Review of “Romancing Opiates”: Personal Agency Is Critical

Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy
Theodore Dalrymple
Encounter Books, 2008; orig. pub.: 2006

“Man is the only creature capable of self-destruction, and only man decides in full consciousness to do what is bad, even fatal, for him.” – Theodore Dalrymple

Opiates and their synthetic cousins, opioids, have long been a major topic in the public consciousness, particularly affecting White men. But much of what most people believe they know about these substances is simply wrong. British author Theodore Dalrymple has dealt with hundreds of heroin addicts in his career as a doctor and in Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy he makes several observations from experience that will be surprising to most.

Dalrymple begins with an interesting criticism of the much-vaunted value of freedom. In his time working in a prison in a British slum, he often saw new inmates who looked “as if they had just been liberated from a concentration camp.” They were visibly starving, showed signs of vitamin B deficiency, and had many sores on their bodies. This condition is not caused directly by drug use, but rather by the total neglect of their own health which frequent intoxication facilitates. He would remark to them that “for them, freedom was a concentration camp; their own desires acted as the concentration camp guards.”

The addicts’ health improved dramatically while they were in prison, and often declined again shortly after their release. Many of them were aware of this pattern and even asked the judge to keep them in prison longer as a result. “Freedom was bad for them,” Dalrymple explains, “because they did not know what to do with it.”

The standard view today is that heroin addiction is a medical condition, but this is wrong in several ways. Firstly, a medical condition is a physical affliction from which a patient suffers, not simply a behavior. There are medical conditions clearly caused by behavior, such as lung cancer caused by smoking, but even in this case, it is the cancer which is the medical condition; smoking is simply a habit. The cancer can be treated by doctors, but the habit requires the patient’s own agency to break.

This distinction is widely denied with regard to heroin. Addicts tell their own stories in a manner which implies no personal responsibility, and authorities uncritically accept this. Dalrymple reports on how many claim to have begun their addiction by simply “falling in with the wrong crowd,” but notes that he has never met a single self-identifying member of that crowd. Many will similarly claim that they are “easily led,” but none have been easily led to study mathematics or foreign languages. People are most easily influenced by and likely to “fall in with” those they look up to or identify with. Neither their social connections nor their drug use was forced on the addicts, but came instead from their own desires.

Further, the common belief is that addiction happens easily by simply trying heroin, as if the user has little choice in the matter. But even opiate apologists such as nineteenty-century writer Thomas de Quincey in Confessions of an English Opium Eater admit that this is not the case. Opium is very similar to heroin, and de Quincey notes that he took opium hundreds of times over a period of years without becoming addicted. A similar thing can be observed in modern times; some still take heroin intermittently without becoming addicted, and the Encyclopedia of Drugs and Alcohol estimates that for future addicts, “from first use to daily use typically takes about one year, but it may take much longer.”

Heroin addiction is often described as a sort of horrible chemical slavery in which the threat of withdrawal overpowers the user’s will, forcing users to continue using even if they wish to quit. But Dalrymple notes that withdrawal from heroin is much less dangerous than withdrawal from alcohol; the latter can be fatal, while the former never is. The author has observed many heroin addicts going through withdrawal, and notes they have never displayed any symptoms that were severe or required hospitalization. The discomfort of withdrawal is greatly exaggerated by addicts, often in an attempt to pressure the doctor to prescribe more opiates, and the author finds that they quickly change their tune once he calls their bluff. Underlining how much of the condition is psychological, several experiments in the 1930s demonstrated that addicts can even be convinced that they are under the influence of heroin or morphine when in fact their supply has been cut off, or that they are not in withdrawal when in fact they are.

Interestingly, Dalrymple has also dealt with alcoholics facing withdrawal, and notes that their behavior is quite different. Heroin addicts claim that withdrawal is unbearable and will even make frivolous threats of murder or suicide to obtain more drugs. Alcoholics are in more serious danger, but never make threats, and if they speak of their suffering at all their complaints are much more in line with what the doctor can confirm. The author offers no explanation of this contrast, but presumably different types of people are drawn to heroin addiction than to alcoholism.

It is also widely believed that addicts are compelled to steal to fund their habits, but this is far from the case. Firstly, as withdrawal is not nearly so terrifying as often claimed, an addict who is short on cash can simply stop using temporarily. Faced with being uncomfortable for a few days, robbery would not enter most people’s minds. Secondly, the use of opiates in itself is not necessarily incapacitating, so some habitual users support their habits through legitimate employment. Dalrymple quotes Lawrence Kolb in 1928, at the time a prominent American expert on addiction, who wrote that out of 119 addicts, only 29 had poor employment records after their addiction began, and that

Twenty-two of them worked regularly while taking opium for twenty-five years or more; one of them, a woman aged 81 and still alert mentally, had taken 3 grains of morphine daily for 65 years. She gave birth to and raised 6 children, and managed her household affairs with more than average efficiency. A widow, aged 66, had taken 17 grains of morphine daily for most of 37 years. She is alert mentally … she does physical labor every day and makes her own living.

Third, if heroin addiction drove them to crime, the addicts would presumably have been law-abiding before they started using heroin. But the author interviewed 100 addicts and found that 67 of them had been to prison, meaning they had been convicted of numerous crimes, before they tried heroin for the first time. The connection between stealing and heroin addiction is instead that addiction is more attractive to people with antisocial tendencies. Rather than out of desperation, they often steal for the thrill.

Another falsehood of the standard model which Dalrymple refutes is that addicts must have medical assistance to quit. On the contrary, many have quit with no treatment at all. During the Vietnam War an estimated 20 percent of American service members were addicted to heroin. After returning home, most simply quit; “by two and three years after their return, the addiction rates among those who had served were no higher than among those who qualified for the draft but did not serve in Vietnam.” The author also quotes a major text on substance abuse which notes in passing that addicts can give up their habit through “detoxification only” in the case of “those who adopt a new religion or lifestyle.”

Due to their effects on vital functions, opiates are more likely to cause fatal overdoses than most drugs, but even this does not occur in the way one might expect in a genuine disease, with death coming to the patient despite their best efforts. Instead it is largely due to the recklessness of the users. Dalrymple notes that since most stop using while they are in prison, they have a much lower physical tolerance to the drug’s effects once they are released. They will thus be in more danger of an overdose upon beginning to use again unless they take a lower dose; he estimates that the death rate is thirty-four times higher in the first two weeks after release from prison than at any other time in their unincarcerated lives. He quotes his interaction with one addict who had started using again after his release from prison and took such a high dose that he needed artificial ventilation:

“Did you remember what I told you?” I asked.
“Didn’t you believe me?”
“Yes, I believed you.”
“Then why did you take no notice?”
“I met up with my old friends.”

