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(AlterNet)   "It's easy to fall for the hysteria surrounding meth since it's the drug warriors' scapegoat drug of choice, but there is no empirical evidence that meth causes physical deformities, rots teeth or is even close to as addictive as it's made out to be"   (alternet.org) divider line 99
    More: Interesting, empirical evidence, deformities, meth causes, High Price, direct effect, double-blind, poor people, teeth  
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2729 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Feb 2014 at 8:39 AM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-26 06:39:48 AM
There is so much ignorance around the drug it's hard to have rational discussions about it.  Most of the information people have regarding meth is from the 6:00 news.  Current perception of meth is very akin to the perception of pot in the 1950's.

There are plenty of people who use it recreationaly, without abuse and without harming themselves or others -but there is no incentive for those people to stand up and say "hey, look at me, I'm doing it and I'm just fine".  So all the public ever hears about are the newsworthy stories.

/a little history
 
2014-02-26 06:58:06 AM
it's true, drug addiction doesn't exist, it's just manufactured by the media to keep you scared and watching tv.  meth is a perfectly safe and awesome drug.  the issue here is not whether meth users broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with their friends and families belongings, they did.  but you can't hold a whole drug community responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. for if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole drug community? and if the whole drug community is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our drug institutions in general? I put it to you, fark, isn't this an indictment of our entire american society? well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the united states of america.
 
2014-02-26 07:29:14 AM

doublesecretprobation: it's true, drug addiction doesn't exist, it's just manufactured by the media to keep you scared and watching tv.  meth is a perfectly safe and awesome drug.  the issue here is not whether meth users broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with their friends and families belongings, they did.  but you can't hold a whole drug community responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. for if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole drug community? and if the whole drug community is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our drug institutions in general? I put it to you, fark, isn't this an indictment of our entire american society? well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the united states of america.



I thought you were pre-law?
 
2014-02-26 07:30:16 AM

Barfmaker: I thought you were pre-law?


Gah, I meant pre-med...I blew my line. Stupid pre-coffee.
 
2014-02-26 08:36:21 AM
METH: Maybe once
 
2014-02-26 08:40:59 AM
I have an ex who worked in a dental clinic for drug users, and methmouth is a thing. It's a terrible thing, and is it just coincidence that meth users have terrible teeth? Hot gases, plus drymouth, and choices do factor in. The meth itself doesn't cause the tooth rot, but it is certainly a factor. Not all by its lonesome, but it is a condition that comes from the usage. Heroin itself isn't a terrible drug, IF you have access to high quality stuff regularly, but that isn't the case with a lot of folks. What we have to do is deal with the realities that face users, and not just focus on aspects of use, but the entire picture.
 
2014-02-26 08:42:17 AM
Wait, you mean I should be suspect of anything the government says about drugs?  I am shocked.
 
2014-02-26 08:44:35 AM

hubiestubert: I have an ex who worked in a dental clinic for drug users, and methmouth is a thing. It's a terrible thing, and is it just coincidence that meth users have terrible teeth? Hot gases, plus drymouth, and choices do factor in. The meth itself doesn't cause the tooth rot, but it is certainly a factor. Not all by its lonesome, but it is a condition that comes from the usage. Heroin itself isn't a terrible drug, IF you have access to high quality stuff regularly, but that isn't the case with a lot of folks. What we have to do is deal with the realities that face users, and not just focus on aspects of use, but the entire picture.


Yeah, I'm not going to take a pro-drug article from "Alternet" seriously, particularly when the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism.
 
2014-02-26 08:44:44 AM
Don't care.
Its a health issue more than a law enforcement one, so the security industry built up around dealing with it should be dismantled in favor of one that deals with addictive behavior and mental illness.
 
2014-02-26 08:49:51 AM

doublesecretprobation


it's true, drug addiction doesn't exist, it's just manufactured by the media to keep you scared and watching tv. meth is a perfectly safe and awesome drug. the issue here is not whether meth users broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with their friends and families belongings, they did. but you can't hold a whole drug community responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. for if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole drug community? and if the whole drug community is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our drug institutions in general? I put it to you, fark, isn't this an indictment of our entire american society? well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the united states of america.


"Will you tell those a$$holes to shut up??"

"HEY, SHUT UP, YOU A$$HOLES!"
 
2014-02-26 08:50:47 AM

LesserEvil: Yeah, I'm not going to take a pro-drug article from "Alternet" seriously, particularly when the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism.


It's hard for me to take any "pro drug" article seriously unless they're talking about it in the context of "the war on drugs" being completely pointless and stupid. All drugs and narcotics have addiction factors and side effects or consequences to their use. Obviously, some are more harmful than others, and some are close to benign, but they all have them nonetheless.

