Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

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Belinda
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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Belinda » May 23rd, 2016, 1:53 pm

Sanchez wrote:
It's really dangerous when we make judgments of what people are capable of by looking at what they have achieved so far. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it's largely this line of reasoning that locks people in their drug habits. "If you could quit, you would have done it by now."


The door of opportunity can be described as always open. The addict decides when to stop using not because they always could choose, but because the occasion upon which they choose to quit is propitious. The message is therefore "You failed to quit yesterday, last week and last year. Today you have another and maybe a better opportunity to quit, it's your choice." I said that strength of character is both native and fostered. Add to this that any individual's strength of character fluctuates .There are occasions when strength of character is optimum, and when it's not so effective. Although an individual often is predisposed to show strength of character it's not fixed once and for all . The ever open door approach saddles the addict with more, not less, freedom to exert their will, because the addict is unremittingly faced day after day with their freedom to choose to stop using.

I agree with Sanchez about the disease model ; how its message to the addict is that it's not their fault that they chose to enjoy recreational drugs.

Sanchez wrote:
I'm not necessarily opposing your view that our abilities are not our own making. I do oppose the idea that our abilities can be deduced from what we've done so far. In a sense I do agree that strengths sometimes need to be fostered. The cognitive model can do this by debunking the disease myth and getting addicts to consider the idea that their past struggles are no indication of their abilities. While it might be hard to do so without blaming anyone, addicts should be encouraged to seriously consider the possibility that they were always capable, simply not willing to quit.
I do agree, Sanchez.

I nevertheless am inclined to believe that some drugs alter the organic structure or, even more likely, the chemical behaviour of the brain including that part of the brain, the upper frontal region where volition happens.
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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Supine » June 12th, 2016, 6:49 pm

In light of the mass murder in Orlando carried out by respectable members of society, and the All American type the LGBTQ and liberals/Democrats have militantly alingned themselves with, stereotyping them as "The Religion of Peace, " I'm going to go out on a limb here and roll the gambling dice by saying I doubt the shooter and other potential shooter and bomber were crack cocaine addicts.

According to that left wing, liberal social science discipline called sociology, a "group" are a collection of people that personally know each other or interact together. And a "category" are people that DO NOT personally know each other or interact together but rather they are people that share somr similar characteristics.

So, my intro sociology text book at community college gave examples of categories as these (listing drug addicts among them): Americans, Brits, Muslims, homosexuals, Christians, women, drug addicts, basketball players, Chicagoans, black people and so on.

Now, aside from Democrats and Hilary Clinton likely using the Orlando mass murder situation to attack and accuse Russia and Putin for mass killings of homosexuals, we can surmise Democrats, LGBTQ, and Hilary Clinton will remind everyone that NOT ALL Muslims mass murder homosexuals. In fact they will remind us that very few Muslims do. Unfortunately in its holy jihad against drug addicts (not alcoholics) none of them will extend the same courtesy towards drug addicts.

Let the Orlando shooter be a drug addict and it is almost certain that cabal of LGBTQ radicals and Democratic holier than thou preachers of the left will wax poetically as to why drug addicts need to be hunted and arrested by the American Gestapo because drug addiction leads to mass murdering homosexuals in night clubs. (irrespective of the fact many of the homosexuals in the night club are likely drug addicts too).

According to many LGBTQ people I personally go out and machine gun down homosexuals, because as they see it I'm both a crack addict and a Christian. Inferior to them and their beloved Muslims whom they remind me are the most peaceful people on earth that only ever love gay people.

Americans lack personal responsibility. And Americans reap what they sow. That includes their holier than thou secular Saints in the LGBTQ outfit.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Wilson » June 12th, 2016, 7:55 pm

That's an incredibly confused and paranoid post, Supine.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Freed0mAndTruth » June 14th, 2016, 10:33 am

I would do this:

Make all drugs that don't do permanent damage legal, but you can only do them at a facility.

And make that person journal or do CBT before and after the drug experience.

If they are doing it for the wrong reasons, I think they'll eventually figure out why. Plus, if they just want to experiment (as many kids will always want to), they are doing it in a safe environment.

