Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Problem with Silly Procedures

A few days ago, my take-away dose of methadone was knocked over and I lost over half. Because you cannot go a day without your full dose you have to go through a procedure to have the dose replaced. Luckily I have a great doctor and normally he would write a replacement script but this day he had left work early and that was that. A methadone patient is regarded by many as scum and it is extremely hard to get a chemist or practically anyone to bend the rules because of an emergency. It doesn't help that addiction causes desperation and often patients will lie to get an extra dose. I imagine that if it was diabetics or some other situation that relies having a regular dose of something, the chemist would do whatever it took to treat the patient or there would be safe guards built into the system. Since my prescribing doctor was not available, I had no way of getting my replacement dose. The actual reply from the chemist was "just come back tomorrow, easy". True, it was very easy ... easy to say but the reality is that I was in for one hell of a day and night.  

I won't try to explain the pain because you can't. Just think about why heroin addicts are notorious for doing ANYTHING to get a hit ... because the pain is that bad. What would drive someone to risk jail? What would drive someone to risk their job, their reputation, their friends or even their family just for a hit? Surely some logic must prevail here and the wallies who create government policy should ask medical or scientific opinion before creating laws and procedures that belong in the 1900s. Anyway, my only option was buy alternative medication. mmm, what is available to me. That's right, there's a place that sells just what I need. It's expensive though but I need medication so I purchased some heroin. I have several options to buy heroin and it is easier to get than shoes. In my area there is only one shoe shop but 3 heroin dealers I know of. If you looked carefully, I am sure there are no more shoe shops but at least 10 more heroin dealers. I usually go to my preferred vendor. Much more flexible than the shoe shop because he is open 24/7 and there is no waiting in queues. There is also no age restrictions, no quality control and no tax. In fact because of the silly laws the criminals and drug dealers have full responsibility of the heroin industry. They control the employees, the product quality, the sales locations etc. Here's the real beauty though ... when you arrest a dealer, another one replaces him immediately. Even better, there is an unlimited supply of dealers. Every cent spent "cleaning up the streets" is for nothing. The U.S. spends 69, 000 million dollars a year for fighting drugs. Australia's budget is unknown but no drug operation here has a made a dent EVER! Don't you think the big operators build in a certain percentage for loss?

What if heroin was registered as a prescription drug? Would there be an explosion of new users and would we be stepping over junkies in the street? The politicians sure think so... or do they?
FYI: In 1913, the estimated number of drug addicts in the U.S. was 1.3%. It was so bad according to religious groups that they forced the government to ban them using drug prohibition. During the 1950s, the official estimate of drug addicts in the U.S. was 1.3%. In 1971, President Nixon declared the "War on Drugs" which is just aggressive prohibition. Before the "War on Drugs" started, the estimated number of drug addicts in the U.S. was 1.3%. In 1996 the estimated number of drug addicts in the U.S. was 1.3%. After 36 years of this absurd "War on Drugs" and over 1000 billion dollars later, the estimated number of drug addicts in the U.S. was still 1.3%.
The Howard government has declared they support the U.S. styled "War on Drugs" and proclaimed their own "Tough on Drugs" policy. Is this really an intelligent policy that was researched? Obviously not. Sadly, I feel the Labor Party is going to blindly follow the same approach. Rudd as declared that his faith is very important to him and that usually means, his morals have to be pushed on everyone else. The Democrats and The Greens both support a heroin trial and agree that addiction is a health issue and that people should not be locked up for having an addiction. Yet these parties are classed as 'radical' or 'whacky'. WTF? These parties seem to follow the line that Australians come before self interest and the government is for the people, not our moral conscience.
Related Links: The Greens Drug Policy The Democrats Drug Policy


Anonymous said...

Howard, Rudd are the same.
They dont care about facts but just keep the banter up "TOUGH ON DRUGS" - "WAR ON DRUGS" - "WE ARE WINNING" etc etc etc etc.

good luck mate!

Paul G said...

Nice to see a mention of the 1.3% intractable addiction levels. The community need to know more facts like that. It's a stark statement as to a.) how erroneous general views are and b.) how prohibition directly led to criminal exploitation and greater recreational use. The main outcome was to punish casual users and dependents.

"American Gangster" looks set to be a nice review of corruption via prohibition post Nixon.

Keep up the good work.