Mom brings heroin to just-out-of-jail son

Morpheme is a terrible drug. Gotta get that affix!

Drug addiction is terrible and hard to break, but I didn’t make that up:

Some GIs were able to keep up their habits when they got back, and it’s not like the GIs had no options to get drugs when returning to the 60s America. Hippies had hookups. But they were coming back to a land filled with opportunity and loving family members that they were going to have to support. Many of them would never had had the drug problems were it not for being trapped in a sweltering jungle hellhole with no way out.

First let me say that I think I misinterpreted the tone of your post, and I apologize for that. Second (though) I’d have to see a lot more evidence about the environmental conditions that produced these results. With relapse rates for heroin addiction these days at like 90%, it’s hard for me to believe that it was just a matter of a loving home that reduced GI’s relapses to just 5%. That’s a really dramatic figure that probably has a lot more factors, and I think one of those factors is access. These days pills are pretty easy to get anywhere in the country, and heroin and meth are much more available. That kind of access just didn’t exist in the 1970’s. So the “environment” was very different back then - if you sent Johnny back to Topeka, chances are he’d have to really scramble to find heroin, or morphine. Nowadays he can just go to his local “pain center” and get a script for Oxy.

It would have been tougher, but he could find drugs unless he was in a really small town. The big difference IMHO is this. When Johnny GI got back he goes through the withdrawl symptoms really bad. He’s probably going cold turkey, but immediate hookups are hard to find and are being masked by the joy of seeing his family/girlfriend/children again. He has a bunch of job opportunities and valuable skills. The cravings and tremors pass over time and he becomes a productive member of society.

Contrast that with a typical drug user getting out of rehab today, who is technically “cured” but is going back to his shitty low wage job (if he’s lucky) without friends or family (having alienated many of them while he was using). He turned to drugs in the first place because his life was so shitty, and we’re sending him right back into his shitty life. The availability is a secondary concern, there will always be some kind of drug available, even if he’s just huffing computer cleaner or mixing up dangerous chemicals at home.

But we can’t go and give every person in rehab a loving family, close friends, and good job skills/prospects. It’s something they have to do on their own, and is why running drug rehab centers is such a Sisyphean task. You can’t solve the problem by treating the symptoms, but at the same time we don’t have a way to treat the underlying cause without massive social change.

People in drug treatment know this. That’s why they talk about the community so much. But their power is limited to basically the drug treatment programs they administer, they don’t have much pull over said community. That’s why I came to the conclusion that the best way to fight drug abuse is to fight poverty and poor education. Fighting the drugs directly is inefficient and ineffective, like treating the symptoms of a cold.

People with prospects and a future are much easier to keep off of drugs.

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