Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pot Treats Diabetes

Amy T of Diabetes Mine has a post up about treating diabetes with pot.

She lists the benefits and then concludes with:

Now I have no idea how this has been received in the medical community, but that is one heck of a long list of potential health benefits! Where do I sign up for the clinical studies? (wink ;)
As I noted in an e-mail to Amy:
If the stuff wasn't illegal it would be considered a medical super-miracle given all the problems it treats.
We have given up a whole raft of medical miracles to go after pot smokers. Fortunately as more research is done those days are coming to an end.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Politics of Computers

Early Hackers (cira 1975-79) knew the computer was political.

My first mate and I did Ts with “Support the Revolution - Buy A Computer” with a cute R2 unit in the center in ‘77. Star Wars had just come out and we sold a few at the Chicago Computer Club. CACHE.

At the time I expected great things from computers. It has gotten out of hand.

Around ‘77 I envisioned a network of Apple Like Computers with top scientists and thinkers talking to each other through modems and an 800 number. I called it the Draco System.

What we have now is much better than anything I dreamed of.

Communications is always political. Information is power.

It really is remarkable. Citizens control the media and the feedback is at the speed of thought. The time to transmit the message to the world is negligible.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Soldiers Disease

There was a time in our nation's history when alcoholism was considered an honorable disease. And why would that be? Interesting question. Reader dthardy from Of Arms and the Law sent me this interesting e-mail in reference to one of my illegal drugs as self medication articles:

I once knew a psychiatrist lady friend, and her theory was that a lot of illicit drug use involved self-medication of one type or another. It was the only possible explanation for an illicit market in anti-psychotics, for instance.

It's also interesting that in 19th century wars alcoholism was taken as pretty much normal -- the only way to counter the stress and PTSD. U.S. Grant wrote a letter of rec. for a retired soldier which said that he has only the vice expected of an old soldier, and expected his reader to understand that the fellow had a drinking problem and nothing else. When he in his memoirs damned a cowardly officer who was a drunk, he said words to the effect of he drank too much and had another vice not so often found in military officers. (One of his best friends, a brigadier who was killed at Wilderness, *always* went into battle drunk. His troops wrote with amusement of his having charged his horse thru their line, literally thru it, then shouted that we will cut them down as I cut down this tree, whereupon he swung an axe at a sapling, missed, and nearly fell from the saddle. Grant merely said that he was the bravest officer he'd even known, and apparently his going into battle under the influence was regarded merely as an eccentricity.

And then there was the confederate account to the effect of the general gave the order to charge, but he was already well charged himself.
There was a time when we understood PTSD implicitly. Oh, we didn't have the science down. We didn't have a name for it. However, on a fundamental human level we knew what to do about it. By 1900 it was also understood that cannabis was a substitute for those who were debilitated by alcohol. It served the same purpose and was easier on the body. Nowadays in the military self medication with alcohol (or cannabis for that matter) is grounds for dismissal.

We have gone backwards in our understanding and forwards in our "morality". I don't think it is an improvement.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Where Did Christianity Go Wrong?

I'm a conservative and a big fan of Jesus despite being Jewish. (I like Bush's handling of the war too.)

Most of what passes for Christianity these days looks to me like exactly what Jesus was fighting. Men without understanding acting like they know something and using power to enforce what they think they know.

If we had more humility about our ignorance we would not be so quick to punish. Wasn't that the message of Jesus? Or did I miss it?

Why did Jesus hang out with the outcasts? Was there a message there?

I always thought Jesus was very libertarian in his political outlook. Punish crime, regulate vice.

When this country was founded its leaders were, each in his own way, very religious. The country had a much more libertarian flavor. Over time we have lost our true Christianity. Thus the growth of government. It has to. Crime is limited, vice is not.

Well vice will be stomped. The food police are coming to keep an eye on the eaters. Just deserts so to speak.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Drugs Are the Treatment

We hear over and over again that drug users need treatment. That the only cure for the drug problem is treatment, not jail. And the jail 'em until they rot folks say: "what about the cost?"