If you guys are familiar with Rat Park, people mainly do drugs because they feel lonely, not because of chemical dependency.
Wikipedia - Rat Park wrote:In another experiment, he forced rats in ordinary lab cages to consume the morphine-laced solution for 57 days without other liquid available to drink. When they moved into Rat Park, they were allowed to choose between the morphine solution and plain water. They drank the plain water. He writes that they did show some signs of dependence. There were "some minor withdrawal signs, twitching, what have you, but there were none of the mythic seizures and sweats you so often hear about ..."

Alexander believes his experiments show that animal self-administration studies provide no empirical support for the theory of drug-induced addiction. "The intense appetite of isolated experimental animals for heroin in self-injection experiments tells us nothing about the responsiveness of normal animals and people to these drugs. Normal people can ignore heroin ... even when it is plentiful in their environment, and they can use these drugs with little likelihood of addiction ... Rats from Rat Park seem to be no less discriminating."
There are also several human studies that prove this point.

Dr. Carl Hart has done a ton of research and the data shows that the vast majority who use drugs never become addicted. And those who still use it, typically only do it on the weekends or once a month. It's not a daily addiction.

Why make it illegal (especially with these mandatory minimums that ruin people's lives) and throw some curious kids in jail?

Instead of criminal, make it a civil charge for people who now have these "illegal" drugs outside of these facilities (of course have community service for those who are homeless or broke). Once it comes unprofitable to do drugs on the street, people will just go to the facilities instead.

One last thing, I think the facilities should be private companies (approved or contracted by the government) so they'll compete with each other and, ultimately (because of the free market), provide better and safer facilities to the consumers.

If you guys are interested, I would check out Dr. Carl Hart's book, High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Belinda » June 16th, 2016, 4:29 am

FreedOmand Truth wrote:
One last thing, I think the facilities should be private companies (approved or contracted by the government) so they'll compete with each other and, ultimately (because of the free market), provide better and safer facilities to the consumers.
With the exception of the above your claims are sensible. The unfortunate tendency of private companies is to deplete their service to consumers to increase profits. The government inspectors cannot be everywhere at all times. The "free market" is especially dangerous for vulnerable clients.
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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Sanchez » June 16th, 2016, 11:20 pm

Freed0mAndTruth wrote:I would do this:

Make all drugs that don't do permanent damage legal, but you can only do them at a facility.

And make that person journal or do CBT before and after the drug experience.
Does this include alcohol? Do football fans have to watch games in these facilities from now on, if they want to enjoy a few beers while watching the game? Plus, do journaling or CBT? As you said, most people can use intoxicating substances responsibly. Why should we patronize everyone because of that irresponsible minority?
Freed0mAndTruth wrote: If they are doing it for the wrong reasons, I think they'll eventually figure out why. Plus, if they just want to experiment (as many kids will always want to), they are doing it in a safe environment.

If you guys are familiar with Rat Park, people mainly do drugs because they feel lonely, not because of chemical dependency.
People do drugs solely because of the way drugs make them feel. For most, this means only occasional or moderate use, or no use at all because for them, the buzz is nothing spectacular. Addiction happens when someone likes the stuff too much for his own good. Sure, there are secondary reasons and these include social relations. Addictive behavior is voluntary and when people make the choice between using and not using, they will think about alternatives to drug use. Someone with reduced opportunities, like being lonely, can put more weight on drug use.

However, many addicts have families and friends and are popular. It's very common for addicts to think they are medicating themselves, trying to endure an unbearable reality by escaping into self-intoxication. According to this view, alcoholics actually hate the taste of alcohol and take it very reluctantly. Usually these people also are very reluctant to change the circumstances that supposedly drive their drug use. If they say they drink because they are lonely, they will not seek human contact. If they say they drink because of anxiety, they will do only half-hearted attempts to make this anxiety go away. Why? Because they couldn't view themselves as victims anymore. Think of it like this:

1) I drink because I am lonely.
2) I want to quit drinking.
3) I will make an effort to be less lonely.

Why didn't it actually go like this for me? Why didn't the first two lead to the third one?

