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posted by Fnord666 on Monday July 10 2017, @07:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-turkey dept.

The Associated Press newswire reports:

After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo's ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.

Now the city is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.

[...] Buffalo-area health officials blamed 300 deaths on opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 127 two years earlier. That includes a young couple who did not make it to their second drug court appearance last spring. The woman's father arrived instead to tell the judge his daughter and her boyfriend had died the night before.

[...] "This 30-day thing is like being beat up and being asked to get in the ring again, and you're required to," 36-year-old Ron Woods said after one of his daily face-to-face meetings with City Court Judge Craig Hannah, who presides over the program.

Woods said his heroin use started with an addiction to painkillers prescribed after cancer treatments that began when he was 21. He was arrested on drug charges in mid-May and agreed to intervention with the dual hope of kicking the opioids that have killed two dozen friends and seeing the felony charges against him reduced or dismissed.

[...] "I don't want to die in the streets, especially with the fentanyl out there," Sammy Delgado, one of the handcuffed defendants, said.


Original Submission

Related Stories

OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem 39 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Patients would no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to take their pills, Purdue told doctors. One OxyContin tablet in the morning and one before bed would provide "smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night."

When Purdue unveiled OxyContin in 1996, it touted 12-hour duration.

On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America's bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue.

But OxyContin's stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn't last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.

Over the last 20 years, more than 7 million Americans have abused OxyContin, according to the federal government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The drug is widely blamed for setting off the nation's prescription opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 190,000 lives from overdoses involving OxyContin and other painkillers since 1999.

The internal Purdue documents reviewed by The Times come from court cases and government investigations and include many records sealed by the courts. They span three decades, from the conception of OxyContin in the mid-1980s to 2011, and include emails, memos, meeting minutes and sales reports, as well as sworn testimony by executives, sales reps and other employees.

The documents provide a detailed picture of the development and marketing of OxyContin, how Purdue executives responded to complaints that its effects wear off early, and their fears about the financial impact of any departure from 12-hour dosing.

Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan 98 comments

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem." – President Donald J. Trump

President Trump has declared the "Opioid Crisis" a nationwide public health emergency. This action will allow for "expanded access to telemedicine services" to remotely prescribe medicines for substance abuse, allow the Department of Health and Human Services to "more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation's ongoing public health emergency", allow the Department of Labor to issue dislocated worker grants for those "displaced from the workforce" due to the Opioid Crisis, and will help people with HIV/AIDS to receive substance abuse treatment. The press release lists several actions that the Trump Administration has taken to respond to the Opioid Crisis, including the July 2017 law enforcement action against AlphaBay.

The declaration has been criticized for not requesting any funds to respond to the Crisis. The "nationwide public health emergency" declaration is also distinct from a promised "national emergency declaration", which would have freed up money from the Disaster Relief Fund to be spent on the Crisis. 14 Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would authorize $45 billion to address the Opioid Crisis. The Obama Administration called on Congress last year to pass just over $1 billion in funding for opioid treatment programs nationwide. This funding was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Department of Justice has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., John Kapoor, along with other executives from his company. Kapoor is accused with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and illegally distribute the company's fentanyl spray, intended for cancer patients, so that it could be prescribed for non-cancer patients. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January. Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit. Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer." Six former Insys executives and managers were charged in December.

[takyon: a262 would like you to know that Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona's 2016 ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.]

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Monday July 10 2017, @11:47AM (10 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @11:47AM (#537085) Journal

    Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.

    What justice is there to administer? I get that people addicted to opioids are a problem for society. But so is this overbearing system which destroys peoples' lives.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @12:06PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @12:06PM (#537088)

      But so is this overbearing system which are the pharma companies that destroys peoples' lives.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday July 10 2017, @12:26PM (6 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @12:26PM (#537092) Journal
        Pharma companies didn't force these people into court. Elected people passed the laws and pay the bills of the people who do that.
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Monday July 10 2017, @03:34PM (5 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @03:34PM (#537142) Journal

          Elected officials may have passed the laws, but it is the rest of us worker drones who pay the bills of the people who force drug addicted people into court.

