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'Drug Users Need Treatment,' Says President Obama. Not So Fast, Says Dr. Carl Hart

The Columbia University neuroscientist wants to shift the focus to harm reduction.

Dr. Carl HartReason TV"For too long we've viewed drug addiction through the lens of criminal justice," President Obama said yesterday at a conference in Atlanta. "The most important thing to do is reduce demand. And the only way to do that is to provide treatment—to see it as a public health problem and not a criminal problem."

At least one expert totally disagrees. Earlier this month at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), Columbia University neuropsychopharamacologist Carl Hart gave a talk called "Mythbusting the Drug War With Science" in which he explicitly made the case that the notion that "drug addiction is a health problem that requires treatment" is exactly the wrong way to look at the use of drugs in the United States.

"Politicians today, whether Republican or Democrat, are comfortable with saying that we don't want to send people to jail for drugs; we will offer them treatment." Hart said in Austin. But "the vast majority of people don't need treatment. We need better public education, and more realistic education. And we're not getting that."

Why does he say most people don't need treatment? Because—contrary to widespread perceptions—the vast majority of drug users aren't addicts. "When I say drug abuse and drug addiction, I'm thinking of people whose psycho-social functioning is disrupted," he said later in the talk. But for more than three-quarters of drug users (and we're not just talking about marijuana here, either), that description doesn't apply.

This overturns the conventional wisdom on drug addiction, but Hart thinks that's a good thing. We've all been fed a diet of panic-inducing misinformation about what drugs actually do to our brains, he says.

Most of us were taught that drugs like cocaine are so addictive that a rat in a laboratory experiment will continue to press a lever to receive the substance—to the exclusion of all its other physical needs—until it actually dies. Hart said at first even he believed that finding to be true. But it turns out, those studies weren't what they were cracked up to be.

"When you have the rat in a cage alone, and there's nothing else for the rat to do, the rat will repeatedly choose to take cocaine," he said. "That's logical. If the only thing you had to do in your life was press a lever to receive cocaine, what are you doing? I hope you're pressing for the cocaine."

But if additional stimuli are introduced to the environment, the finding completely falls apart.

"When you enrich the rat's environment such that you provide something like a sweet drink, or a sexually receptive mate, or some other alternative, the rat doesn't repeatedly take cocaine," he explained. "In fact, it's difficult to get the rat to self-administer or press the lever to take cocaine if you provide the rat with food!"

When he tried to replicate the experiment with drug-addicted humans instead of rats, he found they too behaved logically, choosing, say, $20 in cash as opposed to a $10 hit of coke. "This 'hijacking' of the brain's reward system, that's a nice sexy metaphor," he said. "But what we said was that cocaine addicts could not inhibit certain types of responses. They could not delay gratification. They had cognitive impairment such that they couldn't engage in this long-term planning." Yet repeatedly in tests, they did.

Once you realize that drugs don't actually rewire people's brains, making them unable to function, you can start to focus on things that matter more—like preventing overdoses. The way to do that, according to Hart, is through educational initiatives, not treatment programs.

"Now, if we are concerned about overdose deaths, we need to know how these people are dying," he said. "The vast majority [75 percent] of people who die from a heroin-related overdose do so because they combine it with another sedative, like alcohol or benzodiazepines....The public health education message is simple: If you're going to use heroin or another opioid, don't combine it with another sedative."

The message should obviously vary according to the substance in question and the population you're trying to educate. When talking to young people about marijuana, for instance, we should teach them not to start out with large doses. "And if you do and you get anxious, be cool," he said. "You're going to be OK!"

The main problem with methamphetamines, meanwhile, is that they disrupt people's sleep and reduce their food intake. "Sleep is probably the most important biological function. If you don't get enough sleep, you can get psychiatric illnesses and all types of different illnesses," he said. "So when I think about education with methamphetamines, you want to make sure people are sleeping. You want to make sure people are eating. You also want to make sure people understand the risks in terms of cardiovascular concerns: If you have a cardiovascular-compromised system, it's probably not the drug for you."