The real key factor in drug addiction is how people view addiction. You see it as lonely people trying to make life more bearable. I see it as aggravated by a culture that devalues personal responsibility and has adopted the beliefs of AA, a religious cult designed by and for addicts. Why is there so little alcoholism in Jewish communities? Because it is not traditionally accepted in that culture. People are held accountable for their drinking. There have been studies where the biggest predictor of "relapse" in alcoholics was not their degree of loneliness, but their degree of belief in the disease model of addiction.

It definitely is the case that drug use is not caused by the substances themselves and this is why Rat Park and similar experiments have value. A liquor bottle is a lifeless, inert object with no hands or feet, no mouth, no mind and no will of it's own. Yet, it seems most of society has accepted AA's idea that alcohol is the active agent in alcoholism.
Freed0mAndTruth wrote: One last thing, I think the facilities should be private companies (approved or contracted by the government) so they'll compete with each other and, ultimately (because of the free market), provide better and safer facilities to the consumers.
You can compete in a free market with quality or with prices. If your company targeted heavy drug users, it would be profitable to decrease the quality to achieve lower prices. Competition leads to increased quality if the consumers care enough to vote with their wallets. We talk a lot about responsible business these days, but it's worth noting that this term wouldn't exist if free markets worked the way Adam Smith assumed. Responsible business would be taken for granted. It's a bit like the term moderate drinking. You have no need for the term if you're actually doing it.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Belinda » June 17th, 2016, 2:47 am

When I wrote "the free market is especially dangerous for vulnerable clients" I did not mean to evoke the medicalisation of addiction. Sanchez has explained a more effective model for addiction. I meant that where people ( including criminals) are supervised by the state those clients should be supervised directly by state employees. While the disadvantage of state control is lack of competition, to be in charge of people is too sensitive to be farmed out to competitive industries.
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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Sanchez » June 18th, 2016, 12:03 am

Belinda wrote:When I wrote "the free market is especially dangerous for vulnerable clients" I did not mean to evoke the medicalisation of addiction.
I know. I actually agree with you that addicts are particularly vulnerable. That doesn't mean medicalisation, as people can be vulnerable without being sick. Addicts are vulnerable because they are desperate. Even worse, they are desperate for two things: getting high and not getting high. The former desperation is shamelessly exploited by drug dealers and the latter by recovery groups. Hard to say which one is worse. Personally I've felt that the latter is worse, because the "experts" appear to be helping and speak from a position of authority.

I also agree that many things are too important to be left to private companies. I am critical of FreedOmand Truth's idea, but if that were to happen, it should definitely be done by the state. If these facilities existed, a lot of addicts would just find the cheapest ones and not care about the quality or safety of services. There's a lot of potential for exploitation here.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Wilson » June 18th, 2016, 12:26 am

Sanchez, it's a little like the politics of obesity, where no one says that it's a matter of will power. The conventional wisdom seems to be that obesity, like drug or alcohol addiction, is beyond the control of the individual. The truth is that eating tasty food is fun, getting a little drunk is fun, and getting high on heroin is tremendous fun (at least in the beginning). Some people won't gain weight even if they eat everything they want, and overweight people in most cases have their fat thermostats out of whack so that unless they consciously eat less than they want, they'll gain more weight. But it's still a matter of will power and self control. It's harder for some, easier for others to stay at an ideal weight, but if you control your calorie intake, you'll be fine.

Same with alcohol and drugs. Some people have addictive personalities and some don't. Some have personality quirks that push them to try stuff they know isn't good for them, and some aren't drawn so passionately to experience those forbidden pleasures to excess. Some actually are able to weigh the pleasures against the consequences and are able to resist the temptation. Some aren't and are lost.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Sanchez » June 19th, 2016, 12:57 am

Wilson: You're generally on the right track, but I would quibble a bit. I don't advocate willpower as the cure for addiction. For some reason almost everyone assumes that the alternatives are treatment and willpower. The term willpower carries the implicit assumption that there will be a struggle. If the addict believes that there will, then there will be. Addiction is largely a case of reality being what it looks like. The addict hasn't really lost control, but feels he has which is just as damaging. The substance is completely passive in the process of using it, but if the addict believes himself to be powerless over it, he will find it extremely hard to abstain. If the addict believes in "triggers", that external events and stimuli can cause him to "relapse", then this will likely happen at some point. So, it's not so much about willpower but rather changing the way people see their addiction. The problem is that it is seen as a disease, as something that overrides their own will. If people assume that they can do very little to change their ways, then this will be true.