I think it's telling that amongst my "druggie" friends that they'll happily pop just about any pill (even though some of them undoubtedly have meth in them), smoke whatever, drink whatever- but as soon as meth comes up it's "I'm never touching the stuff."
 
2014-02-26 08:52:58 AM
I work in a meth lab, so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies...
 
2014-02-26 08:53:42 AM
All drug possession crimes are political crimes.  All the people convicted of them are political prisoners.
 
2014-02-26 08:55:54 AM

LesserEvil: hubiestubert: I have an ex who worked in a dental clinic for drug users, and methmouth is a thing. It's a terrible thing, and is it just coincidence that meth users have terrible teeth? Hot gases, plus drymouth, and choices do factor in. The meth itself doesn't cause the tooth rot, but it is certainly a factor. Not all by its lonesome, but it is a condition that comes from the usage. Heroin itself isn't a terrible drug, IF you have access to high quality stuff regularly, but that isn't the case with a lot of folks. What we have to do is deal with the realities that face users, and not just focus on aspects of use, but the entire picture.

Yeah, I'm not going to take a pro-drug article from "Alternet" seriously, particularly when the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism.


I don't think it's that crack and meth are "ok", it's that our response to them is drastically overblown, wasteful and ultimately futile.
 
2014-02-26 08:57:32 AM

HotWingConspiracy: it's that our response to them is drastically overblown, wasteful and ultimately futile


That's not true.  Do you have idea how many brown people get sent to prison and stripped of their rights thanks to our drug laws?  3 out of 10.

That's a very impressive number.
 
2014-02-26 09:01:47 AM

grinding_journalist: All drugs and narcotics have addiction factors and side effects or consequences to their use.


Yes, but people don't get as worked up about caffeine, 2-acetoxybenzoic acid, or rofecoxib.
 
2014-02-26 09:01:56 AM
It's okay, we can now demonize krokodil (and possibly "gravel").

I don't know much about gravel, but the only problem with krokodil is a lack of quality control in the manufacturing process.
 
2014-02-26 09:04:15 AM

untaken_name: grinding_journalist: All drugs and narcotics have addiction factors and side effects or consequences to their use.

Yes, but people don't get as worked up about caffeine, 2-acetoxybenzoic acid, or rofecoxib.


Caffine helps us survive the 9-5 for our corporate overlords.  Meth does not.
 
2014-02-26 09:05:23 AM
Also, drunk driving doesn't hurt anyone. Sure, some drunk drivers get into accidents. But, it is the accident itself that causes injuries and death, not the drunk driving. Let's not demonize a perfectly cromulent pastime just because the media likes to link it to something bad.
 
2014-02-26 09:06:42 AM

LesserEvil: ...the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism...


No, he doesn't. Don't be stupid. Saying that maybe the hysteria over drug abuse in the U.S. is mostly just that: hysteria, is not the same as saying that drugs are a-okay and don't cause any problems.

What are you, Nancy Reagan?
 
2014-02-26 09:07:57 AM
I'm sure that if you were taking pharmacutical grade benzedrine in a controlled lab study, you'd be just fine. Joe and Sally truck stop, however aren't operating under such circumstances.
 
2014-02-26 09:13:25 AM

Frederick: There is so much ignorance around the drug it's hard to have rational discussions about it.  Most of the information people have regarding meth is from the 6:00 news.  Current perception of meth is very akin to the perception of pot in the 1950's.

There are plenty of people who use it recreationaly, without abuse and without harming themselves or others -but there is no incentive for those people to stand up and say "hey, look at me, I'm doing it and I'm just fine".  So all the public ever hears about are the newsworthy stories.

/a little history


notsureifserious.jpg
 
2014-02-26 09:15:53 AM

hammer85: untaken_name: grinding_journalist: All drugs and narcotics have addiction factors and side effects or consequences to their use.

Yes, but people don't get as worked up about caffeine, 2-acetoxybenzoic acid, or rofecoxib.

Caffine helps us survive the 9-5 for our corporate overlords.  Meth does not.


You don't work where I work.
 
2014-02-26 09:16:53 AM
So the people I know whose lives were ruined while addicted to meth were just falling for media hype? I'm pro basically all legalization and yes most media drug hype is BS but lets not go crazy putting meth and weed in the same category of danger.
 
