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Thread: Safe Injection Sites

  1. #1

    Default Safe Injection Sites

    Actually we could go broader than the title suggests.
    Harm reduction, a viable health strategy or simply greasing the wheels on a slippery slope?

    http://www.motherjones.com/environme...l-meth-needle/

    As noted in the article, Vancouver (Canada) had North Americas' first safe injection site.
    It has done nothing to reduce or deter drug use, but it has decreased the number of deaths from overdose, the spread of HIV and other complications from shared/re-used needles.
    On a law & order metric, I guess the experiment could be termed a failure.
    As a health program, it is very successful.

    Thoughts?
    Ja-mata TosaInu

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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Britain was right to end the chinese war on drugs?
    Last edited by Greyblades; 07-05-2017 at 15:50.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Prohibition is ridiculous, illogical, immoral and self defeating. It survives through repeated reinforcing messages and feedback loops. Get prosecuted for drugs? Best chance to reduce the punishment is to say how you were 'trapped' and now you have been given a 'second chance' thanks m'lord.

    The biggest advocates of prohibition? Ex addicts working in the prohibition business.
    Last edited by Idaho; 07-05-2017 at 16:58.
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho View Post
    Prohibition is ridiculous, illogical, immoral and self defeating. It survives through repeated reinforcing messages and feedback loops. Get prosecuted for drugs? Best chance to reduce the punishment is to say how you were 'trapped' and now you have been given a 'second chance' thanks m'lord.

    The biggest advocates of prohibition? Ex addicts working in the prohibition business.
    Lord God almighty....I find myself in near-complete agreement with Idaho on an issue....

    I dearly hope this is not a harbinger to Gabriel doing riffs on his trumpet.
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Lord God almighty....I find myself in near-complete agreement with Idaho on an issue....

    I dearly hope this is not a harbinger to Gabriel doing riffs on his trumpet.
    No, that happens when you, Idaho, me, Beskar, Hooahguy, Sarmation, Husar and Gilrandir all agree.

    I think we're safe.
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    OK, on topic.

    Let me make one point straight off - I'm not interested in making a moral argument against functioning addicts. Most people are functioning addicts of some nature or another, be it caffeine, alcohol or nicotine, or a mixture thereof.

    However, the people who end up in front of a judge aren't functional - if they were their habit would not have been exposed.

    Then you have to consider the addictive nature of opiates, remember that Opium, Laudanum, Heroin and Morphine all started out as medicines. Heroin was originally intended as a medication less addictive than Morphine I read something recently that people who get addicted to Morphine often end up that way when given as few as TWO spare doses after being sent home from hospital.

    It hurts, they take it, it hurts, they take it - they're hooked.

    It's this addictive nature that led to the banning of Opiates about a hundred years ago and I'm not convinced that "prohibition has failed" just because people still take recreational Opiates. By that metric all laws fail because people break them.

    So the way I see it you have two options - ban Opiates, ruin lives, spread diseases or un-ban Opiates, ruin lives, probably fewer diseases.

    So - the question, really, is how many more people would take Opiates if they were legal. Difficult to tell, but the UK's public smoking ban suggests that when an activity is restricted at least some addicts seek medical help to give up.
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  7. #7
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    OK, on topic.

    Let me make one point straight off - I'm not interested in making a moral argument against functioning addicts. Most people are functioning addicts of some nature or another, be it caffeine, alcohol or nicotine, or a mixture thereof.

    However, the people who end up in front of a judge aren't functional - if they were their habit would not have been exposed.

    Then you have to consider the addictive nature of opiates, remember that Opium, Laudanum, Heroin and Morphine all started out as medicines. Heroin was originally intended as a medication less addictive than Morphine I read something recently that people who get addicted to Morphine often end up that way when given as few as TWO spare doses after being sent home from hospital.

    It hurts, they take it, it hurts, they take it - they're hooked.

    It's this addictive nature that led to the banning of Opiates about a hundred years ago and I'm not convinced that "prohibition has failed" just because people still take recreational Opiates. By that metric all laws fail because people break them.

    So the way I see it you have two options - ban Opiates, ruin lives, spread diseases or un-ban Opiates, ruin lives, probably fewer diseases.

    So - the question, really, is how many more people would take Opiates if they were legal. Difficult to tell, but the UK's public smoking ban suggests that when an activity is restricted at least some addicts seek medical help to give up.
    I see opiates as a more potent version of alcohol: addictive, gives pleasure to its takers. Legalise, regulate, tax. Same with cannabis, and other such substances. And the public smoking ban wasn't a ban on smoking, but a ban on imposing smoking on others. Let the government impose all kinds of horror warnings on the packets of opiates, cannabis or whatever. I'd especially like cocaine to be heavily taxed, as it's the drug of choice for the wealthy.