Well, what about it? What if they don't need treatment. What if they just need an occasional doctor's visit to monitor their condition, check to see if their doses need to be adjusted? What if that was all that was needed?

I have been saying for some time that much (most? all?) drug use is a form of self medication. I even have supporting research. Self medicators do not need to be weaned from their drugs. What they need are regular supplies. A lot cheaper to provide than treatment. In fact if drugs were more readily available under more controlled conditions - liquor stores for pot, doctors prescriptions for drugs that require more monitoring - we could save a lot of money in car steros alone. Fewer car break ins mean fewer police. Fewer jails. It cascades.

To get all that wonderfulness we have to acknowledge the association of mental problems with drug use and the reason for it. Drugs are not causing the problem, they are the solution. Just ask one doctor. Or another.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Right Metric

I'm told we are coming up on 2,000 soldiers dead in the war. However, that is not the correct metric for telling how well we are doing. Neither is the kill/capture ratio. It is not the size of the Iraqi Army (although that is an indicator).

The best metric we have to determine how we are doing is purple fingers. Insurgencies are defeated by self government.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Politics and Pain

Front Page Magazine is doing a symposium with a number of leftist who have broken with the faith. Tammy Bruce has some very interesting things to say about the kind of people the left tends to draw from.

Narcissism, while frequently thought of as “self-love,” is in fact the opposite. It is self-obsession based on victimhood and paranoia. Narcissism is actually the belief that everything that happens, happens because of you, or revolves around you. As an example, feminist narcissists see the pro-life movement as being against women, or as a jihad against women, as opposed to an expression of those peoples’ concern for life. The issues for narcissists, whether they be feminist, gay or black, is always about them, surrounding them, or about how the opposition is out to get them. Paranoia is a key factor in narcissism and easy to exploit.
Victimhood. What makes a person in his/her late teens think they are a victim? What could happen in child hood to give a person that mind set? Tammy goes on:
Leftist politics, like a vicious circle, rely on the damaged as footsoldiers, while the most damaged, the “Malignant Narcissist,” as I explain in The Death of Right and Wrong, move into positions of power and leadership, furthering the cultural and political destruction of our culture and of the left in general.
From my personal experience on the left I would have to agree. I think my main attraction to the left came from two points. One is the natural sympathy for the victims of injustice, human nature. The second was that I was a victim of severe child abuse and felt at home with other abused kids standing against injustice. The narcissim Tammy talks about is real. However, it is for most not something chosen but inflicted on them. This is the biggest mistake of the right. The idea that the origins of the left are in malevolence and not in human nature. More specifically brain chemistry.

Phyllis Chesler expands on that theme:
As a Jew, I was always concerned with the suffering of others--and while I agree with the earlier analysis that this victim-identification can be both megalomaniac, narcissistic, and ultimately irrational, rigid, totalitarian, I also still believe that trying to help others, to repair the injustice in the world, is an ethical choice.
Too true.

John R. Bradley has noticed Tammy's money quote and comments:
Tammy Bruce's observation, that "Leftist politics, like a vicious circle, rely on the damaged as foot soldiers," is nowhere more relevant than the love affair of the Left with the Palestinians. The great French writer Jean Genet, who had a sympathy for the Palestinian cause, nevertheless got it just right when he wrote in Prisoner of Love that they only really come into their own when a camera is trained on them and they are playing the role of victim, basking in the media spotlight.
Victims. Nothing but victims. I noted in my article The Origins of Islamic Rage in which Phyllis Chesler reports on why Islam is the way it is, that Islam as a whole has this victim mentality. The article explains why. Child abuse.

And then Instapundit this morning links to an article about Lebanon by Michael Totten which has this to say about Lebanon:
I also wonder if this entire culture is still wracked with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is accordingly paranoid about worst case scenarios.
So Michael diagnoses the problem from afar the same way Chesler does up close and personal. What is to be done? Well, Lebanon is famous for its quality marijuana and Blond Lebanese Hashish. So what does hashish have to do with it?

Dr. Tod Mikuriya says that cannabis is the best medicine for PTSD.