2014-02-26 09:19:00 AM

skozlaw: Saying that maybe the hysteria over drug abuse in the U.S. is mostly just that: hysteria, is not the same as saying that drugs are a-okay and don't cause any problems.


i don't live in a region that has a meth problem so it doesn't seem so bad to me.  i have however seen prescription opioids tear more than a few people's lives up, including the death of a friends half-brother.  but it's the tweakers who get all the attention with their scabby faces and meth lab explosions.  joe blow who cleaned out his parent's bank account for a few weeks worth of pills hardly has that kind of flair.
 
2014-02-26 09:20:44 AM
Time for a little perspective.

12 million Americans have tried meth (3% of the population)
1.5 million are regular users.(less than .5% of the population.

15% of the population in the U.S are considered "problem drinkers" and 5-10% are considered alcoholics.

So let's take away everyone's rights....make it difficult for people to get OTC medicine with pseudoephidrine because SOOO many people are cooking and shooting meth.

Yes, meth is bad....but the ridiculousness of the drug war is that the government uses something that affects such a small percentage of the population to take away freedoms from the rest of us.
 
2014-02-26 09:21:04 AM

gfid: It's okay, we can now demonize krokodil (and possibly "gravel").

I don't know much about gravel, but the only problem with krokodil is a lack of quality control in the manufacturing process.


Well, when you're talking about drugs that are made with drain cleaner and benzene, "quality" isn't really the primary concern.
 
2014-02-26 09:21:41 AM
*Concern of the manufacturer, I mean.
 
2014-02-26 09:22:41 AM
He's right.  Meth is no more dangerous than alcohol.
 
2014-02-26 09:26:11 AM
I used to put a little speed in my coffee, but I started to get a little twitchy. I switched to decaf.
 
2014-02-26 09:26:15 AM
If you can restrict yourself to engaging in drugs like meth, crack, heroin, etc. to two or three times a month, then, sure, you're not going to end up with yellow skin and a mouthful of half teeth. But if you're a drug addict and susceptable to not just the chemical addiction but also the physcological/social addicition, you're not going to be doing these things on a restrained, only occaisionally for recreation schedule.
 
2014-02-26 09:31:23 AM
IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.

A little quality control might help.
 
2014-02-26 09:33:33 AM
Uppers in general are nasty drugs that tend to not end terribly well for anyone.  I would buy that meth isn't necessarily any worse than any other amphetamine, but that's still... not particularly benign.  You have to control your doses pretty carefully on that shiat, it's not down at the bottom of the scale  with weed and LSD harm-wise.
 
2014-02-26 09:36:21 AM
img.fark.net
 
2014-02-26 09:38:47 AM

slayer199: Yes, meth is bad....but the ridiculousness of the drug war is that the government uses something that affects such a small percentage of the population to take away freedoms from the rest of us.


The part that irritates me the most is that they so often use the justification of spillover to back current anti-drug policies. It's not really so much about getting those .5% of users, it's because they commit crimes. The meth labs blow up and hurt people, crackheads mug people or B&E for drug money and cartels engage in violent warfare and drug-smuggling operations

Except the biggest reason all that happens is because you have these dickhead politicians and wanna-be suburban commandos out there escalating everything all the time and forcing people into dangerous black markets. Abusers don't have anywhere to turn for help in most cases and even if they're not abusing to a debilitating extent they can't hold legitimate jobs because of drug testing policies so they turn to stealing. Drug cartels battle internally but they also arm themselves against federal and international agencies that are going to come at them guns blazing so there's the constant arms race between the suppliers and agents. And fark all the people that get caught in the middle of it, right? Hey, if you didn't get your face shot off in a gunfight instigated by law enforcement I'm sure the meth lab next door would have definitely killed you anyway, so it's all good! Blame that on the meth then!

I'm not deluded enough to think that if we legalized drugs today that tomorrow everything would be rainbows and magic sprinkles, but if you're going to outlaw people's personal choices then what the bloody fark do you think is going to happen to the supply chain that enables them?

If a determined dealer can't buy some post-it notes and pens and set up a respectable store front and office space in the business district he's going to buy some machine guns and muscle and start digging tunnels through Chihuahua and West Texas instead, he's not just going to shrug his shoulders and go flip burgers.

Regardless of what the real health and social implications are for drug abusers, you simply have to be a complete idiot to support the "war" against them and their dealers without recognizing that it's based entirely on policies that cannot possibly result in anybody winning and will only ever serve to constantly escalate the inherent conflict it creates.
 
2014-02-26 09:41:34 AM

skozlaw: LesserEvil: ...the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism...

No, he doesn't. Don't be stupid. Saying that maybe the hysteria over drug abuse in the U.S. is mostly just that: hysteria, is not the same as saying that drugs are a-okay and don't cause any problems.

