Skip to comments.New Drug a Major Step Forward in Treating Opiate Addiction
Posted on 10/01/2003 1:26:30 PM PDT by WaterDragon
The word's out on the street. People addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers are passing the word. There's a new treatment where you don't have to go through such a miserable withdrawal. It sounds too good to be true. Some are calling it a "miracle drug."...(snip)
"The vast majority of patients - especially if they've been through withdrawal before - expect four days of hell," says Dr. Rick Caesar, Serenity Lane's medical co-director.
Over the last two months, he has treated close to 30 patients using the new drug. After going through withdrawal with it, he says, most "can't believe the experience - how much less painful the withdrawal is."...(snip)
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Maybe an analogy is the false sense of security condoms give to people worried about STDs.
True. It's perhaps inevitable, though, that some of them will be tempted again later on, and have less of a fear of using again because it wasn't as big of a deal to wean themselves. It will be interesting to see the net benefit of the drug, though. Maybe it ultimately will be an overall good thing. I've tried opiates in the past, and fortunately, didn't use them long enough to crave them enough to resume using them. But I still remember how good they made me feel. So perhaps in some sense, once you try them, you're an addict for life, whether or not you actively use. Kind of like being an alcoholic for life.
Whether you believe in evolution or not, it seems like there is SOME reason people were not born to feel good all the time. The obvious reason is that if people felt good all the time nothing would ever get done, and people would die off. There was an episode of "The Simpsons" where a self-help guru came to town and told the citizens of Springfield that the key to happiness was to "Do what you feel like". Predictably, chaos ensued. Some bleachers collapsed because the guy responsible for maintaining them didn't feel like fixing them.
Are part-time users of opiates any more objectionable than part-time users of alcohol?
The two classical symptoms of drug addiction are: (1). withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present in the system (2). the need for more and more of the drug to accomplish what a small amount used to do.
By eliminating or diminishing the withdrawal symptoms you cannot do otherwise but help the addict break his habit. If an addict should withdraw using this new medication and later return to the drug, at least he will have spent some time "clean", which is good for him/her and for society. It is far better to get them clean, even for a period, than to let them perpetually languish on drugs in a chronic state of dependence. This new drug sounds good.
That's a philosophical debate for another time, though.
Good point, but as often with drugs, it's not the people that get valid prescriptions that are the problem, but those who abuse them through street purchase or overseas pharmacies. Maybe street dealers will start selling 'the cure' along with the opiates (heroin, morphine, whatever). Anything to entice the next sale. Or maybe they'll only sell them to one-time users, knowing that the hard-core users are more likely to stay hard-core if they NEED the heroin.
The abusers shouldn't spoil it for everyone else, of course. It's terrible that drugs like OxyContin have to be so rarely prescribed and tightly controlled because of those who choose to abuse it.
Not trying to be a wet blanket, only mulling over some issues that occur to me. Could be a very good drug in the long run, if used judiciously.
You're right, the same dealer selling opiates probably wouldn't not sell this new drug, at least not to a regular customer (gotta keep those customers hooked). But other dealers might emerge that would (helping people get around the embarrassing trip to the doctor or detox center). Certainly overseas pharmacies will find a way to get their hands on it. You can get all sorts of proscribed meds from them without a prescription.
I don't know that this is a big deal, or even that it could be prevented even if it is.
Indeed, and I personally know of a couple of people that might benefit from this. I plan to share this with them. It was fun debating with you. Don't you wish all discourse on FR could be so civil? Especially a DRUG thread! Those are usually the worst. Of course, the day is young, and the extremists may simply not have read this yet.
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