City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Theodore Dalrymple
Wicked, Wicked Heroin « Back to Story

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It says right in the article that Alysa was addicted to Oxy, then moved on to heroin. THIS is the telling sentence, because the 18-month addiction "curve" stated for just heroin does not apply when a person is already addicted to synthetic heroin (Oxy) and moved onto heroin. In my line of work, I see this all the time. That's why it has "wormed" its way into white communities. Because whites become addicted to Oxy, but they can no longer get it, and heroin is cheaper, so they go to that. Oxy addicts are pre-addicted to heroin. There is no curve.
To Darlene:

DR Dalrymple is a physician, specifically was a prison psychiatrist and has published a book about opiate addiction. I think he knows a thing or two about the topic.
does the author know the difference between the brain & the mind?
Lake Worth, where to start? I hope you lefties intend to donate your brains to science - neurologists could base whole conferences around the wiring diagrams.
Inanimate causative factors, eh? Your logical equivalent of ships hitting rocks is "the heroin wormed its way into my veins". No human intervention needed, it just happens.
Addiction is a disease? Well the end result may look that way, but people do not knowingly persevere with a dangerous activity to acquire disease. To equate a heroin addict with, say, a kid with leukemia, is another example of the left's incomprehension at the idea of personal choice and responsibility.
The worst is that people like you are disproportionately found in the public sector (largely because the academic meringue of a Gender Studies degree doesn't open many doors in the real world), where you end up with an abundance of ill-deserved influence. This reverse Darwinism is killing the West.
That's it, Doctor? That is all you have to say about the heroin plague worming its way into every corner of our society? Not even a riff off of that other infamous inanimate - the gun? "Heroin doesn't kill people, people kill people."
Stupid.
Darlene,

Mr Dalrymple has as much personal experience of heroin as a colorectal surgeon has had with bowel cancer, but you would still take the surgeons advice with matters concerning what is best and not argue the toss with them would not you? So why should this situation be different?
New York city funds and operates methadone clinics at no charge to the clients. The clients receive free methadone on the supposition they will stop injecting heroin or other opiates. The workers have the sinecure of a city job, benefits, etc. A relative once was a "client" and when he inquired how he could de-tox from methadone, no one had anything to say of help. After all, the employees need clients to keep their jobs. Symbiosis, sir.

Two blocks down from the clinic near union square there is a hispanic restaurant I used to dine at (wonderful wonderful "from scratch" food), and outside this restaurant methadone "clients' would make "trades" using the the occasional "take-home" methadone doses for something else: money, pills, etc. etc.

My crystal ball predicts that such clinics will ultimately be "mandated" all across America as essential health benefits under the vast authority given to the secretary of HHS by the ACA act: perhaps like birth control pills, FREE, FREE, FREE.

Imagine your young relative announcing that he can't afford to pay his drug dealer for his hits and is signing up at the local government healthcare agency for the free government opiate.

It is possible to compassionate without disregard for facts.

Anyone addicted in utero thanks to their mother is an involuntary addict. So is anyone addicted as a result of originally taking prescription drugs prescribed for pain or ailment. We ought to be running social and medical services more effectively to provide maximum support and compassion under these circumstances, a lot better than the ramshackle arrangements we still have in most places.

I suppose that anyone who takes their first injection, snort, or pipe at threat of immediate death by knife or gun counts as involuntary, presuming for a second that that ever happens anywhere. Strictly, still a choice, but one we all would make. I'm willing to see a compassionate system allow for this possibility at the margins, even if that means unwarranted generosity to those to whom it scarcely applies.

Beyond all that, drug addiction is voluntary, whether the drugs are legal or not. Use at own risk, and keep off public streets.
Another silly comment from Lake Worthless. Have you considered the Huffington Post that may be more your speed.
Again, this Dalrymple ignores both cause-and-effect mechanics and the whole of evidence. He also fails at grammar where addressing inanimate causative factors as actors has been the standard form going back to the Romans and Greeks.

"The train went off the tracks." "The ship hit the rocks." D'oh....

Worse is this pap: "Nature culling the herd, getting rid of the weak." Since addiction is a disease, at least for us civilized folk, that appears to be an argument for letting disease "cull the herd" generally. Let's close down hospitals, eh?

Why has conservatism formed up as a collection of people who avoid Inductive Logic ??? Acquiring evidence, weighing the principles that are applied, proceeding carefully with conclusion -- no-no-no. It's like the foolishness of worshiping low taxes, despite that low tax RED STATES are at the bottom of the barrel for everything from income to health.

Are these writers drunk ??? Anybody remember William F. Buckley? That Goldwater guy? Heard about Pope Francis? He's kinda new....
Response to Darlene. The following is from the Wikipedia article on Theodore Dalrymple. His opinion of those who abuse opiates is probably better founded than those of most of us.

