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Thread: Does The Team Think

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    This Space For Hire arwkrite's Avatar
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    Default Does The Team Think

    Putting aside the politics of the matter what do members think of the views made public by the now ex government scientific adviser on drugs versus alcohol?
    I cannot agree that alcohol is worse than drugs. Some people can become addicted to anything, from Betting to compulsive shopping all of which can have tragic effects on life. I had a friend who became addicted to buying video films, he had more than some video libraries. It lead to him getting into debt and an early death in a fume filled car. I have known people jump off buildings when high on Acid or die from simple overdose of recreation drugs.I can think of couple that went with cirrhosis.
    Is this another attempt to stigmatise us who like a few beers?

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    I think the way you phrase it is the way the press are trying to colour it.

    I haven't read the statement he was sacked over but it was based on an evaluated list - ordered by danger of drug, I believe David Nutt mention Ecstasy and Cannabis, neither drug has a particularly bad record for killing people, and neither is excessively considered addictive. Whilst some people will be addicted to them, it is unlikely to drive them to crime unlike some of the more physically addictive drugs. Whilst the statistics for alcohol related deaths make fairly grim reading.

    I don't think it is about stigmatising those who enjoy a few beers, it is about removing the stigma from those who enjoy a quick joint. Or indeed may enjoy the relief from pain that they find only cannabis helps with.

    Whilst you asked to remove the politics I don't think it can be removed. I believe that Nutt's agitation and statements come from the Government's decision to upgrade Cannabis from a class C to Class B drug - against the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and I think his question is a valid one, why ignore alcohol and upgrade Cannabis? If the Government had followed their advisory councils advice, or indeed not bothered paying for it then his statement would be pointless, it is the fact that they paid for the advice, then ignored it, why bother?

    I would rather that Police's time was better spent than trying to nab the odd Cannabis user, by all means cut off the supply. And they could do this whilst it was a Class C drug, upgrading it to Class B once again puts the onus on getting the users, a complete waste of time.

    Also I would rather we did some research on a number of these drugs, cannabis plants have numerous uses, hemp (for many materials) and medicinal. LSD is showing some signs of in controlled usage aiding some people with psychological issues for instance PTSD.

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    The problem I had with his statement was that it fell into roughly 'tobacco and alcohol kills more people per year' camp.

    I would like to know what percentage of alcohol drinkers then get into difficulties, and what percentage of drug users then get into difficulties. If only 2 people took drugs and both died, but 50 people had a drink and 10 died, 'alcohol is the bigger killer'. But look at the percentages, and it's 100% Vs 20%

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    This Space For Hire arwkrite's Avatar
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    Thanks Conrad, some food for thought in your reply. Your remark about about LSD aka Acid being used in Post Traumatic Stress dredged something from my memory. I think it was developed for this reason by the USA in treating Vietnam Vets but it backfired in making symtoms worse.Repeat trips sometimes occur without warning. Herefordshire was full of the stuff in the 60/70s and I saw young folk take some real bad trips. It is unreliable in what effects you get.
    I may be a B.O.F but I really dont bother how people get their kicks or wish to pass their leasure time as long as they leave me to enjoy mine.It does surprise me that , although widespread, not more drugs are taken. You may as well pop pills from what I have seen of binge drinking. All that drink downed in one only to end up on the floor later. What a waste.

    The remark about the politics I put in because I did not want the thread to become party orientated.As has been mentioned in the press somewhere if we all live to a ripe old age there wont be enough money to pay all the pensions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie86 View Post
    The problem I had with his statement was that it fell into roughly 'tobacco and alcohol kills more people per year' camp.

    I would like to know what percentage of alcohol drinkers then get into difficulties, and what percentage of drug users then get into difficulties. If only 2 people took drugs and both died, but 50 people had a drink and 10 died, 'alcohol is the bigger killer'. But look at the percentages, and it's 100% Vs 20%
    I think this is press distortion, the quote is more along the lines of:
    All drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, should be ranked by a "harm" index, he said, with alcohol coming fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbiturates, and methadone.
    A harm index is the type of thing used for assessing pharmaceutical drugs like Paracetamol and antibiotics. It is corrected for number of people taking it and more interested in how dangerous it is as an overdose risk. If I understand correctly though this is just the press reporting on a lecture the Professor gave rather than any specific paper he has released.


    Quote Originally Posted by arwkrite View Post
    Thanks Conrad, some food for thought in your reply. Your remark about about LSD aka Acid being used in Post Traumatic Stress dredged something from my memory. I think it was developed for this reason by the USA in treating Vietnam Vets but it backfired in making symtoms worse.Repeat trips sometimes occur without warning. Herefordshire was full of the stuff in the 60/70s and I saw young folk take some real bad trips. It is unreliable in what effects you get.
    Good memory, I think you are absolutely correct. It then got kidnapped, so to speak, by the Hippies in the 60's and the Government moved to disown it. They are now returning to the original experiments and finding ways that it does help. If memory serves this is broadly done by making you remember your trauma then giving a measured dose of LSD and it in some cases makes the memory less stressful. As I understand it though, this is really in the "more research needed" camp, so may all turn into BS.

