5 Years after Portugal decriminalises all drugs it's deemed an amazing success - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-01-2010, 01:26 PM
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In the face of a growing number of deaths and cases of HIV linked to drug abuse, the Portuguese government in 2001 tried a new tack to get a handle on the problemit decriminalized the use and possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other illicit street drugs. The theory: focusing on treatment and prevention instead of jailing users would decrease the number of deaths and infections.

Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006, according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C, libertarian think tank.

"Now instead of being put into prison, addicts are going to treatment centers and they're learning how to control their drug usage or getting off drugs entirely," report author Glenn Greenwald, a former New York State constitutional litigator, said during a press briefing at Cato last week.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...riminalization


When will other countries adopt this proven successful strategy with dealing with drugs?
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#2 Old 10-01-2010, 01:32 PM
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it's important to distinguish between decriminalizing and legalizing. sale, production, and distribution of these drugs remains illegal. no, you aren't jailing users. but you aren't making all substances available on demand either.
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#3 Old 10-01-2010, 03:13 PM
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Why not take it one step further? Legalize, regulate and tax? The countries with that policy enjoy the greatest benefits from the policy change.

The same should apply to prostitution.

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#4 Old 10-01-2010, 04:25 PM
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Why not take it one step further? Legalize, regulate and tax? The countries with that policy enjoy the greatest benefits from the policy change.

The same should apply to prostitution.

I think this is the first time I have agreed with something you have written.
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#5 Old 10-01-2010, 09:30 PM
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This is good to hear. I have always said that all drugs should be legal.

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#6 Old 10-01-2010, 11:18 PM
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When will other countries adopt this proven successful strategy with dealing with drugs?

Not here until our government stops wanting to be our parents rather than our representatives. I'll be rather surprised if cannabis is actually legalized in California this fall, and the cannabis prohibition is unbelievably irrational. Anything "harder" than that...not gonna happen anytime soon.

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#7 Old 10-02-2010, 02:20 AM
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When will other countries adopt this proven successful strategy with dealing with drugs?

I think it would be a good idea.
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#8 Old 10-02-2010, 04:43 AM
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I live in Colorado. Whenever I feel like it, I drive to the dispensary and buy my (medical) marijuana. Sometimes I almost forget it isn't legal (for everyone).
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#9 Old 10-02-2010, 04:51 AM
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I live in Colorado. Whenever I feel like it, I drive to the dispensary and buy my (medical) marijuana. Sometimes I almost forget it isn't legal (for everyone).

Do you know if the state and local governments test their employees for marijuana use in Colorado and if it's a sanctionable offense if the results are positive?
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#10 Old 10-02-2010, 05:13 AM
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My SO works for a major corporation that tests regularly and fires you on the spot, if the test comes back positive. I asked them at the clinic what would happen if he got his medical marijuana card, and then tested positive. They said that had not been challenged in court, yet. I don't know about government jobs.

My SO doesn't touch the stuff.
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#11 Old 10-02-2010, 10:11 AM
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Not here until our government stops wanting to be our parents rather than our representatives.

+1

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#12 Old 10-02-2010, 09:56 PM
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not gonna happen in america for another 20-50years.

cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#13 Old 10-03-2010, 03:10 AM
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Sounds like good news.

I hope the UK follows... I work with a lot of people who have drug addiction and believe that if combined with decent programmes to help wean people off and housing initiatives (we have a serious housing problem in the UK.... 3500 people slept on the streets of London last year and there are HUGE problems with hostels... This is before we take in to account 'hidden homelessness', where people are squatting and living on the floors of friends, which is thought to be at least 40, 000).
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#14 Old 10-03-2010, 05:10 AM
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tonite i worked an overdose who died after going to icu. the idea that we are going to willy nilly dispense any substance on demand (peope are clueless as to how addictive a substance like iv dilaudid really is, and the effect outright legalization would have on society) is pretty brainless.

punishing the user for small amounts isn't such a great idea, i'll agree. but that's a far cry from allowing these substances to be sold on demand because people really "need" them. outright legalization of all substances would drag society through hell. all these sucess stories involve decriminalizing small amounts possessed by users. none of them involve legalizing sale and distribution of highly addictive substances without regulation.