If addiction truly is voluntary, as my thesis has been, addicts are using willpower every time they use. Strictly speaking, "relapse" is not a failure. The person wanted to get high and accomplished that goal. In what sense did he fail? In what sense did he not apply willpower?

So, what really works with addiction? For many, it's been mindfulness. Through meditation or some other practice, they've learned to be less caught up in their fleeting desires and found it easier to not get in a struggle with them. That's why I wouldn't advocate willpower: it seems to imply that struggling against the desire is effective. A better approach is not to make a big deal out of desires. You don't always need to get what you want, and what's more, a fleeting desire is not what you REALLY want. Many have recovered by dissociating their addictive side from their conscious selves. They split themselves into two, the Self that wants to stay sober and another entity, the It that wants to get high. All cravings are attributed to It, not I and as a result they feel less caught up in the desire. What's more, this split is neurologically justified, since the thirst for pleasure is driven by the primitive animal brain. This part of the brain has no concept of ethics, or responsibility, doesn't care about other people and cannot comprehend long-term benefits of sobriety. Jack Trimpey developed this into the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique, which has proven very effective. If you're gonna read only one book on addiction, I would recommend Trimpey's Rational Recovery. Of all the professional treatment, the most effective seems to be motivational interviewing, which is about nothing more than resolving the ambivalence. Addiction is a love-hate relationship with a pleasurable substance or activity. Motivational interviewing helps people make up their minds and commit to change. It's worth noting that MI assumes that people have control over their actions and that they struggle because they're not sure what they really want.

For me, the key was to own my behavior. I stubbornly refused to see my actions as compulsive or as symptoms of a disease. I took full personal responsibility and as a result found it impossible to justify any sort of "relapse". There was one defining moment when I realized that in the past I had assumed that my actions were justified on the basis of how badly I wanted to do them. For a long time, I had thought that using was wrong for me. Not just wrong as in bad, but wrong in the strong moral sense of the word. However, I had implicitly assumed that an overwhelmingly strong desire to do something made it less wrong. When I realized that flaw in my past thinking, I also knew I would never use again and never change my mind.

While it's not really about willpower, it really is about self-control. People have it but they have forgot what it means. They have also forgot about personal responsibility. I point one blaming finger at the recovery group movement that has been arguing against responsibility and self-control for decades. Not surprisingly, addiction has been on the rise over these decades. When it comes to addiction, society has been taking advice from people who have never solved their own addictions and therefore shouldn't be giving advice on public policy. I remember that my former recovery group once included a guy who was a drug counselor. It felt weird at the time, but in retrospect it's insane that addicts are counseled by someone who has to attend meetings to stay sober himself. This guy had not solved his addiction and was not in any position to advice addicts in a professional capacity. I don't know for sure what he tells the people he counsels, but probably he tells them that they are unable to solve their addictions as well. The loonies are running the asylum.

When you think about it, the recovery group movement opposes pretty much everything that actually works. Ambivalence is not seen as a core problem, but rather the natural state of affairs for anyone with the disease of addiction. Any attempt to actually resolve ambivalence and commit to sobriety is seen as "denial", a symptom of the addictive disease. A moral commitment to abstinence is also seen as denial and useless, since the disease would cause people to "relapse", regardless of their values. All attempts of actually solving the addiction are seen as symptoms of the disease and the remedy they propose is to not solve the problem, but rather just staying sober, one day at a time. This encourages struggle and keeps the door open for yummy "relapses".

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Greta » June 19th, 2016, 1:39 am

What do people here make of the ramifications of what is becoming quite a famous experiment, called "Rat Park"? References to it are easy to search online.