Lethal overdoses are also more common when opiates are used together with other drugs which have a similar depressant effect on the vital functions. These include alcohol and benzodiazepines, a class of anti-anxiety drugs which includes Valium, and which is found in the majority of deaths where the deceased has also taken methadone. Mixing drugs like this could be easily avoided by a modicum of self-discipline, but apparently this is in short supply for many users. Even doctors seem to share this carelessness, as they continue to prescribe both types of drugs together.

It is absurd to classify opiate addiction as a disease. It can only come about through the “patient’s” own repeated decisions, and can be cured in a matter of days with no medical intervention. This can hardly be said for a condition like multiple sclerosis. This is not to say that addiction is not a serious condition, but that it reflects a deeper issue which doctors cannot treat.

There are also popular claims in the opposite direction — that rather than a demon which possesses the user, opiates are actually a profound muse. Several prominent writers beginning in the Romantic era have made this claim, including Thomas de Quincey and the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. That great artistic ideas can spring from opium dreams more than from sober minds is a claim that cannot exactly be disproven, but neither is there any evidence for it beyond the artists’ own grandiloquent accounts of their experiences. Dalrymple also mentions that of the millions who have been addicted to opiates, only a small fraction have produced anything artistically notable.

What, then, is the nature of opiate addiction? Darlymple argues that it is a spiritual sickness. Partly this is the common sickness of the underclass from which addicts often come. Traditional sources of meaning in life such as religion are absent, as their betters saw fit to deconstruct them in favor of nihilism. Their family lives are chaotic, and their sexual relationships short-lived and violent. Uneducated and unskilled workers have little hope of a fulfilling career, and what work is available to them pays barely better than welfare. As the author puts it, “while a man might once have derived satisfaction from performing a menial task well, from leading a life of modest usefulness to others, this is not an age in which such humility is very common.”

Young people in this situation have no purpose. Daydreaming is the closest they can imagine coming to escaping their unsatisfying lives — the author notes that many addicts tell him they use the drug “to forget” — so there is not much incentive to avoid a habit which means spending much of their time in a dreamlike state. He argues that the life of an addict actually provides a degree of discipline and focus, since raising funds and finding his supply imposes demands on the addict, the reward for which is obvious. Further, the danger from rival drug gangs or the police provides more excitement than their lives might otherwise offer.

As Dalrymple puts it, it is easier to provide a prescription than a reason for living, so the establishment has provided plenty of the former and none of the latter. Indeed, mainstream interventions seem to further erode the latter by infantilizing the addict.

Assuming that his condition is a disease, authorities respond as if the addict is powerless to do anything about it. Rather than being a matter of his own decisions which he might be pressured to change, they take his behavior as a given, and its consequences as a technical problem for them to solve.

The most common “solution” for opiate addiction is to prescribe a synthetic opiate called methadone. This is a long-acting drug, with one dose producing its effects over a period of about 24 hours, as opposed to 4-6 hours for heroin. Theoretically this frees the addict from the “need” to find and consume heroin every few hours, as well as the “need” to finance the habit through crime.

In practice, though, the results are questionable. Despite dramatic increases in the number of methadone prescriptions in the 1980s and 90s, there was no corresponding decrease in the number of addicts. On the contrary, heroin addiction has become much more common. From 859 in 1978, the number of addicts in Britain increased to over 100,000 in the year 2000. Many users of methadone continue to use heroin, although they do so less when given particularly high doses of methadone. They often continue to use other drugs as well, and as mentioned above are even prescribed them.

They also continue to steal, although the number of thefts may be reduced. In one study in Sheffield the average number of “acquisitive” crimes committed by a heroin addict treated with methadone dropped from 13 a month to three, but this is was only among the minority of subjects who took the drug exactly as instructed, and it is still 36 offenses a year — hardly the law-abiding lifestyle that we would presumably prefer.

Methadone can also be dangerous in itself, generally when it is not taken under medical supervision but diverted to the black market. In Scotland in 1998 for instance there were 114 overdose deaths attributed to heroin and 64 attributed to methadone. In the City of Dublin from 1998–2000 there were 225 “drug-associated” deaths, of which 157 were associated with heroin and 144 with methadone — the numbers do not add up neatly because some deaths involved both drugs together.

The technical problem-solving mindset even extends to a policy which the author calls “retoxification.” Since addicts usually lose their tolerance to the drug while in prison and are at greater risk of overdose when they are released, the authorities respond by simply prescribing them opiates while in prison. This reinforces the idea in the addict’s mind as well as that of the authorities that he is not a human being responsible for his behavior, but a malfunctioning machine whose faulty programming must be taken for granted and routed around.

In this condition, why should he make any effort to improve himself? As the author puts it,

If consequences are removed from enough actions, then the very concept of human agency evaporates, life itself becomes meaningless, and is thenceforth a vacuum in which people oscillate between boredom and oblivion. They have nothing to hope for and nothing to fear; they are more likely to seek the intermittent oblivion of opiate addiction. (p. 41)

The author notes that doctors often realize that his observations on addiction are correct, but everyone continues as if they are not. This is for two reasons. First of all, there is now an established bureaucracy which has an interest in perpetuating addiction in order to perpetuate their funding. The book gives the example of a woman who had been using heroin for about twenty years, along with other drugs, and had been prescribed methadone for most of that time. When she told her drug counselor that she was sick of drugs and wanted to cut down on methadone, the counselor became frightened and angry, declaring that this would be “extremely dangerous.”

Dangerous for whom? It could be no worse than her current life, in which she had contracted hepatitis B and C, and had several children which had been removed from her care at birth as she was considered an unfit mother. The danger, although the counselor did not admit this, was that “if other addicts followed suit, what future would there be for drug clinics?”

Second, there is an attitude of moral superiority on the part of those who claim to understand the misunderstood. Many seem to enjoy framing certain groups of people as innocent victims so that they can make a virtue of displaying compassion for them. Many of those employed in the addiction industry even go so far as to dress and speak like addicts to demonstrate how “nonjudgmental” they are. This stance would be threatened by putting any pressure on the addicts to take responsibility for and change their behavior.

In the 15 years since Dalrymple’s book was first published things have gone along essentially as before. People still speak as if addiction is merely a medical condition which afflicts the addict. Although the author called for the closure of drug addiction clinics, they remain open and the “patients” are still treated in the same ineffective way. We can only hope that someday the authorities are replaced by a new group of people, one which cares about our population’s long-term well-being more than “fighting stigma” or maintaining funding.