          --
          Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:09PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:09PM (#537180)

            Do you believe that the vast majority of "us worker drones" would willingly hand over ~>50% of their production if they all weren't being effectively coerced at gunpoint (via the IRS and "law enforcement") to do so?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:12PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:12PM (#537184)

              The communists on this board do believe that. But that's OK, they are too dumb to make US into Venezuela even if they tried - and they will try. The only thing Socialism produces an abundance of is misery.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @06:04PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @06:04PM (#537218)

                The only thing Socialism produces an abundance of is misery.

                As does pure capitalism. Take your pick of economic ass fucking.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @06:24PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @06:24PM (#537237)

                "The only thing Socialism produces an abundance of is misery."

                Which is why socialist democracies are consistently ranked at the top of every "happiness index" chart in existence. You're confusing socialism with (fake) communism.

                Socialism is bad, because Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Also, democracy is bad, because Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

                • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday July 10 2017, @07:19PM

                  by aristarchus (2645) on Monday July 10 2017, @07:19PM (#537276) Journal

                  But Libertariantardism is wounderful, because of the Libertarian Paradisos of Somalia [huffingtonpost.com], and Colorado Springs. [politico.com]

                  No opiod crisis in either of those places, except for the Colo Springs one.

                  And remember, folks, "NO ONE EXPECTS the violent imposition!"

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday July 10 2017, @03:19PM (1 child)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday July 10 2017, @03:19PM (#537138)

      Yeah, but it's not as overbearing as the previous system which punishes people harshly and offers no real treatment.

      The big difference I see is the ethnicity of the offenders: when the drugs are largely used by urban blacks, the "justice" system is happy to throw them in the slammer and ruin their lives, and they've been doing this for decades (in fact, MJ was banned specifically because it was popular with black people). But now when it's poor and working-class white people (including a lot of Trump voters) that are overwhelmingly the ones affected by this class of drugs (opioids), suddenly now they want to try a kinder, gentler approach that doesn't completely destroy their lives.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @04:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @04:36PM (#537163)

        That explains 1/2 the story. The other 1/2 is taking away all their healthcare options. Does it make sense on any level?

  • (Score: 4, Disagree) by Gaaark on Monday July 10 2017, @12:30PM (8 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @12:30PM (#537093) Journal

    Let Darwin win and let stupid die?

    Drugs are BAD!!!!, m'kay!

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:16PM (#537187)

      As someone who has never tried, and never will experiment with anything, I suppose I could get on that bandwagon. But if the percentages are too high, I may wish for alternatives. I take no pleasure in other's suffering, even if sometimes its of their own making - as long as they hurt no one in the process that is.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Monday July 10 2017, @05:53PM (6 children)

      by edIII (791) on Monday July 10 2017, @05:53PM (#537210)

      Woods said his heroin use started with an addiction to painkillers prescribed after cancer treatments that began when he was 21.

      As someone that lives with extreme pain every day I am very grateful that I am pretty much allergic to opiods (bad bad side effects). Would you call Woods stupid? Pain management, even under the supervision of a doctor, is just a road of gradually increased opiod usage till you're on drugs. It may take 10 years, it may take 5 years, but eventually the prescriptions are not enough. I've known this since high school which is why I've refused to even try any kind of pain pills since I had bad reactions, and not even morphine. The latter works on me, which is why I leave it to ER situations and only when I can't handle it. Two broken ribs didn't allow me to get morphine. That's how much I fear going down that road.

      How many of these people started from the pain management route, and not the stereotypical route of poor judgement and bad character?

      Then while sick, how many of these people found the help they needed with family and medical programs designed for rehabilitation and getting you back to work? Ohh, that's right! This is America. Fuck you, you work while you need to get better, and fuck you. Where does that get you? 10 years later while you've eaten through savings and the grace of your family (should you have it), and you find yourself in pain management at the social welfare level. Without that, your stealing to get your pills on the black market.

      Seriously. You act as if the deck isn't stacked against these people and they deliberately chose their fate. They didn't, they try to avoid it, but it's very very hard to do when it is under doctor supervision.

      Only a portion of the opiod crisis is directly related to Darwinism. The rest is related to our collective Darwinism that will see us extinguished as a species. Good riddance, I say.

      Thank God for marijuana, and my easy and free access to it for the last couple of decades. Not everyone does.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Monday July 10 2017, @06:24PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) on Monday July 10 2017, @06:24PM (#537236) Journal

        It's amazing how good a job the government and lobbyists have done to demonize marijuana over the decades. We still have people who firmly say no to legalization and push for even harsher sentencing because of some false sense of morals. Meanwhile the pharmaceutical industry has had no repercussions for selling what amounts to legal heroin which is responsible for the surge in opioid addiction, crime, and deaths. Once the pills became hard to come by, people switched to cheap heroin. Every young kid at my work in their 20's can name one or more people they know who has died from a heroin overdose. Many started using pills in their teens.