What are you, Nancy Reagan?


Yeah, pretty sure his main argument is that drug laws were just originated due to stories of Mexicans hopped up on weed, Asians on opium, and the urban folk for crack. His solution was less punishment for drugs cause people turn to drugs when their life sucks, and our puritanical belief system which demands we punish sinners kinda makes it hard to turn those folk into productive members of society. Also it wasn't that crack was okay, so much as it wasn't as addictive as we've been led to believe, has negligible difference from cocaine, and the punishment attached to cocaine is less. It's an interesting read, but I wish he'd spent more time on the neuroscience and less on the racism. But it's hard to fill a book with science and have it get the message across, much easier to pander a human interest story, so I understand why he wrote what he did.
 
2014-02-26 09:44:25 AM
Yea, meth and drugs are not so bad but DAMN YOU IF YOU EAT AT MCDONALDS!! YOUR BAD DECISIONS ARE AFFECTING MEEEEE!
 
2014-02-26 09:47:18 AM

hammer85: Caffine helps us survive the 9-5 for our corporate overlords. Meth does not.


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess you have no farking clue what this drug does.
 
2014-02-26 09:49:07 AM

Null Pointer: IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.

A little quality control might help.


This was what I was thinking as well.

The only recent experience I have had with a tweaker was a couple of summers ago when my neighbors nephew stole my lawnmower ( caught on video and everything ) and that kid had all the symptoms like facial scabs, rotten teeth, and underweight.  But I also remember that when I was a little kid back in the 70's my dad was a long haul truck driver and a number of his friends had reputations for being able to make 25-30 hour runs without stopping to sleep, and they didn't have those issues.

Wasn't pharmaceutical ( quality controlled ) meth in wide spread use back then?
 
2014-02-26 09:52:13 AM

skozlaw: LesserEvil: ...the authority they quote is some guy who claims Crack is OK, too, and all the concern over it is just racism...

No, he doesn't. Don't be stupid. Saying that maybe the hysteria over drug abuse in the U.S. is mostly just that: hysteria, is not the same as saying that drugs are a-okay and don't cause any problems.

What are you, Nancy Reagan?


This. The anti drug argument instantly becomes a hyperbolic strawman.

Of course drugs have the potential to be harmful, but that potential, for most people, is wildly overstated. And it's been overstated intentionally for really shiatty reasons.
 
2014-02-26 10:01:31 AM

MayoSlather: This. The anti drug argument instantly becomes a hyperbolic strawman.Of course drugs have the potential to be harmful, but that potential, for most people, is wildly overstated. And it's been overstated intentionally for really shiatty reasons.


Our response to drugs has been pretty crappy, yes.

I'm just not sure what response we should have had instead. Drug use is a classic slippery slope problem; right now, we're putting the Schelling fence at a very early point for many drugs, but I suspect we'd have similar problems no matter where we put the fence.
 
2014-02-26 10:02:45 AM

Skyd1v: Null Pointer: IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.


A little quality control might help.


This was what I was thinking as well.


The only recent experience I have had with a tweaker was a couple of summers ago when my neighbors nephew stole my lawnmower ( caught on video and everything ) and that kid had all the symptoms like facial scabs, rotten teeth, and underweight.  But I also remember that when I was a little kid back in the 70's my dad was a long haul truck driver and a number of his friends had reputations for being able to make 25-30 hour runs without stopping to sleep, and they didn't have those issues.


Wasn't pharmaceutical ( quality controlled ) meth in wide spread use back then?



Yes. It was a different type of amphetamine  but we cracked down on it so they switched to a different type. Which we subsequently cracked down on and now are dealing with the cheap & easy to produce meth
 
2014-02-26 10:05:31 AM
I forgot to add that Meth is one of the drugs that would benefit the  most from legalization, since low quality control standards are the main reason the drug is a guaranteed health destroyer instead of a risk, and the reason the damned labs are so dangerous.  A couple FDA inspections a year and some QC standards would actually make it a reasonable, albeit not safe as such, drug.

I mean, some of the steps you see in Breaking Bad are for real, the organic washes and the use of phosphorous in cracking... both of those things will outright poison users if they're not filtered out properly and contaminate the final product.
 
2014-02-26 10:23:01 AM
www.fadedindustry.com
 
2014-02-26 10:28:05 AM

way south: Don't care.
Its a health issue more than a law enforcement one, so the security industry built up around dealing with it should be dismantled in favor of one that deals with addictive behavior and mental illness.


No; taking the drug is a health issue. Selling the drug is a law enforcement one although I agree that the penal system should NOT be an industry...unless the industry could effectively be penalized itself for repeat offenders (and I don't know how you would do that).