So now we know why a lot of lefties keep their bongs always at hand. They need them. The leftist cadre were always exhorting the dopers to give up the evil weed. Why? Not from any moral point surely. Of course not, it was because it dulled the will to fight. Now from a social and medical stand point might it not be best to let the left (and libertarians on the right) have their pot, mellow out and thus be less interested in fighting the rest of us and possibly even be more open to reason. Pot after all causes brain cell growth.

And why pot? Well for one thing it is unpatented. That will save a fortune in fees to the drug companies and since pot is a plant you just deliver seeds and growing instructions.

In the end Nixon's idea to use the War On Drugs to go after the left may have been one of the most counter productive things he ever did.

Cross Posted at Classical Values on 31 March 008, 0103z.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Problem Solving

People take illegal drugs to solve problems. The same kinds of problems doctors prescribe drugs for.

The only error "addicts" make is not getting their drugs from a government approved source.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Brain Growth

There is an interesting article in Nature news about the wonders of marijuana. The article focuses on how marijuana causes the growth of neurons. However, as interesting and useful as that may be I do not think that that is the real key. The real key in my opinion is:

They found that HU210 [ a marijuana analog, ed.] seemed to induce new brain cell growth, just as some antidepressant drugs do, they report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation1. This suggests that they could potentially be used to reduce anxiety and depression, Zhang says. He adds that the research might help to create new cannabinoid-based treatments.
I think this is further confirmation of what I have said all along.
Addiction or Self Medication?
PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Police and PTSD
More Vindication
Cannabis is the Best Medicine
A well known secret
People who use pot chronically are self medicating for various mental conditions.

Or as I recently said: we must stop punishing the afflicted. Well it is true more brain growth is needed. Especially in the area of understanding people who are being punished for using Unpatented Drugs

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Punishing the afflicted

Dr. Sanity is going on about the "true" victims of the crack epidemic. It is evident from her rant that she is ignorant of the self medication aspect of drug use.

It is very unfortunate that those who should know the most about this subject revert to superstition when it comes up in discussion.

Ironically one of the commenters refered to true believers when it came to things like who asked for the crack vs powder disparity in sentencing when it came to the question of the racial disparity in sentencing (a good point BTW). I responded to the Dr's article and the comment:

A researcher, a drug counselor, and a doctor discuss why people use illegal drugs:

A well known secret

Addiction or Self Medication?

And why are the drug compainies in the lead of the drug free America campaign?

The War On Unpatented Drugs


The real true believers are those who ignore the obvious self medication aspects of drug use.

Dr. Lonnie Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts had been sexually abused.


In other words we are making war on the afflicted. Further abusing the abused.

I don't see the morality in that but perhaps I'm not Judeo-Christian enough. Well some Judeo-Christians didn't like slavery and forced its abandonment. We can only hope for more of the same.

In time sanity will reign. But, not quite yet.

, , , , ,
, ,

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Learning the Vietnam Lesson

The vote on the new constitution is completed in Iraq. It has been a great success. Attacks were way down compared to the vote in January. 13 vs 347. Roger Simon has a roundup as does Instapundit and Gateway Pundit.

I think our military and political leaders have taken the lessons of Vietnam to heart. We had won that war, but it took too long. From '65 to '73. Public sentiment against became too deeply entrenched.

With better tools and plans we have cut the time considerably.

Attacks are down by 96%.

That is astounding. When an army (even an insurgent army) loses that kind of effectiveness (especially considering that the attacks did not meet their goals even in the instance of greater combat capability) the end is nigh.

Guerilla wars don't end. They just peter out. Looks like we have reached the petering stage.

As some one pointed out in the comments at Roger Simon's, victory will have a thousand fathers. Fortunately we have the e-mails and Google cache to show who was steadfast and those who magnified the doubts. Well that is OK. Often converts to a religion are its most steadfast supporters.

Update: 16 Oct '05 0730z

Number of attacks last January corrected.

Vietnam * Iraq * Iraqi Constitution

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Drug War Links

I'm trying a Technorati bit I just saw. Scroll to the bottom.

So here are links to a lot of my drug war articles.

