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From: "Steve Harris" <>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 18:02:53 -0600
Message-ID: <ab1su4$bmc$>

James Teo" <> wrote in message
> On Sat, 4 May 2002 12:44:53 -0400, "CBI" <> wrote:
> >OK - I know it is fiction but clearly Arthur Conan Doyle didn't see opium
> >addiction as a barrier to achievement. It was legal then and common so he
> >probably had numerous examples.
> It was legal to smoke it but it was an illegal to import it, I think.
> No more contradictory than modern day drug legislation.

Similar. Importing and eating opium, and injecting morphine were all legal.
Smoking opium was illegal mainly because Chinese liked to do it. Much the
same was true in the Old West in the US-- such opium laws as existed were
specifically targetted against Chinese immigrants.

There's an interesting analogy with marijuana, BTW, which in the 1930's was
quite specifically associated with fear of violence by Mexicans, who were
seen to be the main smokers of the stuff. And that's when it got made

And of course, see also the history of crystal meth, which is wildly illegal
for the proles to use to deal with their boring lives, when the middle and
upper classes just put the kids and themselves on dexamphetamine or Ritalin
for this problem.

The history of drug laws is (like most laws) mostly a history of the upper
classes trying anything they can to suppress the lower classes, by outlawing
their characteristic vices. That's the left-liberal-Marxist view of law to
be sure-- but that doesn't mean it's not true, all the same.



From: "Steve Harris" <>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 23:43:10 -0600
Message-ID: <ab2gs6$n87$>

"James Teo" <> wrote in message
> On Sat, 4 May 2002 18:02:53 -0600, "Steve Harris"
> <> wrote:
> >And of course, see also the history of crystal meth, which is wildly
> >illegal for the proles to use to deal with their boring lives, when the
> >middle and upper classes just put the kids and themselves on
> >dexamphetamine or Ritalin for this problem.
> Ritalin although an amphetamine derivative isn't the same as the other
> drugs you name. For a starts, it doesn't create euphoria or 'highs'.

Nonsense. It does, if you take enough and you're the sort of person who gets
euphoric or high from uppers-- it's indistinguishable from amphetamine.
While it is indeed true that not every person enjoys uppers, and some people
do not like the feeling given to them by amphetamine, it's just as true that
some people don't like the feeling given to them by morphine. For every
person, there's a "recreational" mood altering drug, but it's not always the
same drug because we're not all wired alike. Different highs for different
guys; different pains for different brains.

> There is a lot of controversy surrounding prescribing it to kids, but
> having seen ADHD kids, I can see the point: ADHD kids aren't just
> unruly, there's something wrong with them alright.

Yes, they are unusually unruly.  Schools dealt with them in the past-- we
did not see teachers who broke down and cried and complained that one child
bouncing off the walls destroyed her ENTIRE ability to teach! (sob).  So
where *were* these ADHD kids in 1950? Eh?

>The problem is when
> unruly kids get labelled as ADHD without passing proper psychiatric
> evaluation.

The problem is they get labeled at all. "Unruly kid" has now become a formal
psychiatric disorder, the treatment for which is a drug so powerful they'd
have put you in jail forever for giving it to a kid in 1950.  Very strange.

When the Berzerker Germans came out of their winter lines In the Battle of
the Bulge hopped up on Benzidrine, the Allies thought they were some kind of
horrible superzombies. Speed concentrates the mind. One supposes the Germans
had been bouncing off the walls of their trenches just before the attack...

>In the UK, due to the NHS, all ADHD kids (from lower,
> middle or upper classes) get Ritalin free.

No doubt. A gram is worth a damn, as Huxley always said for you Brits. Soma,
Ritalin, Prellies, Mandrax, whatever.


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 17:36:45 -0600
Message-ID: <ab1rd4$hlu$>

"David Wright" <> wrote in message

> >Injected cocaine, actually.
> Actually, it was both, more or less:
>     "Which is it to-day," I asked, "morphine or cocaine?"
>     He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume
>   which he had opened.
>     "It is cocaine," he said, "a seven-per-cent solution.  Would you
>   care to try it?"
>                                   From "The Sign of Four"

Sure enough. And being Sherlock Holmes, can the discovery of speedballing be
far away? I wonder if Dr. A.Conan Doyle wrote some the Holmes stories while
"high"-- ie, mentally juiced by the very powerful combined effects of
morphine and cocaine. Many of the stories indeed DO have that expansive feel
of pure intellect being used for the sheer joy of it, where one has the
impression that the details of the world are all connected and all one
piece, and the overall weave is in principle understandable from examination
of any bit of the tapestry. (And alas some of this is not entirely
illusion-- it's just that the brain adapts to running on drug-overdrive, and
you can't make it last.)