yes, it's unfortunate that government has to act like a parent. it's even more unfortunate that so many people can't wipe their own assess, and the government has to do it for them.
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#15 Old 10-03-2010, 06:31 AM
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tonite i worked an overdose who died after going to icu. the idea that we are going to willy nilly dispense any substance on demand (peope are clueless as to how addictive a substance like iv dilaudid really is, and the effect outright legalization would have on society) is pretty brainless.

punishing the user for small amounts isn't such a great idea, i'll agree. but that's a far cry from allowing these substances to be sold on demand because people really "need" them. outright legalization of all substances would drag society through hell. all these sucess stories involve decriminalizing small amounts possessed by users. none of them involve legalizing sale and distribution of highly addictive substances without regulation.

yes, it's unfortunate that government has to act like a parent. it's even more unfortunate that so many people can't wipe their own assess, and the government has to do it for them.

I think that's what most people are in favor of, decriminalizing the possession of small amounts. Even people who want to make it legal to use drugs recreationally and buy them over the counter generally just want marijuana to be legal, I've only seen a very small amount of them who want to fully deregulate hardcore opioid drugs. I do agree with you, but I just think you're worried about a scenario that won't happen. Eventually we're gonna get to have weed along with our beer and cigs, most people will be satisfied with that, and the issue won't get pushed any further.
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#16 Old 10-03-2010, 09:30 AM
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tonite i worked an overdose who died after going to icu. the idea that we are going to willy nilly dispense any substance on demand (peope are clueless as to how addictive a substance like iv dilaudid really is, and the effect outright legalization would have on society) is pretty brainless.

punishing the user for small amounts isn't such a great idea, i'll agree. but that's a far cry from allowing these substances to be sold on demand because people really "need" them. outright legalization of all substances would drag society through hell. all these sucess stories involve decriminalizing small amounts possessed by users. none of them involve legalizing sale and distribution of highly addictive substances without regulation.

yes, it's unfortunate that government has to act like a parent. it's even more unfortunate that so many people can't wipe their own assess, and the government has to do it for them.

What effect do you think it has on society? Apart from seeing people in the hospital, what work have you done directly with drugs users?

A drug being decriminalised does not mean that you'll be able to have a smack McFlurry, it means that police resources can be relieved a little, rather than a lot of money and paper work going in to criminalising people for carrying a bit of hash. Take it as somebody who knows from experience... If you want a drug, you can get it. Keeping drugs illegal gives power to criminals who deal and sell them and this in turn is linked to other forms of violence and gang culture. I'm not saying if we decriminalised all drugs then all these problems would go away, but it would take a lot of power away from these gangs.

So we can either decriminalise it and help drugs users more (because nobody wants an addiction), or we can keep it all illegal and leave people to get their drugs from more dangerous sources and share needles and go underground with it all... Because no matter how much the state nannies us, people always find a way.

I wouldn't mind seeing alcohol disappear, in that it would probably make the streets a lot safer for women and save a lot of money and police time, but then people would always find a place to get a beer so it'd just be a waste of cash imo. But then the hypocrisy of anti-drug society and booze culture is a different debate altogether
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#17 Old 10-03-2010, 01:22 PM
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tonite i worked an overdose who died after going to icu. the idea that we are going to willy nilly dispense any substance on demand (peope are clueless as to how addictive a substance like iv dilaudid really is, and the effect outright legalization would have on society) is pretty brainless.

punishing the user for small amounts isn't such a great idea, i'll agree. but that's a far cry from allowing these substances to be sold on demand because people really "need" them. outright legalization of all substances would drag society through hell. all these sucess stories involve decriminalizing small amounts possessed by users. none of them involve legalizing sale and distribution of highly addictive substances without regulation.

yes, it's unfortunate that government has to act like a parent. it's even more unfortunate that so many people can't wipe their own assess, and the government has to do it for them.

Yes I understand, after all the success of the war on drugs over the last 70 plus yrs has been so successful. We don't have a prision system that is overcrowded with a minuim of 50% (last time I actually looked) of those in prision there for the non violent crime of useing a controlled substance.

The war has been so successful that use of illegal drugs is at an all time high in this nation. The war has been so successful that there is no way for an individual in this nation to obtain illegal drugs to od on, so your experince must have been a figment of your imagination.

