November 30, 2008

"People who use heroin, they have the image of losers. They have the image of... junkies."

It's not fashionable anymore to be a heroin addict, so why not dispense it, legally, at a clinic?

37 comments:

Bob said...

I never had a reason to emigrate until now.

I think I'll go to Switzerland and be a junkie.

Bissage said...
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Bissage said...

You’ll notice they keep the heroin under lock and key.

The Swiss aren’t stupid. They don’t just give it away.

Community service is required.

Recipients have to guard the Pope.

Daryl said...

Where do heroin addicts come from?

They don't grow on trees.

No child says "when I grow up, I want to start using heroin"

First-time users don't just buy heroin from their neighborhood dealer and go off by themselves to figure out how it works. (It looks complicated to me!)

No--experienced users show new users how to use it. The experienced users are the ones who encourage new people to try it for the first time.

If you're a heroin addict, and you need money to buy more, you can rob cars, rob houses, mug people--or you can recruit your friends to take H with you, and become their dealer. That's how new addicts get made.

Take away the financial pressure to create new addicts, and there will be fewer new addicts.

Larry J said...

Some people claim that drug use is a victimless crime but I have my doubts. One of my nieces is addicted to drugs (heroin or crack, I really don't know for sure). Her pursuit of drugs caused her to abandon 3 children, one of whom is seriously depressed and another is going blind from a degenerative eye disease. Oh, I just found out that she has a new baby boy. Oh, the joy of it all. Even if her drugs had been legal, I doubt it would've mitigated the carnage she has left in her selfish persuit of her next high.

Ron said...

Swiss Zen Mastery is when the holes in your arm match the holes in their cheese.

John Burgess said...

One of my wife's grandmothers was addicted to heroin for the last 30+ years of her life. She managed to live her life as a society lady, married to a high level US military officer, Commandant of the USMC.

She got her fix from her doctor, at a reasonable price, and never had to knock off a liquor store, burgle the neighbors, or sell her body on the street. Her husband didn't have to embezzle or sell national secrets to support her habit.

She was hypocondriacal throughout her life and felt her 'medicine' helped her cope. Maybe she complicated her husband's life; maybe she somehow let her son or grandchildren down. None of them seemed to think so, though.

chickenlittle said...

Where do heroin addicts come from?

Take away the financial pressure to create new addicts, and there will be fewer new addicts.


Daryl, I respectfully disagree. The new laws will reduce the crime associated with obtaining heroin, but will do little or nothing to discourage usage.

No child says 'when I grow up, I want to start using heroin'

Believe it or not, enough young Swiss convince themselves to try heroin to perpetuate the problem.

Why?

'In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.'

-- Orson Welles (The Third Man, 1949, Graham Greene)

Alex said...

Test

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I agree with Chickenlittle. Note the last decriminalization experiment failed also. Needle Parks.

Supporters say it has had positive results - getting long-term addicts out of Switzerland's once notorious "needle parks" and reducing drug-related crime.

EDH said...

I know what you're going through. I too once fell under the spell of opium. It was 1979. I was travelling the Yangtzee in search of a Mongolian horsehair vest. I had got to the market after sundown, all of the clothing
traders had gone, but a different sort of trader still lurked about. "Just a taste," he said. That was all it took.

The toll road of denial is a long and dangerous one. The price? Your soul.

Oh, and by the way, you have til' 5:00 to clear out your desk. You're fired.


- Jacobo Peterman

Craig Landon said...

One wonders if these patients are part of Swiss homeland defense, with their automatic weapons stored in their closets. Neato.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Heroin.

Maxine Weiss said...

This blog never gives the reader what she needs, when she needs it.

Anyway...can someone tell me where the deals are on Air Travel ? The Monday after Thanksgiving is just supposed to be a regular business day. Is everybody in the world traveling home tomorrow ? I thought today (Sunday) was the big travel day, and by Monday, things are back to normal.