It was found in many experiments that rats could become addicted to water laced with heroin or cocaine, preferring that water to normal fresh water provided. In these experiments the experimental rats were generally alone, locked in a cage. Then a researcher devised a rat playground dubbed Rat Park, that was generally a pleasant place for a rat to be, with many social and play opportunities. Rats in Rat Park consistently chose normal water over the laced water.

This suggests that further stressing and isolating drug users is effectively throwing gasoline on a fire. If we are to structure society in such a way that this isolation is inevitable, then should those who are isolated be allowed a salve? Wouldn't denying those who are socially isolated a "mental salve" be effectively a form of torture, even if well-meaning and inadvertent?
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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Sanchez » June 19th, 2016, 3:00 am

Greta wrote:What do people here make of the ramifications of what is becoming quite a famous experiment, called "Rat Park"? References to it are easy to search online.
It's also easy to find the fact that some later studies failed to replicate the results.
Greta wrote: It was found in many experiments that rats could become addicted to water laced with heroin or cocaine, preferring that water to normal fresh water provided. In these experiments the experimental rats were generally alone, locked in a cage. Then a researcher devised a rat playground dubbed Rat Park, that was generally a pleasant place for a rat to be, with many social and play opportunities. Rats in Rat Park consistently chose normal water over the laced water.

This suggests that further stressing and isolating drug users is effectively throwing gasoline on a fire. If we are to structure society in such a way that this isolation is inevitable, then should those who are isolated be allowed a salve? Wouldn't denying those who are socially isolated a "mental salve" be effectively a form of torture, even if well-meaning and inadvertent?
Correct me if I'm reading you wrong, but are you saying that this society is such a bad place that we cannot expect people to manage without intoxicating themselves? Or to put it this way: how would you advise a person who's uneducated, unemployed, socially isolated and drinking heavily? Would you tell him that he should accept the fact that life is unbearable without liquor? I would tell him that there's no guarantee of success in life, but surely drinking has isolated him even more and further reduced his opportunities. Drinking is a cause, not just a result of problems. I would also tell him that the external conditions in his life don't have to change for him to quit drinking. He could be uneducated, unemploeyed, socially isolated and sober. If you have evidence showing that this is impossible, please present it. The fact remains that people from all walks of life develop addictions and it's also very common for people to see the writing on the wall and quit independently, even if their conditions don't otherwise change. There was one study of independently recovered alcoholics, where more than half of them said that they essentially just decided that drinking was bad for them and they quit. I imagine that if the Rat Park-proponents had been counceling them, they would have been told that they only quit drinking after society around them had changed. You seem to have compassion for part of drug users that wants to keep using. What about the ones who want to quit? What is your message to them?

The view you're proposing is deeply fatalistic: people have to do drugs to endure the way things are and things are unchangeable. That's why your argument fails: that salve is causing more problems and as long as they have it, they will have less opportunities to change their lives around. Often this "salve" is destroying their lives and the lives of their families. If there is real disservice done to drug addicts, it is telling them that the world has effectively forced drug use on them. This line of reasoning is common among leftists. Collectivism requires a populace that feels weak and at the mercy of larger forces.

What I do agree on is that quitting an addiction requires alternative opportunities. This is why the traditional wisdom about addiction and recovery is so paralyzing. It essentially tells people that they will keep struggling. When given the false dilemma between life in addiction and Twelve Steps-recovery, many understandably prefer the addiction. What I disagree on is that the human world is the proverbial rat cage, with no real alternatives to substance abuse. You are essentially promoting a variation on the powerlessness idea of AA. This time it's not about having a disease, but about being the victim of society.

It is possible to have compassion for addicts without seeing them as rats in a cage, really reluctantly taking the drug to endure an otherwise intolerable world. But I have more compassion for those who are harmed by the shameless hedonism of others. The current attitude expects people around the addict to adapt to his use, or at the very least, the possibility of further use. It is thought that no one has the right to lay down the law and tell the addict to get sober or move out of the house. This addiction-coddling suits the addict because he gets to have his cake and eat it. He can be as reckless as he wants and hide behind his supposed illness (or these social factors) to avoid responsibility. When I look at my own past it boils down to this: I did whatever I wanted to do and thought the world around me should just to learn to dig it, since I'm the real victim. Of course I didn't put that into those terms at the time, but that was the general idea. That's another question for you: what would you tell those who are harmed by the addiction of someone else? That they should learn to dig it?