The war on drugs is so successful that after wasting billions of dollars on waging that war we have seen the rise of violent drug cartels willing to kill anyone that even comes close to interferring in their business venture, which is so lucritive that the money they make grants them more power and authority then the gov't of the nation they reside in.

The war on drugs is so successful that in our nation we have been able to stem the gang violence associated with the drug trade leading to turf wars.

Heck this war on drugs is far more successful than the war on alcohol that lead to the repeal of the 18th amendment..... what a success story.
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#18 Old 10-03-2010, 01:25 PM
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I think that's what most people are in favor of, decriminalizing the possession of small amounts. Even people who want to make it legal to use drugs recreationally and buy them over the counter generally just want marijuana to be legal, I've only seen a very small amount of them who want to fully deregulate hardcore opioid drugs. I do agree with you, but I just think you're worried about a scenario that won't happen. Eventually we're gonna get to have weed along with our beer and cigs, most people will be satisfied with that, and the issue won't get pushed any further.


You really believe it is marijuana that is driving the violence associated with the Mexican drug cartels.
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#19 Old 10-03-2010, 03:05 PM
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Yes I understand, after all the success of the war on drugs over the last 70 plus yrs has been so successful. We don't have a prision system that is overcrowded with a minuim of 50% (last time I actually looked) of those in prision there for the non violent crime of useing a controlled substance.

The war has been so successful that use of illegal drugs is at an all time high in this nation. The war has been so successful that there is no way for an individual in this nation to obtain illegal drugs to od on, so your experince must have been a figment of your imagination.

The war on drugs is so successful that after wasting billions of dollars on waging that war we have seen the rise of violent drug cartels willing to kill anyone that even comes close to interferring in their business venture, which is so lucritive that the money they make grants them more power and authority then the gov't of the nation they reside in.

The war on drugs is so successful that in our nation we have been able to stem the gang violence associated with the drug trade leading to turf wars.

Heck this war on drugs is far more successful than the war on alcohol that lead to the repeal of the 18th amendment..... what a success story.

where am i saying that the war on drugs has been successfully managed? i openly advocate the outright legalization of marijuana. i don't see the use of jailing people for use and possession of small amounts of almost any substance, and i can see where health rehabilitation is more important than punishment.

but there are some substances that by their very nature and highly concentrated forms are simply too dangerously addictive to sell them over the counter at walgreens. they are too dangerous to be prescribed by physicians without justification of an underlying cause for the necessity of such a drug, and even then, require close monitoring.

i say let's kick marijauna funds out from under criminals. how do i differentiate marijuana from iv dilaudid? by the concentration/effects of the drug. people are generally going to consume marijuana and alcohol in amounts that are unlikely to cause great harm. a long term chronic user of alcohol or marijauna will have health issues, that is certain. but all in all, if you tie one on, or get good and stoned, it probably won't kill you. you probably won't resort to almost anything to get the next drink or next marijuana high.

but concentrated narcotics are another story. day in and day out health care providers are inundated with people desperately seeking these drugs. one fix is never, never enough. they literally have to be kicked out the door, and even then they are whining for more. give them an uninterrupted supply of all they want? then you're talking about really thinning the herd with a lot of people overdosing.

why does society need to legalize all substances? in even the countries where these innovative programs are working, production and distribution of the most dangerous narcotics remains illegal. remember, the goal is to get people OFF them, not encourage more use.
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#20 Old 10-03-2010, 03:10 PM
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where am i saying that the war on drugs has been successfully managed? i openly advocate the outright legalization of marijuana. i don't see the use of jailing people for use and possession of small amounts of almost any substance, and i can see where health rehabilitation is more important than punishment.

but there are some substances that by their very nature and highly concentrated forms are simply too dangerously addictive to sell them over the counter at walgreens. they are too dangerous to be prescribed by physicians without justification of an underlying cause for the necessity of such a drug, and even then, require close monitoring.

i say let's kick marijauna funds out from under criminals. how do i differentiate marijuana from iv dilaudid? by the concentration/effects of the drug. people are generally going to consume marijuana and alcohol in amounts that are unlikely to cause great harm. a long term chronic user of alcohol or marijauna will have health issues, that is certain. but all in all, if you tie one on, or get good and stoned, it probably won't kill you. you probably won't resort to almost anything to get the next drink or next marijuana high.