The War on Unpatented Drugs

Addiction or Self Medication?


Genetic Discrimination

A test for PTSD

PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Police and PTSD

Bust Pork, Not Drugs

DEA Pain FAQ [pdf]

What Did You Do In the War Daddy?

More Vindication

Cannabis is the Best Medicine

A well known secret

Bust Pork Not Drugs

Technorati tag: Drug War

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The War on Unpatented Drugs

A lot of folks have called the War On Drugs, the War On Some Drugs. Which some drugs might they be? There in lies a tale.

Let us start with one drug Welbutrin. Clayton Cramer in a private e-mail message told me it was a wonder drug for some mental conditions. So I did my research and found this on the drug:

Welbutrin is used as a stimulant for a person who suffers from depression.
Clever wording "used as a stimulant". Actually if you look at the side effects listed it is a stimulant. So is cocaine. So is methamphetamine.

I get a drug industry newsletter by e-mail called Reed Business Information & Datamonitor Geonomocs and Proteonomics, Bioscience Technology, Drug Discovery and Development. In the October 7th edition they are reporting (more like flacking) a new drug for ADD/ADHD here is what they say about it:
The global ADHD market is set to grow from $2.7 billion in 2005 to $3.3 billion by 2015 (CAGR, 2.0% 2005–15), driven primarily by the launch of numerous novel pipeline products and the continued uptake of Strattera.

However, with the forthcoming genericization of Adderall XR and Concerta, manufacturers need to consider novel approaches to differentiate their marketed products in this increasingly competitive market.

The report Commercial Insight: ADHD - Strattera Will Reign Supreme When Branded Stimulants Slump....
Notice what is going on. New patented stimulants must come on the market to replace drugs whose patents expire. You know how it is. Doctors and patients always want the latest miracle drugs. Even if they are not much different from drugs going off patent. So how long has cocaine been off patent? How about methamphetamine?

It seems even old line stimulants have competition for the ADD/ADHD market. Here is a report on research by a doctor who has found pot effective against ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and alcohol and tobacco addictions.

Now why do you suppose a relatively benign drug like marijuana gets the lions share of drug war money? What exactly are we being protected from? My best guess is a decline in drug company profits.

The Drug Companies have become a cartel. And like any cartel they endeavor to wipe out their competition. They are very clever to see that there is no blood on their hands. They get the government to do the job for them.

Update: 13 Oct '05 1206z

While looking around for other Reed business reports I found this gem:ADHD - Prescriber Attention Still Held by Short Acting Stimulant Drugs
Despite the plethora of once-daily drugs available for the treatment of ADHD, physicians consistently prescribe immediate release formulations. To bolster revenues, manufacturers must continue to promote awareness of ADHD at all levels, but most also seek to further differentiate their once-daily products from generics and other branded products in the eyes of both the patient and the physician.
Followed by this blockbuster:
Only 12.3% of patients are diagnosed, indicating that a huge proportion of patients remain undiagnosed and untreated. Although the awareness of ADHD is ever growing, there are still significant gaps between, knowledge, recognition and referral of the disease. Datamonitor has highlighted these and provides counteractive strategic recommendations.

Only 20% of patients receive longer-acting, once-daily drugs at first-line, falling to 3% at second-line, with physicians preferring immediate-release formulations. Consequently, Datamonitor has identified numerous lifecycle strategies to bolster long-acting drug sales.
The drug companies have their eye on you and don't want you messin with none of those dirty, adulterated, unpatentable street drugs. They want to sell you a patented drug. Clean pure and legal like. Of course there will be a slight surcharge to pay for all the expensive research and development required to come up with new stimulants. On a regular basis as the patents run out.

Featured on this week's Grand Rounds hosted by Diabetes Mine
Also featured at: The BioTech Weblog

Go here for a comment by a Dr. on and a link to a previous Grand Rounds submission on a related topic.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tribal Politics, Islam, and Harriet Miers

There is an interesting discussion going on at Winds of Change about whether democracy will stop terrorism. I say that democracy's purpose is not to stop terrorism but to empower the individual so that he no longer supports terrorism.

