March 22, 2016

"Heroin is bad, and injecting heroin is bad, so how could supervised heroin injection be a good thing?”

Said Svante L. Myrick, the mayor of Ithaca, New York, about an idea he now supports.

ADDED: I blogged a similar story back in 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?

83 comments:

sydney said...

I would be worried about liability. The person using it under supervision could still die. If the addict dies under supervision, doesn't that make the supervisor liable for his death?

tim in vermont said...

Suicide booths. Why not?

sydney said...

And yes, it is not good to enable the use of a dangerous substance.

AReasonableMan said...

Heroin in moderate doses is not bad is the answer. Addictive, but not particularly harmful.

Fernandinande said...

But the unorthodox idea has drawn attention at a time of intense concern about the growing toll of heroin abuse,

According to their link, it's growing by zero in NY.

Many of them are overdosing not in squalid rooms but in public places.

How gauche.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

Quaestor said...

I think we've been down this dead end road before.

Gahrie said...

There was a period of time in which a fairly large segment of the population was regularly using opium. They drank it mixed with alcohol as a cure all.

Quaestor said...

When the Huffington Post uses the word reportedly it means what follows is a lie.

jr565 said...

I propose the same solution for something like russian roulette .we should have the same thing. Have a room where you can go and shoot yourself in the head with your friends. the bullets used will be rubber, so you may not blow your brains out completley, And we can have a nurse on hand to apply medical aid if you puncture your skull with a bullet.
if you turn yourself into a vegetable we can get you into a hospital bed really quickly. The room could actually be in the hospital.

Quaestor said...

They drank it mixed with alcohol as a cure all.

It was generally called laudanum. Opium was also given to children in candy form as a cure for boisterousness.

I reiterate, we've been down this dead end road before.

Quaestor said...

Suicide booths. Why not?

I propose free opiates for all in whatever dose you want on the single condition that the recipient agrees to irreversible sterilization. Evolution will do the rest.

FullMoon said...

Whenever there is news of botched executions, I wonder why the prisoner is not simply given a heroin overdose. Seems like a fairly decent way to go.

Fernandinande said...

"Heroin is bad, and injecting heroin is bad, so how could supervised heroin injection be a good thing?"

Not good, less bad.

Here's another idea: add poison to the heroin.

"Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people."

n.n said...

Safe, legal, and rare... sort of. kind of. maybe.

It's certainly not premeditated termination of human life in its most vulnerable evolutionary phase. Without a voice to protest. Without arms for self-defense. With a cult bent on its destruction and cannibalism.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh the things you'll pay for, you lucky taxpayer you!

Ron Snyder said...

Why not just inject them with a lethal dose and rid society of them?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fernandinande said...The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people."

It's darkly amusing to see that episode used as an example of our immoral government run amok and harming citizens as part of an ancient and discredited moral crusade (as it often is in Libertarian circles)...and then to think about Operation Fast & Furious and how it's damn near the exact same thing. People died, but the goal was to fight "guns" so it's different. Ok.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Maybe it will be easier to figure it out this way:
My liberal (and cruelly neutral) friends, can you please give me a list of the things I'm NOT morally obligated to pay for on behalf of other people? Food, shelter, clothing, education, contraception, infant-raising costs, and so on (to now include illegal drug use assistance), so what am I allowed to say is not my responsibility to fund for other people? What is it ok for me not to pay for--for people I'm not in any way related to? Anything? Cool, cool.

tim in vermont said...

They could sign them up for welfare and to vote at the same time! Everybody wins!

Fabi said...

I wasn't aware that heroin use had become unfashionable. I suppose, then, that this is a good time to quit.

J. Farmer said...

That's essentially what methadone clinics do all over the country. It's basically a harm reduction ethos.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

If politicians really cared about dealing with substance abuse problems, they'd focus on alcohol. It causes far more problems for society than illicit drugs and kills more people than opioids, heroin, and cocaine combined. How many domestic violence calls do police respond to that don't involve alcohol?