but concentrated narcotics are another story. day in and day out health care providers are inundated with people desperately seeking these drugs. one fix is never, never enough. they literally have to be kicked out the door, and even then they are whining for more. give them an uninterrupted supply of all they want? then you're talking about really thinning the herd with a lot of people overdosing.

why does society need to legalize all substances? in even the countries where these innovative programs are working, production and distribution of the most dangerous narcotics remains illegal. remember, the goal is to get people OFF them, not encourage more use.

again I will ask; exactly how has a 70 yr war on drugs done anything to prevent this or to get the people OFF of them? Exactly how has the war on drugs decreased the usage of drugs?
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#21 Old 10-03-2010, 03:13 PM
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What effect do you think it has on society? Apart from seeing people in the hospital, what work have you done directly with drugs users?

A drug being decriminalised does not mean that you'll be able to have a smack McFlurry, it means that police resources can be relieved a little, rather than a lot of money and paper work going in to criminalising people for carrying a bit of hash. Take it as somebody who knows from experience... If you want a drug, you can get it. Keeping drugs illegal gives power to criminals who deal and sell them and this in turn is linked to other forms of violence and gang culture. I'm not saying if we decriminalised all drugs then all these problems would go away, but it would take a lot of power away from these gangs.

So we can either decriminalise it and help drugs users more (because nobody wants an addiction), or we can keep it all illegal and leave people to get their drugs from more dangerous sources and share needles and go underground with it all... Because no matter how much the state nannies us, people always find a way.

I wouldn't mind seeing alcohol disappear, in that it would probably make the streets a lot safer for women and save a lot of money and police time, but then people would always find a place to get a beer so it'd just be a waste of cash imo. But then the hypocrisy of anti-drug society and booze culture is a different debate altogether

i don't see where our positions differ that much. i believe, given the practical realities of society, that alcohol should remain legal. and maijauna should also be legalized and taxed. decriminalize the rest, and encourage people to seek treatment. but legalize all drugs? show me a society where this has been done, and the effects have been to decrease addiction to dangerous substances like heroin.
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#22 Old 10-03-2010, 03:16 PM
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again I will ask; exactly how has a 70 yr war on drugs done anything to prevent this or to get the people OFF of them? Exactly how has the war on drugs decreased the usage of drugs?

exactly how will the outright legalization of crack cocaine, heroin, diluadid and crystal meth get people off them? are you having trouble distinguishing between our current policies, decriminalization, and outright legalization? it seems you can only see the extremes, jailing people for using even small amounts, or selling it at walmart beside the cookies.
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#23 Old 10-03-2010, 03:17 PM
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i don't see where our positions differ that much. i believe, given the practical realities of society, that alcohol should remain legal. and maijauna should also be legalized and taxed. decriminalize the rest, and encourage people to seek treatment. but legalize all drugs? show me a society where this has been done, and the effects have been to decrease addiction to dangerous substances like heroin.

USA pre 1930's.
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#24 Old 10-03-2010, 03:20 PM
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USA pre 1930's.

hint: check your calander. it's 2010, not 1930. society is different, not to mention that we have a lot more substances to deal with, like crack, crystal meth, diluadid, etc. the realities of production and distribution of these substances today make them much more dangerous.
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#25 Old 10-03-2010, 03:23 PM
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exactly how will the outright legalization of crack cocaine, heroin, diluadid and crystal meth get people off them? are you having trouble distinguishing between our current policies, decriminalization, and outright legalization? it seems you can only see the extremes, jailing people for using even small amounts, or selling it at walmart beside the cookies.

How is it getting people off of them now? If they were legal and regulated much like alcohol and tabacco (2 drugs btw which are responsible for more deaths every yr than all illegal drugs combined, based on usage) then one could take the money earned from the sales and savings trying to stop and fight and apply it to workable teaching programs, as well as rehabilitaton programs. Not to mention the actual % of drug and the substances it is cut with could be controlled and regulated.

We are after all discussing what is now a multi billion dollar industry for the supplier. As long as the drugs are illegal just like with alcohol in the 30's violence will be involved, and it will continue to esculate. Drug use has been a part of humanity for thousands of yrs, they are not going away.
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#26 Old 10-03-2010, 03:26 PM
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hint: check your calander. it's 2010, not 1930. society is different, not to mention that we have a lot more substances to deal with, like crack, crystal meth, diluadid, etc. the realities of production and distribution of these substances today make them much more dangerous.

well yeah the production is more dangerous because it is a blackmarket industry with no quality controls or regulations. Dude, since the drugs were made illegal in the 30's use per capita has increased not decreased and the violence associated with providing these drugs has also increased not decreased.