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    No, that happens when you, Idaho, me, Beskar, Hooahguy, Sarmation, Husar and Gilrandir all agree.

    I think we're safe.
    Who said I agree?
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    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Morally I can't bring myself to ever vote for someone willing to legalize opiates for recreational use.

    This is a discussion where the science needs to be brought to the front of the conversation on what happens to people brains on various substances. It's one thing to tax marijuana consumers, but given what we already know about the addictive nature of opiates, as PVC has explained, legalizing and taxing seems to be morally bankrupt. They simply have no choice in the matter but to spend all of their money on buying the drug and thus paying the tax. I can't endorse a policy that tramples on their dignity like that.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Morally I can't bring myself to ever vote for someone willing to legalize opiates for recreational use.

    This is a discussion where the science needs to be brought to the front of the conversation on what happens to people brains on various substances. It's one thing to tax marijuana consumers, but given what we already know about the addictive nature of opiates, as PVC has explained, legalizing and taxing seems to be morally bankrupt. They simply have no choice in the matter but to spend all of their money on buying the drug and thus paying the tax. I can't endorse a policy that tramples on their dignity like that.
    Addiction is more a matter of predisposition and living circumstances than the characteristics of a substance or activity.

    Why would a policy of legalization trample on dignity any more than a policy of criminalization?

    Philosophically, what "choice" is there that addiction can affect or take away?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Addiction is more a matter of predisposition and living circumstances than the characteristics of a substance or activity.

    Why would a policy of legalization trample on dignity any more than a policy of criminalization?

    Philosophically, what "choice" is there that addiction can affect or take away?
    A. Why are you awake right now. go to bed.
    B. Addiction is based in part on living circumstances yes, but the physical characteristics play a major role. People across all socio-economic levels get addicted to opiates. Unless you have studies that show otherwise, I feel that you down play that aspect too much.
    C. You can criminalize and have a smarter, mandatory rehabilitation policy than the current punitive driven prohibition. Do you not agree that there are various ways of handling substance abuse within the frame work of prohibiting it legally?
    D. Addiction saps your mental willpower and leaves you unable to make choices necessary for your quality of life. it consumes your time and your money at the expense of your job, your friends, your family, your health. To say that those strongly addicted still have the option to stop taking the drug is not in alignment with my understanding of addiction.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    A. Why are you awake right now. go to bed.
    Irregular schedule.

    B. Addiction is based in part on living circumstances yes, but the physical characteristics play a major role. People across all socio-economic levels get addicted to opiates. Unless you have studies that show otherwise, I feel that you down play that aspect too much.
    Physical characteristics play a role in the sense of accessibility and usability, the social conditions in which the usage of one substance over another is promulgated. So whether a substance is more problematic than another may have the least to do with the intrinsic chemical properties of those substances, on a population level.

    I understand the desire for research references, and I'll look for some, but the straightforward "addiction rankings" of substances you will find tend to be very old and/or focused on superficial psychological surveys of how addicts feel about various drugs. For now, be more careful when comparing drugs than to just start with the social problems we face around a given drug encapsulated by the present moment.

    C. You can criminalize and have a smarter, mandatory rehabilitation policy than the current punitive driven prohibition. Do you not agree that there are various ways of handling substance abuse within the frame work of prohibiting it legally?
    Let's say I'm not strictly opposed to a Prohibition framework - but I have yet to see a proposal preferable to wider changes along a Decriminalized Regulation framework.

    D. Addiction saps your mental willpower and leaves you unable to make choices necessary for your quality of life. it consumes your time and your money at the expense of your job, your friends, your family, your health. To say that those strongly addicted still have the option to stop taking the drug is not in alignment with my understanding of addiction.
    Is this about the effect of addictive behaviors on quality of life, or on "choice" per se? There are many systemic entities that affect both behavior and quality of life (negatively), including "sports" and "socialization", "government" and "capitalism"...

    As you recall, I question the viability of both a neurological or a philosophical representation of concepts like self-control, impulsivity, and volition.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Well, what is strange about the whole "addiction is nothing physical or chemical, but merely social" is that I thought that most of the substances one can get physically addicted to actually do alter neron receptors either by destroying them or by clogging them or changing them which all causes the brain to crave more of the substance in question to fulfill certain needs it has in terms of neural stimuli. If there were no physical addiction, why would a sudden cold abstinence of an addict cause all the physical symptoms like immense pain, puking, etc.?