Frederick: There are plenty of people who use it recreationaly, without abuse and without harming themselves or others -but there is no incentive for those people to stand up and say "hey, look at me, I'm doing it and I'm just fine".  So all the public ever hears about are the newsworthy stories.


That's great, because nearly ALL of the meth users I know are missing most of their teeth, are covered in scabs, can't hold a job, are rail thin & want to live in my unheated (in MN) garage. Non of whom had health or mental issues before using. Maybe they are all just the unlucky ones.

Maybe someone could explain to me what "empirical evidence" means exactly. I thought it had something to do with observation.
 
2014-02-26 10:29:10 AM

Null Pointer: IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.


It goes a bit deeper that that.  Meth badly dries out the mouth, causes teeth to grind, and gives users the craving for sweet foods when combined with the ingredients removes the enamel from the teeth and causes severe tooth decay.  It's a combination of those things that gives addicts meth mouth.
 
2014-02-26 10:29:55 AM

Skyd1v: Null Pointer: IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.

A little quality control might help.

This was what I was thinking as well.

The only recent experience I have had with a tweaker was a couple of summers ago when my neighbors nephew stole my lawnmower ( caught on video and everything ) and that kid had all the symptoms like facial scabs, rotten teeth, and underweight.  But I also remember that when I was a little kid back in the 70's my dad was a long haul truck driver and a number of his friends had reputations for being able to make 25-30 hour runs without stopping to sleep, and they didn't have those issues.

Wasn't pharmaceutical ( quality controlled ) meth in wide spread use back then?


Black mollies were pharmaceutical amphetamine, and very good. You just had plenty of energy with no speed jitters. All drugs should be available and legal for adults. What they do with them is their own business.
 
2014-02-26 10:38:45 AM

happydude45: Skyd1v: Null Pointer: IIRC that it is not really the meth that screws up teeth and faces but the horrible things that it is cut with.

A little quality control might help.

This was what I was thinking as well.

The only recent experience I have had with a tweaker was a couple of summers ago when my neighbors nephew stole my lawnmower ( caught on video and everything ) and that kid had all the symptoms like facial scabs, rotten teeth, and underweight.  But I also remember that when I was a little kid back in the 70's my dad was a long haul truck driver and a number of his friends had reputations for being able to make 25-30 hour runs without stopping to sleep, and they didn't have those issues.

Wasn't pharmaceutical ( quality controlled ) meth in wide spread use back then?

Black mollies were pharmaceutical amphetamine, and very good. You just had plenty of energy with no speed jitters. All drugs should be available and legal for adults. What they do with them is their own business.


I miss black mollies.
 
2014-02-26 10:41:46 AM

draypresct: MayoSlather: This. The anti drug argument instantly becomes a hyperbolic strawman.Of course drugs have the potential to be harmful, but that potential, for most people, is wildly overstated. And it's been overstated intentionally for really shiatty reasons.

Our response to drugs has been pretty crappy, yes.

I'm just not sure what response we should have had instead. Drug use is a classic slippery slope problem; right now, we're putting the Schelling fence at a very early point for many drugs, but I suspect we'd have similar problems no matter where we put the fence.


We should have a reasonable response that is best for society. A prevention and treatment approach was shown in a pre-drug war study to be the most cost effective and ethical response to drug abuse, and was ignored because the government had an agenda.

We help no one by throwing drug users in jail. Destroying someone's chances of being gainfully employed in an effort to stop them from using drugs is pretty much the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. That is to assume that the motivation for drug legislature has ever legitimately been about public health.

If you legalize everything and provide education and affordable treatment programs; you save massive amounts of money, you help people far more, and it cuts the legs out from underneath organized crime. When given the proper information most people tend to make decisions that are healthy and in their long term best interests.

There will always be addicts, and I suppose you could ask, will there be more if drugs are legalized, but when throwing people in jail and creating a criminal culture are the alternatives then that seems like a small price to pay. Also, considering the studies done by the author of the linked article, it suggests that a large percentage of people are merely casual users and walk away unscathed from recreational drug use of even the hardest drugs.
 
2014-02-26 10:52:38 AM
The drug reduced the amount of time participants slept, but it he didn't keep people up for consecutive days...


That's funny... I watched people stay up for days straight on meth all of the time, I must have been watching them fashion homemade pipes using the lightbulbs from the microwave and stove, and the barrel from a Bic pen so that they could smoke rock salt and then stay up for two days straight playing Super Mario Kart, going out to blow all of the money they had pooled together on more rock salt in the meantime.
 
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