BDNYC said...

Heroin has apparently made a furious comeback, particularly in rural America. Until a few years ago, it was meth; now it's heroin. I recall a fairly recent news story about surging rates of heroin addiction and heroin-related deaths in some parts of Indiana. It seemed like all the GOP candidates were talking about heroin addiction in New Hampshire.

BDNYC said...

I could see the benefit of supervised heroin use in a place where there is a real problem with dirty needles spreading AIDS. I could also see the benefit of supervised use if it's coupled with some paternalism (maybe require the addict undergo treatment, therapy, education, etc).

Pettifogger said...

I'll have to give this more thought. What about the argument that, while the user still suffers the penalties of his addiction, the externalities of an illegal drug trade are no longer imposed on society. The only people hurt are those stupid enough to stick a needle in their arm. Are they our first priority? I tend to think not.

Birkel said...

So, we get the worst of both worlds?

I am all set to let people make whatever bad choices they want, so long as I don't pay for them. That is Option A.

I am ok with criminalizing some drugs, if it reduces overall drug use. I doubt drug use is reduced. Also, I don't like empowering the feds. That is Option B.

The worst option is I pay for somebody else's high. Screw that.

Michael K said...

"Heroin in moderate doses is not bad is the answer. Addictive, but not particularly harmful."

I actually agree that, if any narcotic was to be legalized, heroin is the best choice, The biggest problem with legal heroin is the tachyphylaxis that requires larger and larger doses to get the same effect. It is also quite constipating.

The other problem is social. Most addicts are useless mouths to feed. A very few, like William Halsted the founder of American surgery, carried on a successful career while addicted to morphine but that is rare. He was originally addicted to cocaine from experiments with local anesthesia. Almost all physicians so addicted became useless drones but Hasted was a huge exception.

Heroin is certainly preferable to meth which is extremely dangerous.

Smilin' Jack said...

I don't mind if my tax dollars provide heroin for addicts. It's cheaper than putting them in prison or getting mugged by them. Most addicts who've just had a fix are pretty mellow and well-behaved. Or dead, and you can't get any better-behaved than that.

PB said...

All opioids have therapeutic value, so good/bad is irrelevant. It's the dose that makes the poison. Heroin, morphine, codeine all come from the opium poppy.

Temujin said...

And another chip falls.

Jay Vogt said...

Spectacularly stupid idea. Read up on the Opium Wars. A state sponsored addict class ends up becoming a host population for a parasitic state. Not to mention that it creates maintains and coddles a whole class of PEOPLE who's freedom we make ourselves comfortable surrendering. Oh, yeah that.

Painful and messy . . . er rather make that grotesque and hideous as it may be breaking the addiction as quickly as possible is the only answer.

Sorry

Carol said...

So much of my impressions of these drugs is based on horror stories and propaganda that I just can't judge anymore. All I know is, if libertarians want to end the war on drugs by legalization, it cannot be limited to pot. That's just some people's preference. The drugpins sell all kinds of stuff not just that. Legalizing pot won't affect their action all that much.

I would be happy just to be able to get the Tylenol with codeine that you could buy in Canada OTC, at least when I went there years ago. I heard you could buy it easily in Mexican drugstores too.

Jay Vogt said...

...PB said...

All opioids have therapeutic value, so good/bad is irrelevant. It's the dose that makes the poison. Heroin, morphine, codeine all come from the opium poppy.


Poppies yes, but it is a problem when it becomes weaponized by Big Pharma - see oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl. These substances are far, far, far, far too addictive to be manufactured in the quantities that they are and as loosely regulated as they are.

You can make a reasonably good case that they shouldn't be manufactured at all.

madAsHell said...

The Swiss!! They also have suicide tourists.

madAsHell said...

Heroin is certainly preferable to meth which is extremely dangerous.