    I get that not everyone may always be affected in the same way, this can already be observed with caffeeine. Some can drink more with little effect, others begin to tremble after a cup. But even there the heavy users have an increased tolerance/need because synapses are altered and the brain gets used to a certain dosage. Both coffeine and nicotine addicts need a certain amount of the drug as a base level to be in the same mental state as someone who is not addicted to the drug. Which makes especially a nicotine addiction a waste of money in order to feel normal.

    Now as to why people need to use drugs in the first place, well, capitalism/darwinism.
    You can talk all day about what socioeconomic reasons people have to take drugs but it all boils down to capitalism/darwinism. People drink a liter of coffee every morning to perform well in a competitive job situation. People smoke to deal with the stress of a competitive job situation/exams/social interaction in a competitive environment. Other people have "failed life" and cannot deal with it and then attempt to attain the chemical bliss instead. Since poor lazy losers belong in jail anyway, the criminalization is probably the best idea.


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  14. #14

    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Well, what is strange about the whole "addiction is nothing physical or chemical, but merely social" is that I thought that most of the substances one can get physically addicted to actually do alter neron receptors either by destroying them or by clogging them or changing them which all causes the brain to crave more of the substance in question to fulfill certain needs it has in terms of neural stimuli. If there were no physical addiction, why would a sudden cold abstinence of an addict cause all the physical symptoms like immense pain, puking, etc.?
    You misunderstood what I was saying. The physiological and behavioral consequences themselves of addiction are of course neurological. This is a separate concept from how and to what extent the intensity and persistence of addiction is related to the chemical properties alone of some substance.
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  15. #15
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    You misunderstood what I was saying. The physiological and behavioral consequences themselves of addiction are of course neurological. This is a separate concept from how and to what extent the intensity and persistence of addiction is related to the chemical properties alone of some substance.
    Yes, I thought both you and ACIN had a point, I didn't quote you as there was no particular point of yours I wanted to prove wrong.

    I agree that my post was terrible though, the amount of spelling errors alone...


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    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Morally I can't bring myself to ever vote for someone willing to legalize opiates for recreational use.

    This is a discussion where the science needs to be brought to the front of the conversation on what happens to people brains on various substances. It's one thing to tax marijuana consumers, but given what we already know about the addictive nature of opiates, as PVC has explained, legalizing and taxing seems to be morally bankrupt. They simply have no choice in the matter but to spend all of their money on buying the drug and thus paying the tax. I can't endorse a policy that tramples on their dignity like that.
    Prohibition is not just oppressive, illiberal and expensive - it simply doesn't work! Usage increases. Costs (both financial and societal) spiral. Organised crime balloons and corrupts whole nations.

    What is the current opiate prohibition actually achieving? Opiate users in the UK are disproportionately homeless people who have been through the care system, or traumatised ex-soldiers. What possible upside is there to making these people criminals and under the power of dealers?

    It seems to me that prohibition allows us a society to package up a whole raft of social issues and blame them on substances and their users. Legal regulation would make us accept that these ills are ours to own.

    You've identified the problem when you state the issue in your moral framework. That things you don't want to happen/are sinful/dangerous - therefore must be illegal. It's a fundamental error of legal and cultural judgement. Should having extra marital affairs be illegal, or do you morally approve? Where do you stand on sexual fantasies about your mother in law? Perfectly acceptable or illegal?
    Last edited by Idaho; 07-07-2017 at 20:01.
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Idaho, I think you are misunderstanding my position. Please see my reply to Monty about rehabilitation and preventative programs under a prohibitive law.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Also, I am not saying it is immoral therefore it should be illegal. I am saying that setting up a system for people to legally become addicted and then milk them for tax money is abusive and therefore should be avoided. Since it is abusive, it happens to also be immoral.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Also, I am not saying it is immoral therefore it should be illegal. I am saying that setting up a system for people to legally become addicted and then milk them for tax money is abusive and therefore should be avoided. Since it is abusive, it happens to also be immoral.
    True, if that's the way it would actually play out. But for some reason most people aren't drawn to the life of a heroin addict. And those that are, are almost always the most dismal, poor and *#*@ed over people. The kind that it's just plain spiteful to criminalise.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    I am a regular cannabis user. Have been for 30 years. But I actually don't think that legalisation of cannabis is a priority. It's annoying, pointless and unjust that it is illegal, but it's not significant. Legalisation and control (influence?) of opiate, cocaine and amphetamine use - drugs I have no interest in using - is the big problem. Prohibition of those messes up lives and society.
    "The republicans will draft your kids, poison the air and water, take away your social security and burn down black churches if elected." Gawain of Orkney

