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News More heroin ODs on the way?

  1. Feb 4, 2014 #1

    turbo

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    Maine has always been a place where prescription pain-killers are popular with junkies. Home invasions (looking for pain-killers and money) can attest to that. A new wrinkle is that heroin is now cheaper than Oxycodone and Oxycontin. The quality and strength of heroin is not controlled, and can't be trusted to adhere to anywhere near the standards of prescription drugs. I fear that overdose deaths will become more common.

    What's one less junkie, some might ask. They are people with addictions, and they may actually be talented and have a lot to offer to our society. We can't just toss them into the ditch.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2014 #2
    If there's a steady supply available, won't people be less likely to overdose? I would think most overdoses happen when an addict relapses or hasn't had access to thier fix, so when they finally do they go overboard and kill themselves.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2014 #3

    lisab

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    I agree addicts aren't "disposable people". But, unfortunately, I've known a lot of addicts. Successful treatment *must* start with them, and that is soooooo difficult.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2014 #4

    SteamKing

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    If the stuff is cheap, you'll get more people wanting a taste who haven't tried it before. If they don't know what they're doing, or if they are dealing with high purity stuff, the likelihood that an OD will happen increases. And, like PSH and others who relapse into using after being clean, ODs then are likely to occur.
     
  6. Feb 4, 2014 #5

    Evo

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    I've known way more addicts that died or remained addicts than those that cleaned up. Way more. Very sad that they can't help themselves and many do not want help. They prefer being stoned. Of all of the heroine addicts I've known (heroin was the hard drug of choice when I was in school, so there were quite a few), only one kicked it and stayed clean, the others od'd or wound up in prison.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2014 #6
  8. Feb 4, 2014 #7

    Evo

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    The difference here is recreational drugs and life destroying drugs like heroin and meth, these people didn't do heroin or meth. Do you know any heroine or meth addicts? I did.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2014 #8
    You are claiming the main factor in people not trying herione is the cost? That's probably one of the least significant factors. And besides, if that's really the main reason you aren't using herione, then you're likely to be using crack, meth or some other drug which is cheaper and far worse.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2014 #9

    SteamKing

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    It's heroin, not herione.

    Look, when cocaine was big, it was $100 a gram. When crack came on the scene, a couple of rocks would set you back maybe $10. Which drug do you think became more popular? Which drug would someone in high school be likely to try first?

    Yes, drugs follow the same economic laws which apply to every other product. When the price drops, the market expands. Heroin used to be expensive in the 1970s due to a number of factors: limited distribution confined to large cities, some reluctance to handle it, heavy penalties for using and distributing, no domestic source of production, etc. There was also a stigma associated with it, even in the drug community. If you were on H, you were a hard core user, period, and the fact that one could become physically addicted did not help this perception. Now, the perception has changed. If you do H, you're not a bottom feeder like all those meth heads. That's not to say that crack, meth, cocaine, sniffing glue, huffing paint, licking frogs, whatever will completely disappear, but certain drugs will be more glamorous than others at any given time.

    Even though drugs like marijuana have recently been legalized in some states like Colorado, the legal weed can cost upwards of $400 an ounce because of the taxes added. A lot of people still purchase weed on the black market in Colorado, where no taxes are collected and the price is a fraction of the legal stuff. Even dope heads know how to stretch a buck.
     
  11. Feb 5, 2014 #10
    (Mmm... I'm guessing coffee doesn't count, does it? )
    The point I was trying to make (clumsily perhaps ...)was addicts shouldn't be seen as disposable- some may just turn out to be good or at least salvageable.
    Giving up on them doesn't exactly seem to be according the social morals... or did they change again while I was hibernating?
    EDIT: Just saw your previous post (I crossposted it seems) Are you arguing its okay to give up on addicts who use methamphtamines or heroin, in view of the low rehabilitation rate?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  12. Feb 5, 2014 #11

    lisab

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    Well, it's a low return on investment, and money is tight. Rather than see my tax dollars spent on rehab, I'd like to see them spent on education. Or infrastructure.

    If I were to run for office, that'd be my motto: Fix Pot Holes, Not Pot Heads :biggrin:!
     
  13. Feb 5, 2014 #12

    Evo

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    No, simply stating an observation.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2014 #13

    StatGuy2000

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    Given the prevalence of heroin use in the US and the difficulty in addicts being able to beat their addiction, perhaps it may be high time to consider harm reduction strategies such as supervised heroin assisted treatment as is now offered in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and in the cities of Vancouver and Montreal in Canada.

    From a quote on Wikipedia,

    "A German study of long-term heroin addicts demonstrate that diamorphine (the medical term for heroin) was significantly more effective than methadone in keeping patients in treatment and in improving their health and social situation. Many participants were able to find employment, some even started a family after years of homelessness and delinquency".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_reduction#Heroin_maintenance_programmes

    (the article also provides citations to the relevant papers).

    I can imagine that such medically supervised heorin treatment programs will also likely lead to reductions in ODs as well as limiting the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C (due to reduction in the sharing of needles).
     
  15. Feb 5, 2014 #14

    nsaspook

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    Growing up an addicted older brother that stole money and heart pain medications from his own grandmother, destroyed any relationship with his children and had to be completely banished from any contact with family until he finally sobered up 30 years later when he almost died has been my personal observation of the horrors of opiate addiction. Sorry to say but it might have been better for all those around him if he OD'd when he was younger because my interaction with him over the years has made me believe that rehab for those not on the edge of death is just not effective.

    Maintenance might be a limited option in reducing crimes committed to obtain the drugs but the wasted lives still will sicken the society as a whole.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2014 #15
    I'm with Lisab on this. In the best of all possible worlds, with unlimited funds, spending money on hard drug rehab might be a desirable option. In our real world with an abundance of more pressing priorities, I am against it. Given the choice of providing a poor child with education or providing an addict with drugs, I will choose the former every time. In today's economy, unfortunately, we don't seem to be able to do both.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2014 #16
    I don't know if this is really an answer though. In that I'm not sure that cutting money for rehab would actually save any money.

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm

    I would have to imagine that this is higher then the average in the population, although a lot would depend on how the survey was worded. Is paying for them to be in jail cheaper then paying for them to be in rehab?
     
  18. Feb 6, 2014 #17
    This post has the most amount of stereotyping I've ever seen in a single post on this forum, just full of opinionated non-sense.

    lol "Even dope heads know how to stretch a buck."

    what's your problem with "dope heads"?
     
  19. Feb 6, 2014 #18

    nsaspook

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    Have you every had any interaction with a heroin addict that has a 'Jones' for the drug? The only thing that stops them from mass murder for the drug is the pathetic loss of mental and physical coordination. They are the most pathetic creatures on the planet.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jonesin
     
  20. Feb 6, 2014 #19
  21. Feb 6, 2014 #20
    Didn't know coke was a recreational drug lol

    And I'm pretty suspicious of Freud maybe having tried heroin in some form or another.
     
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