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Supine » June 20th, 2016, 12:07 am

Wilson wrote:That's an incredibly confused and paranoid post, Supine.
Eh, no. And off the online discussion boards like this, ethnic Black-American men in face-to-face discussion with me comprehend my points and agree with them. The recent Oregon court ruling stating the DMV must list a man (white in this case) as identitfying as non-binary as neither male nor female has not helped the American case with its covert war on black males known as The War on Drugs. Those black males I speak with comprehend easily that if crack cocaine was said to cause one to think he or she is neither male nor female and to cross dress if they were born biologically male, that the American empire would use that as evidence for a need to keep crack cocaine illegal and to criminalize drug addiction.

See, the empire kept claiming Martin Luther King Jr. was right about "Judge me not by the color of my skin but by the content of my character." But as is becoming evident the empire while condemning black males for X thing eventually will approve of X thing for whites. Moving the bar or line. So, the "character" thing becomes meaningless. We are seeing that now with the drug addiction issue plaguing more upper-middle-class whites. The media is doing for them what they did for the LGBTQ. Humanizing them. Giving them full human character stories. But that was not done for impoverished whites (collateral damage in the war on black males) and black males.

Albeit, ethnic Black-Americans like selling out black males for trinkets, similar to what black Africans did during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. So, Obama or Hilary offering mass numbers of Black-Americans something like more hours per month on their "Obama phones" should be enough to shut them up if they ever start opening their mouths. That old yarn about "We have to pick the lesser of the two evils among the political parties."

What I'm saying is drug addiction will become accepted and lose much of its stigma along the same way male homosexuality became mainstream and accepted. That is: Not by Black-Americans accepting it first, but rather by white Americans in the middle, upper-middle, and upper-class accepting it first.

The War on Drugs will becoming to an end because upper-middle-class white Americans with wives, daughters, sons, brothers hooked on opiates will bring it to an end.

Drug addiction unlike homosexuality, transsexualism, and the growing popularity of gender-queer will never become totally "cool" like these sexual identities because drug addiction often (not always) comes with some dysfunction in personal life and economic problems. Nonetheless, views about it will greatly change.

So, 20 years or so from now some white woman will be happy to date some IV heroin addicted, gender-queer white man, dressed in women's clothing, that's agnostic but regards himself as "spiritually" Muslim, who advances in the ranks of the US Army while struggling to do 15 push-ups, switching his hips in front of his son, and frequently expressing his disdain for Russians. Black-American women will be head-over-heels for such a white man too.

So, 20 years from now heroin addiction, speaking bad about heroin addicts will get you attacked verbally with sheer disdain and contempt like speaking bad about homosexuals today.

Just like this new Oregon court ruling is going to have Americans tripping over themselves to come up with another explanation (lie) for how an American human can be born neither male nor female even though he looks like a man, has a Y chromosome, produces sperm, and impregnated a woman. Your allies in the sciences will get to working hard to help confirm your narrative through scientific research and data. And thus confirm such a human is not male nor even female. Many in biology will keep silent because they support the political goals, just as those in their field before them kept silent because they supported the goals of the Nazis.

People in the sciences once tried to find a gene for alcoholism and one for drug addiction just as they once tried to find one for homosexuality. But genetic determinism has lost some steam, but not entirely, they will need to use it to explain and persuade Americans for the new gender-queer thing.

-- Updated June 19th, 2016, 10:30 pm to add the following --

Sanchez,

It would help if you were familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous and its various literature and meetings rather than knowing nothing at all about it but thinking you do.

AA unlike the Catholic Church is the last bastion of personal responsibility left in the West.

You probably think I mean that as applying to homosexuality, when I really don't. That you don't know just provides further evidence of the moral collapse in the USA.

My liberal Catholic mother once responded to me, "Oh! But we pray for drug addicts all the time in mass." :roll:

That's a Catholic mass. Prayers. Yet, the drug addict, the car theif, the Wall Street liar, the murderer... no one is instructed to change let alone taught how to change.