43 replies
  1. Fentynolandforgetit
    Fentynolandforgetit says:

    Knowing heroin addicts, some report their friends do die during withdrawals… so it’s untrue that you can simply just quit. One guy tried to quit and it killed him. Another spends $80k a year on it . Being homeless…you meet all kinds of people. The saddest are professionals who lost everything to addiction…these once functioning members of society. So , it really is a type of disease I would say. The addicts I met have lost everything.

  2. Poupon Marx
    Poupon Marx says:

    I have been reading Dalrymple for years (not his real name and he is Jewish), and regularly at Taki Mag. I hold him in high regard because he actually did the work on the scene, among the actual. Thus, he is able to dispel convenient academic feces, political bombast (remember the “Food Pyramid” and “Carbs are empty calories”) drivel and bilge from the Department Compartment of Agre-ssive Culture? He writes with form and substance, quite elegant prose.

    Now to the assertions above. They are false. I lived with a heroin addict, my best friend at the time, in Hollywood, among other sad wretches. I never saw the “terrible withdrawal” syndrome that has become common misinformation-from those seeking funding for rehab centers, presumably or a free cheque. It is NOT cataclysmic, nor the results and post reactions fatalistic. I’ve had coffee caffeine withdrawals, which were inconvenient.

    “One guy tried to quit and it killed him”. Not convincing in the least as a stand alone statement.

      • Poupon Marx
        Poupon Marx says:

        It is obvious of course that you base your opinion in a vacuum. That is, without reading anything by Darlrymple. If moderation were effective here, the postings would be ranked by quality, utility, and stimulation of the neural neworks. But it is not, too often passed by innocuousness and a repetition of “We wuz Kangs”, and other hit and run and “rotz nase” rabbit pellets. Pardon the mixed metaphor.

    • Emicho
      Emicho says:

      I’ve never heard of withdrawal in itself killing anyone, and I don’t know how it could, unless it so incapacitated someone you’d freeze to death in the street. But obviously that is death by hypothermia not withdrawal.
      You can live with an addict and not see full withdrawal if the addict can keep the ball rolling. But it isn’t “miss-information”. It is true the rehab-industrial-complex feeds on the misery of addicts just as much as the dealers do though, and are in no hurray to lose their reason for existence.
      Though they do help some people.
      Comparing opiate withdrawal to caffeine just shows you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.
      But it is a good time to point out that opiates aren’t actually addictive in the way coffee and nicotine are, no addict *craves* heroin, the way you crave a cigarette.
      You beg, steal or borrow to buy heroin to stop your suffering, not because you crave any sort of buzz. Once you’re an addict, there isn’t all that much buzz left.

  3. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    Love the title “romancing opiates.”

    As an exercise go out side the front door of your house or condo or maybe even work and count how many pharmacies are in walking distance. I did that and surprise, surprise I count some 13 pharmacies in a four block radius, 4 of them in fact, right across the street and one down at the end of the street kitty corner to the others across the street? And all of them in one way or another successful albeit 2 of them are in supermarkets.

    It boggles the mind it really does what man will do for drugs. As for the thesis of the essay I would tend to agree though I believe there is an added problem of mixing different ingredients meaning sports drinks like these high octane drinks full of caffeine and taurine etc etc?

    It’s amazing dogs or the animal kingdom knows whats bad and what to stay away from but humans wow look what they’re putting into their mouths and stomachs?

    Ah, the book of Job…. “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. Job 14:1

    Water the elixir of the Gods!! You know there was a reason why they had long life spans!!!

    We however, want black sugary shite?

    • RockaBoatus
      RockaBoatus says:

      “It boggles the mind it really does what man will do for drugs” – Sad, but true.

      If people were told that by taking a certain drug, they will have the most glorious and orgasmic experience they could imagine, but then would die within 30 minutes afterwards – there would be lines around the block!

      This is human nature in large part.

      • Gerry
        Gerry says:

        “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
        ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society

        Thanks RockaBoatus

    • Bobby
      Bobby says:

      It’s not Biden’s open border Hillary. It’s the head of Homeland Security’s open border. And that would be Alejandro Myorkas, who is a Sephardic Jew.

    • Emicho
      Emicho says:

      The Sacklers aren’t much different than the Sassoons who enslaved the Chinese to opiates.
      On a scale of misery produced, from the sufferings of the addicted and damned, to the broken hearts of those who loved them, with the wider societal sufferings included as well, you could make a good case these two families are up there with the worst tyrants and war promoters in human history for absolute pure evil.
      At least with war there are winners too, folks make huge profits, but there is also mass employment, the thrill of the thing, and if you are on the wrong side, it’s not all misery. Often people who fight wars are the only humans who every really live.
      Pumping a peasant population full of opiates just to make money for yourself, there is no glory here, it’s diabolical.

  4. Karl Haemers
    Karl Haemers says:

    I recall reading Dalrymple’s real name is Daniels, and his father was a “communist businessman”. That must be his Jewish roots. Dalrymple is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has authored a number of books, and here is a quote from one of them:

    “The following quote from Theodore Dalrymple (Daniels), who may have been a Communist himself and like Orwell not so much warning us as conditioning us, reveals the full effect of Communist propaganda and now the Neo-Communist Western propagandemic:

    “In my studies of Communist societies I came to the conclusion that the purpose of Communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate. And therefore the less it corresponded to reality, the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil onesself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”

    Is this Revelation of the Method?

    • Anne C
      Anne C says:

      According to Wikipedia, Theodore Darymple’s real name is Anthony Malcolm Daniels. “His father was a Communist businessman of Russian ancestry, while his Jewish mother was born in Germany.”

      I remember that quote, “the purpose of Communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate.” That really resonated with me – as you say, it may be Revelation of the Method. It certainly fits.

      Interestingly, Daniels/Darymple penned an article in early 2021 endorsing the covid jab:

      • Poupon Marx
        Poupon Marx says:

        In that same article:

        However, at first sight, the list of side effects appears alarming. According to present information, the following side effects are very common (which means, technically, that they occur in one or more cases in ten): headache, joint pain, pain in the muscles, pain at the injection site, fatigue, chills and fever. Common side effects (meaning between one in ten and one in 100 cases) are redness and swelling at the injection site and nausea.

        While it is very unlikely that the harmful effects will ever eventually outweigh the benefits, the possibility cannot be altogether excluded. This forces us to make a Promethean bargain.