And, absolutely no deals on flying on Christmas Day. Who flies on Christmas? You always used to be able to get great deals if you flew on Christmas Day. Nobody but Jews on the plane. And, single Jews. A great time to meet single Jewish men was to fly on Christmas Day, for dirt cheap.

Not a deal in sight, nowadays. What is going on ?

john said...

I really love Amy Winehouse -

http://www.puremusic.com/76assets/amy.jpg

but its killing her. Fast.

'Doctors are still struggling to control her heartbeat but the chest condition has been really worrying them.
'She'd been suffering horrible coughing fits and hurling up blood for a while but refused to be examined. Doctors are doing more tests to be certain. The last thing she needs is to be wheeled on stage. She needs a rest.'
Winehouse, who has battled heroin and crack cocaine addiction, has lost her appetite and has an irregular heartbeat.

laura said...

Well said, Darryl. No child says "when I grow up, I want to start using heroin"

With addiction being cunning, baffling and powerful, I'd say that it's worth a try to keep an eye on it.

Mitch said...

We can't legalize heroin - the junkies who are addicted to the INSANE War on Some Drugs would suffer from withdrawal

theMickey's said...

Dar- Junkies are indoctrinated into dope by doing dope. I did heroin in the 60's a couple of times. I t was a monster buzz, but i had a job I couldn't afford to lose.
I noticed a lot of bookish & black folk did it. I liked it, but I had a jo...

ron st.amant said...

The lie today about drug use is that it's 'experimentation'...there's nothing to experiment with, we simply know the truth and effects of certain drugs, the dangers etc.

What no one, either on the left who want decriminalization or legalization, and the right who say 'just say no', is that no one seems to address the underlying question of drug use: why do users feel the need to escape?

Drugs are either a way to escape the pain of a particular circumstance, or escape some psychological, societal constraint.

Drug use is slow suicide and sadly so far I've seen no real program or idea of a means to stop it.

John Burgess said...

ron st.amant: You're asking a question about the human condition.

There has not been a human society yet that has not used some drug unless it made a very conscious decision to avoid it.

Alcohol, amanita, psilocybin, opium, ganja, peyote, soma, ayuhuasca, johimbe...the list goes on.

The fact is, humans like the effect that some drugs produce.It can be a religious experience or it can just be fun.

Humans are hard-wired to look for whatever it is they get from drugs.

There's actually a lot of research on the topic if you'd like to get beyond the deprecatory 'escape' trope. It's not all about teenage angst.

john said...

John Burgess - I'm kind of on the fence about this. I agree with you that we have sought drug-induced euphoria or stupor from plants probably since man first discovered their properties. For the most part we got along with their effects. It was religious, it was fun.

Just as distilled alcohol kicks fermented alcohol butt, the manufacture and refinement into heroin, crack, and others creates a totally different and lethal experience. I am not sure your comparison of our historical quest for drugs with the more refined drugs available today is apt.

Donna B. said...

Perhaps we should just make the more historical drugs legal? Would that not dampen the economics of refining them?

What has always bothered me is the opportunity for corruption in the banning of substances. See Prohibition. See Mexico.

mcg said...

That's the funny thing about criminal laws---they tend to produce criminals.

John Burgess said...

I don't think all drugs are created equal. Some really f*ck you up. Cocaine and its derivatives simply fry the brain with enough use.

Others, though, including the opium-based drugs, can kill you with an overdose, but maintenance dosages do not seem to have any acute effect. Perhaps a lifetime of doing them would shorten that life. But societies from China to Persia have used opiates for centuries. In the Persian Gulf, opium was considered an "old person's drug". Let Grandma or Grandpa smoke a little, take a pill or two and it kept them happy and quiet without any appreciable bad effects.

Of course, various people tolerate different drugs differently. I've seen people freak out the first time they smoked grass. I've also seen people ingest huge (to me) quantities of LSD and mescaline with no ill effect, then or 40 years later. Maybe it'll get them when they're in their 90s?

Eli Blake said...

The bottom line involving any kind of prohibition is this:

You are working to stop a market, meaning that you are invariably fighting upsteam, and can only slow down the current by allocating a lot of money and effort (I say slow, because I don't think you can ever completely stop any business that there are both producers and consumers for.)

