Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I hate to be That Guy Who Argues With Everything, but I will. I'm a big fan of Huxley and Brave New World, but he wasn't particularly visionary with Soma. Drug use goes back as far as humankind does because people have been trying to cope with the stress of life since there have been people. If you're looking for a drug that helps with the anxieties of everyday life, alcohol would have my vote. It's been used for thousands of years, for better or worse. Alcohol use comes with lots of problems, of course, but that doesn't stop it from being the socially acceptable drug of choice.

As for Valium, it seems odd this article even makes a big deal about it. Valium (and benzodiazepines in general) aren't prescribed as much these days because of their addictive potential. Their spike of popularity came and went in a few decades, roughly 1960-1980. Benzos are still popular in illicit use, but a key point of Soma was that it wasn't illicit---it was sanctioned by the state.






Also there's a very important difference: Soma is described as non-addictive, no hangover. It's a way to control society but keeping it productive at the same time. Any drug that causes "epidemics" that result in death or defeating from work would be useless. You can argue that it's enough that most people keep working though, even if a fraction gets trashed.

Edit: if anything, social media or other addictive distractions are more like soma.


Just to build up on previous comment and yours, "social media or addictive distractions" is also a thing known for a long time.

"Panem et circenses" is a known latin expression about providing to the masses the 2 biggest basics (food and entertainement) to appease it, sometimes used to show a decline.


SOcial MediA... Hmm

It seems to me that the direct translation is "bread and circus".

Or you could just say "bread and circuses" which is the common english idiom.

He was making a point about the oldness of the saying though, putting it in it's original latin helps deliver his point I guess

> Valium (and benzodiazepines in general) aren't prescribed as much these days because of their addictive potential.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/25/6882878...

What were the prescription rates in the 60s?


I'm genuinely surprised. Maybe it's just for psych ailments (e.g. anxiety) that use has declined.

> the biggest rise in prescriptions during this time period was for back pain and other types of chronic pain.

Now I'm doubly surprised. Some benzos have muscle relaxant properties but I've never heard of them prescribed for pain.

(I've never experienced benzo withdrawal but I've heard it claimed to be as bad as opiate withdrawal.)


> claimed to be as bad as opiate withdrawal.

Benzo withdrawal can be much much worse than opiate withdrawal.

Opioid withdrawal is comparatively benign.

Compare:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_use_disorder

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine_withdrawal_synd...


I've had valium for a spinal tap (2nd attempt). Alongside a numbing agent, I didn't care what they did.

Which is a key for using such medicines for pain: You might be in pain, but you don't care. My understanding is that for folks allergic to anesthesia, they can literally relax them enough that the person doesn't care if they are doing surgery on them. They don't feel the pain either, but it isn't generally as convenient as folks being put under.


> Some benzos have muscle relaxant properties but I've never heard of them prescribed for pain.

Back pain is thought to be mostly psychological, so it makes sense. Also, if you have minor tears or congenital defects in tissue around your spinal cord then anxiety can cause inflammation, which can then cause your spinal fluid to push against your actual spinal cord and cause all sorts of problems. (Or something like this, I'm not a doctor but that's the basic idea.)


>> Back pain is thought to be mostly psychological

Do you have a credibility source to back that up?


I'm very skeptical of this. A common claim that's long been floated around the medical community, most recently in the "evidence-based" medical community, is that if there isn't a hard test for a condition, then it's psychosomatic. It's an arrogant and abusive conclusion that's also ironic: we don't have a diagnostic test to prove it, so the cause is something that also doesn't have a diagnostic test.

It does sound a bit like archaeology and ascribing religious purpose to any structure or artifact we cannot identify as something else.

You can also call it "Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions"[0] -- if the matter seems a mystery, well, then the answer surely must be a mystery as well! I cannot be something simple and comprehensible

[0] https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6i3zToomS86oj9bS6/mysterious...


I took Valium for a back muscle spasm and it worked perfectly, although it may have been mostly psychological.