Are you that blind to what has happened over the last 70 plus yrs of this war? You think something majical is going to happen to make drug abuse disappear?
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#27 Old 10-03-2010, 04:07 PM
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well yeah the production is more dangerous because it is a blackmarket industry with no quality controls or regulations. Dude, since the drugs were made illegal in the 30's use per capita has increased not decreased and the violence associated with providing these drugs has also increased not decreased.

Are you that blind to what has happened over the last 70 plus yrs of this war? You think something majical is going to happen to make drug abuse disappear?

of course not. it's just that i'm not foolish enough to believe that wide open distribution and production of all substances is some kind of a cure for it. if you want to talk about believing in childish magic, that's the position for you.
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#28 Old 10-03-2010, 04:29 PM
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of course not. it's just that i'm not foolish enough to believe that wide open distribution and production of all substances is some kind of a cure for it. if you want to talk about believing in childish magic, that's the position for you.

childish magic? I'll try this again and type real slow.

Since drugs have been made illegal has the use of them declined or risen? What is currently in place to regualte the quality, and cutting agents used in the manufactoring of said drugs?

Has the power, wealth and influence of drug cartels declined or increased?

When the 18th amendment was repealed did the violence associated with the alcohol trade increase or decrease? Did the regulation of alcohol improve or diminish the qualtiy of the alcohol?

Does the gov't make money or spend money in regards to the regulation of alcohol?
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#29 Old 10-03-2010, 04:43 PM
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yes, papayamon, we're gonna give out cocaine from soda fountains, yes, be terrified that if this happens, you'll have to go back to med school and become a real doctor.

cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#30 Old 10-03-2010, 06:34 PM
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people are generally going to consume marijuana and alcohol in amounts that are unlikely to cause great harm.

Not true. Alcohol especially causes more harm to people than either cannibus or opioids.



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a long term chronic user of alcohol or marijauna will have health issues, that is certain. but all in all, if you tie one on, or get good and stoned, it probably won't kill you. you probably won't resort to almost anything to get the next drink or next marijuana high.

The fact is, that a chugging down excessive amounts of alcohol, by itself, can easily kill someone, while injecting large amounts of opioids, by themselves, is generally not sufficient to kill someone. It is only when you add the alcohol to the mix, that you have an overdose. It is alcohol that is the real culprit, not the opioids.

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but concentrated narcotics are another story. day in and day out health care providers are inundated with people desperately seeking these drugs. one fix is never, never enough. they literally have to be kicked out the door, and even then they are whining for more.

The same things is true about alcohol. Instead of asking medical workers directly for alcohol, people whine and beg on the street, for a few dollars, to buy alcohol from shops that sell alcohol legal. Opioid users pester medical professionals. Alcohol users pester everyone.

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give them an uninterrupted supply of all they want? then you're talking about really thinning the herd with a lot of people overdosing.

Indeed, this is true for alcohol, but not for opioids, as opioid users who are content with opioids alone, rarely overdose. It is only when they are addicted to alcohol in addition, or alone, that they oversose.

But the worst thing about alcohol, is the damage to organs and tissues that it causes. It damages your kidneys, makes big, easy to see holes in your liver and brain, and kills you eventually. Opioids on the other hand, make only subtle changes in the chemistry of the liver, temporarily, as far as is known, not enough to cause illness (other than drug dependency), do not harm it enough to kill you, like alcohol does, and make only subtle permanent changes the chemistry of the brain, if they make any long-term changes at all, none have been proven.

The desire for the next dose is not any stronger in opioid users than it is in alcohol users. The fact that alcohol users pester everyone, for money, and opioid users pester doctors for drugs, is a result of social, cultural, and legal factors vis a vis the 2 substances, not a result of the substances themselves. If the system were turned around, and doctors handed out prescriptions for alcohol and opioids were sold in opioid stores, the situation would be reversed. Alcohol dependent people would pester doctors for alcohol, opioid users would pester everyone for money.

I have not looked into the situation regarding coca and its derivatives, or amphetamines.
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