        • JM
          JM says:

          Rather than simply defending Daniels’ method of selling the vaxx, why don’t you speak for yourself on this as there has been a lot of water under the bridge since Daniels wrote it (early 2021)? His salesmanship was done in a climate of doubt produced by an army of conscientious people in associated scientific disciplines against Big Pharma and its owned big government and global agencies?

          How has the “Promethean Bargain” gone so far? This is hardly a trifling matter.

          • Poupon Marx
            Poupon Marx says:

            I told my wife and rheumatologist that I had examined all the literature that I could on covid, statements, opinions and research, and then I COMPARED AND CROSS REFERENCED all of this to viral epidemics of the past.

            My firm conclusion in April of 2020 was that this was nothing more than a variant of the common influenza virus, which by derivation, called for herd immunity and protecting the vulnerable in line with past practices. My wife and I did not take any vaccines, nor worthless flu vaccines.

            Facts matter, the missing ingredient in policy is almost always honesty and courage. My rheumatologist, a brilliant woman, said, “I don’t disagree with you”. She works at a hospital, and we all know what that means.

            Dr. Dalrymple gave a tentative opinion that was somewhat equivocating and tentative. Of course, his peers, his professional colleagues all lied for personal and professional reasons, and he chose-in the absence of firm data to incorporate their opinions.

            Since I have no connection or affiliation with anything, it is easier and more facilitative for me to be objective and critical. See the previous reference I listed for important and vital information:



            Clearly and didactically, when you encounter a source or material with truthful and factual content, one should go beyond the intrinsic contents and seek the METHOD and PROCESS that the author(s) used, which therefrom may be a key to unlock other mysteries.

  5. Tom
    Tom says:

    From my own experience, much of what Dalrymple says is true. Two years ago, I had a lumbar disc protrusion that was so bad that I could only stand for about 5 seconds at a time. I was in constant severe pain and the only way to achieve a tolerable level of that pain was to sit and to take Oxycodone to get the edge off. As I was limited by prescription to 90 pills per month or three per day, I had to be quite sparing in my usage. As a result, I never “got high” once from the opioids. I was simply happy that the reduced pain level didn’t drive me out of my mind.
    After two months I had a discectomy, and for two weeks subsequent my post-operative pain (more like a nagging discomfort) was completely tolerable except that the discomfort I experienced was always hassling me. Since I had 10 Oxycodone pills left, I decided to take one per evening in order to allow me a total pain-free entrance into sleep. And this was indeed achieved. But I also got a little surprise.
    I began to notice that I felt “wonderful” about an hour after taking the one Oxycodone – not “high” or euphoric or exceptionally happy, but simply wonderful. And this is the point where I had to make a decision – a choice, since it was obvious that my new “wonderful” existence was being created for me artificially. Naturally, I chose to immediately cease the Oxycodone.
    Everyone taking opioids comes to this juncture. No one simply gets an addiction out of thin air. No one is caught unawares. There is a voluntaristic aspect to addiction that is real and cannot be denied.

  6. Bobby
    Bobby says:

    The quote about the purpose of communist propaganda, to humiliate, is a poignant one. It made me think of Biden.

    It’s almost like the all Jewish Biden administration is saying, “see what we did to you goyim, see. We’ve put a white person with advanced dementia as your President.”

    The Jews must be laughing their asses off at us.

    Is ‘The Revelation of the Method’, from the Protocols?

    • Emicho
      Emicho says:

      Propaganda in communist countries was exactly the same as globo-homo propaganda in our nations, because in both cases there wasn’t/isn’t an alternative, so it obviously isn’t a need to persuade.
      Yes, they are both to humiliate, but that is only a means to an end. The end, in both cases, is *demoralisation*.
      You know the pig iron production isn’t 5x better than last year, or the 5 year plan ahead of schedule, but you can do nothing.
      You know blacks and woman aren’t as competent as white men, or homosexuality morally superior to normalcy, but you can do nothing.

  7. RockaBoatus
    RockaBoatus says:

    From my experience as a cop (now retired), the majority of heavy Meth users were not functional in any way other than being able to consistently steal for their next fix. They could hold down a job, but only for a short period before their boss recognized how bad their addiction was (yes, I know there are exceptions). They get by in large part by stealing and selling narcotics to other drug users. They are most often homeless because they’ve burned every bridge among their friends and family members. They are opportunist thieves. When you see a scruffy-looking 35-year-old adult male riding a kid’s bike late at night, he’s most likely pulling on unlocked car doors to see what he can steal.

    Perhaps years earlier when illegal drugs were not so powerful and laced with Fentanyl and other strange chemicals, drug users were able to function much better. I doubt this is the case today because addiction often comes sooner due to the potency of the drugs. Some claim it’s immediate, but I think one dosage by itself is not sufficient to make one a total addict in most cases. It’s more probable that the person got addicted after several dosages of Meth or Heroin although the addict will rarely admit it. It makes one less complicit if they lie and assert that the first narcotic dosage got them ‘hooked.’

    The thing I found so disturbing is how many people I encountered – who seemed like normal and functional adults – were on some kind of psychotropic drug for anxiety, depression, or whatever. I used to ask myself, “Is everyone on some kind of mind-altering drug?!” Most Americans, it seems to me, have no coping skills and they try to solve all their emotional baggage with pills (thanks to Big Pharma).

    If you really want to see how bad and utterly bizarre the drug addiction problem has become in the U.S., check out the many videos on YouTube which feature zombie-like addicts stooped over and frozen in position on the sidewalks.

    Those who argue for national drug legalization are complicit in the downfall of our once great nation. They have little awareness of how drug legalization will severely impact future generations. The strange chemicals and compounds laced in today’s drugs will impact the birthrates of whites, including the new autoimmune diseases that will result among our children and grandchildren. It will indeed be a ‘Brave New World.’

    • bruno
      bruno says:

      Mr. Rockaboat-us, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. One was once a deputy sheriff for either two or three days. In that short period much was seen as you’ve described in your prior posts. Keep writing cuz you’re not only sharp, but you’ve got that inside take and not hypothesizing BS. Besides your pen shows talent, can draw other in. People need to drive by or park near inner city high schools to see the face of over 90 American cities. No need to mention that carcinoma metastasizes unless immediate action is taken. In other words, results can be more than a calamity. As a doctor in the field of the country’s dilemma, you’ve forgotten more than most could ever know. Keep benefiting others with your knowledge.