Ridiculously high. A quick search reveals that:

> After about ten years on the market, Valium had been prescribed to 59.3 million patients [0]

The US population in 1970 was about 200 million. A significant portion of the adult US population took valium at some point during the 60s/70s.

[0] https://www.valiumaddiction.com/history-of-v.htm


Interesting. The NYT says 59.3 million prescriptions, not patients. [0] If so the number of patients would presumably be significantly lower, since it is in fact addictive.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/1976/02/01/archives/article-16-no-ti...


Interesting that the numbers are the same, I think it’s just coincidence, they are measuring different things on different time scales. It peaked in 1978 with several billion pills being dispensed in a single year. I had a psych professor that said that 70% of US adults were on Valium at some point during the 70s. Anecdotal but I think it’s in the right ballpark.

Ridiculously high.

Ridiculously high because they were touted as safer alternatives to the then popular barbiturates. Benzos are safer, it just turns out that benzos also have not-so-great long-term effects.


Caffeine, not alcohol, is by far the most socially acceptable drug of choice.

Alcohol's definitely #2 though.


While caffeine is technically a drug, it's just very different than alcohol and other drugs. People can go to work, spend time with family, and even make important life decisions without caffeine getting in the way. The same is not true for alcohol, cocaine, meth, etc.

(Nicotine is similar, I imagine, though I've never actually used it)


I dunno. I think it's whatever society will tolerate. It used to be pretty common in America to drink on the job. Plenty of folks worked/work and do cocaine. Heck, Freud was a huge cocaine addict, and he's still widely celebrated for his stim-induced work!

Yeah absolutely not. You can certainly drink and work, just as it's possible to drive drunk without killing someone.

These isolated cases without incident don't really matter in the context of society-wide taboo, however.

Coffee and cocaine are worlds apart. Most people don't have jobs that would work with a coke addiction. Freud was exceptional and I think he did most of his influential work not under the influence anyway.


> Coffee and cocaine are worlds apart. Most people don't have jobs that would work with a coke addiction. Freud was exceptional and I think he did most of his influential work not under the influence anyway.

I have no caffeine tolerance as I rarely use it. Every time I have an espresso, the experience is practically identical to doing a bump of cocaine. The effects are so similar it's something I'll do when feeling nostalgic about past coke-filled city life years. I've been assuming others who enjoy an occasional espresso have similar memories being relived by the sudden stimulation it delivers.

Speaking of those coke-filled city life years, quite a few of my peers developed expensive coke habits and they were perfectly functional and many climbed their respective corporate ladders quite successfully while addicted to this substance.

The only thing separating cocaine and caffeine by a gap miles apart is cost and access.

If you can afford and access clean product, coke is a very productive and perfectly functional drug. I suspect most sociopathic high-level executives use it regularly, as it really amplifies that side of one's personality, which isn't necessarily undesirable for leadership roles at large organizations.

Don't forget cocaine once was in Coca-Cola. That wouldn't have occurred if it interfered with people's jobs.


> If you can afford and access clean product, coke is a very productive and perfectly functional drug. I suspect most sociopathic high-level executives use it regularly, as it really amplifies that side of one's personality, which isn't necessarily undesirable for leadership roles at large organizations.

I was agreeing with the sentiment of your post up until this point, I too cannot withstand caffeine, the most I'm willing to consime is found in most Kombucha and even then I try to break it into 3 servings now. I've worked in 2 Industries where Cocaine use is as common as coffee is in an normal office setting, its pretty alarming at times. The mood swings and emotional instability from constant use is something I don't think it lends itself to well-being, and 'productive' is a useless word in that context: if you close 5 deals and make the business a ton of money that day you're productive, but if you got there by raging, anting and throwing stuff at people who no longer want to give you leads or access to their sales pipeline what's the point?

