Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Moral Sense

Ann Althouse who is guest blogging at Instapundit is discussing Meth Maddness and how the desire for meth "....destroy[s] one's moral sense," quoting from this New York Times article by John Tierney.

I think that the statement that "drugs destroy moral sense" fogs the real issue.

As many of you know my theory on drug use is that people take pain relievers to relieve pain. A novel theory to be sure. An intoduction to my thinking can be found here:

Addiction or Self Medication?

with some more evidence here:

Cannabinoids - the Key to many Pains?

More is available on the sidebar. Scroll down.

Now back to why drugs are associated with a reduced moral sense. Let us start from what we know: Pain destroys the moral sense. Next step is to look at the connection between drugs, pain, and morality: People taking drugs for pain are in moral danger from the pain. The drugs actually help alleviate the moral danger by relieving the pain. As a society we recreate that moral danger by keeping those in pain from relief.

I think this point is typical of the confused thinking on the subject of drugs. We ascribe the ills caused by prohibition to the drugs themselves.

We make people desperate by depriving them of pain relief and then complain when desperate people do desperate things.

Medical science is beginning to provide the clarity needed to destroy the illusions. New stuff backing up my findings is coming at the rate of about one a month. So far each new point of knowledge fits in with my theory. When the castle in the sky disappears a lot of people are going to be very depressed. A lot of other people are going to have big holes in their resumes.

In the end our Drug War is all about punishing people in pain. For a Christian nation probably the biggest mortal sin of all.


DWPittelli said...

I agree that much of the trouble from drugs is due to their prohibition, and certainly heroin addicts probably tended to be in pain before they started, but oddly their pain seems to increase as their addiction deepens, as does their record of moral failures.

Obi-Wan said...

Please be careful that you don't conflate causation with correlation.

A heroin addict's pain may increase from unrelated causes, or indeed directly from his self-medication, as he is hardly following a scientifically-prescribed dosage schedule. And the "moral failures" you cite could be any number of things, including the theft many turn to in order to afford the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Please note that the government's "War on Drugs" keeps the price of illicit narcotics artificially high. Both because the actual supply is very limited and because the supply is difficult to access. Without the "War on Drugs" the price of these narcotics would tumble dramatically and, in many cases, crime would no longer be necessary to afford them. Nor, of course, would there be any reason for organized crime involvement. Just as the Mafia divested itself of bootlegging capabilities and illegal bars once Prohibition was ended. Of course, they immediately turned around and invested themselves in illegal narcotics.

A suspicion person would say that the government likes the "War on Drugs" because it allows them to gain police power and OC likes it for the obscene profits they make, which are virtually unpreventable. A paranoid conspiracy theorist might wonder if there is now, or had been in the past, collusion between the two.

Anonymous said...

The only real problem I have with your post is that of self medication. I abused alcohol. I used alcohol as medication for my pain. But in retrospect it was a very poor medicine for what truly ailed me. I believe the same can be said for a great number of those who self medicate.


M. Simon said...


I think what you say supports my point rather than refutes it.

So the question is: why are we at war with people in pain?

My researches show that for people with the problem the decay of the pain takes a long time. It may be that only pallative treatment is possible until the pain is sufficiently reduced.

From the point of view of stress on the body heroin and pot are much less harmful than alcohol. Why are they illegal? Rent seeking.

What we do know is that 5% of the hard core heroin users quit every year when they are in treatment. Of course with no treatment 5% quit every year.

What that says is that we don't know what to do. Treatment is a scam.

Before pot was illegal doctors would try to get alcohol users to switch to pot as less debilitating. That is now illegal.