    • Gerry
      Gerry says:

      They are opportunist thieves. When you see a scruffy-looking 35-year-old adult male riding a kid’s bike late at night, he’s most likely pulling on unlocked car doors to see what he can steal.

      lol so true! I heard a Pastor of a Church who was once a police officer say exactly the same thing about late night Vancouver. We just knew seeing them what they were up to at 2:00 AM morning strolling along on a bike and some so brazen they would be towing a cart behind them. lol

  8. Cotard
    Cotard says:

    Nanavira Thera Dhamma & addiction

    What, now, has the Buddha to offer the drug-addict? In the first place the Buddha requires intelligence of a man, else nothing can be done. In the second place the Buddha tells us that the taking of intoxicants (which of course will include morphia and so on) leads to the decline of intelligence. Putting two and two together, we find that to give up drugs a man must understand that unless he gives them up he will not be able to give them up, or in other words, to give up drugs one must understand the way to give up drugs, which is to give them up. At first glance this does not seem to be very helpful—’A glimpse of the obvious’ perhaps you will say, ‘of course the addict understands that the way to give up drugs is to give them up: the whole trouble is that he can’t give them up.’ But is this just a glimpse of the obvious?

    Let me recall my own experience when I gave up cigarettes. I had been smoking forty or more a day for several years when I decided to give them up. Not being able to do things in half-measures I stopped smoking all at once. I remember walking in the park not long after I had finished my last cigarette, and feeling pleased with myself that I had actually taken the decision. (I also felt rather light-headed, which was no doubt a deprivation symptom—this continued for some days.) But the principal thought that assailed me was this: though I had no doubt that I could stick to my resolution, there was one thing that I really needed to confirm it and to fortify me in my determination not to have another cigarette, and that one thing was… a cigarette. Far from its being obvious to me that in order to give up cigarettes I should give up cigarettes, I had the greatest of trouble to resist the pressing suggestion that in order to give up cigarettes I should take a cigarette.

    Let me also tell you of the researches of Dr. Klar when he was in Persia shortly after the war. Dr. Klar, besides being a physician, is also interested in psychology; and he had with him in Persia an ingenious device for reading a person’s character and state of mind. (This consists of a number of cards each with about eight pairs of coloured squares pasted on them. The subject is simply required to indicate which colour in each pair he prefers. He ‘read’ us all at the Hermitage, with devastatingly accurate results that did not really please all of us. But this is a digression.[3]) He told us that eighty percent of all Persians over the age of thirty-five (I think he said) take opium (and also that all Persians tell lies on principle—but this is another digression), and with such a wealth of material to hand[d] he was able to do some research. He would give each addict two readings, one before taking opium and one after. The readings all said the same thing: before the opium the mental state of the addict was abnormal and disorganized; after the opium the mental state was normal and organized. The effect of the opium on the addict was not, as one might think, to disintegrate the personality; on the contrary, the effect was to integrate a disintegrated personality. The opium was necessary to restore the addict to normal. (I have heard similar observations from another doctor who was for many years a medical missionary in China: if you want to do business with an opium addict, drive your bargain when the effect of his last dose is wearing off.)

    What can we conclude from all this? We conclude that, unlike a ‘normal’ person who may take a drug once in a way for the novelty or pleasure of the effect, and who at that time becomes ‘abnormal’, the confirmed addict is ‘normal’ only when he has taken the drug, and becomes ‘abnormal’ when he is deprived of it. The addict reverses the usual situation and is dependent upon the drug to keep him in his normal integrated state. (This does not mean, of course, that the addict derives pleasure from occasional deprivation as the abstainer does from occasional intoxication; quite the contrary: in both cases the drugged state is more pleasant, but for the one it is normal and for the other it is abnormal.) The addict can only do his work efficiently and perform his normal functions if he takes the drug, and it is in this condition that he will make plans for the future. (If he cannot take the drug the only plan he makes is to obtain another dose as quickly as possible.) If he decides that he must give up his addiction to the drug (it is too expensive; it is ruining his reputation or his career; it is undermining his health; and so on) he will make the decision only when he is in a fit state to consider the matter, that is to say when he is drugged; and it is from this (for him, normal) point of view that he will envisage the future. (Thus, it was as a smoker that I decided to give up smoking.) But as soon as the addict puts his decisions into effect and stops taking the drug he ceases to be normal, and decisions taken when he was normal now appear in quite a different light—and this will include his decision to stop taking the drug. Either, then, he abandons the decision as invalid (‘How could I possibly have decided to do such a thing? I must have been off my head’) and returns to his drug-taking, or (though he approves the decision) he feels it urgently necessary to return to the state in which he originally took the decision (which was when he was drugged) in order to make the decision seem valid again. (And so it was that I felt the urgent need of a cigarette to confirm my decision to give them up.) In both cases the result is the same—a return to the drug. And so long as the addict takes his ‘normal’ drugged state for granted at its face value—i.e. as normal—, the same thing will happen whenever he tries to give up his addiction.

    Not only is the drug addict in a vicious circle—the more he takes the more he wants, the more he wants the more he takes –, but until he learns to take an outside view of his situation, and is able to see the nature of drug-addiction, he will find that all his attempts to force a way out of the vicious circle simply lead him back in again. (A vicious circle is thus a closed system in stable equilibrium.) It is only when the addict understandsaddiction, and holds fast to the right view that—in spite of all appearances, in spite of all temptations to think otherwise—his ‘normal’ drugged state is not normal, that he will be able to put up with the temporary discomfort of deprivation and eventually get free from his addiction. In brief, then, an addict decides to give up drugs, and he supposes that in order to do so all that is necessary is to give them up (which would certainly be a glimpse of the obvious were it not that he is profoundly deceiving himself, as he very soon finds out). No sooner does he start giving them up than he discovers (if he is very unintelligent) that he is mistaken and has made the wrong decision, or (if he is less unintelligent) that though the decision is right he is wrong about the method, and that in order to give up drugs it is necessary to take them. It is only the intelligent man who understands (against all appearances) that both the decision and the method are right; and it is only he that succeeds. For the intelligent man, then, the instruction ‘to give up drugs it is necessary to give them up’, far from being a glimpse of the obvious, is a profound truth revealing the nature of addiction and leading to escape from it.

    I would ask you to pause before dismissing this account as fanciful; this same theme—the vicious circle and the escape from it by way of understanding and in spite of appearances—is the very essence of the Buddha’s Teaching. The example discussed above—drug-addiction—is on a coarse level, but you will find the theme repeated again and again right down to the finest level, that of the four noble truths. It will, I think, be worthwhile to illustrate this from the Suttas. (…)

    The last part of Nanavira’s letter is strictly on the Dhamma, so perhaps of no interest here.