        For me I use it as a sleep aid to help combat the restlessness of anxiety. I also notice it really helps with food digestion. Foods which have a chance of giving me diarrhea now quietly sit and digest producing solid stool. And you can't beat the 100% all natural solution to the problem requiring minimal processing which amounts to growing, harvesting and drying. It lends itself very well to people who wish to grow their own medicine. Don't want to smoke it? Vape it using any number of electric or even flame based vaporizers. Almost impossible to overdose on unless you ingest pure extract which would be stupid expensive.

        My only fear is the inevitable commercialization via the pharmacological industry. They will undoubtedly use every dirty trick in the book to keep it illegal while patenting, trademarking and distilling the plant down to base chemicals they will neatly package and sell as a "safe" alternative to the demonized marijuana at a substantial markup.

      • (Score: 2) by Adamsjas on Monday July 10 2017, @08:06PM (4 children)

        by Adamsjas (4507) on Monday July 10 2017, @08:06PM (#537301)

        Quote ediii : Seriously. You act as if the deck isn't stacked against these people and they deliberately chose their fate. They didn't, they try to avoid it, but it's very very hard to do when it is under doctor supervision.

        You avoided it even when under a doctor's supervision. I did too. I just refuse to take any of that stuff and have turned in for disposal every prescription pain med prescribed for me after heart surgery - beginning with the second day in icu. Scared to death of them.

        The point in time where doctor prescribed opiods were a COMMON problem was 15 years ago. But that's not true any more because PATIENTS as well as doctors understand the risks these days.

        The man you refer to (Woods) probably got his original prescription during the tail end of the era of naivete. There had to be a significant amount of self delusion and denial going on in his head as he spent the next 14 years going from some mild hospital prescription to heroin.

        Personally I believe there are people who are predisposed to easy addiction. I know too many seriously wounded combat vets in my age group that did not succumb to this trap, and only 3 guys that went off the deep end - all dead now. But I knew those three in high school before military service and they were already into drug experimentation early.

        • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Gaaark on Monday July 10 2017, @09:46PM (3 children)

          by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @09:46PM (#537345) Journal

          EXACTLY!!!!!!

          Maybe this 'Woods' bugged/nagged his doctor to give him something stronger because he was too pussy to bear the pain (maybe not... Never having had cancer, i'd say maybe Woods might be one of the victims, yes!).
          But I've known people who have gone from doctor to doctor getting prescriptions to keep the high, thusly making addicts out of themselves.

          Yes some are innocent victims, but some NAG their doctors. Some take more than the doctor ordered. Some are STUPID!

          You have one kidney from a donor: do you give it to the alcoholic brain surgeon, or the 11 year old child? Sometimes, you have to make a choice, with limited funds, and let Darwin make that choice for you.
          I'd say, if they truly want to drop the addiction and TRULY make an effort, fine. If not, let Darwin choose.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @10:38PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @10:38PM (#537361)

            The alcoholic brain surgeon has contacts and can pull strings. Plus, he can pay top dollar. The 11 year old kid is probably from a nobody family with no connections, and probably on medicare/medicaid/disability/charity/whatever else in the patchwork to cover her bills to boot.

            Therefore, the alcoholic brain surgeon will get my liver.

            Damn... now I'm second guessing checking the donor box on my driver's license renewal a few months ago.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @10:41PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @10:41PM (#537362)

              Oh I guess you were talking about kidneys. Same thing. Usually it's livers when we're talking about alcoholism. I didn't expect kidneys!

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:46AM

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:46AM (#537408) Journal

                Yeah, my bad.

