People Addict People

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

There is a crisis.  People who are prescribed drugs containing opioids can become addicted to them.

There is a problem.  People who receive medical treatment have privacy rights.  We don’t know who’s doing the prescribing, who’s doctor-shopping, who’s obtaining prescriptions only to sell them.

There are proposed solutions, but they’re mostly paperwork regulations that have no more effect on real-world issues than putting up a Drug Free Zone sign on a schoolhouse door.  More warning labels won’t help: people take the medicine doctors prescribe because we trust doctors.  Restricting prescriptions won’t solve the end problem: no doctor prescribes heroin and people who self-medicate their personal problems with drugs will obtain them illegally, as they always have.  Adding a new federal registry of sensitive information on individuals – does the word “Equifax” ring any bells?

“Opioid” is simply the new word for “narcotic” which has been a staple in the War on Drugs since Coke took cocaine out of its soft-drink 100 years ago.  The problem isn’t the tool, the problem is the tool user.

Joe Doakes

As with any plan, philosophy, worldview or kind of government – the problem is people.

7 thoughts on “People Addict People

  1. It strikes me that most of the solutions proposed are, like the rest of the drug war, designed to address the supply for the drugs, and not the demand. The article suggests some very real issues where we’ve got to wrap our heads around why people want these drugs.

    I’ve also seen some good evidence that a lot of people currently using narcotics might do as well, or better, with just plain marijuana–friend of mine pretty much got off disability with very small doses. Seems that the war on drugs not only prevents us from addressing why people use them, but also limits what alternative therapies there might be.

  2. Known drug abusers who try to doctor shop are flagged so those registries already exist.

  3. Tucker Carlson had a compelling psychiatrist saying this is mostly the economy. people need a sense of agency and good friends. Ten years of low GDP is a much bigger deal than coal burning for electricity or whatever.

  4. Colorado is the first state to collect more revenue from marijuana than alcohol. This has led to a pot tax holiday, budget surplus of $257M. The “war on drugs” — one of the greatest wastes of human effort and endeavor in the history of the world, and still the politicians want to pretend it isn’t so.

  5. Emery is right, but I have a different take.

    Pot has tremendous externalities, just like gambling. CO is having all kinds of contaminant social problems from pot legalization. CA literally burns up 9% of their precious electricity on pot growing. Then throw in water.

    I would have started with hard drugs and worked back to pot. Be up front about it: We Will Help You Kill Yourself. The whole thing is unsolvable and the Cartels are accumulating power exponentially.

    Do you have a better idea? Look at William F. Buckley’s explanations of this stuff, and get back to me.

  6. Revenue can be interesting if you like watching the government grow, I guess, but the thing that strikes me is that states with more liberal dope laws have something like 23% lower fatalities from opioids. Make that nationwide, and you’re talking about ten thousand lives per year with a “value” if something like $50-$100 billion. The tax revenue is chump change in comparison, really.

    Yes, tremendous externalities in California, but nothing they couldn’t solve by allowing water rights holders to rent out their water rights for cash.

    And yes, a decent economy would probably help a lot of people avoid all kinds of drugs, since they might have some hope for a better life.

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