Anthony (A.M.) Daniels (born 11 October 1949), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is an English writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. He worked in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries as well as in the east end of London. Before his retirement in 2005, he worked in City Hospital, Birmingham[1] and Winson Green Prison in inner-city Birmingham, England.
Just how much personal experience does Mr. Dalrymple have with heroine or other opiates? Does he have a background in chemistry or medicine? It seems his comments are no more helpful than the New York Times story. At least the Times shows a measure of compassion.
What great masters and how far USA has fallen!
But think of all the money to be made in the methadone biz. In my town alone there are a dozen highly paid state workers who administer methadone to the masses. And since most methadone users seem to remain on methadone for the rest of their lives, it provides great job security. So heroin is actually a job-creator.
Addiction to any illegal substance--or cigarettes--is unpredictable. Sometimes one puff is enough to make an addict. Then there are people who try one puff, choke, and run the other way.
The idea that addicts have a choice not to be pulled, magnetlike, toward the substance dominating them, is absurd
http://www.thecriticalmom.com
It isn't drug addiction that kills addicts, it's drug prohibition, which forces them into the black market. In contrast, addicts who can get a steady supply of pure morphine or heroin at a known level of potency and clean hypodermics, can live long, happy productive lives.
Some high functioning addicts - Charles Dickens, Frank Sinatra, Florence Nightingale, the great surgeon William Halstead, Irving Berlin.
I once met an elderly gentleman who claimed to be “the oldest living junkie”. He said that he had smoked opium in Chinatown with Irving Berlin before the Harrison Act (1914). He was a generous benefactor of an elite university. His name was on a wing of the hospital and on a campus building. He had no trouble getting his fix

Nature culling the herd, getting rid of the weak. Nothing more.
Thank you, Dr. Dalrymple. Another current causation illusion is ‘the street,’ which purportedly corrupts youth into crime and early death. Streets are made of concrete, steel and glass, not demons who destroy lives.
The social and moral environment of a slum may entice youth into squandering their life potential. But most of inhabitants of ‘the hood’ live relatively peaceful lives and some rise to the working or middle class, or better. The most likely candidates who might achieve above most of their neighbours may be found earning high marks in high school and in regular attendance at the community church.
Similarly, the marxist illusion of, ‘the patriarchy’ supposedly limits the life potential of females. Those indignant under-achievers would never admit to their lesser physical and intellectual resources, compared to most men. They want quotas, to defeat the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, Patriarchy, Now!
richard ryder: i disagree. food is legal and people will next to kill themselves with it. I know because I did.
It is highly likely that the 'heroin' was
mixed with an ill defined dose of fentanyl or acetylfentanyl. These are highly effective narcotic sedatives that have a
relatively small dose range, above which
respiratory arrest occurs, followed in 6-10 minutes by brain death if there is no intervention. They are primarily used by anesthesiologists for that reason. Most hospitals do not allow fentanyl use outside the operating suite or perhaps ICU.
Drug "overdoses" are often the result of the drug being illegal. When you ingest heroin, cocaine, etc, you are playing Russian roulette. You don't know the purity, nor do you know what the drug has been combined or "cut" with.

Moreover, you have no legal recourse to the drug trade at any level-- the usual civil lawsuit won't work here. We saw the same drug "poisoning" deaths with alcohol prohibition. We should have learned.

It's time we make these nasty drugs legal. Let legitimate vendors provide the product in sanitary conditions and known purity. Hold them accountable for the quality and disclosure for their products. Do NOT make them responsible for adverse results -- that's the individual's responsibility -- choosing to take unsafe drugs.

While drug abuse problems are VERY real, most "drug problems" are really PROHIBITION problems. Portugal has largely figured this out -- though they have shied away from full legalization/decriminalization. Other countries are considering similar steps --Uruguay being the latest.

Our endless American "drug war" provides good employment for police, prison guards, attorney and others -- which makes reform difficult. But sooner or later we WILL end this incredibly harmful war.
Thank you, Dr. Dalrymple for reminding us that only human actions can properly be called good or evil.
Alcohol has much the same reputation: it worms its way into its victims. Everyone (and yes, I mean _everyone_) who drinks to excess started and continues to drink for one reason and one reason only: he or she wanted to.

Recovery from excessive drinking (or its follow-on, alcoholism) begins in the same place: one must want to stop (and stay stopped).

Sadly, the most commonly advised societal cure is prohibition, which doesn't work. Prohibition is also a classic case of blaming the thing, rather than the user.
Trust the New York Times to confuse the innocuous phenomenon of drugs with the handful of irresponsible people who engage in the deadly practice of drug use.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/guns-are-only-deadly-if-used-for-their-intended-pu,10705/