These are all examples of harm reduction, something Hart believes we need a whole lot more of. "We can help keep people safe," he said. "We haven't made much progress in this regard, but we're pretending that we are more compassionate people…by saying that we'll give them treatment."

***

Reason TV filmed a talk from Dr. Hart back in 2013. Watch the video here:

Photo Credit: Reason TV

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  • Notorious UGCC||

    Whether or not drug users need treatment, Dr. Hart needs to wear a white coat and stethoscope, or if he's in civilian attire, a suit and tie.

    The whole point of having a physician going on TV to argue for drug legalization is that he has extra credibility. So he should dress like it.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    And I know this is racist, but he really ought to lose those dreads.

  • Mainer2||

    Book meet cover

  • Notorious UGCC||

    The whole point of having him defend drug legalization on TV is that he's a medical man.

    If appearances don't matter, why not get Sullum or some other writer who has intensely researched the issue? Sure they aren't doctors, but they really investigated the heck out of the subject, so they're experts too, right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Dude. He's not a physician. He has a research doctorate, not an MD.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look asshole, when your job title includes as many prefixes as "neuropsychopharamacologist" you can claim to be whatever kind of doctor you want.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fair enough.

  • commodious spittoon||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I wonder if Dr. Hart studies poison.

  • commodious spittoon||

    "Do they still shoot tourists in Florida?"

    "Mainly, sir, yes."

  • Notorious UGCC||

    All right, if he's not the standard stethoscope-and-say-aah kind of doctor, all the more reason for him to dress to impress.

  • John Thomas||

    This is not Esquire magazine. It's Reason magazine. We are not concerned with fashion here. It's about the ideas and arguments. - No comment on those?

  • Mainer2||

    You do realize I was agreeing with you, right ? The reason we have that saying is that people actually do judge a book by its cover.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    OK, sorry, I wasn't sure.

  • Zeb||

    I thought the point of having him defend legalization on TV was that he had done a lot of research and had good points to make.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I thought the point of having him defend legalization on TV was that he had done a lot of research and had good points to make.

    Have you watched TV before?

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    especially if he appropriated them from the Egyptians!

  • Mainer2||

    +1 dreadlock

  • Robert Masters||

    Physicians are civilians.

  • velleity||

    He's a post-doc who studies how drugs affect receptors in the synaptic cleft, and how that affects behavior.
    For example, alcohol moderates the positive allosteric site on the GABA a receptor like the valium family, psychedelics work on serotonin receptors, cannabinoids on the CB2 receptor, opoids on etc....

    Drugs work because they are or are similar to drugs released by a normal brain for reward pathways, like opoids and cannabinoids. (exercise and sex as an example) Or make you calm in the face of stress, like the glass of whiskey I'm drinking.

    He isn't a doctor, who aren't scientists. They are practitioners. Now regarding his science he does have some peer reviewed work. I disagree with some of what he has to say. It works out that about 10% of the population have impulse control issues and become addicts. Some of them do need treatment, but he is correct that the majority of dialogue regarding drugs are based on poorly modeled studies designed to support the policies of the state.

    I am an Austrian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Hayek

  • Just say Nikki||

    If by "treatment" you mean "OTC heroin," then I could not agree more, Mr. President.

  • wFt||

    "But it turns out, those studies weren't what they were cracked up to be."

    Say it isn't so; Ow, my aching paradigm!

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    'Drug Users Need Treatment,' Says President Obama.

    *cough*

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Megalomania isn't a drug, so he's safe.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    I think weed and a little bit of blow are considered drugs.

  • Microaggressor||

    Just think how much better off we'd be if Barry was caught and received "treatment".

  • Mainer2||

    Just think how much better off we'd be if his buddies had beaten his ass for his "interceptions", taking extra tokes out of turn. Not cool.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Just think how much better off we'd be if he stayed in Kenya.

