The Other Victims Of Drug Abuse

The Other Victims Of Drug Abuse

There are 43 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Mar 23, 2008, titled The Other Victims Of Drug Abuse. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

As Leona Hay sat through the memorial service for her son, one thing kept going through her mind.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Jerry

United States

#1 Mar 23, 2008
And we have people that want to legalize drugs. Who is going to take care of the drug users, when they cannot hold a job any longer and they get sick. Oh and I love this one,"Hey its just pot what is the big deal, just don't use to much son." "Oh and don't get caught with the pot." Ok dad!
mmmm

Granby, CT

#2 Mar 23, 2008
Towns like Simsbury and Farmington have had their head stuck in the sand for decades regarding drugs. They turned a deaf ear when cocaine arrived and will continue to do the same unless someone can convince them otherwise. Congrats for your efforts. By the way, drugs and heavy alchohol use starts as early as ten years old in these towns.
ELLIE

Bristol, CT

#3 Mar 23, 2008
MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY FOR YOUR LOSSES
YES, THIS IS AN EPIDEMIC AMOUNG YOUNG
PEOPLE
AN EPIDEMIC THAT VERY FEW WANT TO DEAL WITH
MOST WHO ARE INCARCERATED WITH NO REHAB
ADDICTS WHO HAVE RECOVERED WHO ARE YOUNG NEED TO SPEAK AT SCHOOLS, INCLUDING MIDDLE SCHOOLS!!!!
SPEAKERS OF ADDICTION WILL HAVE MORE OF AN IMPACT
LONG TERM REHAB CENTERS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED VS PRISON
THE STATE NEEDS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND GET IT'S HEAD OUT OF THE SAND
GOOD LUCK WITH ALL OF YOUR ENDEAVORS

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#4 Mar 23, 2008
Jerry wrote:
And we have people that want to legalize drugs....
The truth is that heroin prohibition laws did nothing to prevent youth access to heroin and in fact made it more available to them than it would be in a legally regulated market. That's because prohibition does not decrease the supply or the demand but it does push the commerce into the hands of organized crime and local retail gangs who never ask customers for proof of age.

The truth is also that heroin prohibition laws are the cause of the deaths we read about in this article. That's because unregulated (prohibited) drugs are subject to adulteration by black market dealers. These adulterations and unknown doseages of prohibited drugs maximize the dangers of these drugs. The vast majority of heroin overdose deaths are directly due to the drug war laws that prevent heroin users from having any knowledge or control over the purity and doseage.

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#5 Mar 23, 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2001/jun/1...

EXCERPT:

...the death and sickness and moral collapse which are associated with class A drugs are, in truth, generally the result not of the drugs themselves but of the black market on which they are sold as a result of our strategy of prohibition. In comparison, the drugs themselves are safe, and we could turn around the epidemic of illness and death and crime if only we legalised them. However, it is a contemporary heresy to say this, and so the overwhelming evidence of this war's self-destructive futility is exiled from almost all public debate now...

We cannot find any medical research from any source which will support the international governmental contention that heroin harms the body or mind of its users. Nor can we find any trace of our government or the American government or any other ever presenting or referring to any credible version of any such research. On the contrary, all of the available research agrees that, so far as harm is concerned, heroin is likely to cause some nausea and possibly severe constipation and that is all. In the words of a 1965 New York study by Dr Richard Brotman: "Medical knowledge has long since laid to rest the myth that opiates observably harm the body." Peanut butter, cream and sugar, for example, are all far more likely to damage the health of their users.

Now, move on to the allegation that heroin kills its users. The evidence is clear: you can fatally overdose on heroin. But the evidence is equally clear, that - contrary to the claims of politicians - it is not particularly easy to do so. Opiates tend to suppress breathing, and doctors who prescribe them for pain relief take advantage of this to help patients with lung problems. But the surprising truth is that, in order to use opiates to suppress breathing to the point of death, you have to exceed the normal dose to an extreme degree. Heroin is unusually safe, because...the gap between a therapeutic dose and a fatal dose is unusually wide....

...Take away the lies and the real danger becomes clear - not the drugs, but the black market which has been created directly by the policy of prohibition. If ever there is a war crimes trial to punish the generals who have gloried in this slaughter of the innocent, the culprits should be made to carve out in stone: "There is no drug known to man which becomes safer when its production and distribution are handed over to criminals."