I saw my cousin recently. He's a detective in Auburn, Washington. I was kidding him about the 3M's (meth, marijuana and moon shine) of policing. He said that is no longer true. The streets are flooded with very cheap, and very high quality heroin. I'm sure the same is true in your neighborhood.

Jay Vogt said...

Carol,
I'll cut through the propaganda for you: the weaponized versions of opioids are very bad: addictive and freedom robbing for individuals, destructive to families and corrosive to societies.

Don't know about Canada, however the barriers to purchase Tylenol 3 has been raised slightly in Mexico. Now you need to see a compensated and more than accommodating clinic referral person. Just another "fee" that that state gets off of an addicted populace. How convenient.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eustace Chilke said...

Legalize it. All of it. Let the users run their own affairs and suffer the damages and rewards alike. The problem population will level out at some natural limit. A larger problem - the police state - will be mitigated. Everyone wins except dead addicts and cops. What's not to like?

DanTheMan said...

If you subsidize heroin addiction, you will get more of it.
So, the question: Do we want more heroin addicts, or less?

RigelDog said...

Why not dispense it "medically?" Because there is no safe dosage of heroin!! It is very common for people to accidentally die from taking a hit of heroin that is identical to the type and amount of heroin that they have used countless times before. Only this time, it kills them.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Birkel said...The worst option is I pay for somebody else's high. Screw that.

Yuuuup.

FullMoon said...

RigelDog said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Why not dispense it "medically?" Because there is no safe dosage of heroin!! It is very common for people to accidentally die from taking a hit of heroin that is identical to the type and amount of heroin that they have used countless times before. Only this time, it kills them.


Huh? How does that even make sense?

Michael K said...

My comment was prefaced by "If"

"If you subsidize heroin addiction, you will get more of it.
So, the question: Do we want more heroin addicts, or less?"

Yes but there is some doubt that everyone who uses heroin will become addicted. It is especially that case when it is used in pain. After the Harrison Narcotic Act was passed, hospitals that had heroin for real medicinal use were allowed to use it until the supply was exhausted. Johns Hopkins had used it for years for labor pain and they stopped using it for anything else to conserve what was left for labor pain. The finally ran out about 1930. I don't believe there was evidence of serious addiction in such use.

There is an addictive personality and not everyone is subject to addiction. Most people who are sensible avoid using narcotics as recreation although it got quite common in the 70s. I had patients ask me if there was any real harm in using cocaine.

Some countries have tried legalization but the results are not very good. The question is whether the decrease in crime balances the damage to susceptible people who would not try heroin in other circumstances. It's a complicated question and I don;t have the answer. Even so, IF a narcotic were to be legalized, heroin would be much better than many others.

Michael K said...

"It is very common for people to accidentally die from taking a hit of heroin that is identical to the type and amount of heroin that they have used countless times before. Only this time, it kills them."

This is usually after a period of incarceration where they have "come off" the drug. Because of tachyphylaxis, if they go back to the same dose they used when addicted and acclimated, they will OD with the first hit after getting out of prison.

Laslo Spatula said...

Use the Heroin in a Dose that Courtney Love says is Okay.

Relax in the Upper Room.

Close your eyes.

Let Courtney place the Shotgun in your Mouth.

Or let an Acquaintance of hers put the Shotgun in your mouth -- there are No Conspiracies Here.

Let her -- or her Acquaintance -- put your hand over the Trigger.

You will not even feel your hand being squeezed.

Briefly open your eyes.

Notice that Yoko Ono is in the same room, laughing.

__ ____ __ ___


I am Laslo.

Paul said...

So WHO WILL PAY FOR THE JUNKIES FIX?

Will the mayor? No?

The junkies sure don't have the money so, again, who will pay for it?

See the junkies can't or don't work. They can't hold a steady job.

So who will be stuck with the bill?

Eric said...



