.

 

7 hours ago, MigL said:

John, I'm pretty certain you drink alcohol ( from previous conversations )

When are you gonna give it up and switch to doing heroin ?
Do your (adult ? ) children drink ? Would you prefer they did heroin instead ? 

And, if not, why not ?
( since its side effects are so much more benign )

I found this argument, as well as your earlier approach to playing devil's advocate highly problematic as you tend to leave out so much nuance as to make the argument worthless. I have addressed what the difference between "feel good" and addiction or compulsive behaviour and that those require different approaches. Heroin itself was, for several reasons perhaps not the best example John could have picked. But what is clear is that alcohol is far from a safe drug. Yet we deal with it in a certain way that we find acceptable. It is certainly not based on the objective harm done to the individual. However, as a parent the answer should clearly be: don't give alcohol to them or any other drugs. If that is not possible than disapprove of dosages that can cause short or long-term damage. Clearly we do that for certain drugs. But for others we seem to be fine(ish) with the toll on public health. What you are advocating here, MigL is a full-on emotional response and I do not consider that a good foundation for policy-making.

While I am far from being an expert in this area, it seems pretty clear to me that punishing users has almost only negative effects. The Portugal model (personal use is allowed, there is support to kick addiction, distribution and production is still prohibited) is not perfect and does not really eliminate drug abuse. However, it has also not lead to a surge of addiction. More importantly, indicators associated with drug addiction have improved. While certainly not perfect, it certainly seems a bit better than the decade old punishment route, which just made matters worse.

 

@Koti, some of the references regarding cannabis and tobacco: Budney et al. 2008, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment; Vandrey et al. 2008 Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Also note as per your earlier comment: there are no perfect policies. Every policy ever made is an empirical experiment. However, holding fast on wrong assumptions or not implementing changes once it becomes evident that they do more harm then good makes bad policies.

Edited by CharonY
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"worthless argument" ?
Ouch ! That hurts. :)

I have no stake in this discussion ( other than the discussing itself ).
I don't do any drugs, or smoke, and even alcohol is only consumed occasionally and in a social setting. There are over 50 assorted bottles at my home, mostly Cognac as I prefer grape based drinks, but I don't drink at home. I have to have wine if I'm eating pasts, and I'm forced to have Scotch at my brother's place ( he likes Scotch, the peaty stuff like Lagavulin ). Otherwise its the occasional beer or mixed drink in bars/restaurants.

But lets be clear.
Quite a few people are advocating legalization, but NOT the selling/producing aspect of it.
why is that ? There doesn't seem to be a problem with the selling/producing aspect of alcohol ?
Either there is a difference, hence the illegality of selling/producing, or there is not, and people should be able to cook meth and open 'drug' stores like they do distilleries and liquor stores.

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OK, let me try to kill this once and for all.
The start of the rambling about imagination started with this:

On 8/18/2018 at 2:41 PM, koti said:

I can’t imagine him shooting heroin every day for 30 years straight and be able to function or be alive for that matter. 

 

Perhaps  I should have simply pointed out that it's a logical fallacy- an argument from incredulity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_fallacy

And yet, as the discussion evolved, Koti somehow claimed that it was my job to provide the evidence to disprove it (even though the proof could hardly be expected to exist, given that it would be a confession of criminality).
Well, there's no reason- from a pharmacological perspective- that someone couldn't use heroin for years or decades while living a reasonably normal life (as illustrated by the report I cited).

Sorry, perhaps I was a bit of a dick for not making the logical fallacy clear earlier.

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31 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

OK, let me try to kill this once and for all.
The start of the rambling about imagination started with this:

 

Perhaps  I should have simply pointed out that it's a logical fallacy- an argument from incredulity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_fallacy

And yet, as the discussion evolved, Koti somehow claimed that it was my job to provide the evidence to disprove it (even though the proof could hardly be expected to exist, given that it would be a confession of criminality).
Well, there's no reason- from a pharmacological perspective- that someone couldn't use heroin for years or decades while living a reasonably normal life (as illustrated by the report I cited).

Sorry, perhaps I was a bit of a dick for not making the logical fallacy clear earlier.

Wow, a colloquial „I can’t imagine” is a logical fallacy now? „Annoying” doesn’t really apply here anymore, you phrased it more accurately than I did just now.

I’m still expecting proof and I’m not seeing any. If you can’t find it, book a flight to Portugal and start working on it.

Edited by koti
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3 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

(even though the proof could hardly be expected to exist, given that it would be a confession of criminality).

 

5 minutes ago, koti said:

If you can’t find it, book a flight to Portugal and start working on it.

 

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1 minute ago, John Cuthber said:

You are the one looking for the proof...

Call me old fashioned, fallacious or whatever you like but I rather have my whiskey and my pot from time to time instead (not together though) I’ll leave that endevour to you, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. 

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