Monday, September 19, 2022

Drug abuse is a risky choice

Dilbert's Scott Adams has been extreme on the topic of Fentanyl ever since his stepson died of an overdose a few years ago. I understand the pain, but I can't condone using that pain as an excuse to advocate wrong.

He claims it is terrorism and mass-murder-- an act of war-- to provide Fentanyl to Americans.

He wants the US government to invade China and kill the manufacturers, invade Mexico and kill the cartel leaders, and use drones to kill anyone crossing "the border" to bring it into the country.

An important piece of this emotional puzzle is that he also claims addicts bear little (or no) responsibility for their addictions once they are addicted. "Once they are addicted..."

I think drug abuse deaths are tragic. I care. I also hold the addicts 100% responsible for their own death. It's suicide, not murder. They know the risks involved in abusing substances-- they don't care enough to stop. They knew when they first chose to try something they knew could be addictive and knew might contain ingredients they didn't necessarily want. You've got to take that first step on the road to addiction yourself. They made a choice. It turned out to be a bad choice and there are consequences. Welcome to reality. It's the same reality we all face all our lives.

If I knew of people who insisted on dashing across railroad tracks without looking, I would wish they'd stop, but I wouldn't imprison them to force them to stop. I wouldn't arrest the train engineers or the workers who built the tracks. People have to be free to do stupid things that can kill them. If someone chooses to use an addictive drug, then they get addicted and can no longer stop and they die of an overdose, it is on them.

To commit a larger wrong-- to involve government to impose your will on others-- in an attempt to solve a problem, is not a good way to do anything. It's not going to work anyway, since humans have always sought out mind-altering substances and experiences, and they always will. Risk, government opinions, and whatever else will always be irrelevant to their behavior and the choices they make.

The smart move is to know it's going to happen and take measures to protect yourself. Some drugs should be avoided, some drug sources shouldn't be trusted, and some behaviors can (and probably will) kill you. And some addicts will be a danger to you.

As I and others have pointed out for decades: drug abuse is stupid, but prohibition is evil. Don't be stupid or evil, but if you feel you have to pick one, pick stupid.

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  1. You make very good points here. The stance of "addicts aren't responsible because once they are addicted, they are addicted" is a pretty toxic one. I think that idea may be encouraged and spread by the widespread addiction recovery groups who constantly proclaim "we are powerless over our addiction." A human can take control over addiction, any addiction, if they want it badly enough. Quite a few don't want it badly enough or are not mentally prepared to face the pain of quitting. I'm not blaming them or pointing fingers, but I think these societal ideas may be contributing to their belief that they can't quit. It's a little bit like the idea of "I absolutely can't lose weight because of low hormones, bad thyroid, age, etc." I once believed that too then lost 90 pounds.

  2. There are indigenous tribes which have used natural hallucinogens for centuries, and they don't experience the addictions of the developed world. Why do you think that is?

    1. They treat them as something sacred? Just a guess.