Dave Schuler says in part:

You might like to take a look at a long quote from a book by Ernest Gellner I included in this post. A largely urban high theology has basically been overwhelmed by a rurally-based fundamentalist theology.
He says this to explain the descent in Islam from a city culture to a tribal culture.

Now mariana says in response:
haha Not according to Spengler's analysis.

"Revolt against usurpation, the revenge of the pure life of traditional society against the corrupt mores of the metropole, is the heart of Islam."
To which I respond:


It looks to me like two congruent ways of stating the same principle with a differing emphasis.

In Islam strict adherence falls away - Omar Kayham drinking wine - in the cities. Periodically the desert people take notice and "purify" Islam only to repeat the cycle.

If you are referring to the origins of Islam I'd have to say Spengler was correct.

If on the other hand you are looking at the cyclic history since its founding then Dave is correct.

Now it may in fact be correct that Mohammed came out of the desert to purify the cities and cleanse them of the cosmopolitan Jews. i.e. get rid of world culture. And make tribal culture the new world culture.

The difficulty is that the world is too big and complicated to be run as a tribe where every one is in contact with other tribe members. It is a problem of the span of control. Once intimacy is lost different rules become useful. Trust across family boundaries for instance. If you play by the rules of the game you need not be a member of the tribe.

This is much more powerful than having to trust your incompetent and thieving brother in law Ahamed with grain distribution because the better qualified person belongs to the wrong tribe.

Which brings me to the Miers nomination. Bush is promoting her as a member of his most loyal tribe. This is America. It ain't going to work.

The Religion Test

Well it looks like we know one reason Bush selected Miers. She passed the religion test.

I really, really wonder if Bush is trying to sink this nomination. She passed the religion test. In America in 2005, just how lame is this?

I consider myself to be part of spiritual America. Religious even. In my own way. In my opinion religion ought to have nothing to do with it.

I hear Miers is getting tutored in Constitutional law. Evidently, having passed the religion test, she is not quite prepared for the test on the Constitution. Just what kind of whack job is Bush fobbing off on us?

Update: 14 Oct '05 0406z

Baldilocks has a nice discussion going on and was kind enough to give me a link. So I am returning the favor. She has links to more comment in a similar vein to the above.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Turning Disappointment Into Disgust

Captain Ed has a nice WaPo article about the divide over Miers.

He divides the Republicans into the Loyalists, the Rebel Alliance and the Dog Faces. The Loyalists play follow the leader, the Rebel Alliance knows what it wants, the Dog Faces are trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing and mediate between the other two factions for the good of the party.

If I read the right correctly libertarian JR Brown is the Consensus Candidate of the Rebel Aliance, The Loyalists, and is acceptable to the Dog Faces especially because, for a change, the other two factions are in enthusiastic agreement. As Ed points out this is in stark contrast to Miers who has divided the party.

In addition Brown has already been confirmed once by this Senate and actually has a piece of paper endorsed by the Senate saying she is not an extremeist.

If Miers gets more Dem votes than Republican votes (a definite possibility)the Republican Party splits. I could see the libertarians and theocons joining forces against the "my party right or wrong" folks.

I voted Bush in '04 with the expressed idea that I could only count on him to fight the war more vigorously than Kerry. I knew that on my other issues I was out of luck. I would be lucky if he would do the Republican thing, let alone libertarian. You know, limiting government to its actual Constitutional functions. Lower taxes. A Federal Republic. An end to judicial stupidity like Raich and Kelo. And why is Assad still President for Life in Syria?

By '08 we will have a benchmark for the war. The next President will be measured against Bush's war record. And we can count on the Jihadis to keep the pressure on. So I will worry less about the war in '08. Which leaves open a couple of possibilities.

Vote Democrat in '08 or stay home and let those who care decide.

I mean really. It is unprecidented to have the theocons and libertarians not just in gritted teeth acceptance of each other, but in actual enthusiastic agreement.

Dump Miers.

Select JR Brown.