AA believes itself to teach a person how to change. How to change their drug addictive ways. And it's purely "Old School." Almost an entire meeting in AA is the addict talking about and discovering their personal flaws.

This is why AA has such a bad success rate, and so does every known recovery program on planet earth.

The statistics for "success" in any recovery program on earth is laughable. LAUGHABLE. What's "success"? 1 year, 3 years, 20 years? Why don't some of you prejudiced people apply that same methodology of "success" to the recovery programs for homosexuality. A dude relapses into gay sex even after having married a woman, produced a child, and been living a heterosexual lifestyle for 10 years and you people would be jumping up and down in enthusiasm claiming his release is proof a gay man can't change his behaviors. Philip Seymour Hoffman a talented actor was drug clean and sober for OVER 20 years and the dude went back to using and eventually over dosed. So, what was the "success"?

Every person picking up drugs to use for the first time THINKS it's a matter of will power to stop using if they ever get addicted. That in fact is the gate way "drug." Not marijuana. Interesting they (American powerful) dismiss alcohol as a gateway drug. I hate marijuana. But I loved to drink. And I jumped from drinking to snorting heroin (never used long enough to get addicted), snorting cocaine, and then to smoking cocaine. To this day I dislike smoking marijuana, and have zero desire for it. I'd rather jog 6 miles than smoke weed.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Wilson » June 20th, 2016, 12:34 am

Sanchez wrote: While it's not really about willpower, it really is about self-control.
I guess it's partly in the definitions of those two words. They sound very similar in meaning to me. I think your basic point is that an addict needs to change his attitude toward his substance of choice, which makes sense, but it's also a matter of being aware of the consequences if he fails, and having the willpower or self-control to tell himself, if I choose to enjoy the sensual pleasure this time, my life will probably continue to be crap. And those who successfully get off the drug are those who are able to put off that kind of short-term pleasure for the promise of the potential for long term happiness. I assume that former addicts don't forget how fun it is to use, they simply resist the temptation. That's my impression, but luckily for me I don't have an addictive tendency, so my conclusions are from mentally trying to put myself in that situation, not actual experience.

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Re: Freedom and treatments for drug addicts

Post by Sanchez » June 20th, 2016, 10:19 am

Supine wrote: Sanchez,

It would help if you were familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous and its various literature and meetings rather than knowing nothing at all about it but thinking you do.
"I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they had prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come — I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow."

Are you saying that this is not from the Big Book? That AA doesn't actually perceive drinking as something that inexplicably happens to people instead of something that they do? Feel free to say that it's out of context, but please explain the proper context. Practically every piece of Twelve Steps-philosophy is built on the idea that you will likely use again and that nobody can judge you for this. It's the addict paradise.
Supine wrote: AA unlike the Catholic Church is the last bastion of personal responsibility left in the West.

You probably think I mean that as applying to homosexuality, when I really don't. That you don't know just provides further evidence of the moral collapse in the USA.
As I already said, I don't live in the US. I've never set foot on the American continent. I don't know why you'd assume otherwise. As critical as I am of Catholicism, at the least they assume that people have control over their actions and that people can abstain on moral grounds.
Supine wrote: My liberal Catholic mother once responded to me, "Oh! But we pray for drug addicts all the time in mass." :roll:

That's a Catholic mass. Prayers. Yet, the drug addict, the car theif, the Wall Street liar, the murderer... no one is instructed to change let alone taught how to change.

AA believes itself to teach a person how to change. How to change their drug addictive ways. And it's purely "Old School." Almost an entire meeting in AA is the addict talking about and discovering their personal flaws.
AA believes itself to be the best thing since sliced bread. The really Old School way was the way the Temperance movement operated. There, people made a pledge to God that they would refrain from drinking. In AA, this is reversed. In AA, sobriety is something that God is expected to give you. You yourself wrote that the answer AA gives is for people to stick around and wait for a miracle. You completely avoided my question of whether you're gonna do drugs again. At least tell me why you refuse to make these sort of promises. AA obviously opposes these sort of promises because independent recovery removes the need for AA meetings. People would just abandon their addictions and move on, but a cult needs to retain its members.