  9. ariadna
    ariadna says:

    “The thing I found so disturbing is how many people I encountered – who seemed like normal and functional adults – were on some kind of psychotropic drug for anxiety, depression, or whatever.”

    What I find equally, if not even more disturbing is the reckless way in which physicians prescribe them.
    Less than two years ago I saw an internist who “consulted” me by reading my clinical history on my file online and asking me a few questions. Kept himself at a distance of 6 ft the whole time and never touched me (because COVID…) consultation. At the end he asked me if I had any other complaint and how I felt in general. I told him I felt stressed and “down” by living with the restrictions in place everywhere, not even being able to swim anymore because the club where I used to go no longer accepted me unvaccinated.
    His immediate solution was to give me a prescription for an anti-depessant. He assured me that would bring a welcome change, that it would “make me see things differently.” I did not ask him if he knew about the suicidal ideation known to be caused by these anti-depressants.
    I only told him that he didn’t have a prescription for something that would change the “things” themselves rather than the way I see them, I didn’t want it. He dutifully recorded in my file that I was depressed but “refused treatment.”
    It would be interesting (and scary, I am sure) to see some figures of the quantity of anti-depressants dispensed yearly in the US.

    • Anne C
      Anne C says:

      Ariadna, your comment sent chills through me. It really bothered me that your internist “recorded in my file that I was depressed but ‘refused treatment.'” Most people don’t realize how dangerous it can potentially be to confide something as simple as being depressed to a medical doctor.

      You were perfectly justified in complaining to that internist about how lockdowns were affecting you. If he, like so many other doctors, had any notion of fulfilling his true responsibilities as a physician, he would have at minimum reassured you that your feelings were normal and that you were doing the right thing by not compromising your health with the jab. He also would have looked for an avenue to speak out about how the forced injections were negatively impacting his patients.

      However, that is not the kind of world we are living in.

      I worked for a couple of years for an organization that did advocacy work on behalf of people who had been caught up in the mental health system. In the jurisdiction where I lived at the time, all that was required for someone to be “committed” (i.e. incarcerated involuntarily, indefinitely, on a mental health ward) was the signatures of two medical doctors, and they only had to be general practitioners.

      Once you have been committed to a mental “health” institution, it can be very difficult to be released unless you go along with their ideas about treatment – which can run the gamut from mind-damaging drugs to the extreme of electroshock therapy. Plus, once you have a medical record of “mental health” issues, it’s impossible to get rid of it. In many ways, it’s worse than having a criminal record.

      My advice to people is not to confide information about emotional well-being to any medical doctor, at very least not one you don’t know and trust well. I’m sure your brush with the internist wasn’t serious, but I’m using the opportunity to share what I learned.

      Good for you for not accepting any medication!

  10. JM
    JM says:

    “Interestingly, Daniels/Darymple penned an article in early 2021 endorsing the covid jab:

    Most medical practitioners are appendages of Big Pharma, The Covid subversion has proved this beyond doubt. When it matters they lay their cards on the table and get behind the dominant power in their industry mediated by government agencies.
    Nationalized Health services like in Britain are certainly not the solution to this problem which requires strangling the power of Big Pharma.

  11. Emicho
    Emicho says:

    Everything Dalrymple has said for years is pretty correct, except this: “withdrawal from heroin is much less dangerous than withdrawal from alcohol; the latter can be fatal, while the former never is. The author has observed many heroin addicts going through withdrawal, and notes they have never displayed any symptoms that were severe or required hospitalization. The discomfort of withdrawal is greatly exaggerated by addicts, often in an attempt to pressure the doctor to prescribe more opiates, and the author finds that they quickly change their tune once he calls their bluff.”
    He’s been pushing this line for years, but it is dumb. It’s a bit like saying “You say your wartime experience was rough? Get a hold of yourself, you look fine to me, it can’t have been that bad. Or, your childhood was traumatic? I don’t see anything wrong with you, you look fine to me, you must be exaggerating. Or, you say that abscess in your tooth is painful? But I’ve just checked your vitals, you aren’t going to die, so it cannot possibly be as bad as you say.
    Imagine judging something by whether it puts a life in danger, and making this one single aspect define your entire proscription. This isn’t the behaviour of a rational man.
    Anyone pronouncing so definitively on opioid addiction should at least have the courage to face it themselves. Mr Dalrymple should do a Youtube, French Connection style, where he shows us how all easy it is to beat.
    But I won’t be holding my breath.