Funny story, I was just re-watching Bourdain's podcast with Joe Rogan and they said that in England coffee shops were seen as dens of sedition and were being shut down, because prior to that mead was the drink of choice for the working class. Which lead to mass intoxication and made the effective rule of the Monarchs absolute; it was when they were 'sober' that it led to things like the Magnacarta was supposed to usher in (Workers Rights, Property Rights etc...)

Personally speaking my palate is too sensitive, which affects my current role as a chef, if I drink coffee (which smells and tastes like burned food) I cannot taste things correctly for hours. I will however de story cans of Thai Tea.


What about Stephen King? It seems he has mixed feelings about it today; regret, but he's also not sure he would have been so prolific without it.

I say all this as a person with zero cocaine experience, but lots and lots of caffeine experience. Stims don't make you better (usually worse, actually), but they do have a relationship to quantity of output.


I'll let you figure out the difference between 'exceptional and prolific writer' and for example 'stressed out social/office worker who others depend on':)

Coffee and coaine are not actually worlds apart in terms of mechanism of action, they both act on the same brain pathway though coffee has a limited ability to activate this pathway in comparison to cocaine.

This is a completely meaningless comparison. Even things that behave waaay more similar than cocaine and coffee in terms of brain chemistry can have even more disparate effects. And I was talking about the effects.

This meaningless comparison is a fundamental concept in psychopharmacology. Different substances can have different effects whilst acting on the same pathway. And to your point re: "effects"it should be noted the SAME substance can have very different effects (biphasic effects) depending on dose (alcohol being the key exmaple).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolimbic_pathway

https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1423-0...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9884132


I guess my opinion comes mostly from my own experience (friends/family on coke/meth have lead to problems in my life). I’d be glad (but surprised) if that was not most peoples experience

To be clear, I think alcohol, cocaine, and even caffeine do cause significant stressors on a life, to varying degrees and in different ways. They just aren't mutually exclusively with being highly productive in any given field.

Alcohol may be better aligned with physical labor, where there's some benefit from not noticing as much when you hurt + adrenaline spikes as it wears off. Cocaine probably aligns better with writing, when word vomit helps get something down that can later be edited. Neither has a particularly great track record with living a happy life.

Sometimes taboo makes it worse than it needs to be, though. An addiction, treated as a crime, leads to an even more desperate addict.


> (Nicotine is similar, I imagine, though I've never actually used it)

I once heard Iain M Banks say on the radio, as he lit up (he was making a program about a tour of whisky distilleries at the time) -

"Nicotine, a drug so shit you can do it while you're driving"


The program you mention became a book named Raw Spirit. It's one of my favourite books.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567702.Raw_Spirit


Oh nice, didn't know it had gone any further than the radio.

I'm a big fan, though a guilty one as I've never read any of the non-M stuff..


> People can go to work, spend time with family, and even make important life decisions without caffeine getting in the way

Caffeine is my drug of choice for working, but I've found it sometimes affects me badly. As a rule, I only drink coffee in the morning, and try to avoid it in the afternoon.

I know of better substances for spending time with family and making important life decisions.

Saying alcohol, cocaine, meth, etc is not fair. It seems common for people to lump all "drugs" into the same category, even though they have vastly different effects.


Commenting on "lumping all drugs together", I believe this is due in large part to ignorance of each drug. You'd have to have personal experiences with them to understand the differences, hence people lump them together because they are labeled as a "drug."

I think there is a difference to the common drug consumption in the past. People believe psychotropic drugs to be medicine since they have or had a subscription. True in some cases, but the awareness of using a drug is different. People also take them not only to cope, but to help them learning, sleeping, concentrating... That goes beyond traditional use in my opinion. Plus, access to these drugs is much easier than in the past and taking them has become trivially normal.

It is also the first weapon to deployed if some kids are deemed to be unruly. Nobody would think of giving them alcohol however.


Is the name soma based on the hindu soma [1] by any chance?