You said that powerlessness means losing control after consuming a substance. Why don't people then just quit using the substance that makes them reckless? You also talked of the baffling nature of alcoholism and fail to see any contradiction here. You admitted that your drug use is a choice but also claim that people are mistaken when they assume that addicts are capable of abstaining out of pure choice. Your membership in AA is itself a sign that you do realize that self-intoxication doesn't really suit you. You also accept that you do it voluntarily. Do you sense a contradiction here?
Supine wrote: This is why AA has such a bad success rate, and so does every known recovery program on planet earth.

The statistics for "success" in any recovery program on earth is laughable. LAUGHABLE. What's "success"? 1 year, 3 years, 20 years? Why don't some of you prejudiced people apply that same methodology of "success" to the recovery programs for homosexuality. A dude relapses into gay sex even after having married a woman, produced a child, and been living a heterosexual lifestyle for 10 years and you people would be jumping up and down in enthusiasm claiming his release is proof a gay man can't change his behaviors. Philip Seymour Hoffman a talented actor was drug clean and sober for OVER 20 years and the dude went back to using and eventually over dosed. So, what was the "success"?
My initial thought is that Hoffman went back to drugs largely because he had internalized the role of addict that recovery groups had written for him. I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking so. (reason.com/archives/2014/02/04/what-the-philip-seymour-hoffman-story-te)

And you're the one who keeps talking about the LGBT. I've never said where I stand on the issue. You can try to guess, but probably would be wrong. You're pretty eager on stereotyping.

Did you know that most addicts quit on their own? Of course you do, because I already told you this and linked to some solid evidence. Treatment is a joke, which makes me wonder why you'd waste your time in AA meetings. People are more likely to quit independently. (http://www.soberforever.net/currenttreatdoesnt.cfm)
Supine wrote: Every person picking up drugs to use for the first time THINKS it's a matter of will power to stop using if they ever get addicted. That in fact is the gate way "drug." Not marijuana. Interesting they (American powerful) dismiss alcohol as a gateway drug. I hate marijuana. But I loved to drink. And I jumped from drinking to snorting heroin (never used long enough to get addicted), snorting cocaine, and then to smoking cocaine. To this day I dislike smoking marijuana, and have zero desire for it. I'd rather jog 6 miles than smoke weed.
If nothing else, I can applaud your honesty in admitting that you do love to intoxicate yourself and effortlessly abstain from the drugs you don't like. Your disease is forcing you to use, but only your favorite stuff.

-- Updated June 20th, 2016, 10:39 am to add the following --
Wilson wrote:
Sanchez wrote: While it's not really about willpower, it really is about self-control.
I guess it's partly in the definitions of those two words. They sound very similar in meaning to me. I think your basic point is that an addict needs to change his attitude toward his substance of choice, which makes sense, but it's also a matter of being aware of the consequences if he fails, and having the willpower or self-control to tell himself, if I choose to enjoy the sensual pleasure this time, my life will probably continue to be crap. And those who successfully get off the drug are those who are able to put off that kind of short-term pleasure for the promise of the potential for long term happiness. I assume that former addicts don't forget how fun it is to use, they simply resist the temptation. That's my impression, but luckily for me I don't have an addictive tendency, so my conclusions are from mentally trying to put myself in that situation, not actual experience.
The way I see it, self-control is something very ordinary that we do all the time. It just means acknowledging that your limbs don't act on their own and don't pour alcohol down your throat against your will. Willpower is the stiff upper lip, where you are willing to endure discomfort and pain for some important reason. While I doubt that addicts really forget about the pleasure, the temptation certainly gets weaker over time. It is possible to get to a point where there is no real struggle going on, a point where there might be some flashbacks and nostalgia, but the thought of actually going back is absurd. Sobriety can become a fact of life, like gravity. Sadly most of what we call addiction treatment prevents people from reaching this state. Changes in attitude towards the drug are important. Not just realizing that it makes things worse in the long run, but also realizing that substances don't exert any mystical causal force on humans. Alcohol is powerless over me. It doesn't have hands or feet, or a mouth, or a will of its own. I'm the active agent here.

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