It's definitely true where I live. In my social circle it's becoming pretty common to hear that so-and-so's kid (or grandkid) is a junkie. From what I can tell this is the story:

1. Patients get prescribed opioids for various conditions. Might be for surgeries, might be for chronic pain like a bad back. For whatever reason, some percentage of them become addicted.
2. The addicted people get around the systems in place to prevent easy access to opioids. A decade ago that meant doc shopping - I had a buddy who, after being prescribed Vicodin after a knee surgery, blew out his liver by getting prescriptions from five different doctors.
3. Pill mills spring up to meet the demand.
4. The government realizes there isn't enough pain in the country to justify the number of opioids people are taking, starts cracking down on the pill mills
5. Addicts, denied their (semi) legal supply switch to heroin.
6. Heroin is now "around" in a way it hasn't been since the '70s, so anyone who's interested can easily find someone willing to sell. On top of that, since the modern stuff is of such high quality, you can get hooked by snorting it, so people with needle phobias have two small steps to junkiehood instead of one big one.

I have no idea what we, as a society, ought to do about this. The best solution might be to just leave things as they are, try to minimize the damage, and let the problem run its course.

LarsPorsena said...

I'm hoping to see meth vending machines in every snack bar across the USA.

Freeman Hunt said...

"There was a period of time in which a fairly large segment of the population was regularly using opium. They drank it mixed with alcohol as a cure all."

And I bet it did cure just about anything that hurt.

FullMoon said...

Michael K said... [hush]​[hide comment]

"It is very common for people to accidentally die from taking a hit of heroin that is identical to the type and amount of heroin that they have used countless times before. Only this time, it kills them."

This is usually after a period of incarceration where they have "come off" the drug. Because of tachyphylaxis, if they go back to the same dose they used when addicted and acclimated, they will OD with the first hit after getting out of prison.

Disagree. Addicts will take the lower dose. In fact, many addicts will intentionally temporarily kick the habit because higher doses cost too much. Then start back up again with lower dose. That is a real world fact

ken in tx said...

Heroin, eaten or smoked, makes you constipated. You need to take metamucil with it, and drink Ensure. Shoot up with it? Crazy talk. Anybody who would give themselves a shot is crazy.

Michael K said...

"Then start back up again with lower dose"

Those are the smart ones. The dumb ones come in as DOA.

James Pawlak said...

It should be dispensed at clinics:
1.But must be used there; And,
2. One of every thousand units to be lethal.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm for it. I posted this back on a past thread:

Proposed modification:

Each time someone comes in to use the facility, he must fill out form that has two checkboxes and a signature line. One checkbox reads, "I request admittance to use drugs in this facility." The other checkbox reads, "I hereby commit myself to an inpatient drug treatment program." If he checks the second box, he is congratulated and immediately transported to an inpatient drug treatment program.

Every time you come in, you face those two boxes and pick one to check off. Maybe it would be a helpful nudge.

Let people's impulsivity work for them.

FullMoon said...


Blogger Freeman Hunt said...

I'm for it. I posted this back on a past thread:

Proposed modification:

Each time someone comes in to use the facility, he must fill out form that has two checkboxes and a signature line. One checkbox reads, "I request admittance to use drugs in this facility." The other checkbox reads, "I hereby commit myself to an inpatient drug treatment program." If he checks the second box, he is congratulated and immediately transported to an inpatient drug treatment program.

Every time you come in, you face those two boxes and pick one to check off. Maybe it would be a helpful nudge.


Great idea. It would work.

madisonfella said...

Each time someone comes in to use the facility, he must fill out form that has two checkboxes and a signature line. One checkbox reads, "I request admittance to use drugs in this facility." The other checkbox reads, "I hereby commit myself to an inpatient drug treatment program." If he checks the second box, he is congratulated and immediately transported to an inpatient drug treatment program.

I like it. Can we also require it when a beer is ordered at the bar or cigarettes bought at the store?

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hey if Obama and Bush did a little blow back in the day, who can blame those who want to be (or at least think) different, from either man, and do some H today?