I alwawys wondered but never got a chance to find out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma_(drink)


Yep. Huxley was heavily into Hinduism. "The original soma, from which I took the name of this hypothetical drug, was an unknown plant (possibly Asclepias acida) used by the ancient Aryan invaders of India in one of the most solemn of their religious rites." (_Brave New World Revisited_, Aldous Huxley)

thank you.

What is interesting is that the same family owned company that created oxycontin also created valium originally. Amazing to think of how much damage one family owned business has done (Purdue Pharma) to an entire nation.

Folks blame the drug company, but honestly there are a variety of factors at play here.

Some folks genuinely need the pain relief. My mother gets migraines (or a variant). They last literally weeks and months. Sometimes these drugs work. Other migraine drugs have similar issues (addiction and tolerance), but this is villified. The doctors simply talk to her about these things.

But just as importantly, folks aren't really able to take time off to heal properly nor can a group of folks afford medical care. If you can't take time off of work and rest, you wind up needing to take more pills. For example, I had gall bladder surgery some years back. Doctors said 7-10 days completely off work. I didn't have a choice but to go back before the 10 days (and 2 days before I went back to the surgeon for aftercare checkup). I hadn't used the prescription pain meds for a few days before I went back to work, but needed them that day. And if you can't afford to e fixed, you get bandaged over - drugs.

Just as bad is that we aren't simply making sure doctors know how to talk to patients about addiction with these. Signs, symptoms, and that there is care for it if they notice the early signs.

Now, the main thing with the drug company was that they weren't upfront about risks, and that is horrible and meant that we couldn't do the things we needed to do. Not that it matters anyway: Folks often can't take off work for drug treatment nor can they afford the care in so many cases.


Purdue pharma knew that their drug was more addictive that what was reported by the FDA, and chose to keep distributing it and pushing doctors to recommend it to people who didn't need it instead of re-doing the evaluation.

I did mention that they were not upfront about the risks. This is definitely not OK, but it is still only one of the factors.

Now, as far as pushing it to doctors: That's not an issue that is unique to this drug or this drug company. It is generally more referred to as an off-label use, which has its good and bad uses. And with things like pain medicines, it gets complicated because there are so many compounding factors. (Yes, they are prescribed too much, but we need more than tight controls on one drug class).


As someone who has had to deal with restrictions on other drugs I need to function, I’m always a bit reticent to go full in on “this drug is evil” narratives.

Is Oxycotin particularly addictive in itself in ways it could otherwise not be? Or is this about general painkiller addiction plus the pharmaceutical company taking advantage of this to push it out too much?

In other words, is there a way to tackle this problem that doesn’t cut access for people who actually need this stuff?


the problems with Purdue/oxycontin was their false and extreme marketing that falsely claim lower/tiny addiction rates, bribing doctors to prescribe, claiming 12 hour relief when many users got 8 hours, and the list goes on. perhaps a misleading shorter half-life could be 'more addictive' in that users took more than prescribed to keep effect going.

In general there seems to be a rule of thumb that shorter half-life drugs are more addictive - they hit you fast and wear off fast.

Within the same category of drugs, e.g. Benzodiazepines, it's pretty well established that the first step towards getting clean is to get the dose of low half-life drug swapped out for an equivalent dose of a long-acting drug, then taper down from there.

I believe this is also the theory behind the use of Subutex/Buprenorphine and Methadone as ways to get people off heroin and oxycontin.

So conversely, if Oxycontin had a shorter half-life than was advertised then one would expect it also to have a worse addiction profile.


Who needs that stuff?

I'm not sure about Oxycotin specifically, but people in severe pain generally should receive medication to alleviate it. I've had severe burning. Pain medication greatly reduced the amount of suffering that occurred.

The newer formulations - especially those that are slow release and combined with naloxone, are fine and have their use. The problem is the 20+ years of overprescribing straight up plain and crushable oxycontin that for a time was better than heroin

People with severe, chronic and often debilitating pain for one

On the other hand, think of how much good has been done by the legitimate medical use of those drugs.