  • Aresen||

    Well, you'd just be finishing the eight years of the HRC administration.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Naw. Th' Raypublicans needed t' lose two illictions in a row to a nay... um... to an N-wurrd gintleman f'r th' lesson t' sink in properly thit warmongrel prohi-bitchinists ar-runt wilcome ennymore. Next they c'n be beaten by a grrrl, or by Bernie th' arnychist, thin by a yellow dog, thin by a moe-hammyden camel if th' best they c'n do is pesther pregnint women and confiscate grow houses by asset forefitchoor until th' savin's n' loans all cave under th' weight iv so manny abandoned mortgidges. There's other parthies, mind ye.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But alcohol isn't, luckily for the Prez.

  • commodious spittoon||

    President Hillary concurs.

  • See Double You||

    Hell, even cocaine isn't a drug when the Prez uses it, Hugh, or else how could he have graced us with his title?

  • pan fried wylie||

    a little bit? what's the cut-off, 3g?

  • RRiver||

    prolly about an 8-ball.

  • Jerryskids||

    neuropsychopharamacologist

    Huh. That's what we're calling them these days? Back in my day it was just "dude". Everybody knew some dude who could hook you up.

  • commodious spittoon||

    But does he abide?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    He needs a rug to cover those dreads. At least in public. It would tie his arguments all together.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We've all been fed a diet of panic-inducing misinformation about what drugs actually do to our brains, he says.

    Have you not seen the fried egg? It's pretty convincing.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    And delicious. Rachael Leigh Cook knows how to make an egg.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Really. I mean, who wants raw egg?
    If the fried egg is my brain on drugs, then I should be on drugs. That way I'll have a better brain.
    Zombies are the only things that like raw brains.

  • Mainer2||

    Surely you can't be serious

  • commodious spittoon||

    Don't call her... wait.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I like the heroin commercial where to chick beats the shit out of her house with a frying pan. It must have worked because I have never tried heroin. SCIENCE!

  • Mainer2||

    I have a heroin repelling rock.

  • Florida Hipster||

    *places finger tips together*

    I would like to purchase your rock.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Speaking of credibility.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Let's reward good behavior. His argument was focused and rational.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    See his next post.

  • Mainer2||

    Obama's push to decriminalize ? Wut ?

  • See Double You||

    if drug use isn't illegal then you can't coerce people into treatment to begin with.

    That's not necessarily true. Drug use could technically be decriminalized, but the law could require a person deemed "addicted" to be treated.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Alcohol is perfectly legal but the State still forces drunk drivers etc into AA programs.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Which is why the left categorically cannot be trusted to handle legalization, because treatment would be a mandatory and hugely invasive aspect of their policy.

    Not to say the right is any better, but they're not often trying to make common cause with pro-legalization groups in the first place.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In federal court I heard a definition of "addictive" that would apply to Twinkies, chocolate milk, late-night teevee, French... oops... I meant Victory fries, women 15 years older and men 15 years younger than self. The nonsense was recited with a perfectly straight face and received with nods of uncomprehending appreciation.

  • Just say Nikki||

    So educating people about how to kill themselves might be counterproductive.

    How so?

  • Shirley Knott||

    Attempted suicide is a crime (in many if not all states). So cracking down on 'suicide by drugs' is really just crime prevention.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Attempted suicide is a crime (in many if not all states)

    Massa don't like it when you harm his property.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I finished read the art of not being governed today. It was interesting to read that in southeast Asian noble titles where based on the number of people under the boots, as opposed to land based titles in Europe.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ah, yes. In Thai, it was referred to as "sakdina", which literally mean "rice paddies power", as in the more paddies you owned, the more people were under your control.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I found the book interesting, but the author really beats you over the head with "rice paddie cultivation is the tool of statecraft". I heard you the first time dude.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's been a long time since I've read it. I married a Zomia girl, though.

  • Florida Hipster||

    HAWT!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Once you go Nyaw...

  • Hank Phillips||

    Under mah thumb, is a billion grrrrls who's just had their day! Under mah thumb, uh billion Siamese khat of a grrrl...

  • straffinrun||

    This will hurt me more than it hurts you.