I will chip in some of your money for you, why not? After the Jonathan Gruber revelations, you owe it to them, the American electorate hoodwinked.

n.n said...

Once society resumed abortion rites and conducted baby trials, the other dysfunctional orientations and behaviors seem so trivial. So, remove the safety net, increase the first and second responders, and let people indulge in their base desires. We have already passed the point of no return.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I hear heroin (oxycontin is the same, roughly) feels really good and is really addictive. There must be some cost. It can't be free. Obviously not everyone will try it or become an addict.

cubanbob said...

Lets see legalize heroin and..... I'm depressed and the idea of using heroin to get me mellow, warm and pain free sounds like I great idea. So I go to my doctor and ask him for a script for heroin and get it filled at Walgreen's or CVS. Is that how legalization would work? Will ObamaCare cover the script for heroin? Of course once I have the monkey on my back how do I pay the rent and eat if I can't work? Would I get a SSI disability check? An EBT card? Section 8 housing? So how is legalization going to work and under such a scheme how do you first acquire legally and what is the 'age of consent' so to speak to go get one's heroin cherry popped so to speak?

tim maguire said...

While I can see the argument for heroin dispenseries, I have to wonder if the supporters (alng with all the other institutionalized forms of non-reporting, mostly around illegal immigration) have given much thought to the environment they are creating when government agencies help people undermine the law.

Quaestor said...

If you subsidize heroin addiction, you will get more of it.
So, the question: Do we want more heroin addicts, or less?


Not less, FEWER, g__dammit!

Does .043 of a heroin addict make sense? If it's quantized it's fewer. If it's infinitely divisible less makes sense. Think of wine. If you've had enough do you want fewer or less wine?

Rusty said...

The problem with heroin is that the high only lasts so long. By that I mean the euphoria and numbness are good for six months, a year, two years depending on the individual exery time they shoot up. After that you no longer get high but you still need that fix just to feel normal. In ever increasing doses. The alternative is withdrawl. Sweats, cramps and I'm told, " Like having your skin abraded off from the inside."
Normally I have no trouble with people killing themselves in any manner they chose just as long as it's their choice and I dont have to cover the costs. However I can't see how society is being benefitted by subsidising addiction.

Mrs Whatsit said...

I live not far from Ithaca. All of rural upstate NY is drowning in heroin. Many of the users got started with OxyContin and its relatives, either prescribed to them or snitched from their parents' medicine cabinets - but then the state cracked down on controlled substance prescriptions and heroin became a cheaper and easily found alternative.

It's easy for commenters here who aren't living in the midst of this to disdain junkies as losers who'd be better off dead. It's harder to do that when they're your neighbor's kids and your coworkers' nephews and your kids' friends' little sisters who would be in college by now if this hadn't happened. Svante's answer may not be the right one, but as far as we can tell, nobody else has any answers at all.

John Henry said...

As several have mentioned, Heroin is not a particularly dangerous drug in itself. It was originally developed as a safer alternative to morphine.

What makes it dangerous is that what is bought on the streets is made using uncontrolled processes, cut with all sorts of weird stuff that one should not ever inject (strychnine/rat poison for example) and sold in uncontrolled dosages.

Medical grade heroin should cause no medical problems other than constipation, regardless of how long someone takes it regularly.

As Michael K noted, methamphetamine is far worse for the body even in pharmaceutically compounded form. Street meth also suffers from the various impurities and problems I mentioned re heroin.

Yet we routinely prescribe our grade school and high school students amphetamines in huge amounts. Something like 70-80% of all child/adolescent use of amphetamine worldwide is in the US.

In Sweden it can only be prescribed with the approval of the Minister (not Ministry, Minister) of Health. Other countries have pretty tight restrictions as well.

Yet we happily prescribe it to our children and think nothing of it.