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Subsentient on Monday July 10 2017, @01:51PM (25 children)

    by Subsentient (1111) on Monday July 10 2017, @01:51PM (#537110) Homepage Journal
    It feels so sick and twisted to try that hard to keep someone alive and rehabilitate them, only to give them a criminal record afterwards and destroy their lives. Like, what a wonderful future these addicts have ahead of them once they get out of rehab... If I was sent there, they'd better be able to prevent suicide too. I just killed a roach that was deformed and clearly in pain because it clearly had nothing to live for. I only see roaches occasionally, they don't seem to be common, so I don't bother them when I see them, unless they're in agony. In a way, this new system of keeping addicts alive only to punish them once they're clean feels like an insult to decency itself. Well, what did I expect from my country...
    --
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by epitaxial on Monday July 10 2017, @03:10PM (24 children)

      by epitaxial (3165) on Monday July 10 2017, @03:10PM (#537132)

      I don't have a lot of sympathy for addicts. They knew what they were getting into. Oh yeah I forgot its a "disease" now making it not their fault. Most started out with pills and liked the feeling. Then they became hooked and couldn't afford pills so they switched to heroin. At not time in between did they attempt to seek help or treatment. It shouldn't be up to the courts to protect these idiots from themselves.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @03:59PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @03:59PM (#537146)

        Absolutely right. They should have told their doctor when they were in excruciating pain after an accident or other injury to keep his pain pills to himself. Dipshits. What could they have possibly been thinking?

        All Randian bootstrappers are able to selectively ignore even the most excruciating physical pain. These people are just idiots who for whatever hedonistic reason decided to let the pain through to their brain, and then instead of just shutting it off when it was unpleasant, they decided to get high instead. It's our moral prerogative to exploit them.

        • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:31AM

          by epitaxial (3165) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:31AM (#537442)

          I'm not saying opiates aren't needed. I'm saying that personal responsibility has to come into play somewhere. Plenty of people took the drugs and didn't have a problem.

      • (Score: 1) by i286NiNJA on Monday July 10 2017, @04:02PM

        by i286NiNJA (2768) on Monday July 10 2017, @04:02PM (#537147)

        You're clearly a strange fellow. I hope the police talk to you and decide this strange fellow must be on drugs.
        Then they can start working on your confession so you can do the right thing.
        Man they'll get mad when you can't give them the drugs or tell them who sold them to you.
        Hopefully they can help you stop resisting.
        Maybe give you a little time to fix your attitude.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday July 10 2017, @04:37PM (2 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday July 10 2017, @04:37PM (#537164) Journal

        You're 3 different kinds of asshole you know that? Hope you end up with neuralgia and nothing but plain paracetamol for it...no, not even Tylenol with codeine, just the plain OTC stuff. See how you like it then.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by epitaxial on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:34AM (1 child)

          by epitaxial (3165) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:34AM (#537443)

          You sound really angry. Maybe you're constipated from too many oxys?

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:14PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:14PM (#537680) Journal

            You sound really dumb. Maybe you're retarded from too many drops on the head as a baby?

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @05:23PM (#537189)

        I thought that mass misprescription of 'safe' opiodes by the medical profession was stopped by government, increasing the demand/price of the 'safe' pill on the black market at about the same time a cheap and steady supply of heroine suddenly became available (mexico/afganistan)

        There is a case for training from an early age the nature of addiction and the skills of breaking that addiction, be it video games, food, porn, sex, drugs, general consumption of goods. Just coz you like it doesn't mean you should do it or continue doing it or do it more and more.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @11:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @11:03PM (#537367)

          In fact, if you like it, that's all the more reason not to do it. We should persecute people who do things they like. No, there should be a law! So we can prosecute them! Then persecute them.

          I'm such of an edgy Puritan, I think we should make hard work illegal for people who like hard work!

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 10 2017, @05:45PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday July 10 2017, @05:45PM (#537206) Journal

        Is it better or worse for the economy to let these people die?

        If you find that the answer is that it would be worse off, then you don't need to sympathize in order to support alternative rehabilitation options, Narcan at the ready, etc.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Gaaark on Monday July 10 2017, @09:57PM (14 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 10 2017, @09:57PM (#537350) Journal

        Like alcoholics: it's a disease! The disease makes me walk to the liquor store, it MAKES me pick it my favourite or cheapest booze, MAKES me drink it till I piss myself.

        No, YOU YOU YOU do that. You don't pace yourself, YOU don't stop yourself, YOU!

        Tell yourself, I'll only have 2 drinks AND STICK WITH that AGREEMENT!

        Feck!!! There's times I'd love to dink more but I can't really afford it, and I told myself my kids would never see me drunk until they were old.
        Just fecking be truthful with yourself.

