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The painful truth to this problem seems to be that people who actively use drugs and decimate their bodies when provided a steady supply of drugs will simply die sooner?

It seems hard to argue that supporting someone's heroin habit wouldn't incur a higher than normal cost for healthcare?




This is a rotten post and I'll dissect it.

> The painful truth

You're immediately claiming truth. That blocks other viewpoints. Also 'painful' which is a weasel word.

> people who actively use drugs

as opposed to passively use them?

> and decimate their bodies

you presuppose what they do 'decimate' their bodies. Maybe they do but it's a bit short on facts innit. And related, does taking copious amounts of alcohol (which I agree does damage bodies) count, what with alcohol being legal and socially acceptable?

> when provided a steady supply of drugs will simply die sooner?

A presumption, although one I'd have real trouble disputing. But facts are needed here.

> It seems hard to argue

dude, more weasel words!

> that supporting someone's heroin habit wouldn't incur a higher than normal cost for healthcare

The article gives examples of higher healthcare (and police) costs for not supporting them. Quite explicitly.

Also

"when provided a steady supply of drugs will simply die sooner" and "incur a higher than normal cost for healthcare" may be incorrect - they may die sooner thus saving the NHS money because pensions and extended healthcare due to old age are avoided. I understand this argument has been made for smoking; smokers are claimed to cost less than non-smokers. I'll see if I can find a proper study for this.


Thanks for your feedback! This is actually more feedback & more meaningful than what I get from my FAANG manager. I'll use this to better form my arguments going forward, thanks friend.

> you presuppose what they do 'decimate' their bodies. Maybe they do but it's a bit short on facts innit. And related, does taking copious amounts of alcohol (which I agree does damage bodies) count, what with alcohol being legal and socially acceptable?

It's pretty hard to get Hepatitis C, AIDS, pulmonary infections, or collapsed veins from a few mixed drinks or beers...


It speaks well of you that you took it constructively! I appreciate that, upvoted.

> It's pretty hard to get Hepatitis C, AIDS, pulmonary infections, or collapsed veins from a few mixed drinks or beers...

I won't argue with the collapsed veins I guess, I don't know if there's a way to avoid that. I didn't know that pulmonary infections were associated with heroin, thanks for the info.

The other stuff is - I presume, and you may disagree - a product not of the drug but of the contaminants and circumstances. Hep & aids from shared needles (and see my other comment, <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20165469> actually I presume it was shared needles, she was female so it may have been from prostitution). A proper needle exchange facility will fix that, perhaps.

Bad stuff certainly can happen from booze, stories like this <https://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-poisonous-mix-in-in... keep cropping up over the years from India. It's the contaminants which kill. There may have been similar stories from US prohibition but I can only find this <http://www.1920-30.com/prohibition/prohibition-poison.html> but it's actually from that age so its honesty may be suspect.

Regarding the debating style, it comes with practice - keep it up and all the best!


This is one of the most civil and productive exchanges I’ve ever seen on HN. Props to you both.


Pure heroin is not toxic. It's living on the streets, cutting agents, constant withdrawls, additional substance use and injecting material of unknown purity without supervision that kills you. For most addicts, all of these issues can be fixed with a constant supply of medical grade heroin.

Society saves money with heroin programs, see "Chapter 4: Economic evaluation of supervised injectable heroin treatment" of http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/attachements.cfm/att_154996_EN_H...


Leaving them on the streets or in a state of perpetual craving and poverty is expensive, too. The studies others cited says crime rates plummeted. Imagine how much damage local people and businesses might have suffered, imagine how much police efforts might have been spent, and emergency room visits that might have occurred, if those people were not given treatment.

My guess is that since we already have studies where people are given heroin as a form of rehabilitation, there should also be some studies about the cost of such programs. Wish someone could share some of them.


I completely agree! I think the narrative would then become “rich and greedy big pharma gets rich selling legal narcotics to addicts”


I think the narrative would then become “rich and greedy big pharma gets rich selling legal narcotics to addicts”

Why would ?

Look up Purdue Pharma and their colleagues. Pay attention to the shenagigans they applied to get millions of Americans hooked.

Argueably the only difference between that lot and your average street dealer is that the street dealer doesn't buy himself a bunch of politicians.


Why would that matter? Most likely tapering off the drug dosage is a necessary part of the treatment process.




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