  12. Emicho
    Emicho says:

    I should list what you feel when you go through opiate withdrawal for those who agree with Dalrymple, that because it doesn’t kill you, it can’t possibly be all that bad. This isn’t pleasant, so don’t read if you are in the middle of your breakfast.
    Start with ‘the openings’. Here every orifice in your body opens and starts to leak, your nose runs non-stop, as does water from your eyes and saliva from your mouth over-produces so if you can manage to lie down you have three streams of fluid running out of your face. Annoying, but not so bad some might say, if only it was just this.
    Then the other leakage, your guts turn to water, so it’s rapid diarrhea that even when there is nothing left to come out you still ‘need’ to go, just like you can never properly finish urinating, at all times you still need to P & P.
    But these are again just annoyances, if you can rest yourself down for a few moments, but actually you cannot, because though exhausted as you cannot eat anything, restless leg syndrome also stops this. Many addicts claim this is the worst of all the sufferings, others disagree. Add to that what feels like electric shocks going into all your joints, elbows, shoulders, knees that have you violently jerking every three or four seconds.
    Then you have that other leakage, the way all your pores open and drip sweat, you find sweat pores in places you didn’t know you had places. The only way to fix this is to put your room into basically a fridge-like temperature and put up with the cold, it’s preferable to the ghastly sweating leaving you feeling dirty and gross.
    This is the goose-flesh, worse than any flu you’ll ever have. Add to this all sorts of muscle cramps as well that many get, but the main point of withdrawal is it’s not so much pain, but sheer soul destroying misery. Pain you can steel yourself to, especially if you’ve a high pain threshold.
    The misery is not just body, it’s mental and spiritual as well. You’ll never feel such anxiety or depression.
    And all this torture can be ended(postponed, actually), simply by scoring.
    Someone said above every addict comes to a Rubicon where he feels he could probably ‘just’ have the will to stop right now, it will be horrendous, but if I go on, I am committing myself to a full-time life as an addict.
    This is 100% true. Folks like Dalrymple should ask themselves, if withdrawal isn’t so bad, why do 99% of users all choose the full-time life of the addict, knowing all to well the indignities and miseries of that life? If you are a parent, you are basically agreeing to abandon your children, as eventually they will be removed. Just like they are abandoning every single family member who has ever loved you, every friend, every person you know who’s had time for them, all will be sacrificed because you will betray or exasperate them all. Along with your dignity, your possessions and eventually your accommodation.
    All addicts rationally agree to give all of these things up because it is better than going through withdrawal. Even if it is only to postpone withdrawal for a few months. Why would they do this is withdrawal ain’t no thing? Why would girls whore themselves out on the streets to all sorts of gross old men? Because even including the danger involved, it still preferable to the terror of withdrawal.
    It is terror. There is no escape, obviously you can’t sleep it off, and any sleep you do get is filled with nightmares and if you are ‘lucky’ enough to get 3 or 4 hours after a few days of torture, it only feels like 3 or 4 minutes.
    Dalrymple sais it only lasts a few days. What’s a few? Could be as long as seven days of super high suffering before you feel it begin to wain. I don’t need to say these 7 days feel like 7 decades.
    But what comes next? Once the physical symptoms begin to ebb, the mental and phycological chains remain, usually get worse. And where exactly is your life at this point? You have nothing left, no friends, family, possessions or accommodation. Worse, no reason at all to live.
    I’d often grit my teeth and suffer through the physical symptoms and over come them, only to be defeated by the months and months of brutal depression with no reason to exist. It’s true, the addict life does give you structure and a reason to get up in the morning.
    It’s also true the cause of this is at bottom is the removing of our religion by our betters, and the nihilism that remained. Also when there is no proper agreed upon morality, what exactly is the moral exception to taking drugs?
    Many addicts are good people(the majority aren’t), some of the best people I’ve met have been addicts, men who wouldn’t dream of fckng over anyone else. They may steal from large exploitative companies, but wouldn’t dream of taking from a friend or a straight-peg civilian.
    With all Dalrymple’s experience with addicts, he has 1000x the experience of them I’ve had, why didn’t he ask them, maybe the ones who got over their addictions and were now sober, “be truthful, how bad is withdrawal?”
    100% would tell him it is the worst thing on earth. These are or were chaotic people, most have suffered through all sorts of painful miseries, beaten up, stabbed, agonising infections, car crashes, illnesses. Me personally, I’ve ripped my guts in a car crash and had over a dozen abscesses in my teeth, my pal has had kidney problems, we both say withdrawal is about 100x worse than any of these things.
    So what is it about Dalrymple? If a peasant like me can figure this out, why can’t a learned professional of great experience like him do any better than say “well, you aren’t going to die, so you cannot be suffering that badly.” This is offensively retarded. And bizarre because every other thing he sais is bang on.
    Could it be the natural misandry that every Jew seems to be born with? They are bred this way remember, it is their religion. Even an ‘ex-pat’ Jew brought up British may have some of this left in him.

    • Larry
      Larry says:

      Thank you for saying exactly what I did not have the energy to say. What this jew says about withdrawal is absolute bullshit. It is one of the most painful experiences any human can go through.

    • Anne C
      Anne C says:

      “…the cause of this is at bottom is the removing of our religion by our betters, and the nihilism that remained.”

      You’ve nailed it on the head, Emicho. For the one hundredth time.

      • Poupon Marx
        Poupon Marx says:

        Buddhism is not a religion. And the Null, i.e., Nothingness is but a reference point, a fix in navigation parlance, upon which to metaphorical and metaphysically position and refer to other Realities.

        You may ask me for further clarification and literature expositing same.

    • Poupon Marx
      Poupon Marx says:

      Emicho, you are so verbose and wordy, I ask you AGAIN if your heart swells at every word you overwrite to describe a phenomenon or make a point. Are you are screenwriter, drama coach, or otherwise involved in the theater. Do you get paid by the word in your profession?

      Your style is what I reference in Bob Dylan’s self bio in the 60s, then called the “Free Association” style of ad lib and ad hoc and add more words in a paella of fruits of the sea. With lots of scushy tomatoes. Really, Old Boy.

      In your emotive cathartic piece you heap on the sauce of drama on the high wire, living on the edge of the abyss, and generally indicating insincerity and hyperbole.

      I mentioned that I lived among junkies in Hollywood, with and among. I only observed and did not partake. Dr. Dalrymple spent his career as an English prison psychiatrist doctor. A career treating, researching, and observing. Doubtless he belongs to professional societies and has numerous colleagues. Evidently, I am the only one on this board that has read and know of Dalrymple for a length of time, approximately 20 years. He is a very discerning man, an ubermensch of great knowledge and sensitivity in culture, the arts, science and several other disciplines. He could probably hold professorships in several.

      Experience trumps hysteria, wishful thinking, drama, emotion, and belief in the Tooth Fairy. I’ve lived on the street, hitchhiked back and forth across this country, lived in Aspen, seen the world, and escaped death by close margins a handful of times. One thing that I have acquired-and gifted by inheritance-is the faculty and endowment of observation, correlation, and comparison.

      I have not experienced Reality suspending itself for my desires or fancies. Against it I have a perfect record of defeat, and can find no other who has one this contest.

      • Alex
        Alex says:

        Poupon Marx

        You are not the only one who is a long-term follower of Theodore Dalrymple, I too have read him on and off for probably twenty years, and I agree he writes a great deal of interesting things on many themes. (I even know what poupon means without looking it up!)

        I am extremely unimpressed on the other hand by the posters who think it is a key point that he is of Jewish blood. (I suppose I have to say this bearing in mind the readership, but I am fully aware of the disproportionately large and often non-benign overall Jewish presence and influence in the world.)

        On themes like this Dalrymple is either right or he is not – it is not relevant whether he is Jewish or not. It makes me think of a woke type finding out that Hitler was against smoking and a vegetarian, and being appalled that he agrees with a Nazi on something.

        • Emicho
          Emicho says:

          I’ve not ‘followed’, but I’ve been aware of Dalrymple for 15 odd years too. Anyone on the right in Britain is.
          My question is why is he such a great man of so many talents, a rarity whose actually been in the trenches of our collapsing society, yet for all he is brave, correct and un-PC about so much, why is he such a total fool when it comes to opiate withdrawal?
          A normal punter, a child even, not a great man like Dalrymple, could pretty quickly figure out from observation that withdrawal is one of the worst things a human can experience in this life, just look at what it reduces people to!
          His position isn’t rational, so there is something else going on, what is it? Until he tells us, the fact he has Jewish blood remains the most logical explanation, that he suffers from the widely accepted phenomenon of Jewish misanthropy, for him it’s towards addicts, and this prejudice is so strong in him, it overwhelms his otherwise impressive faculties.
          If anyone can think of a better reason he’s such a moron in this regard, we’d be all ears.