        Yes, I might be an alcoholic, I don't know. But I just pace myself or do without. It's called restraint.
        Fecking disease.... Feck off and take responsibility.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @11:48PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @11:48PM (#537376)

          No. You clearly aren't.

          Leo McGarry (AKA Aaron Sorkin) explained this in an excellent[1] episode of "The West Wing". [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [tripod.com]

          I'm an alcoholic. I don't have one drink. [pauses] I don't understand people who have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? [pauses, sighs] My brain works differently.

          [1] With Sorkin, "excellent" is redundant.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:58AM (2 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:58AM (#537410) Journal

            Who drank the booze?
            Who ordered the booze?
            Who walked into the bar?

            The person who DECIDED they wanted the drink!

            Don't go into the bar! This stops you from ordering the drink, do you won't be able to drink it!

            Same at the liquor store: DON'T GO TO the liquor store! If you don't buy it, you can't drink it!

            Don't blame a 'disease': blame yourself. Take responsibility. If you don't have it, you can't drink it.

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:20AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:20AM (#537439)

              More from the presentation:

              Jordan Kendall, Esq.:
              I don't understand how you could have a drink. I don't understand how, after everything you
              worked for, how on that day of all days you could be so stupid.

              White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry:
              That's because you think it has something to do with smart and stupid. Do you have any idea
              how many alcoholics are in Mensa? You think it's a lack of willpower? That's like thinking
              somebody with anorexia nervosa has an overdeveloped sense of vanity. My father was an
              alcoholic. [leans forward] His father was an alcoholic. So, in my case...

              Jordan:
              [nods] Ain't nothin' but a family thing.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:11AM

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:11AM (#537448) Journal

                Except, anorexics think they are too fat.

                Alcoholics choose to drink: if you don't CHOOSE to buy it, you can't drink it. If you choose to avoid the bar, you can't drink there.

                I HAVE fought that fight. It IS hard. But when I went to the liquor store, it WAS my choice. Now, I just take responsibility for my actions, and I don't go buy it.
                If you don't buy it, you can't drink it.
                But you have to CHOOSE to not buy it.

                TV is not a good mentor:
                On South Park, they say it's a choice, not a disease: does this hold as much weight with you?

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RedBear on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:12AM (9 children)

          by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:12AM (#537432)

          You really need to just stop talking. Because you know absolutely nothing about how physical addiction actually works. And you are also ignorant of how this massive opioid epidemic originated. It originated with pharmaceutical companies being granted patents on slightly modified opioid molecules which they claimed (with full knowledge that the claims were false) had drastically lower abuse potential than heroin. In other words, these medications were marketed to the public and doctors as being "safe heroin". And they sure as hell were effective against pain. Because they were opioids. And oh boy do opioids work against pain.

          Oh, except for one unfortunate flaw. Turns out that opioid pain medications, even when used briefly (for as little as a few days) in "medically appropriate" doses, set up a domino effect of nerve inflammation that lasts for MONTHS. In other words, opioid pain medications give you brief, glorious pain relief that allows you to be a functional human being and go back to work, but then they CAUSE INCREASED PAIN. Which means you need to use it continually and eventually the standard dosage no longer works because the nerve inflammation keeps getting incrementally worse. So opioid pain meds were like a gold mine for the pharma companies, an endless guaranteed multi-billion-dollar revenue stream.

          You are not morally superior to people who believed their doctors when the doctor said, "Hey, try this new OxyContin stuff that this huge pharmaceutical company wants me to sell you. It's Perfectly Safe[TM]! No addiction potential whatsoever! Seriously, that's exactly what the lying pharma marketing guy told me! And I totally believed him!"

          You are not morally superior to people who have experienced pain levels that cannot even be successfully described using any known human language construct to any human being who hasn't already experienced that level of pain. Unless you've had bone cancer and used your machismo to just laugh it off, shut the hell up.

          By the way, every addict thinks they are just like you, morally superior to others and able to "handle their liquor" or "keep it together" or "restrain themselves", right up until the day they die. I'm sorry that you don't like it, but addiction just doesn't work the way you think. It doesn't just happen to people who are "morally inferior".

          Do you also go up to people in wheelchairs, throw them out onto the ground, tell them to stop being pussies and stand up and walk on their own two feet? Do you grab people's crutches and throw them across the street? If not, WHY NOT? Because it makes exactly as much sense as standing in moral judgement of opioid addicts.