The Rs have no lock on my vote (No shit, I voted for Communist Obama over theocon Keyes). They have become careless with their power. Even a change for the worse might be good. The voters will realize they didn't know how good they had it. (I remember the Eisenhower Years - the most inept do nothing President ever. And the scandals, how about a vicuna coat? Who can forget that one? ) And the polititians will to some extent realize that they had better live up to their promises. At least for a while.

The Captain points up to a number of places where Republican voters think this administration has done poorly. I'm one of them. Miers has turned disappointment into disgust.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


We are being scammed big time by the "drug abuse" industry.

People take drugs for otherwise untreated medical problems.

Rich folks go to their doctors for their anti-anxiety medicine. Poor people buy a dime bag. In fact some rich folks are now saying - for me the dime bag works better. Fewer side effects. Easier to calibrate the dose.

Or take tobacco. It is an anti-depressant. Do we deal with it that, and look at the underlying depression? No. We treat them like the addicts they are and punish them accordingly.

Deep inside every man is a screaming monkey trying to get out. Civilization quiets the monkey. Wine and good cigars. And what ever else you need. Including hope. Even if it comes out of a bottle. Or a baggie.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Obsessed with Control

Each party has a list of control issues.

With the Democrats it’s dollars, with the Republicans it is dicks, and drugs.

Grab your wallet, tighten your pants, put down whatever it is you are smoking. Congress is in session. For that matter so is the Supreme Court.

Is hiding under the bed an option?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We Will Win by Love and Science

There is a war on. It has been going on for a long time. The casualties are many. The wounded too numerous to mention. (..... pause for effect) the drug war of course. I'm pretty much on the anti-prohibition side so what do I mean by winning? With love. And the science bit. What's wid dat?

Winning the war against drug prohibition means putting and end to jailing people for their choice of drug and putting distribution in the hands of reputable people and corporations.

So we have to start the love bit some where. How about starting with loving drug users. The way we used to love Jews after WW2. Now it is my contention that we must also love those on the other side who are merely mis-guided because of so much mis-information.

The first bit I think we need to establish is that with all the draconian penalties for use and/or possession most of the casual users have been driven from the market. What does that leave? Self medicators. I first made that point in Addiction or Self Medication?. There are also reports from the field by a doctor and a drug counselor confirming my observation. So we need to love the drug users because in my opinion most of them have a medical problem that they are using drugs to treat. PTSD according to one doctor but also as this research report done by an another doctor says anxiety, ADD/ADHD and its accomanying use of alcohol and tobacco. BTW anxiety drugs are a $42 bn a year industry. So we have love. By way of science. Science done, for the most part, independent of government.

Which brings me to the latest report:

Marijuana effective against morning sickness which was suggested by this MAP posting.

The controversial use of medicinal marijuana as a weapon against pregnancy-induced morning sickness has been given a boost in a B.C. study to be published by a British journal.

While women are traditionally told to avoid drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, one researcher from each of the Vancouver Island and B.C. Compassion Societies and the University of B.C. and the University of Victoria looked to see if pregnant therapeutic users of medical marijuana reported relief from their nausea and vomiting.

The researchers found that 92 per cent of the women surveyed rated pot's effect on morning-sickness symptoms as either "very effective" or "effective."

The study will be published by the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, likely in 2006, said Philippe Lucas, co-author of the report.

"This is the first time that compassion-club-based research will be published in a peer-reviewed, Elsevier-listed medical journal," said Lucas, who founded the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.
I think the key point here is that further research on the efficasy of cannabis must be a priority and ought to be a strong part of our movement. Every cannabis club needs a research budget. Either for its own research or to support the research of others. So far prescribing doctors and distributors are in the lead. What is needed is more projects and a broader base of support.

The way to win is through love and science. Love for the suffering. Love for the misguided. Science to the rescue.

Perseverance furthers.

In the beginning of any great enterprise the difficulties are great, the obstacles many, the way ahead not clear.

Perseverance furthers.


"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!".....