[continued below]

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#6 Mar 23, 2008
[EXCERPT continued]

Heroin, so benign in the hands of doctors, becomes highly dangerous when it is cut by black-market dealers - with paracetamol, drain cleaner, sand, sugar, starch, powdered milk, talcum powder, coffee, brick dust, cement dust, gravy powder, face powder or curry powder. None of these adulterants was ever intended to be injected into human veins. Some of them, such as drain cleaner, are simply toxic and poison their users. Others - sand or brick dust - are carried into tiny capillaries and digital blood vessels where they form clots, cutting off the supply of blood to fingers or toes. Very rapidly, venous gangrene sets in, the tissue starts to die, the fingers or toes go black and then have only one destiny: amputation. Needless suffering - inflicted not by heroin, but by its black-market adulterants.

Street buyers cannot afford to waste any heroin - and for that reason, they start to inject it, because smoking or snorting it is inefficient. The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine records that a large proportion of the illness experienced by black-market heroin addicts is caused by wound infection, septicaemia, and infective endocarditis, all due to unhygienic injection technique. Street users invariably suffer abscesses, some of them of quite terrifying size, from injecting with infected needles or drugs. Those who inject repeatedly into the same veins or arteries will suffer aneurisms - the walls of the artery will weaken and bulge; sometimes they will start to leak blood under the skin; sometimes, these weakened arteries will become infected by a dirty needle and rupture the skin, leaving the user to bleed to death.

In the mid 90s, the World Health Organisation estimated that 40% of recent Aids cases internationally had been caused by drug users sharing injecting equipment. The British record on Aids is better because in the late 80s the government quietly broke with its prohibition philosophy and started to provide clean needles. Nevertheless, by June last year, 1,000 black-market drug users in this country had died of Aids which was believed to have been contracted from dirty needles. More needless misery and death.

Far worse, however, is the spread of hepatitis C, which can kill by causing cirrhosis and sometimes cancer in the liver. The official estimate is that 300,000 people in this country are now infected. Dr Tom Waller, who chairs Action on Hepatitis C, says the truth is likely to be much worse. And almost all of these victims are black-market drug users who contracted the disease by sharing dirty injecting equipment. Dr Waller says there is now a "major epidemic", threatening the lives of "a great many people". Needlessly.

[continued below]

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#7 Mar 23, 2008
[EXCERPT continued]

Street buyers buy blind and so they will overdose accidentally: they have no way of telling how much heroin there is in their deal. Dr Russell Newcombe, senior lecturer in addiction studies at John Moores University in Liverpool, has found the purity of street heroin varying from 20% to 90%. "Users can accidentally take three or four times as much as they are planning to," he says. It is peculiarly ironic that governments set out to protect their people from a drug which they claim is dangerous by denying them any of the safeguards and information ....

Street buyers often run short of supplies - and so they mix their drug with anything else they can get their hands on, particularly alcohol. Heroin may be benign, but if you mix it with a bottle of vodka or a handful of sedatives, your breathing is likely to become extremely depressed. Or it may just stop. In any event, whether it is poisonous adulterants or injected infection; whether it is death by accidental overdose or death by polydrug use: it is the black market which lies at the root of the danger. The healthiest route, of course, is not to take the drug at all: but for those who are addicted, prohibition inflicts danger and death. Needlessly. Water would become dangerous if it were banned and handed over to a criminal black market....

END EXCERPT
Farfel

Winsted, CT

#8 Mar 23, 2008
Jerry wrote:
And we have people that want to legalize drugs. Who is going to take care of the drug users, when they cannot hold a job any longer and they get sick. Oh and I love this one,"Hey its just pot what is the big deal, just don't use to much son." "Oh and don't get caught with the pot." Ok dad!
.... OK, Jerry, time for your medication.

Timemachinist: brilliant post!

These kids are dying from the drug war. And from the hypocrisy of a society wherein drunks tell kids that joints are bad for them. They don't believe you because lie to them. Its so bad that we'll give morphine to sick people but not marijuana. What kind of freak world is this?

The drug war is a scam perpetrated on society by the government and the police who are addicted to the drug war funding and the money from asset forfeitures. Stop the drug war NOW.

Finally, what kills more kids? Drugs or alcohol?'Nuff said.
Mollie

Vienna, ME

#10 Mar 23, 2008
It is NOT the parent's fault nor is it society's fault. The fault lies with the drug user.

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#11 Mar 23, 2008
timemachinist wrote:
[EXCERPT continued]
Heroin, so benign in the hands of doctors, becomes highly dangerous when it is cut by black-market dealers.....
I live in the Farmington Valley area. If a doctor/dentist here suspects you of illicit or prescription drug abuse, you are "going down" (after they take your money of course).

THAT is the problem here.

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#13 Mar 23, 2008
I have problems with the 'legalization' of highly addictive drugs.

However, I also strongly feel that addiction needs to be classified as a disease in the country, and not a crime.
Nyuk nyuk

East Haven, CT

#14 Mar 23, 2008

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#15 Mar 23, 2008
Dana Herbert wrote:
I have problems with the 'legalization' of highly addictive drugs.
Organized crime and those making careers on drug war police and prison jobs agree with you on that --except when they're consuming alcohol and tobacco and antidepressents.

“Fallen Angel”

Since: Jan 07

New England

#17 Mar 23, 2008
Nyuk nyuk wrote:
From the article: "allowing people to take whatever they like is the obvious, indeed only, solution to the social problems that arise from the consumption of drugs."

WRONG. Nobody says legalizing drugs will solve the problems caused by drugs. We are saying that replacing prohibition with legal regulation will solve the problems caused by the prohibition of drugs. These problems include:

1) Making drugs much more dangerous through adulterations and unknown doseages and purities.

2) Making drugs more available to kids because unlicensed retailers have zero incentive to ask for proof of age or drug license.

3) Increasing crime and violence through retailing by turf-warring street gangs supplied by turf-warring and govt & finance-corruprting organized crime cartels.

As for solving "the social problems that arise from the consumption of drugs," we should begin by decreasing the dangers of these drugs as much as possible, which means placing their manufacture, distribution, labeling, and retailing under legal regulation.

The next step to solving the problems from consumption of drugs would be to educate the consumers. That could be done by having a consumer union for each class of drugs. The consumer union issues a drug consumer license to adults who complete the short but relevant drug safety course. Then the drug consumer takes his license to the dispensary or pharmacy and buys a regulated drug in a lawful transaction. The drug license has a 1-800 phone number on the back for referals to counseling or addiction treatment.

Although taking the drug traffic away from criminals and educating the consumers will not solve every person's drug problems, it will still be a giant step forward for public health and safety.
Bill Bob

Southington, CT

#18 Mar 23, 2008
Lets face facts. There is no one solution to end this problem. It will be a combination of efforts. Yes parents need to be more involved, kids need to understand the consequences, drug dealers and users need to face the penalties. Can't do the time, then don't do the crime. Lastly, if you really want to legalize drugs like these, fight to change the laws. Don't just sit around and complain, do something about it.

My thoughts, they should not be legalized, but I support your efforts to try to change the law. Until its changed its illegal.

Since: Jan 08

United States

#19 Mar 23, 2008
Dana Herbert wrote:
I have problems with the 'legalization' of highly addictive drugs.
However, I also strongly feel that addiction needs to be classified as a disease in the country, and not a crime.
How can you make something not a crime without legalizing it?

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#20 Mar 23, 2008
The most dangerous form of drug use is long term prescription amphetamine use:

http://links.jstor.org/sici... (199603)7%3A2%3C131%3ARONLMM%3 E2.0.CO%3B2-V

The only known potentially effective treatments for malignant lymphoma caused by long-term amphetamine use are intravenous vitamin C and lidocaine.

How many kids are on long-term prescription amphetamines for ADHD?

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#21 Mar 23, 2008
Link above doesn't work, try this:

http://tinyurl.com/23cvp6

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#22 Mar 23, 2008
timemachinist wrote:
<quoted text>
Organized crime and those making careers on drug war police and prison jobs agree with you on that --except when they're consuming alcohol and tobacco and antidepressents.
Very true.

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#23 Mar 23, 2008
ELLIE wrote:

LONG TERM REHAB CENTERS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED VS PRISON
I think you are absolutely right Ellie.

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