Valium was originally created back in the 1950’s by Roche pharmaceuticals.

Oxycontin was created in the 90’s by the Sackler family.

Not the same family unless I’m missing some connection.


Valium isn't prescribed as much because it's off patent and the drug reps don't ply doctors to make sales for the competition.

While it post-dates BNW my friends and I often joked that Rollerball was the first (film) reference to MDMA. Mind you the party scene wasn't a rave but the dancing and the touch sure make a good case for ecstasy.

> Drug use goes back as far as humankind does because people have been trying to cope with the stress of life since there have been people.

I do not think the second half of your statement is true. Certainly there was drug use in hunter/gatherer societies but it was mostly shamanistic/ritualistic use, not 'stress relief'. The example that you give of alcohol only really came on the scene with the advent of farming, which remains a small fraction of the history of humankind.


Wikipedia claims 10,000 to 5,000 years BC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_drink

So you’re potentially correct, though we don’t know if fermentation was used earlier, either intentionally or opportunistically.


> Certainly there was drug use in hunter/gatherer societies but it was mostly shamanistic/ritualistic use, not 'stress relief'.

Can we really say this? Are we sure that finding a patch of 'those' mushrooms wouldn't have just meant party time?

We know that (for instance) animals seem to seek them out...


Ok, I just did a bit of searching for studies on hunter-gatherer use of drugs.

This paper [1] supports my characterisation of being mostly for shamanistic/ritualistic use.

And this paper [2] suggests that drug use also had medicinal benefits. But that is from a modern hunter-gatherer society that has undoubtedly been influenced by outside societies (indeed the drug they smoke has been imported from another continent), so I'm not sure how indicative of pre-historic hunter-gatherer use it is.

Where I remain dubious is the assertion that drugs have always been used for 'stress relief'. My feeling is that stress - as we understand it - was not something much experienced by hunter-gatherer societies.

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512155025.h...

[2] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/wsu-wrs05291...


> have been trying to cope with the stress of life since there have been people

Did they? Alcohol was associated with feasts - not particularly stressful situations. Alcoholism , OTOH has a ~50% genetic contribution.


> Alcohol was associated with feasts

Was it now? Alcoholic beverages were seen as a nutritious (!!!) staple food from it's discovery until recently. It was also the only thing to drink in areas that lacked clean water (and one cared about avoiding it).

And yes, people have been trying to deal with people since there were people. And people have always been stressful.


Alcohol has a ton of calories, it's cheap & easy to make, and keeps really well. The fact that it takes the edge off is just a bonus. Even without the effects of alcohol, beer is the perfect food for feeding slaves and soldiers.

Adding to this, it was common to drink very low alcohol beer, called small beer. It was usually below 1% alcohol, so very different to beer or wine that people typically drink these days.

Yeah, Huxley was writing almost a century after the Opium Wars, which managed to reduce the greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts within a few decades. Laudanum (10% tincture of opium) was extremely common within the late 19th and early 20th century Anglo-American world.

The reason soma continues to resonate in literature is because it reflects fundamental truths of how the world works. Huxley didn't create or predict the pill-popping epidemic, he had a rich tapestry of former pill-popping epidemics to draw on.


>the Opium Wars which managed to reduce the greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts within a few decades.

This too sounds familiar...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-22/deadly-ch...


Yup. There's a certain irony how, a century and a half after Britain and the U.S. managed to reduce the greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts and trigger a civil war and the fall of the empire, the rump state of that civilization is now reducing the new greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts, triggering the fall of its empire and a potential civil war.

There is a really interesting tension in the world of propaganda - I see it in the modern Hong Kong situation. The better job the propagandists do of minimising Tienanmen for example the more likely China is to get Tienanmen-like protests again.

From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework. That probably leaves a vulnerability to being toppled in the same way.