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho View Post
    I am a regular cannabis user. Have been for 30 years. But I actually don't think that legalisation of cannabis is a priority. It's annoying, pointless and unjust that it is illegal, but it's not significant. Legalisation and control (influence?) of opiate, cocaine and amphetamine use - drugs I have no interest in using - is the big problem. Prohibition of those messes up lives and society.
    Legalisation should happen so they can be taxed. "Sin" taxes are already a safe way to raise taxes. Eliminate the black market so the market can generate revenue for the state and not just the dealers.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    You will always have dealers. Whether they be state, corporation or black market. It's just about taxing them, and making them operate within civilised norms. This will always be a struggle, but there is massive scope for rapid improvement.
    "The republicans will draft your kids, poison the air and water, take away your social security and burn down black churches if elected." Gawain of Orkney

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho View Post
    You will always have dealers. Whether they be state, corporation or black market. It's just about taxing them, and making them operate within civilised norms. This will always be a struggle, but there is massive scope for rapid improvement.
    We tax alcohol and tobacco dealers without political cost. The state receives zero revenue from the other recreational drugs, but has to pay the cost of dealing with their results.

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    Heroin should be free. With support and programmes for people to get off it.
    "The republicans will draft your kids, poison the air and water, take away your social security and burn down black churches if elected." Gawain of Orkney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho View Post
    True, if that's the way it would actually play out. But for some reason most people aren't drawn to the life of a heroin addict. And those that are, are almost always the most dismal, poor and *#*@ed over people. The kind that it's just plain spiteful to criminalise.
    Nobody is drawn to the life of a heroin addict. Yet here they are...

    YOu are not even trying to understand me. There is a difference between making someone a criminal and making someone a patient. I am advocating for the latter.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Legalisation should happen so they can be taxed. "Sin" taxes are already a safe way to raise taxes. Eliminate the black market so the market can generate revenue for the state and not just the dealers.
    You realise there's a hug Black Market in Cigarettes, right?

    We're focusing on illegal opiate addicts - heroin addicts - we aren't looking at morphine addicts or functional addicts who are wealthy enough to pay for high-quality product. A lot of the people you see on the street are those who can't afford good product, or who can't afford product without failing to pay the rent.

    These visible addicts are quite possibly the tip of the iceberg.

    Whether that means you should tighten restrictions or legalise though, difficult to say. If you legalise there's a pretty good chance usage will go up. There may be more addicts, and depending on the price of legal heroin they may still end up broke and on the streets.

    At the same time, people will definitely bug legal heroin, cut it and sell it on the black market to make a profit - because that will make them lots of money.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    You realise there's a hug Black Market in Cigarettes, right?

    We're focusing on illegal opiate addicts - heroin addicts - we aren't looking at morphine addicts or functional addicts who are wealthy enough to pay for high-quality product. A lot of the people you see on the street are those who can't afford good product, or who can't afford product without failing to pay the rent.

    These visible addicts are quite possibly the tip of the iceberg.

    Whether that means you should tighten restrictions or legalise though, difficult to say. If you legalise there's a pretty good chance usage will go up. There may be more addicts, and depending on the price of legal heroin they may still end up broke and on the streets.

    At the same time, people will definitely bug legal heroin, cut it and sell it on the black market to make a profit - because that will make them lots of money.
    Is there a similar scale problem with black market and adulterated tobacco and alcohol as there is with currently illicit drugs? Brand names came into being because they were recognised as safe at a time when food and other adulteration was rife.

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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    The only way to fully elimiate a black market is to reduce the price of the product to such levels that the turn over of watered down or even stolen goods isnt worth the effort. I dont see that happening with drugs so the drug war would continue to some extent.

    I wonder what is more difficult, having the police fight a drug war normally or when pure product is legal.
    Last edited by Greyblades; 07-08-2017 at 01:46.
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  29. #29
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Is there a similar scale problem with black market and adulterated tobacco and alcohol as there is with currently illicit drugs? Brand names came into being because they were recognised as safe at a time when food and other adulteration was rife.
    Booze? No. cigarettes?

    Hell yes.

    Illegal cigarettes are big business, probably bigger than illegal drugs, not only do you have many more addicts to sell to, you also have lower penalties if caught.
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  30. #30
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe Injection Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Booze? No. cigarettes?

    Hell yes.

    Illegal cigarettes are big business, probably bigger than illegal drugs, not only do you have many more addicts to sell to, you also have lower penalties if caught.
    Because it is not an illegal product. Slap a tax on anything and someone will try to smuggle it. That's been an element of most economies for pretty much forever.
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