We don't call it amphetamine, we call it Adderall. In the 60's they were called "Black Beauties" were the preferred drug of choice for speeders.

John Henry

John Henry said...

Just for the record, I am fine with allowing adults to use heroin or any other drug.

Our bodies, our choice.

John Henry

Paul said...

John Henry....You are a flipping IDIOT....

jr565 said...

Now we went form the idea that what you do with your body is a personal choice to society has to facilitate your addiction AND subsidize it. Just like we do with every personal choice.

John Henry said...

Wow! Some deep thoughts there, Paul. Care to elaborate?

Why am I an idiot? Because I tell the truth about heroin and amphetamines? Was that the post you were objecting to?

Or because I am pro-choice on drugs? If that was your objection, tell me what moral right I have to determine what you do with your body? You would not mind, for example, if I force you to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, would you?

I do not think that heroin is good for anyone and I strongly recommend against it.

As someone else said it is about harm reduction. Legal drugs would be far less harmful than the illegal drugs we now have. Legalizing drugs would be far less harmful than the criminal system we now have to provide the illegal drugs.

So I am an idiot how?

John Henry

Robert Rogers said...

John Henry may be wrong, but he's not an idiot. (At least about this.) The drug war has been terrible, and it's easy to argue that legalized drugs would be less terrible. At least it would be differently terrible. Alcohol causes a whole host of problems, but most of us have concluded that prohibition was worse. (Of course, as we have seen with alcohol, there are really stupid ways to legalize a drug.)

Not implying this applies to Paul, but someone I know said similar things, and really meant, "the current drug policies are good for my kids. I don't care if they are bad for someone else." They kept saying it right until their kids had a drug problem. Then suddenly the drug war was stupid.

jr565 said...

John Henry, well we are discussing setting up dispensaries where the govt administers heroin to addicts. It's not really a personal choice then if we have to accommodate YOUR addiction.
And there is a difference between drug use and drug sales. You can do what you want with your body but can you sell any product? If you sold Phen Phen, and five people died using this product, it would be taken off the market and the family would sue the company for harm. Drug dealers sell highly addictive substances that turn their users into slaves. A doctor might provide a highly addictive substance if you are suffering. From an ailment, but drug dealers just hook you on drugs. so, could you actually regulate drugs like bath salts, or meth or krokodil.
And does the govt really want to become drug dealers to addicts. What if they can't pay? Does it go on their insurance?
In the abstract, sure, you can put what you want in your body. But drugs are not created in a vacuum. And it usually doesn't simply resolve around your body alone. There is always sales of product at play, and responsibility of govt.

bagoh20 said...

"Better than nothing is a high standard."

Char Char Binks said...

Don't knock it till you try it.

jr565 said...

Robert Rogers wrote:
John Henry may be wrong, but he's not an idiot. (At least about this.) The drug war has been terrible, and it's easy to argue that legalized drugs would be less terrible.

Well look at what happened to the inner cities becuase of crack BEFORE there were harsh penalties for crack. People were strung out on crack and crime ravaged places like Harlem. It wasnt't the war on drugs that caused the crime. The war on drugs occured because the crack epidemic ravaged the inner city.

So, either possilbity is bad. on one hand you have an inner city destroyed by crack addiction and overrun with crime. But if you crack down you wind up putting a lot of black people in jail Because that's who's selling crack in the inner city.

The tough laws for crack were requested by the black community.

Rusty said...

It's harder to do that when they're your neighbor's kids and your coworkers' nephews and your kids' friends' little sisters who would be in college by now if this hadn't happened

You should maybe move and get a better class of friends.

Fernandinande said...

Paul said...
John Henry....You are a flipping IDIOT....


No, Paul is the idiot.

jr565 said...
Well look at what happened to the inner cities becuase of crack BEFORE there were harsh penalties for crack.


There were harsh penalties for crack before there was crack because crack is cocaine; they just made the penalties harsher for this type of cocaine.