  • See Double You||

    Citation? I know it used to be a common law crime, but I'm pretty sure state statutes have superseded that designation.

  • See Double You||

    Trigger warning: Wikipedia

    Historically, various states listed the act of suicide as a felony, but these policies were sparsely enforced. In the late 1960s, eighteen U.S. states had no laws against suicide.[39] By the late 1980s, thirty of the fifty states had no laws against suicide or suicide attempts but every state had laws declaring it to be a felony to aid, advise or encourage another person to commit suicide.[40] By the early 1990s only two states still listed suicide as a crime, and these have since removed that classification.

    And here's something analogous to forced drug treatment even with de jure decriminalization:

    In California, medical facilities are empowered or required to commit anyone whom they believe to be suicidal for evaluation and treatment. [Emphasis added]
  • Just say Nikki||

    Yes, in many states being a "danger to self" is sufficient for incarceration.

  • Aresen||

    In California, medical facilities are empowered or required to commit anyone whom they believe to be suicidal for evaluation and treatment.

    Yeah, we have the same thing here in British Columbia.

    About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with a condition that could have made me go blind. (Fortunately, the treatment was effective and I no longer have that worry.) I was upset and went to a professional counsellor to discuss it. When he dropped the little bomb that I would be reported to the medical authorities if I confessed to thoughts of suicide, I shut up immediately. Nice way to cut people off a life line.

  • ||

    Overdoses are not 'generally intentional suicide attempts.' That's just silly. Most deaths attributed to heroin are actually the result of drug-mixing, with alcohol being the most represented - and the worst - and not intentional.

    And it is not true that legal status precludes corecion into treatment. Many DUI recipients are given a choice between incarceration and treatment, and most all take treatment.

    The only logical and honest solution is to repeal drug prohibition and replace it with a legal, regulated market. Addiction will not go away, of course - nor will it significantly increase - but gun violence will drop over 50%, as will the spread of Aids, our prison population will shrink, and the cartels will be broken.

  • ||

    If they really wanted to cure drunks theyd give them baclofen and modafinil.

    A dui is simply giving 10k for second rate conseling. There is quite a racket in that system and it will be near impossible to kill. 15% of drivers will land themselves into that racket.

    The easiest test to figure out if someone is a "drunk" is to give an IQ test. Smart people average one drunk per month, dull ones average once per year.

  • Zeb||

    overdoses are generally intentional suicide attempts

    Do you have anything to back that up with?

  • Hank Phillips||

    It's bullshit. For accurate info see "Drugs and The Mind" by Robert S. De Ropp, M.D.. The book debunks Phantastika, a 1920s German book claiming heroin was no more habit-forming than cigarettes.

  • See Double You||

    You know, forced treatment for drug "addiction" is not much better than imprisonment if you believe you have a right to put whatever you want into your body. So while perhaps treatment mandates are a softer version of tyranny, they're still tyrannical.

  • Mainer2||

    Every Thursday on the morning drive I hear the New Hampshire State Police segment. That's where I learned that the police arrest drug users because they care. They want those poor addicts to get the help they need. They are like Mother Theresa, ministering to the junkies by locking them in cages. That's also why they need that asset forfeiture money. Because they care.

  • dan'o en barrel||

    "You know, forced treatment for drug "addiction" is not much better than imprisonment"

    Not much better ethically as well as affecting the goal of reducing substance abuse. "You can lead a horse to water" is very relevant in this arena.

  • Aresen||

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him scuba-dive." - old stoner proverb.

  • Citizen X||

    What, you believe you own your own self? Sorry, that notion went out the window in, like, 1066.

  • See Double You||

    It (somewhat) came back (if it ever existed) in 1215, tho.

  • ||

    Not even necessarily softer. At least with a jail sentence there is a set time frame, and if that time frame is too long you get push back from the public. If you have a forced treatment regime it logically lasts until the condition is 'cured' and since the basic tenet of the AA/NA cult is that there is no such thing as a cure...

