[Paleopsych] drugs and alcohol

Werbos, Dr. Paul J. paul.werbos at verizon.net
Mon Aug 23 20:46:16 UTC 2004

At 11:15 AM 8/23/2004 -0700, Michael Christopher wrote:

> >>There is no alcohol cartel of the same
>dimensions. To put it mildly.<<
>--Do you attribute that to the properties of alcohol
>as a substance, or to the difference in laws
>surrounding alcohol?

As per what I just sent in reply to Steve -- I do think that
more rational regulation of alcohol is indeed one factor.
But the cocaine cartel problems today are much worse than
alcohol was at the height of prohibition.

This is certainly due in part to differences between the two
substances, and cultures surrounding them.

Degree of addictiveness is a major factor -- perhaps the most important
factor, in the end. But then again -- the ability of people to cause damage
while on cocaine relative to alcohol is also a factor.

Many, many people come from stable countries where they have one small 
glass of red wine with dinner
almost every day for decades on end, without losing control. And many 
studies show that
such people tend to be healthier, in general, than those who avoid alcohol 
Some scientists believe they can capture some of the health benefits in a 
pill, but we will see.
It is my understanding that studies show a high rate of self-delusion with 
cocaine and a high rate
of very bad outcomes. There are good reasons for that involving the 
dopamine system in the brain,
and the level of artificial positive reinforcement. (Per Niven's prediction 
in science fiction, however,
electronic versions have been announced, at least in some experiments, and 
some folks
are getting patents on what could be gps I/O to all kinds of brain centers.)

But I do hope that the new regulation strategy I proposed would help. In 
particular, those folks
who push cocaine onto children because they are desperate to feed their own 
habit, and hope to
create  a market of addicts unable to stop sending them money, would be able to
feed their habit at the clinics and less likely to profit from addicting 
children. Those who use
guns to try to resist the new system, despite the escape it offers them, would
fully warrant more serious (albeit careful) treatment. (The second offense 
rule gives an opportunity
to be careful. The felony child abuse provision for mothers who give birth 
to crack babies
is absolutely in synch with the nature of the damage -- especially if, 
again, the clinics work hard to make
it easy for female addicts to avoid such births.)


All for now.
Best of luck,


objectuvely done to children.)

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