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Heroin’s surge raises life-or-death medical ethics issue

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posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:57 AM
a reply to: peter vlar

The dumbest thing I ever see is whenever you bring up Portugal and how successful they are, the go to response is always, "well Portugal is a much smaller country than the states". So? How does the proportion of our countries effect the effectiveness of these drug policies exactly? You can't just declare the proportions make those law ineffective. You have to demonstrate an actual casual relationship first.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 12:36 PM
The fact the DEA has squeezed doctors and pharmacies so hard for chronic pain patients is driving the current heroin uptick and problems. I have been on strong opiate therapy for 24 years now as the result of 23 major surgeries from being shot to car accidents. I don't have any issues as my medical history protects me, but there are a lot of people on methadone, oxyxontin, etc that have been dropped by doctors and pharmacies. The DEA decided to ration the medication by allowing pharmacies to only fill a percentage of their total volume of opiate pain medication. Same with doctors.

I have long term relationships with both communities and it is very bad for those who don't have the medical history like I do because they are the first targeted. One doctor I know who works at a physical rehab had the DEA show up and force him to discharge 2000 patients. These people find themselves in the street with an addiction to drugs that are very similar to heroin. Heroin is cheaper actually and the cartels have imported high quality and cheap heroin all over the US. The people have started using that much more as a result.

This war on drugs is absurd if you really know the truth behind what is happening. I used to work in intelligence and deep cover. There are groups within certain agencies that bring in mass quantities themselves, or tax the cartels to bring cash in for programs and operations that they would never get funding for the standard way. Now what has happened over time with the war on drugs is police, courts, lawyers, jails and prisons, etc. are heavily funded by prosecuting drug activity and its related crimes. They will not stop the war because a good part of the powerful elite make their money directly from it. Don't be so quick to judge the people for created and sustained operations by those that should have been protecting and helping their citizens. Remember the days when the junkie was the rare person in the streets? Before these agencies started controlling the situation in the 80's?

I will also say this. I believe the good guys cabal is taking much more power lately and my hope is they put the dark cabal down and out of our misery. Until then, standby for disaster in the community. The last thing these people want is for any of it to be legalized. It would cut out their black money siphon and they are determined. What to do? WAKE UP and demand your government uses their resources to really put a stop to the trafficking and treat the victims as you would in any war! This war has physical and psychological causalities and a large amount of them.

edit on 26/1/16 by spirit_horse because: typos

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:08 PM
a reply to: Krazysh0t

The sad thing is that exactly what you are saying is the predictable reply, nearly word, for word 9 times out of ten from those who oppose the groundbreaking initiative that Portugal has made in an effort to combat addiction and the related medical issues that follow. They're doing things right by treating this as a social issue as opposed to a criminal issue. The simple fact that they have not only reduced overdose deaths, but more importantly in my opinion, they have drastically reduced the number of new HIV infections, Hep C infections and an entire host of sexually transmitted infections by providing access to clean needles, sterile water etc... and all of the above have led to less financial resources being spent altogether on incarcerating and treating the aftermath of people who use narcotics intravenously.

Where I live, all ambulances and paramedics carry Naloxone/Narcan with them and some pharmacies will give it out without a prescription. There is one pharmacy that will supply you with free syringes, sharps container to dispose of them once theyre used, a pamphlet on how to properly inject yourself, another pamphlet with local numbers and addresses where you can get help via medically supervised detox and inpatient treatment, distilled water, cottons and a cooker. Some local not for profit funds it but unfortunately, its the exception around here and people are dropping like flies. There is a pharmacy chain that will sell 10 packs of syringes without a prescription too but that only goes so far when people aren't aware of these options.

What irks me the most is when ignorant people refer to the above measures as coddling or enabling addicts who are nothing more than weak minded buffoons. The only thing being enabled is giving access to clean supplies that reduce infectious diseases and other things like abscesses and blood clots.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:32 PM

originally posted by: peter vlar
What irks me the most is when ignorant people refer to the above measures as coddling or enabling addicts who are nothing more than weak minded buffoons. The only thing being enabled is giving access to clean supplies that reduce infectious diseases and other things like abscesses and blood clots.

You and me both. I see on these forums a lot too. It's sad. I KNOW that using was ultimately a choice for the user to begin with, but using stops becoming a choice when addiction takes over. I KNOW that some people have the willpower to quit addictions without any help as well, but that doesn't mean that everyone is like that.

It's like the people who have never actually DONE drugs before are judging the users, and the users who have conquered their demons are setting themselves on a pedestal ABOVE the still users by propagating fallacies invented by the people who've never used drugs. This despite these people having first hand knowledge with the fact that these fallacies are untrue. It's mind boggling...

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 03:38 AM
I hope I did not demonize addicts. I know very well what that struggle is like. I have lived that life and I spent time surrounded by people living with all levels of addiction.

It is a sad reality and definitely is a terribly serious problem surrounded by a major lack of understanding.

I believe in empowering the individual through them owning their addiction and fighting through it.

To date, with the exception of rare cases, or cases with other factors, only alcohol or benzo withdrawal/long term use can cause real damage and in extreme cases, kill you.

Unfortunately unless you are already convulsing, probably on your own. This is really bad, this fact is and has been harming a lot of people. Especially since a large percentage of these people have become addicted by accident and are now in for a very rough time. Lack of info makes it very hard to find anybody who understands.