People were strung out on crack and crime ravaged places like Harlem. It wasnt't the war on drugs that caused the crime. The war on drugs occured because the crack epidemic ravaged the inner city.

The WOD was present before crack, and crack is one result of it(*), and it was the war on drugs that lead to the crime, which consisted of dealers killing each other. Just like in alcohol prohibition.

(*) Another effect of prohibition is stronger, more concentrated drugs: nobody smuggles coca leaves or opium because they're too bulky. During alcohol prohibition distilled alcohol was much more popular then beer and wine, compared to before and after prohibition.

Mrs Whatsit said...

"You should maybe move and get a better class of friends."

And you've entirely missed the point.

Rusty said...

Mrs Whatsit said...
"You should maybe move and get a better class of friends."

And you've entirely missed the point.


Apparently you didn't read my comment upthread.

You can't help and addict. Supplying them with more of their drug of choice isn't helping them. I've known my share of addicts, including heroin addicts. A lot more stay addicts than quit. Of those that quit it was their decision to quit.

Fabi said...

It's not a class issue at all. I'm a retired dot.com dork and when my company was bought out years ago, I traveled quite a bit doing private equity deals with some of my windfall. There was more coke at after-deal parties than backstage at a rock concert. It wasn't a big deal and was done out in the open. I'd occasionally notice a few people moving off to a back room and I didn't know if they were having sex or something else. It was something else -- Heroin.

I tried it twice; both times snorted. I also threw up both times, from tiny little lines of the size that your cheap friend would scratch-out if he were sharing his blow. It was a hell of a good buzz -- by far the greatest feeling I'd ever encountered. That's the problem. I don't judge, but I do feel sorry for folks who have tried it out of curiosity, like myself, and went back to the well one too many times without realizing they were hooked.

Mrs Whatsit said...

"You can't help and addict. Supplying them with more of their drug of choice isn't helping them. I've known my share of addicts, including heroin addicts. A lot more stay addicts than quit. Of those that quit it was their decision to quit."

I don't disagree with any of this. But if you think the Ithaca plan is to supply users with heroin, then you didn't read the linked article. Supervised injection facilities don't supply the drugs. It's BYOH, if you will, in a safe place where users can shoot up under supervision with clean needles, where somebody will call the paramedics if they overdose. The idea is to get the users into a safer place so that maybe a few more of them can stay alive long enough to make the decision to quit and meanwhile, can be exposed to resources that might help them get there.

Will it work? Most likely not. But what we're doing now isn't working either, and it certainly doesn't work to write users off as useless trailer trash and just hope they stay out of your town. They won't, and if my town is any indicator, nobody's social class or mailing address will protect their friends or their kids, no matter how lofty and smug. Do some Googling and you'll see Myrick himself has harsh family experience with drug addiction and is doubtful that supervised injection facilities will be anything more than one very small piece of a big, hard puzzle. Still, we may learn some useful things from the experiment, if Ithaca tries it.

FullMoon said...

Fabi said... [hush]​[hide comment]

....
I tried it twice; both times snorted. I also threw up both times, from tiny little lines of the size that your cheap friend would scratch-out if he were sharing his blow. It was a hell of a good buzz -- by far the greatest feeling I'd ever encountered. That's the problem. I don't judge, but I do feel sorry for folks who have tried it out of curiosity, like myself, and went back to the well one too many times without realizing they were hooked.


Not only the great feeling drugs provide, also the terrible feeling being without the drug that keeps them coming back.

Fabi said...

Absolutely, FullMoon. I never got there with the drug in question, but it doesn't take any imagination to see how quickly one might start to miss that feeling. Again, I don't judge -- I know people are attracted to mind-altering substances for myriad reasons. Those who fall quickly behind the eight ball (no pun intended) are not intrinsically evil. It's a complicated and important topic, and demonizing users is an awful perspective. That's why I shared my experience -- it's certainly not bound by socio-economic strata.