There are also plenty of hints in the stories of the "lassitude" of which is
spoken above (the kind of thing which Holmes' smarter older brother Mycroft
has in spades). Which is what you get when such drugs wear off. That's when
the people who take Ritalin say "See, I DO have AHDD; without my *medication*
I'm good for nothing."  We do not yet have a crack-deficit-disorder where
people get to say the same about their freebase cocaine. We just put them in
jail. :(


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Illegal drugs and horrible penalties --THE ONGOING DRUG INDUSTRY 
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 19:11:21 -0600
Message-ID: <ab79ne$foo$>

"Brandon Stahl" <> wrote in message
> Your proposal is simple then - make alcohol illegal and you will see
> *more* morbidity and mortality to bystanders.  I disagree.

Why?  Were you out with chickenpox when your class studied the roaring 20's
and gang warfare in Chicago? Al Capone and his rivals machinegunning people
(goons and bystanders) over illegal alcohol distribution territories (not
crack or heroin-- alcohol).

> The obvious flipside for me is that if you make things heroin legal,
> things get worse, not better.

Things WERE better!  In 1905 heroin WAS legal. As were morphine and cocaine!
Where was the inner city gang warfare over the morphine and cocaine trade
then, eh?  Where were the judge-killings, the cop killings, the millions of
$ in illegal cocaine sales diverted to terrorists?  All the stuff the
Justice Department complains about on your TV every evening?  Where was it
in 1905, Brandon?  I'll tell you: it didn't exist.  The narcotics did, the
narco-terror didn't (except where it was illegal).  Does that clue you as
what the problem might be?

> Tougher laws and stricter enforcement would go a long way to resolving
> some issues.  Not removing the laws

They won't resolve any issues. The drug trade is basically about money and
what money brings, which is social power. Young men desire these things
because money and social power get them the niftiest women, and a bunch
other neat stuff I hope I don't have to list. Young men will therefore
foolishly risk death and horrible consequences for money and reputation,
because they're....young men! It's war, it's adventure, and so long as some
win, the rest don't think they're going to be the ones that lose. And women
are happy to let them think that, because they can always choose from among
the non-losers after the battle is over. These will always exist, and
choosing the winners is what women are good at anyway (and whining because
there aren't enough to go around, of course). Am I boring you? If you never
got to here, you must've had chickenpox during Life 101, too.

You will NEVER do anything about the drug trade so long as it offers
opportunity (even a bad and dangerous opportunity) for money and power. If
you could rewire young males so as to have a realistic assessment of danger
and their own capabilities, as well as no particular desire for women and
social standing, and you could rewire women so that social standing and
money in men did not impress them (or perhaps wire in an accounting program
so they only got hot for men who could prove their money hadn't been
laundered), why then you could probably wipe out the illegal drug trade
entirely. But the problem then is you wouldn't really have human beings any
more. And with that kind of re-designing power, you could just go after the
drug dependence circuits in the *first* place. That would be lots easier
than what I've described.



From: "Steve Harris" <>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 19:00:17 -0600
Message-ID: <ab209o$dca$>

"amp_spamfree" <> wrote in message
> "Steve Harris" <> wrote in message
> news:<aancqa$2pe$>...
> > There are people with cancer who are on high dose narcotics for years
> > with not much to show for it but constipation-- some of them are
> > working normal jobs.
> Perhaps you'd like to provide evidence of this?

What do you want-- stuff off medline?

Pain 1986 May;25(2):171-86

Chronic use of opioid analgesics in non-malignant pain: report of 38 cases.

Portenoy RK, Foley KM.

Thirty-eight patients maintained on opioid analgesics for non-malignant pain
were retrospectively evaluated to determine the indications, course, safety
and efficacy of this therapy. Oxycodone was used by 12 patients, methadone
by 7, and levorphanol by 5; others were treated with propoxyphene,
meperidine, codeine, pentazocine, or some combination of these drugs.
Nineteen patients were treated for four or more years at the time of
evaluation, while 6 were maintained for more than 7 years. Two-thirds
required less than 20 morphine equivalent mg/day and only 4 took more than
40 mg/day. Patients occasionally required escalation of dose and/or
hospitalization for exacerbation of pain; doses usually returned to a stable
baseline afterward. Twenty-four patients described partial but acceptable or
fully adequate relief of pain, while 14 reported inadequate relief. No
patient underwent a surgical procedure for pain management while receiving
therapy. Few substantial gains in employment or social function could be
attributed to the institution of opioid therapy. No toxicity was reported
and management became a problem in only 2 patients, both with a history of
prior drug abuse. A critical review of patient characteristics, including
data from the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire in 24 patients, the
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory in 23, and detailed psychiatric
evaluation in 6, failed to disclose psychological or social variables
capable of explaining the success of long-term management. We conclude that
opioid maintenance therapy can be a safe, salutary and more humane
alternative to the options of surgery or no treatment in those patients with
intractable non-malignant pain and no history of drug abuse.