>From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework

I think that's a post internet thing. Pre-internet most of us got all of our historical information from school, and there weren't places like Twitter or Facebook to spread what were previously dismissed as fairy tales.

I certainly wouldnt have been aware of much of the shitty "world building" that the US goes around doing without having visited some of the internet's scummiest corners in the last decade or so. It's actually amazing to see how much of this has trickled into the mainstream as it became acceptable discourse on more mainstream places like Reddit and eventually FB and such.

I mean sure, you had things like Vietnam which were polarizing along this very dividing line, but the average person was fed a different set of spin on much of what they ultimately grew up learning, and I think that may have played a role in American Exceptionalism. Nowadays people, especially young people, tend to be far less patriotic and I would attribute this apathy or even disdain for at least part of the current breakdown in political discourse and ostensible early decline stage of the American Empire. Of course it's worth saying that much of this divide falls neatly along left/right as critics/apologists of/for American realpolitik.


This is 100% a function of your age and has nothing to do with the availability of reddit(?!).

Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.


>Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.

And the ones who don’t are the ones who actually move the needle. ;)


I'm talking young adults. 20 somethings. They won't grow out of it if they have nothing cohesive to grow into, and I think many see a broken history as a huge smear on the country. There were fewer of these people pre internet because most then learned a somewhat biased account in school and then went off to join society with little chance of encountering revisionist history, outside of certain relatively small social circles.

Now it's all over the internet, a sort of radicalization-lite that starts in tighter circles where kids swap conspiracy theories and alternative perspectives, and more of this stuff quickly starts leaking mainstream.

I think any dominant culture de facto produces and consumes its own propaganda, to some extent. That's good and bad. The information age has made the system more chaotic because of the speed and convenience of data exchange, and that leads to more frequent clashing and fracturing in society, as common indoctrination does lead to greater social cohesion, across cultures. Propaganda has less of an effect and people have less reason to rally together because of different views on, say, in America's case, history and even some of our modern world building.

What, you think radicalization is unique to the chans? You'll see it's all around us if you're not unfairly exclusive in your definition of radical.


Very refreshing to read what I hold to be both a simple and material conception of present political currents. The internet is a complicated blessing.

Separate and beyond your point, which I very much agree with, I predict this will ultimately re-center a focus onto publicly ratified power. As it stands, corporations are effectively state institutions with no public ties. There are some striking congruencies with feudalism in modern capitalism, but technology makes it all virtually incomparable in the big picture. The internet transcends beyond physical empire not only for worse but ultimately for better in this case. If only the road to democracy from here were not so bloody nonetheless.


Are we overreacting a little? Drug addiction is a serious problem, as it has been for many decades, but it’s not on the verge of collapsing US society. The vast majority of people aren’t addicted to opiates and aren’t going to become addicted to opiates, and of those they are... well, most of them would otherwise be addicted to something else anyway.

Why is this comment getting downvoted?

Probably because of that part

well, most of them would otherwise be addicted to something else anyway.


I've spent a good deal of time reading opioid users forums and I think that statement only half tracks. The way opioid users describe the high of slower release opioids (i.e. oxycotin pills), and to some degree snorting/smoking opioids, is not radically different from other drugs. The way opioid users talk the high of injection opioids is totally different: they describe an immediately obsession-inducing experience. As one user said, injection "fundamentally changes your relationship with your self."

Non-injection administration dominates illicit opioid use* overall[1], but injection causes most overdoses[2]. Illicit use and overdoses are two related but separate aspects of the opioid crisis, so I think it's fair to say that many illicit users would be addicted to something else anyway, but the same cannot necessarily be said for injection users.

*I say illicit opioid use instead of opioid addiction or abuse because this study includes users who might not be addicted or might be using it for medical purposes

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967505/ [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11964108


That doesn’t seem so obviously wrong that one should simply downvote rather than counter-arguing.

Drug trends come and go. People who for whatever combination of reasons (genetics, life circumstances, surrounding culture) are likely to get addicted to drugs seem to find their way to whatever the currently popular drug is.


