Smoking heroin doesn't make it any safer


#21

I think it dates back hundreds of years - pre Opium Wars.


#22

Heroin’s not safer when you smoke it? No shit Sherlock.


#23

"Look, no matter how you use it, heroin is going to fuck you up, in one way or another. "

Hmmm…

About 3/4 of casual heroin users never become addicted to it.

Lots of anecdotal evidence that medical-grade heroin or morphine can be used by high functioning individuals for decades without being “fucked up” by it.

It’s a huge problem for a lot of people. But, no, not for everyone.


#24

“To me, that says that making harm reduction options, such as safe injection sites, needle exchanges where medical advice is given freely and without judgement, could help a lot of folks afraid for their health to kick their habit, once and for all.”

I wonder sometimes if the biggest motivator that people have for treating addicts like shit is that it’s a category of people that they can irrationally hate with little risk of judgment from others. I know addicts. I’ve lost friends to drugs. I also know they are/weren’t just weak-willed, generally bad people who were deserving of mistreatment while that’s exactly how a lot of people see/saw them. Even the ones that did shitty things to their friends and family (including me) because of their addiction weren’t really bad people deserving of hatred or malice, they were sick people whose illness caused changes in their behavior, and the ones that eventually became sober were genuinely remorseful when the realized the damage they had done to other peoples’ lives.

I would point my finger at the war on drugs, but it’s much older than that, and likely stems from Calvinistic beliefs, particularly the idea of double-predestination. (Though no confession of faith that I’ve read specifically says that the Christian god chose to damn certain people at the inception of the universe, Calvin said and did enough to suggest he believed this to be the case. It’s honestly kind of hard to know for certain because Calvin was a judgmental and hateful person who tended to use creative interpretations of Christian scripture to justify, rather than inform, most of what he said and did.) Beliefs like that don’t leave a lot of room for compassion in a person’s heart because on some level the person is compelled to believe that some people are forsaken from birth by god, and that notches in perfectly with a lot of real psychological hangups/cognitive biases that people have, particularly the human inclination toward tribalism which creates an almost compulsive need to have “others” to be opposed to. This contrasts strongly with a lot of modern cultural values which generally push old standbys like “being openly racist” and “virulent misogyny” to the margins in exchange for more egalitarian views, but those views don’t counteract the desire to have “others” to hate. I think that, in a nutshell, explains the white-hot hatred that a lot of people feel perfectly justified in having toward people who suffer from things that would have previously been considered to be the result of insufficient willpower or lack of moral character, such as addicts and overweight/obese people. To a person who has an unrelenting need to exclude and hate a group of “outsiders,” those groups seem like socially acceptable alternatives to things like race, sex, and gender because “those people”, at least in the mind of the person who has a psychological need to hate, chose to be the way they are. It’s a way for them to still experience what I assume is the sense of pleasure and belonging that comes from hating outsiders, while avoiding the judgment of others.

That’s still wrong. People don’t typically choose to be addicts, or to be obese, and even when they do, the problem is still an illness rather than a lack of moral character. The people doing the hating are the ones exhibiting a lack of moral character because they’re giving in to a vestigial instinct rather than exerting the effort needed to rid one’s self of those impulses. If anything is a fault caused by lack of willpower, it’s that. Drugs and food are outside influences, the decision to hate comes from within. You have to choose to make that a part of yourself, even if you grew up around it, even if you live around it, you can choose to stop acting on the impulse to hate at any time. That’s not so much the case for things like food or drugs which affect the body in ways that can’t always be modulated by conscious thought or “willpower.”

(Willpower is a pretty bogus concept, incidentally. A lot of research has gone into it, and we’ve been slowly learning that the entire idea is broken and we ought to just throw it away.)

Anybody struggling with addiction has my sympathy and empathy first. They might still be assholes, but even being under the control of an addiction is a horrific thing for anyone to have to endure, asshole or not.


#25

This is awesome. Thank you.


#26

What do you mean? Just bang dope to “wash out the dose.” It’s science! /s


#27

First thing I thought of.


#28

My understanding of the long used term “chasing the dragon” refers to constantly seeking that first high you got off the drug. And like the kid says, you never catch the dragon.


#29

Tobacco use started at least 1000 BC, hasn’t been healthy for any of the last 3,000 years or so. Opium has it’s uses, but recreational ad libitum use isn’t one of them.


#30

Experimenting on drug delivery systems is potentially fatal, but agreed, it is often worth asking an author if they can send you a copy of their paper, they’re often happy to do so if you ask nicely.


#31

Don’t have cites immediately to hand, but there’s long been a clear connection between heroin use and an increased risk of toxic leukoencephalopathy, particularly for inhaled-heroin users.

It’s a very rare occurrence, and the causal mechanism is not at all clear — there’s some suspicion that the toxicity is the result of inhaling vaped cuts or contaminants, rather than the heroin itself, but that hypothesis hasn’t found much support over the years.


#32

It’s actually referring to the act of constantly moving the dope around so that it doesn’t burn, as the goal is to vaporize rather than smoke it. The idea that opioids produce diminishing returns is accurate in that tolerance necessitates higher doses, but using more dope produces the same experience.


#34

Damn, looks like you have an equine junkie on your hands.


#35

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water will change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind

  • Steely Dan, 1980

#36

Yes, and for children. bayer_herion. Never, ever forget that Bayer was a component of I.G.Farben, the manufacturers of Zyklon B.


#37

And I give you:


#39

This is incorrect.


#41

it is also predictable that anxious people will turn to ‘the future’ as the justification for why they believe what they believe, and do what they do. They can tell the future and someone has to pay for that.

It’s the same logic that has led us to not bringing liquids onto airplanes, and locking up thousands of children whose parents tried to cross the border. It’s chicken little thinking.

When it happens, that is when it will be the case, Not until.


#42

Surely it’s not the widespread availability of tin foil and heroin.

seems likely you will take another hit, then exhale fear, uncertainty, and doubt.


#44

and it’s nuts that we’re discussing the least dangerous way to consume heroin.