      • Emicho
        Emicho says:

        “In your emotive cathartic piece you heap on the sauce of drama on the high wire, living on the edge of the abyss, and generally indicating insincerity and hyperbole.”
        How pompous and full of yourself does one have to be to write a sentence like that? What does it mean? Probably this: TRANSLATION – If I was chocolate, I’d eat myself.
        Who are you trying to impress? Actually, don’t answer that, we all know already, it’s the person you admire most in this world, yourself.
        You always hide the fact you haven’t the wit to counter points I make with either pretentious insults, or a jumbled collection of words that you presumably imagine is epigrammatic, but is in fact just vain gibberish, with the air of modern female negro ‘poetry’.
        “Emicho, you are so verbose and wordy . ”
        You may think so, although you probably don’t, it’s just this same boring ‘attack’ of the man because you lack the knowledge or skill to go for the ball.

        “I mentioned that I lived among junkies in Hollywood, with and among. I only observed and did not partake.”
        Why not partake? Cowardice? You ” . lived on the street, hitchhiked back and forth across this country, lived in Aspen, seen the world, and escaped death by close margins a handful of times.”
        Yet didn’t believe you had the inner strength not to turn into a raging junky? This from the great man of many experiences? Who boasts of having acquired ” . the faculty and endowment of observation, correlation, and comparison.”?
        Yet you lacked either the courage or the inquisitiveness to even sample the thing that produces White Death? (Though *OBVIOUSLY*, it doesn’t stop you pontificating on such things)
        This is very underwhelming.

        • neil
          neil says:

          Here is an abridged version of an SAS trooper who got shot in the groin femoral artery on an op in malaysia.
          Point I make is that SAS troopers and officers undergo selection, which is tough.
          This SAS tooper used morphine(Issued MOD kit) whilst hiding for days, his wound remained uninfected due to flies/maggots chomping the rotten flesh.
          When finally rescued, it took him 1 year to wean off morphine!!
          Here is the link with the book details which i have read.(If it takes an sas man 1 year it must be a struggle?)

      • neil
        neil says:

        Baby Marx
        There is something wrong about you. You are a well-educated Smart arse, a pedant, so I cannot beat you on the Rhetoric front.
        Nonetheless, I think you are phoney. Every piece of yours I have read, all, has a narcissistic quality about it, a sense of arrogance.
        No sense of belonging, just ridicule. Maybe you need to convert to the cult.

    • Neil
      Neil says:

      Well said
      The best way to deal with the ”I have never been an addict expert” like Dalrymple is simple
      Kidnap him, shoot him up with high grade afghan heroin for a year and then just say
      ”Hey DAL, how’s it going in the unescapable cell”? I am just reading your book, so I propose an experiment! I cut off your 3 grams a day to zero”
      ”No worries, it is just a bad cold for a day or two!”
      Come back in 24 hours and the C**t will be begging for a shot.
      PS Only an hypothetical situation. I would not do it (Only because I dont wanna go to gaol)

      • Poupon Marx
        Poupon Marx says:

        Withdrawal features

        Runny nose, watery eyes, yawning
        Poor appetite, nausea, vomiting
        Sweating, goose bumps, hot and cold flushes
        Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps
        Anxiety, agitation, restlessness
        Tachycardia, elevated blood pressure
        Cravings, strong desire to use
        Muscle and joint pain.

        Although heroin withdrawal is unpleasant, it is not life threatening unless there is serious underlying disease. Withdrawal symptoms generally start within 6-24 hours of last use and last about 5-7 days with a peak at 48-72 hours.

        There seem to be a lot of ‘Virtual Vaginas’ today, in addition to an epidemic of confused genders.

        You know nothing about me, Kneil, so no need for you to speculate on how many atoms are in the Universe. My professional life was spent working as a Merchant Marine Engineer Officer in the US Merchant Marine. The great bulk of that time was in the Engine Room, where the average temperature is about 120 deg. F on a 70 deg F day. Work days are 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. One ship I was one had a maximum temperature of 150 deg and a minimum of 130. A steamship tanker of the coast of Panama. When the temperature is over 120 in the Persian Gulf, it is REALLY hot in the ER. Additionally, we WORKED in that temperature, up and down ladders, you know (or maybe not) physical work. I am envisioning you as an incarnation of Maynard G. Krebs)

        So most of those “ohhhhh so awful! symptoms written for herioin/opiate withdrawal are felt my ER personnel, including occasional heat stroke or very close to it. But that was my chosen life, which I loved. One of the best aspects was not having to tolerate incessant whiners and complainers and excuse makers. Some people-like alloys-are tougher than others.

        The main physical symptoms subside but sleep disturbance and mood changes can persist for weeks, and the desire to use again for much longer. Hallucinations and seizures are not typical features of heroin withdrawal and should alert you to other causes or disorders.

  13. Poupon Marx
    Poupon Marx says:

    In 1971, as the Vietnam War was heading into its sixteenth year, congressmen Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois made a discovery that stunned the American public. While visiting the troops, they had learned that over 15 percent of U.S. soldiers stationed there were heroin addicts. Follow up research revealed that 35 percent of service members in Vietnam had tried heroin and as many as 20 percent were addicted—the problem was even worse than they had initially thought.

    The discovery led to a flurry of activity in Washington, including the creation of the Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention under President Nixon, to promote prevention and rehabilitation and to track addicted service members when they returned home.

    Lee Robins was one of the researchers in charge. In a finding that completely upended the accepted beliefs about addiction, Robins found that when soldiers who had been heroin users returned home, only 5 percent of them became re-addicted within a year, and just 12 percent relapsed within three years. In other words, approximately nine out of ten soldiers who used heroin in Vietnam eliminated their addiction nearly overnight.

    To Change Your Behavior, Change Your Environment

    Robins’ finding contradicted the prevailing view at the time, which considered heroin addiction to be a permanent and irreversible condition. Instead, Robins revealed that addictions could spontaneously dissolve if there was a radical change in the environment. In Vietnam, soldiers spent all day surrounded by cues triggering heroin use: it was easy to access, they were engulfed by the constant stress of war, they built friendships with fellow soldiers who were also heroin users, and they were thousands of miles from home. Once a soldier returned to the United States, though, he found himself in an environment devoid of those triggers. When the context changed, so did the habit.

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