          There is one real pussy here, and it's you. Because you're too weak and cowardly to open your heart and feel some kind of empathy for your fellow human beings who are just as worthy of respect and empathy as you are.

          --
          ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
          ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:25AM (8 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:25AM (#537450) Journal

            "Do you also go up to people in wheelchairs, throw them out onto the ground, tell them to stop being pussies and stand up and walk on their own two feet?"

            Holy fuck! That's your argument?
            My wife broke her leg in two spots: her doctor gave her a narc prescription, but she didn't fill it because she knew they could be addictive.

            She made a smart choice and goes with non addicting pills.
            I think I might be an alcoholic, so I don't go to the liquor store. That is my NEW choice.

            I am not morally superior, but I am also not an idiot like you. If your doctor told you to kill yourself, would you?

            Feck off. It's a choice... Choose correctly and don't go the narc way. Don't choose to possibly become addicted! Take the pain a bit instead of sitting in blissfulness and joy.

            FECK!!!!!!!

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RedBear on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:32AM (4 children)

              by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:32AM (#537463)

              You are refusing to grasp the established fact that ten, fifteen, twenty years ago or more when this opioid epidemic started people had no knowledge that doctor-prescribed commercial medications like Percocet or OxyContin were narcotics with extremely high abuse potential. Americans were knowingly lied to by pharmaceutical companies and doctors for decades about these medications, while self-righteous people like you sat back and blamed the ever increasing addiction epidemic on individual moral failure. It's only recently that the full knowledge of how dangerously addictive these drugs are started going mainstream. People never expected their own doctors to be prescribing them legalized heroin.

              You can sit atop your high horse and crow about how "smart" you and your wife are, but the truth is that you were lucky. Lucky enough to have access to the knowledge that opioid meds should be avoided. Lucky enough that she wasn't experiencing the kind of pain that can make a person take the risk of addiction for the ability to exist in the world as a functioning human being for brief periods of time. For the chance to go to work so that your children don't go hungry or become homeless. You offer no understanding that life is actually much harsher for some folks than what you've personally experienced.

              No matter how angry and self-righteous you are about it, you're still wrong, and you're still a coward, unable to risk the pain of feeling empathy for others. Even if addiction were a choice, good people all across America are losing parents and children and friends every day, and you couldn't care less because you think they don't meet some personal moral standard. Jesus would be so proud, I'm sure. I know you are certainly proud of yourself. You say you aren't morally superior but every word of your posts screams that that's exactly what you think you are.

              But I don't even know why I'm writing this since my words will no doubt have no measurable effect on you.

              --
              ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
              ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:40PM (3 children)

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:40PM (#537558) Journal

                You are also refusing to acknowledge that addictions are also choices: many people beat addictions on their own just by choosing to avoid what they are 'addicted' to, but you have to want to beat it.

                Yes, as I said in another post, for some people the addiction came honestly (Woods with cancer) and yes, pharmaceutical companies execs are assholes as are many CEO's, but morals have nothing to do with being self informed: don't just take something because someone else tells you to.

                You have to keep yourself safe, and you don't just sit there and take drugs to feel good: you take them when you NEED them and at minimal dose.

                YOU are the one on the high horse, and deluding yourself: addiction is a choice. You choose to maintain the high.

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                • (Score: 3, Touché) by RedBear on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:29PM (2 children)

                  by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:29PM (#537570)

                  You win. Every opioid addict "chooses" to die on a bathroom floor with a needle in their arm. You're doing an excellent job solving the opioid epidemic crisis. All we have to do is let ten million Americans die of drug overdoses. Feck 'em, right? They're just losers who chose to become addicts. Oh, except the ones who "came by it honestly" (huh?) But they can all just man up and shake it off if they really want to. If they can't shake it they didn't really want to, did they? Perfectly consistent circular, self-supporting Catch-22 logic. Addiction is a choice. Problem solved.

                  This attitude is what created the opioid epidemic and helps it grow and persist. But you'll never see that, even if it happens to your own family and friends. Anyone that succumbs is an immoral, weak loser to be spat upon and rolled into a ditch to rot. Makes life so simple.

                  I really hope that no one ever treats you with such disdain when you need help.

                  --
                  ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
                  ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
                  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:25PM

                    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:25PM (#537687) Journal

                    "If they can't shake it they didn't really want to, did they?"