PMID: 2873550 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

> I have yet to see a patient on high dose narcotics who had life
> expectancy exceeding months.

Well, I' ve seen a great many. And you need to get out more. I recommend a
visit to your local med center's "pain clinic," where the scrips for MS
Contin no doubt fly like tickets to the short order cook at Denny's.
(Incidentally, on the pop culture watch I note that Oxycontin has recently
become the new monster witch-drug-- a sure sign that MS Contin is becoming

> >Understand that most of the "consequences" of opioid "abuse" are due to
> >the fact that these things are illegal, and are therefore sold and used
> >in adulterated and unregulated forms. This makes them nearly impossible
> >to use without real medical problems, but the problems are the RESULT
> >of the illegality-- they should not trotted out as the reason for it.
> The medical consequences derive from the misuse.  I won't argue the
> concepts of social externalities.

Well, why not? Medical consequences are more apt to derive from "misuse" as
in against the laws of physiology rather than the laws of man (unauthorized
use). Do you think fentenyl abusing anesthesiologists give themselves talc
thrombopheblitis or pneumonitis-- or even track marks? No they do not. And
rarely do they die of accidental overdose. On the other hand, do you think
no adverse medical consequences can ever derive from authorized use? I
should hope not. Your body has no way of knowing if the state approves or
disapproves of the stuff going into it. I cannot fathom why it should be any
of the state's business unless it's causing direct danger to the neighbors.
Alcohol is the paradigm. I can give you better arguments for why antibiotics
should be DEA controlled substances than I can for why the things that
actually ARE federally controlled, are controlled.

> And perhaps you'd like to argue speed limits?

That would be a bit apples-and-oranges. Would you like to argue speed limits
for driving on your own property?  And do  drunk driving laws imply
necessity for prohibition?


Can Fam Physician 1993 Mar;39:571-6
Use and abuse of opioid analgesics in chronic pain.
Goldman B.

Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto.

Primary care physicians are frequently required to treat patients with
chronic debilitating pain. Opioid analgesics can successfully manage chronic
pain. To prescribe opioid analgesics effectively, physicians must identify
appropriate patients. Several methods can be used to identify and
distinguish appropriate patients, addicted patients, and for-profit drug


JAMA 2000 Apr 5;283(13):1710-4
Comment in:
JAMA. 2000 Aug 2;284(5):564.

Trends in medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics.

Joranson DE, Ryan KM, Gilson AM, Dahl JL.

Pain and Policy Studies Group, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of
Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, USA.

CONTEXT: Pain often is inadequately treated due in part to reluctance about
using opioid analgesics and fear that they will be abused. Although
international and national expert groups have determined that opioid
analgesics are essential for the relief of pain, little information has been
available about the health consequences of the abuse of these drugs.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the proportion of drug abuse related to opioid
analgesics and the trends in medical use and abuse of 5 opioid analgesics
used to treat severe pain: fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine,
and oxycodone. DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective survey of medical records
from 1990 to 1996 stored in the databases of the Drug Abuse Warning Network
(source of abuse data) and the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders
System (source of medical use data). PATIENTS: Nationally representative
sample of hospital emergency department admissions resulting from drug
abuse. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medical use in grams and grams per 100,000
population and mentions of drug abuse by number and percentage of the
population. RESULTS: From 1990 to 1996, there were increases in medical use
of morphine (59%; 2.2 to 3.5 million g), fentanyl (1168%; 3263 to 41,371 g),
oxycodone (23%; 1.6 to 2.0 million g), and hydromorphone (19%; 118,455 to
141,325 g), and a decrease in the medical use of meperidine (35%; 5.2 to 3.4
million g). During the same period, the total number of drug abuse mentions
per year due to opioid analgesics increased from 32,430 to 34,563 (6.6%),
although the proportion of mentions for opioid abuse relative to total drug
abuse mentions decreased from 5.1% to 3.8%. Reports of abuse decreased for
meperidine (39%; 1335 to 806), oxycodone (29%; 4526 to 3190), fentanyl (59%;
59 to 24), and hydromorphone (15%; 718 to 609), and increased for morphine
(3%; 838 to 865). CONCLUSIONS: The trend of increasing medical use of opioid
analgesics to treat pain does not appear to contribute to increases in the
health consequences of opioid analgesic abuse.

PMID: 10755497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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