Blogrolling: DrugLawBlog

September 21, 2007

I try to stay away from the public policy implications of drug abuse science because it gets into stupid repetitive arguments and generally the science is beside the point anyway. Especially when we’re talking about marijuana, MDMA and alcohol.

The DrugLawBlog has some interesting viewpoints, one recent one on the increase in prescription drug recreational use is of note.  A teaser:

the annual Monitoring the Future study, with high-school age kids reporting using drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin in significant numbers.

Is this a cause for panic?

Not necessarily. It may actually be a good thing.

Because if people — even young people whom we care about deeply — are going to use recreational drugs, it’s a hell of a lot better for them to be using pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter drugs than to buy heroin or cocaine on the street.

I’m adding this site to the blogroll…

5 Responses to “Blogrolling: DrugLawBlog”

  1. PhysioProf Says:

    “[I]t’s a hell of a lot better for them to be using pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter drugs than to buy heroin or cocaine on the street.”

    It’s a hell of a lot worse than smoking weed.

    Like

  2. Theodore Price Says:

    “It’s a hell of a lot worse than smoking weed.”

    Hit the nail on the head with that one!

    Like

  3. drugmonkey Says:

    Come on now folks. If you want to bait me into some ranting you’re going to have to do better than THAT! Hint, “…but, but…dope’s WAY safer than, like Tylenol man!” arguments are the stock in trade of just about every undergraduate taking drug abuse / pharm classes. It comes right after the “..they start them on wine at, like, age 8 in France dude and they have no problems with alcohol whatsoever…the drinking age is the PROBLEM, man!”

    They aren’t exactly interesting discussions after a while… 😛

    Like

  4. PhysioProf Says:

    “Hint, “…but, but…dope’s WAY safer than, like Tylenol man!” arguments”

    You are grossly mischaracterizing what was said. The original post was about “recreational use”. No one uses Tylenol recreationally. And no one has said that “smoking weed is, like, totally cool, man”.

    The prescription and over-the-counter drugs that are used recreationally are things like opiates, amphetamines, dextromethorphan, etc. My contention is that when taken in recreational doses, these drugs are a lot more dangerous than smoking weed. Do you really disagree with that?

    And even if we are talking about Tylenol, it seems pretty dangerous. According to an article on eMedicine, “acetaminophen toxicity is the most common cause of hepatic failure requiring liver transplantation in Great Britain and the second most common cause of liver failure requiring transplantation in the United States”.

    http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic819.htm

    Anyway, I agree that this is not a particularly interesting discussion, and there may be good reasons not to smoke weed, but smoking weed is not “dangerous” in the way that opiates, speed, cocaine, heroin, etc are. And lying to children about this does nothing but plant the seed in their minds that *everthing* they hear from authority figures about drugs–even the stuff that is true–is bogus.

    Like

  5. drugmonkey Says:

    “when taken in recreational doses, these drugs are a lot more dangerous than smoking weed. Do you really disagree with that?…smoking weed is not “dangerous” in the way that opiates, speed, cocaine, heroin, etc are. “

    in both a personal and professional sense, my goal is to answer as many of these types of questions as possible. I don’t think the answers are as simple as you think. depending on how you construe it, “heroin” and “speed” may not be as dangerous as weed for that matter. one to one hit/dose comparo on the “dropping dead” metric? that’s one look at it but really, how relevant is this to anything. for one thing and relevant to the druglaw guy’s point, you are familiar with the idea of the recreational version of therapeutic index and the reason for a good lot of heroin overdoses, right?

    on the “liking it and finding it easy enough to incorporate into your daily life” metric? another issue. I’m interested in both questions.

    Ditto the one of sample population. alcohol has near complete penetration of , e.g., the US population, save a few weirdos. 90-95% lifetime in the MtF young adults up to 28. marijuana lifetime incidence is way up there too, maybe 60%, in comparison with less than 2% for heroin. most of the other more popular drugs like formulated amphetamines, cocaine, MDMA run around 15% lifetime and oxycontin is coming on to reach this level of incidence. the point being arguments of safety that are based on self-selected and very different user populations are of only limited use. the more we know about the actual science…

    and route/formulation. how safe is coca-leaf chewing compared with dope smoking? heroin injecting vs snorting vs oxycontin swallowing?

    “And lying to children about this does nothing but plant the seed in their minds that *everthing* they hear from authority figures about drugs–even the stuff that is true–is bogus”

    um, yes. Didn’t I have a little something on that?

    Like


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