  • ||

    When you enrich the rat's environment such that you provide something like a sweet drink, or a sexually receptive mate, or some other alternative

    God damned fucking rats are living better than me. THIS WILL NOT STAND!

    I'm sure if I complain to my Congressman he will create a large federal program to provide people like me with a bottle of yoohoo and a horny rat.

  • Libertarian||

    Something we can all agree on: the time has come for tests on humans.

  • Mainer2||

    "a bottle of yoohoo and a horny rat"

    Now THAT is an obscure masturbation euphemism

  • Libertarian||

    USE IS NOT ABUSE!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I snorted a pain killer the other day. The Libertarian Moment will not arrive, it needs to be forged with your own two hands.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Why would you deny people the right to morally judge drug users?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I say the federal government should continue to pour more money into the budget of Catholic Charities.

  • See Double You||

    I believe the fed gov should spend money studying why Crusty likes fuglies.*

    *NTTAWWT

  • Citizen X||

    Ladies with unconventional appearances need love too, The CW.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    There should be a study as to figure out why I have better taste in women than all of you.

  • Florida Hipster||

    What lever do I slap to get more articles like these?

  • straffinrun||

    The one that says TRUMP, duh.

  • Florida Hipster||

    *slaps trump lever*

    Gah! 300 trump articles! NO!

  • See Double You||

    "Slapping the Trump" is a not-very-abstract euphemism for masturbation.

  • Florida Hipster||

    Subtlety is not my forte. Although I do drive a Kia Forte.

  • straffinrun||

    Kia Forte. I don't even know what that is, but is it a 4 stroke?

  • Florida Hipster||

    For the right price it is big man.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm amusing myself by playing Pin The Comma On The Sentence.

    Don't mind me. I am easily amused.

  • straffinrun||

    I'll amuse myself by finishing my 8th beer and watching this.

  • Florida Hipster||

    Commas are foreign and scary. Besides, go bother adans. Doods commas is whack, yo.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm frightened of anyone who cannot spell Adam. Plumbing the depths of such depravity is beyond my ken.

  • Mainer2||

    Drug warriors just follow Harry Anslinger's template. Lie to create a panic.
    Our Senator Kelly Ayotte (former prosecutor, of course), was touting the restoration of the Equitable Sharing program because we are "at risk of losing a whole generation". Wow. Didn't know everyone between the ages of 18 and 34 was just on the edge of heroin addiction.

  • Aresen||

    Why does Dr Hart hate children?

  • Rich||

    "the vast majority of people don't need treatment"

    "But this great nation 'offers' it to them anyway!"

  • ||

    Just what are these treatments anyway?

    They make it sound like you go in like a sandwich on the conveyor oven at Quiznos and come out like a, erm, sandwich.

  • Brochettaward||

    You sit around a round or square table with other lowlifes the courts mandated to be there.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You sit around a round or square table with other lowlifes the courts mandated to be there.

    Mine took place in a small, stinky room, and there was no table, damnit.

  • Brochettaward||

    You get hosed.

  • Libertarian||

    I, too, was wondering about these "treatments." Are they as effective as "driving school" and "anger management" that are also doled out as part of being convicted of certain crimes?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Group counseling sessions involving people who are court ordered to attend are not very helpful.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    They're lucrative for the mayor's wife's cousin who wins the contract to provide services, which surely counts as helpful.

  • ||

    ^this

  • ||

    I don't know why, maybe it's this annoying inner-ear imbalance I suffer through, but I kept thinking about Lisa's science project on if 'My brother is dumber than a hamster' when I read the part about rats.

  • Swiss Servator||

    "When you have the rat in a cage alone, and there's nothing else for the rat to do, the rat will repeatedly choose to take cocaine," he said. "That's logical. If the only thing you had to do in your life was press a lever to receive cocaine, what are you doing? I hope you're pressing for the cocaine."

    Ratus Epius?

  • Citizen X||

    Fact: Epi has forfeited an ungodly number of security deposits because his invariable first act upon moving into a new place is installing a big ol' cocaine lever in the living room.