Heroin is actually surprisingly gentle on the system, but the addiction is extremely powerful, and dependency is a very bad place to find yourself. Definitely easier to beat than perceived, so no opiate addict should lose hope.

For this reason I think Heroin addicts will be safe if they treat their body right and prepare for withdrawal. Maybe taper, maybe cross to a weaker opiate for a short time. Usually though, the way to succeed is to just dig deep and live the withdrawals. In my experience this applies to all substances with the exception of Benzos, Alcohol, and a lesser known trap, antidepressants. Those three come with a different level of physical dependency, and seriously alter your mind. So much so that it is undeniable, and only reversible through 100% sobriety and a significant span of time.

Some people seem to truly benefit from antidepressants, but if a persons serotonin levels are normal they can have a very scary and powerful effect. This leads to the world of Manic insomnia lasting for days, serotonin syndrome, potent debilitating anxiety, and of course a very difficult dependency/withdrawal syndrome. Unfortunately none of those are really known about, nor have I ever heard or seen those issues taken seriously.

The only reason I could see a Heroin user needing the ER is if there is an overdose, an underlying medical factor, something contracted from sharing whatever method of using, or they got shot meandering on the dark side.

Willpower really can be all it takes. If a person has enough desire to change, their willpower is what will carry them through, as that desire overpowers the addiction. Both the physical trial as well as the struggle with cravings. For some the physical is the hard part, for others it is the mental. Willpower is effective in handling both.

Addicts need help, many of us are wonderful people and it is hidden by the internal struggle of addiction. We need care and understanding very much. I feel for those who can not escape.

At the same time, what we really need is a hard unmerciful dose of reality, in those times it is do or die and there is no more room for anything but recovery.

or...........we fall, as many have.

For example, I was basically denied help at the ER and told that I could not be having withdrawals, I got my unmerciful dose of reality as I realized I was on my own. It is concerning because their opinions were waaaaay off. I was absolutely a candidate for seizures and my brand of withdrawals could easily last months and I had technically not even made it to the most difficult phase.

Odd to be denied care when you have become ill taking what you have been prescribed.

Still,That harsh reality check was needed, it is what pushed me to get through it and i am now on my way to being permanently recovered. It was reckless though.

Once an addict, always an addict, not necessarily true, addiction can be completely removed, it is just a very stubborn state of mind.

I have learned that there are all different stages and kinds of addictions. Also every individual perceives and handles there addiction uniquely. There is no place for generalization in the realm of addiction. In a perfect world this would be addressed, for now and I reiterate my opinion, it is up to the individual to create the change, no one gets a free pass and every individuals struggle is their own to defeat. Addicts are wise to own their struggle and cultivate mental endurance because, though Support is so important, it is not always there.

I do blame the drug war, but that is not going anywhere soon, so unfortunately the burden is on us. The system is broken so we must find the solutions within.

I know it is possible to kick this so called disease, and with no doctors whatsoever, just as I know some drug addicts are lost beyond hope, that should not be and I cannot fathom how it will ever improve.

ETA: Back to the OP, shouldn't the guy having his third heart attack because he refuses to put in the work towards healing be just as much of a burden as the addict having an overdose? I would say yes. Though truly Neither is a burden but rather a symptom of this broken society we are stuck with. Therefore the medical establishment should be far more helpful, understanding and diverse. Government should feel obligated to help correct what they created.

Medical system has morphed into a program of perpetual sickness. More so than true healing and care.

I should not have had to learn how benzos work the hard way. If I was weaker I could have suffered immensely, just like the lost heroin addicts in this town should not be out in the cold right now. It is what it is though.
edit on 4-2-2016 by GoShredAK because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-2-2016 by GoShredAK because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-2-2016 by GoShredAK because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 06:34 AM
a reply to: AmericanRealist

You are so full of it. If you witnessed people you cared about being addicted and going through this you would not be saying half this garbage. JAIL will do nothing, the person will get out, with a record, not able to get a job, so back to using drugs. The fact it costs $500000 for this is a joke and shows how corrupt the American medical system is. And blaming it all on the addict? Is that a joke? 95% of people that are addicted HATE it but they can't stop, most have tried and failed numerous times. Trying to blame it on them when the root cause is these same medical professionals who will refuse surgery, guess what your esteemed colleagues are the reason for these damn addictions. You can't even grasp the amount of money that goes to the drug company's and the government that is made off drug addicts. You are the perfect example of why there is such a bad stigma associated with addicts. People who think like this do not help the situation, you make it worse. Go through addiction yourself and maybe you'll understand, cause you don't have a clue man.

I couldn't even make it through the second page of this thread because you have no idea about this. It's disgusting because most people think like you. Quite honestly I hope you go through a drug addiction so you can realize you are a fool.
edit on 4-2-2016 by andrew778 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 11:02 AM
a reply to: andrew778

Well, welcome to Florida. I am telling you this is how it is seen here, and probably how it will go. Up North the attitude seems to be just keep enabling the behavior with no consequence. In the South, or maybe just Florida in general, the attitude is PUNISH EVERYTHING and send a clear message. I suspect the legislative point of view stems from the large number of senior citizens and their influence, as they are somewhat similar in line.

Hardcore addicts are the worst thieves you can imagine man. If they also have to steal a finite specialized medical resource as well multiple times, then there needs to be a consequence to that. Especially since the tax payer is footing the bill much of the time.

Don't like it? Don't get addicted in Florida.
edit on 2/4/2016 by AmericanRealist because: (no reason given)

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