                    Now you've got it!

                    --
                    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                  • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Tuesday July 11 2017, @09:40PM

                    by epitaxial (3165) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @09:40PM (#537808)

                    Since none of them sought treatment no I don't feel bad. You can't force someone to stop being an addict. Its up to the individual.

            • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday July 12 2017, @10:18PM (2 children)

              by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @10:18PM (#538391) Journal

              My wife broke her leg in two spots: her doctor gave her a narc prescription, but she didn't fill it because she knew they could be addictive.

              She made a smart choice and goes with non addicting pills.
              I think I might be an alcoholic, so I don't go to the liquor store. That is my NEW choice.

              The pharmaceutical companies and medical industry have been claiming as a fact that these drugs aren't addictive for many, many years. Based not on scientific studies, not on some reasonable theories on how the drugs work, but based on a single letter to the editor in one medical journal. It's hard to blame people for making bad decisions when the "experts" were knowingly feeding them false information. Congratulations on the fact that you chose not to trust your doctor the one time that was actually a good move. But be careful about blaming people too much for trusting expert opinions, because that's also fueling crap like the anti-vaccination trend.

              At some point, "I was trusting the medical opinion of the guy with a medical degree rather than some crap I found on the internet" IS actually a good excuse. Unless you plan to roll back the entire concept of specialization/division of labor and all the technological progress that is has brought, we need people to trust the experts, and for that to happen we also need to take care of people who get bad advice. The people we need to punish are the experts who chose to mislead the public.

              http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/did-letter-help-fuel-opioid-crisis-n767011 [nbcnews.com]

              • (Score: 1, Troll) by Gaaark on Wednesday July 12 2017, @11:44PM (1 child)

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 12 2017, @11:44PM (#538439) Journal

                Yes, i do get that.
                But, even if you DO become addicted, you have a choice to make: stop being addicted or continue being addicted.

                Kicking the addiction IS hard and can be fecking hard, truly truly fecking incredibly hard... continuing to be addicted is easy (or easier?).

                You have to want to kick the addiction and until you do, probably not much can be done. Some people basically are saying "It's not their fault": no, it may not be at first. But if it continues for years until they overdose or whatever, then YES it is their fault.

                They just didn't want to kick it as much as they wanted to continue feeling the high, or feeling no pain.

                Like an alcoholic, nothing can be done until the person themself wants to quit.

                And, like a drug addict, the alcoholic makes a choice: kick the addiction or continue with it.

                It all comes down to the choice they make: Quit (or seek help to quit) or don't. Choose.

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Friday July 14 2017, @12:44AM

                  by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 14 2017, @12:44AM (#538921) Journal

                  Wow... mod me as Troll all you want: just remember that I'm right.

                  Addicts DO have a choice: quit (or seek help in quitting) or continue with the pleasure seeking.

                  Mod me Troll and i will only rise up stronger.
                  Gaaark The White.

                  --
                  --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tcj_phx on Monday July 10 2017, @05:45PM (1 child)

    by tcj_phx (6273) on Monday July 10 2017, @05:45PM (#537207)

    I made a new friend 2.33 years ago... Towards the end of the first encounter I figured that she was 'high as a kite'. Over the course of a few months, as she gradually invited me into her life, I realized she really was self-medicating with the Street Pharmacy.

    She'd relapsed on cocaine the summer before. This was on account of the depression. Then she relapsed on heroin, which was to get her blood pressure under control.

    I have no experience with street pharmacy. At first I was like, "teach me about this Pharmacy". Now I understand why the classic "speedball" (heroin + cocaine) is so dangerous...

    By about six months she'd realized that she didn't like being a drug addict. Success! This was entirely consistent with Johann Hari's book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [chasingthescream.com], which holds that meaningful connections with others is the most important factor in helping people get their drug use under control.

    Then the mental health system got hold of her. There's nothing more dangerous than a profession that thinks they know what they're doing.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @08:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @08:46PM (#537315)

      meaningful connections with others is the most important factor in helping people get their drug use under control

      We had a previous story that riffs on this theme:

      Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization [soylentnews.org]

      The old rat-with-drug-laced-water "experiment" is a sham. The only choice the rat in the empty cage has is drinking plain water or drinking drugged water. They never show you a CONTROL where there is a rat with a cage full of cool rat toys and rat friends.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

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