  • straffinrun||

    Or they'll listen to Smashing Pumpkins.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    "It's a Backstreet Boys world, and at the end of the day you just want to kill yourself." ~ Billy Corgan

  • straffinrun||

    Timely. I like it that way.

  • Mr Drew||

    I think he had an awesome point here. I think a lot of drug use comes from boredom. When housing, food and tv all come to you from uncle sugar and you don't have to put forth any effort to attain anything, I think you need drugs and destructive sexual behaviour and life threatening violence to just keep your mind a little occupied.

    Humans are not cattle and need stimulus and to be challenged to be healthy.

    The big insult of the left is to give people everything because I think they consider others less than completely human

  • Hank Phillips||

    They need men with guns to kill them if they don't obey orders from superstitious morons. That's not insulting at all.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Is that a prediction, an observation or someone parroting urban legend out of the Journal of Irreproducible Results?

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    OT

    anti-Trump protester throws punch, then is immediately pepper sprayed.

    that's some viscous pepper spray. definitely the right product for large crowds.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That dude is King of the Fedoras.

    That is some dank 420 blaze it MLG 360 noscope Wombo Combo shit right there.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • straffinrun||

    Someone do that to me, I can't stand watching this anymore.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Janesville Police release photo of the man they think pepper sprayed teen yesterday

    a 19-year old adult is technically a "teen".

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Wow. That is exactly what I pictured a Trump supporter looking like. It's uncanny.

  • commodious spittoon||

    If you're that quick on the trigger with your pepper spray, can you really claim to have used it defensively? That looks premeditated to me.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    He obviously had it at the ready, waiting for a reason to use it. And reason was given.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Meh. The actual spraying occurred after the punch, I'm not going to question the motive.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Oh, good. An actual proportional response so the Trumpkins don't have to defend sucker punching somebody who's no threat to anyone.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Where's the public sector graft in decriminalizing with no treatment?

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    . I don't think drugs should be completely legalized.

    Then you're part of the problem.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Decriminalizing actually works better than full legalization of opiates and barbiturates, because it keeps corporations from buying politicians to wage war on competitors. Also, almost nobody will touch those downers if they can get hold of enjoyable, nonaddictive drugs instead. In the Haight we played "the game." You ran an errand then tried to recite the complete list of drugs people offered to sell you. Narcotics became a drug on the market after Reagan brought prohibition onto enjoyables.

  • Brochettaward||

    I really wonder how many legitimate addicts would be as bad off as they are if, you know, drug prices weren't grossly inflated and there wasn't a draconian enforcement regime hanging over their heads and careers. So, the doctor cites a certain percentage which is far smaller than most people believe. That is good. Yet, if you removed the social stigma, that in turn would probably be drastically reduced.

    The drug war perpetuates the problems it claims to be fighting against at every level.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I don't wonder at all.

    Read up on John Halstead, who basically invented modern surgery. He was addicted to morphine for most of his adult life.

  • Florida Hipster||

    He pioneered the nerve block too, if memory serves.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    He'd be the DEA's Public Enemy Number 1 today. Relieving suffering? With DRUGS???!! Monster.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I have relatives addicted to insulin. As long as no pleasure is involved, shooting up is kewl.

  • SIV||

    It's William Halsted, ya brain-damaged speed freak.

  • cynicalretiree||

    the drug war does a great job of preventing people from finding out on their own how chemical life usually becomes boring.

  • Agammamon||

    'Drug Users'People Who Don't Do What They're Fucking Told Need Treatment,' Says President Obama.

    Fixed that for him.

  • straffinrun||

    I want more minarchist vs anarchist fighting. I'm the pure one. Try me.

  • Florida Hipster||

    *sticks knife in straffinrun, inhales blood*

    He's pure.

  • See Double You||

    Real libertarians have no blood.

  • ||

    We do if we have fed recently

  • straffinrun||

    Yeah, I passed. My hepatitis.

  • Florida Hipster||

    A, B, or C? Cause I've already had two and am going for the hat trick.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    A pure minarchist, AKA a statist!?