That's not to say that there aren't cases where we should go ahead and ban things anyway (for example, I believe that the damage caused by methamphetamine or child pornography is so extensive that it is worth the extra societal effort and expense we need to expend to keep these things illegal.)

But we have banned so many things by now in the name of morality (substances, various forms of literature, prostitution, most gambling, some firearms, immigration quotas* etc.) that we run the risk of bankrupting ourselves fighting all of it while the real criminals (those who directly harm others while committing their crimes) go free because the cops are off busting an office football pool.

*-- yes, I did say immigration quotas, because that is also a case of government thinking they can pass a law and thereby control a market, in this case a labor market. The number of illegal immigrants is a direct measurement of the difference between the number of jobs that they are needed for and the number that Congress artificially decides are needed, which bears little resemblance to reality. Of course this year the number of people crossing the border (based on the number of apprehensions) is down sharply, mostly because the supply of jobs has diminished due to the recession.


It seems that the Swiss approach to heroin is more logical-- recognizing that the market exists, they treat it like an unwelcome volume of water-- they channel it to flow where it does the least damage, instead of trying to block it off.

Maxine Weiss said...

http://maxinesplace.blogspot.com/2007/12/luke-laura-at-christmas.html

Maxine Weiss said...

This is disgusting:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-wagman30-2008nov30,0,3032060.story

Donna B. said...

Maxine -- it is both disgusting and not.

The day before my stepmother died, I lay in bed beside her, warming her because her body was so thin it could not. The hospice nurse was there with us. We did undignified things... a catheter, atropine, oxygen... yet, her last words were "it's so hard to let go". Was it not our job to tell her that it was okay to let go? Would it not be cruel to tell her to hang on, though the strength to do so was gone, and the pain unbearable?

There is no good time to die.

Pogo said...

Heroin junkies are soooo 1990s.

TMink said...

Donna B. wrote: "There is no good time to die."

No, but dying with your loving family around you telling you that they love you and are OK with your letting go is a wonderful way to die.

Trey

TMink said...

Donna B. wrote: "There is no good time to die."

No, but dying with your loving family around you telling you that they love you and are OK with your letting go is a wonderful way to die.

Trey

laura said...

It seems that the Swiss approach to heroin is more logical-- recognizing that the market exists, they treat it like an unwelcome volume of water-- they channel it to flow where it does the least damage, instead of trying to block it off.

Exactly.

Maxine Weiss said...

Donna, I've been through it too. And, you don't deprive someone of food and water.

A ventilator is one thing, but disconnecting a feeding tube, and water....is torture and manslaughter.

Merry Christmas, everyone !!!

jeff said...

"It's not fashionable anymore to be a heroin addict, so why not dispense it, legally, at a clinic?"

When was it fashionable? How did I miss this? I still view it straight out of a Starsky and Hutch episode. Some looser in a dirty wife beater shooting up while on a bare mattress in an apartment with no furniture under a bare light bulb swinging back and forth.

(Queue Luckyoldson (Micheal) to dispute there was ever anything such as heroin, or an episode of Starsky and Hutch dealing with heroin, and light bulbs dont swing, and besides Rush did pills so everything else is bullshit)

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Drugs are gross.

It was warm here last night and I had my fabulous juliet balcony door open.

I was awaken by a loud voice outside. It was 3:30 in the morning. There is generally people walking around outside my building most hours of the day except maybe between 3-5.

Well for some reason this guy's loud voice waked me from my slumber. As well he waked the rare clumbers from their slumbers.

He was going from cab to cab asking if they could take him to and from this area where drugs are sold. He only had $6.00 and asked if any of the cabs would take him for $6.00. In between talking to cabs he was on his cell calling the drug dealer explaining his financial dilemma in getting over to the drug house.

I found the entire episode so very sad.

theMickey's said...

@ron st.
The lie today about drug use is that it's 'experimentation'...

Of course it was experimentation, back when. Now it's trendy.