Saturday, January 28, 2017

Contrarian viewpoint …

… The Fantasy of Addiction by Peter Hitchens | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

According to research cited by Hari, from The Archives of General Psychiatry, some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers serving in Vietnam had “become addicted to” heroin while there. The study showed that 95 percent of these men had stopped using heroin within a year of returning home. “Treatment” and “rehabilitation” made no difference to this outcome. As Hari writes, “If you believe the theory that drugs hijack your brain and turn you into a chemical slave . . . then this makes no sense.”
Indeed it doesn’t. I could also cite the millions of hospital patients given medical morphine (effectively the same as heroin) during illness or recovery from injury, who do not become dependent upon it. Or I could note the view of Anthony Daniels, who often writes under the pseudonym Theodore Dalrymple. He was for many years a prison doctor, and constantly encountered heroin abusers. He describes their withdrawal symptoms as being similar to a fairly bad bout of influenza.
This is exactly what I was told by a friend who withdrew from heroin cold turkey (having no choice, since he was behind bars). He described as being like the worst case of flu he had ever had.

1 comment:

  1. See here (scroll down) for letters about this article and for Peter Hitchens' response.