  • Jerryskids||

    Whether it's treatment or incarceration or harm reduction, surely we can all agree these people need help.

  • cynicalretiree||

    the doctor who established sterile technique before, during, after surgery in USA was Dr William Halsted, a morphine addict. med students came from all around the world to watch his surgical technique.this was when MD's prescribed drugs and addicts were not always considered amoral. nowadays, Dr Halsted probably couldn't get a job as a store clerk if his urine was positive.

  • See Double You||

    With more polished prose, I might have believed you, bot.

  • ||

    Drug users need treatment, says President Obama.

    Oh really? Is there a treatment for narcissistic asshole syndrome?

    And now, I will translate der fuhrer's statement:

    My cousin and one of my crony donors would like to start a federally mandated drug treatment center, funded by tax payer dollars.

  • Mitsima||

    "... you can start to focus on things that matter more—like preventing overdoses."

    I'm just saying, that while Budweiser, Coors, and the like may _taste_ like watered down piss, their quality control is pretty high - and there's no pot of money* in the federal budget to ensure it stays that way.


    * although, there may be a pot of money to ensure that it keeps tasting like watered down piss - it's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with

  • See Double You||

    I thought they put the urea in there to give it flavor.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Only opiates their imitators (barbiturates) are addictive. Enjoyable drugs are illegal because they are enjoyable. Enjoyment deeply bothers mystics, who lie awake nights worrying that someone, somewhere, might be happy.

  • Rockabilly||

    Obama - end your racist war on drugs.
    You're very racist !!!

  • RRiver||

    From what I have read there have been people using concoctions to get a buzz as long as there have been people. Only in the last 100 years did governments decide that they should take control of whether a person could get a buzz or not, and what they could use to do that. Of course, the reality is, that was about the pharmaceutical companies came on the scene, and decided that only they knew how to make concoctions that could get people high. Its all a money thing, plain and simple.

  • Chuckie||

    I now have a new visualization of the term "Ghetto Rat".

  • Window Companies Seattle||

    If you have a forced treatment regime it logically lasts until the condition is 'cured' and since the basic tenet of the AA NA cult is that there is no such thing as a cure...

  • ken.||

    there are two classifications;
    substance abuse; which is only use without addiction and may or may not cause personal/social problems.
    chemical dependency which is addiction whether physical, psychological or both.
    abuse requires education to solve the problem, dependency requires counseling.
    the most important thing we need to do is prevention education to stop it before it starts.

  • Paul Pot||

    We need freedom.
    The drug war is a police state choker chain around the neck and a shotgun to the head.
    People who support the drug war are saying to everyone else around them "I don't trust you". "I have to watch you and if I see anything I don't like I will report you and have you taken away for re-education."
    Prohibition takes peoples responsibility for their own lives and replaces it with the police in every home.
    The truth is that no-one wants to hurt themselves and are all ready to be responsible for the own lives.
    The problem is when the state takes peoples responsibility from them that puts massive pressure on people and can only result in extreme stress and mental health disorders.
    Prohibition forces mental illness on the community.
    And it forces vast sums of money into the hands of anyone who is willing to use violence to protect their income.
    The drug war forces violence on the community.
    The perfect storm of madness and mayhem.
    End the insane, criminal drug war.

  • John Thomas||

    The idea that marijuana consumers need treatment is ludicrous. Treatment is for addiction. Websters says addiction is: -- "the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal"

    "Well-defined" is a nice way of saying the withdrawal symptoms are so severe, they compel continuous use to be avoided. Marijuana doesn't have them, so is NOT addictive. -- Only prohibitionists and "treatment" quacks make the insane claim that marijuana consumers need treatment. The "treatment" industry gets most of its customers forced to it from the courts. When we completely re-legalize marijuana, they will lose most of their income.

    Even the majority of consumers of addictive, harmful drugs, like alcohol, are not deemed to need treatment. So, to imagine that consumers of non-addictive, near harmless marijuana would somehow need it is just Reefer Madness.

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