[ExI] addiction

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 15:04:28 UTC 2015

Today we have many drugs that are far more powerful than alcohol. What
happens if this trend continues exponentially?

 John K Clark

I find this highly worthy of discussion on its own.  The more we get to
know our biochemistry the easier it will be to design drugs to create
desired effects in our brains.

As a libertarian I find no favor with trying to ban certain drugs through
legislation.  Hasn't worked well at all and is extremely expensive.  We can
try to marginalize them, as we have done with tobacco, punish overuse of,
say, alcohol, with fines and such.  We can try to educate people to the
very real and sometimes lethal effects of certain drugs.  Hard to say how
effective those are.

Not that I have any great and wonderful ideas myself, but as a psychologist
and just a casual observer, punishment is just about the worst form of
behavior control there is.  The side effects of punishment, such as
resentment, finding ways of avoiding it, and a lot more, are often worse
than the behavior itself.  And if it doesn't work all that well at first,
people are tempted to increase it.  Too much room for abuse.

What you create is an approach-avoidance problem.  Want to use the
substance versus possible punishment if caught.  Obviously if the drug is
highly desirable it wins every time.

We tell kids about the bad aspects, but we don't tell them how great some
drugs make us feel.

 Here is my personal philosophy:

I turned down LSD and cocaine, done by my best friends.  I might like
them.  I might love them, and I could not afford to love them, either
professionally or financially, so I chose not to try them.

Nicotine, we learned, is instantly addictive - one inhalation and your
brain is changed forever.  Worst drug we know of by far.  Worse than
heroin.   (Harder to quite than alcohol, for me.)

Here is a story I would tell all kids:

A very straight and moral guy got all the way through med school and
internship without trying any drug of any kind.  But he got curious, and so
he sampled some of the opioids available to him.  He said "This is the way
people should feel all the time."  One of the scariest sentences I have
read.  He lost his license asap - ruined his career.

Until you find way to make people not want to feel normal, we will have a
drug problem.

I would use no punishment at all, just a referral to a treatment program
which they pay for in part (Freud said that people won't respect what they
get unless they pay for it and I agree).

Many billions spent on trying to stop dealers have only made them rich and
use poorer.  One way we are poorer is having to support the world's biggest
prison population.

bill w
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