> genetics, life circumstances, surrounding culture

Life circumstances like “needing to get their wisdom teeth removed.” The doctor prescribes you painkillers afterward and makes absolutely no mention of how addictive they are, or even that they’re opioids.

I don’t think those people were going to wake up one morning and start using on heroin on their own, so I have a hard time writing them off as “well, some people would have used drugs anyway.”


Oh please spare me the sermon. You dont just wake up one day an addict. Its similar bullshit to "the first hit is always free". Its propaganda. As much as wide parts of American society dont want to believe it, as an addict you make a choice. Its your god damn agency. You dont just find out that the yummy candy made you an addict. Thats nothing but a nice excuse. You keep using stuff that you know you shouldnt use, because it feels good and it often beats the alternatives. The quote that stuck with me most was an Heroin addict who explained how he started using. "At that point it was either becoming an addict or becoming a corpse". When you think that your sober life sucks this hard that you perceive a noose as the likely next step for you, hard drugs look like a bloody good deal. Demonizing a drug is just much easier then accepting, that someone you know and love made that choice. Its absolutely mind boggling how many non experts and non addicts suddenly have "informed opinions" on how opioids are basically the new materialized evil. They are the same stuff it always was, you just gave people a socially acceptable way to use that stuff recreationally.

The problem starts when this social shaming of illicit drug use swaps over from American suburbs to the rest of the world. And we are, yet again, faced world wide with American fundamentalists who are going on a crusade on necessary medication that could spare millions of pain patients world wide an existence of utter torture. In case anyone isnt aware of the situation, morphine based pain medications is what the large majority of the world population is using for pain relief. All those fancy analgesic the pharma industry pushes as an alternatives are too expensive for the majority of countries out there.

The direct result of the absolutely thoughtless scapegoating, that millions of people are suffering an easily treatable existence that amounts to torture. About 20 million people that live without access to pain medication in “untreated, excruciating pain” and could be treated with cheap-ass morphine. With no patent and a production price of cents.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/18/us-attack-wo...

If this is all to abstract for you, my grandmother recently passed away. Cancer and the painful kind. I unfortunately only later found out that she wasnt given proper pain medication until she had to be moved from her home to palliative care. Because it apparently was thought to be too risky for the doctor in charge to give it to a dying women at home, since who knows who will clear up the estate afterwards?

So if you want share your opinion about opioids, please think about the consequences of your action. You having a fuck up in your family or watching too much TV doesnt make you an expert on pain treatment worldwide.


You don't have to believe that addiction is a choice to think that painkillers should be more widely available. It really sounds like you are reacting to a bunch of shit that is not in this thread.

I agree with much of what you say, but it would have a much better impact if you didn't phrase it in such an angry, finger-pointing rant that doesn't really seem to fit here. Yes, a lot of people become addicted to drugs via their own "god damn agency", but it's also true that those who haven't experienced such addiction have no idea how overwhelming it really is and how insidious the addictive process is. It's also true that a lot of the people who become addicted started because

While Opium did cause major problems China was already on their way out due to their own stupidity - as is a reoccurinf "tradition". China had previously cut the navy massively and even turned away from a profitable sea trade over internal squabbling. It lead to being forced to pay ransom to and pardon pirates prior to this and then refused the easiest way to get a prebuilt experinced navy - hire the pirates as the new navy.

While the deeds were reprehensible China already had the taste for Opium. The British were specifically seeking a non-silver renewable trade good to avoid deflationary issues in precious metal standard days and guess what they actually had demand for? Opium. They were imperialist assholes but they never were the original sin - that is letting their targets off far too easily.


They’ll just switch to carfentanil if fentanyl is stopped. The spice must flow.

The spice melange...

> reduce the greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts within a few decades.

That's a tremendous exaggeration!

https://reason.com/2019/11/29/the-myth-of-the-opium-war/




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: