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Old 12-22-2021, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: can we discuss epidemics?

Originally Posted by Stephen Maturin View Post
The Purdue Pharma/Sackler shittery is top notch outrage porn. Long about the mid 90s, they used a decades-old marketing strategy developed by Arthur Sacker to woo doctors into massively upping their willingness to prescribe OxyContin. Salespeople no longer needed a medical or scientific background. Any fashion design school graduate would do so long as s/he was sufficiently aggressive in applying Purdue sales techniques.

Oxy being addictive as fuck, lots of patients got addicted. When docs with a functioning moral compass expressed concern, their Purdue sales reps trotted out the ludicrous company line of pseudoaddiction. Sure these patients look addicted and engage in the same drug-seeking behaviors as addicts, but they're not really addicted. The problem, ya see, is that their pain is insufficiently controlled. The solution, ya see, is to prescribe them more Oxy.

When law enforcement shut down the most egregious pill mills and locked up the most verminesque docs, that left a fuckton of junkies without access to their drugs of choice. Advice from other junkies tended toward stuff like, "What the fuck is wrong with you? Use heroin. It's cheaper and easier to obtain."

So, then, other than the inconvenient fact of heroin's illegality, everything old was new again. In the early 20th Century, heroin was seen as a "wonder drug" that did everything morphine could do without the side effects.

Meanwhile, the addiction resulting from all the "legal" painkillers cost state and local governments billions. Law enforcement, courts, public hospitals, foster care, social services programs . . . shit adds up fast. The biggest lawsuits against Purdue were those brought by governments.

From the user standpoint, the fundamental truths are:

- Throughout recorded human history, and likely way before that, people have sought out ways to alter consciousness chemically.

- Some will invariably become addicted to their consciousness-altering chemical of choice, resulting in misery for the addict, family and friends as well as considerable expense to society.

- As long as there's a demand, and there will always be a demand, there will be those willing to supply.

- Absent an above-board regulation process, there is no way the end user knows with any degree of certainty that they're getting what they think they're getting.

The fentanyl-laced shit coming from Mexico, along with home-grown sellers who cut heroin and other drugs with fentanyl to stretch supply and create addicted customers, ramps shit up substantially. The Biden administration wants an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act to put fentanyl-related compounds on Schedule 1 permanently, but there's not much (if any) reason to believe that would do anything. People in illegal drug trades, from Mexican cartel kingpins all the way down, live with the very real possibility of execution every day of their lives. And their execution methods tend to be substantially less "genteel" than ours.

Interdiction is, as always, largely a joke. By all accounts, it's never been easier to get unlawful drugs into the U.S. And, in the final analysis, incarceration and shutting off foreign supplies does nothing whatsoever for addicts.

So maybe we're left with trying to help addicts on an individual basis. I'm an alcoholic (sober since Dec. 1983, thankfully enough) who sobered up and had his life saved and turned into something worthwhile through AA, so I have personal knowledge regarding the effectiveness of ex-drunks showing current drunks the way out of hell.

As an active drunk, I also gained a lot of first-hand experience with doing the exact same idiotic shit over and over while bullshitting myself into believing this time the result will be different. That mindset is more dangerous for junkies, whose illegal morphine might actually be morphine laced with enough fentanyl to kill the user.

So yeah, I don't have anything worthwhile to add, except maybe to confirm Miss Shelby's statement that Sam Quinones's books on this subject are top-notch.
Nothing worthwhile to add? Matlock, I think I'm in love.
When God gives you AIDS, make lemonaids. --Sarah Silverman
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