    Quote Originally Posted by arwkrite View Post
    I may be a B.O.F but I really dont bother how people get their kicks or wish to pass their leasure time as long as they leave me to enjoy mine.It does surprise me that , although widespread, not more drugs are taken. You may as well pop pills from what I have seen of binge drinking. All that drink downed in one only to end up on the floor later. What a waste.

    The remark about the politics I put in because I did not want the thread to become party orientated.As has been mentioned in the press somewhere if we all live to a ripe old age there wont be enough money to pay all the pensions.
    Couldn't agree more with you here, each to their own as long as they harm no one else. I think you also hit the alcohol problem on the head, if someone is hell bent on binge drinking then they may as well pop a pill - and it will probably do less harm to them, and those around them. But that person is a long way from the casual drinker who enjoys trying out different drinks for the taste and relaxation.

    It is a funny subject though, most of the mainstream press is reporting it as if he is a nutty professor. Whereas if you watch the Science press (bearing in mind I am a Chemistry graduate) there is a certain amount of bitterness at the way Professor Nutt is being treated, the drugs advisory council has been asked to provide scientific evidence (3 times in the case of cannabis), and it is clearly being ignored.

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    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    No matter how we who enjoy them feel about the classification, both alcohol and nicotine are addictive and harmful drugs to some and so are controlled. The question of relative harm should be the over riding criterion when legislating the availability of any drug, that is if society is going to ban the sale/consumption of drugs at all. The argument that any drug can cause harm to a person using it and has wider implications for society in terms of disorder, crime and health costs is the usual one given for why society controls or bans certain drugs. There are of course good arguments for legalising the sale and consumption of any recreational drug, as long as safeguards are in place to protect the vulnerable. However can we trust that the safeguards would work?

    The committee the Professor led was supposed to give impartial science based advice regarding the relative harm of various drugs , I don't know if that advice was based on the absolute figures, or whither the percentage of users harmed plus the general harm to society was taken into account. Like Eddie, my belief is the relative harm should really take in to account the number of users and the frequency of use. The politicians of course, always have to have one eye on the ballot box, or more commonly these days on the tabloid headlines. It is just not realistic for politicians to accept scientific advice if it goes against the popular prejudice. I think most intelligent adults know this and accept it as the way of the world, however perverse it seems. What got up the Professors nose, I think, is the hypocrisy of a politician making a political decision but pretending it was based on science. The Professor, by the way, is noted as being anti alcohol/nicotine and it has been suggested that this may be behind his statements rather than the purity of science.

    Is there a campaign to stigmatise alcohol and drinkers? Damn right there is and it's funded by the tax payer through payments by the Dept. of Health to fake charities like Alcohol Concern.

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    Pussy Galore No 1 Oggwyn Trench's Avatar
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    A good mate of mine is an alcoholic , he has been sober for 4 years and is now comfortable going down the pub and drinking soft drinks , if he feels tempted he goes home .
    A couple of the dope smokers i know have problems with mental health , though most dont .
    A lad i went to school with was an heroin addict , if anyone saw the state he became before he died nobody would touch the stuff .
    If alcohol was a new invention it would be banned .
    Remember the press that run these stories are the same people that say its great to be a proud Welsh/Scottish/Irish man but if your a proud Englishman your a biggoted racist knobhead .

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    Spritzer Swallower nogoodboyo's Avatar
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    Default Alcohol v drugs

    It's a mistake to think of this problem as being about Alcohol and tobacco versus drugs. Don't be fooling yourselves into thinking that because alcohol is legal it isn't a drug, and if alcohol was discovered today it would be made illegal. Working in A&E i I see infinitely more patients with alcohol related problems than with problems with any illegal drug. Even humble tea is a drug, containing over 700 chemicals, and when it first came to the UK, parliament seriously thought about banning it! Regarding LSD and psychiatry, psychedelics such as LSD and the compound in magic mushrooms could ease a variety of difficult-to-treat mental illnesses, such as chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency.Also some of the compounds in psychedelic drugs are found in beer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nogoodboyo View Post
    Also some of the compounds in psychedelic drugs are found in beer!
    and don't forget hops and cannabis are from the same family of plants....

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    This Space For Hire arwkrite's Avatar
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    I will admit that I started this thread to get some dialogue going as things seemed a bit quiet round here. After reading some of the things written here I am at present staring hard at my Cocoa wondering what hallucinogenics lurk in its dark brown depths.
    Am I addicted to alcohol? After more than 40 years drinking its very likely.I can go days without having a drink and it is more the pub experience that I miss otherwise a few cans from the supermarket would suffice.Many is the time when I say that I could murder a pint and mean it.
    I believe in people being informed of the risks whether its alcohol,drugs or base jumping without a parachute.That way they take responsbility for their own future actions instead of blaming everyone else.

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the thread and hope a few more will air not only their views but also their knowledge.

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