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
----Rudyard Kipling

Inspired by Major K. (congrats on the promotion) and by An Iraqi's Thoughts.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A well known secret

I have been a monomaniac for the last three years promoting the idea that most drug users are self medicating for undiagnosed conditions. A lot of PTSD, some bipolar, some ADD/ADHD etc. Below I have reprinted two reports from the field. One a drug counselor and another from a doctor.

Both point to the fact that a lot of problem drug users are self medicating. Clayton Cramer, with whom I have been having a most interesting private discussion, has brought up a number of interesting questions. The most important is this: he does not doubt that some chronic users may be self medicating (although which users and which conditions is still in contention), what he does believe, though, is that there might actually be a large number of recreational users to whom harm is being done (we will leave out the libertarian question of whether self inflicted harm is any of the governments business, except for the up coming war on food eaters). And with that question although I have my beliefs I have no proof.

Which brings up a most important question. Why don't we have better studies on this question? We are studying drugs deeply. Why aren't we studying drug users?


First what a drug counselor says:

From Winds of Change:

#3 from Guy Hall on April 26, 2003 03:08 AM

As a drug and alcohol counselor, I agree wholeheartedly with pain being the main cause of alcoholism and chemical dependency. PTSD is but an extreme example of the pain that alcoholics and drug addicts suffer. For many of my clients, abuse both phyisical and emotional was the means used to teach them destructive beliefs. The more "energy" used in the abuse, the more pain carried into adulthood.

Consequently, that results in more "energy" needed to overcome those beliefs.

Oh, and the one emotional pain that I see? Shame.....whether it be men or women, it is shame that routinely surfaces as the undelying pain being covered up with drugs/alcohol. Women who suffered incest speak more about the pain they felt when, after the deed was done, they got the look of scorn and disgust from their father.
And then this bit from a doctor commenting on a study I reviewed on Adolecent Drug Use.

Originally posted at Grand Rounds 29 Sept '05

The Grand Rounds for this week is up and they have been kind enough to comment on a recent post of mine More Vindication.
Power and Control shares a compelling review of research supporting the hypothesis that drug abuse is self medication for pain/anxiety. This is one of the self-evident "truths" that most of us accept without good science to back us up. Last week I suggested an antidepressant medication for a man who drinks heavily - smokes marijuana often, and uses cocaine to "keep stable." But he doesn't want to take a medication for fear it will alter his physiology. "Man - you ARE taking medications" I meekly suggest. He doesn't see it that way.
Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Are we winning yet?

Guerilla wars have no obvious signs of victory.

Over a period of years attacks slowly, usually imperceptably, decline.

Then all of a sudden they are just a nuisance.

What ruins guerilla warfare is self governance. It is slow. And painful. If you hold the ground well enough to hold credible elections you are winning. So far we have passed one milestone and will, insullah allah, have two more this year.

Three more years with Bush as head of government ought to do the trick.

(Inspired by: You Big Mouth, You! which was suggested by Instapundit.

Targeting Resources

Here is an interesting bit from a candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett:

Corbett elaborated on why he focused on drug use, saying, "[Illegal drugs] lead to about 60-70 percent of other crime."
I think he really meant prohibition causes the crime but if you are running on a law and order platform you can't say that.

And then he goes on to show a wise allocation of resources for prosecuting crime.
The criminal section requires the most work and, as a result, is where the majority of agents are employed. According to Corbett, in addition to the 140 drug enforcement agents, approximately 100 agents deal with criminal investigations.
Pretty amazing. There are 40% more investigators going after prohibition crimes than going after robbers, murderers, and rapists.

Why am I not surprised?

Tom goes on to say:
"The number one reason for government is to instill order, to prevent chaos. My role as Attorney General is to enforce that government and to ensure public safety," he said. "As the Attorney General you don't have to look for work, it finds you."
Since when did a prohibition regime instill order and prevent chaos? Any one remember alcohol prohibition? Or did they stop teaching it in history class?

Well he has one thing right. As long as we keep enacting prohibition laws he will never need to look for work.

Wild Conspiracy Theory - Misunderestimating

I was reading Instapundit on the Miers nomination to the Supreme Court.

Insty mentioned that Tom Goldstein didn't think the Senate would confirm her. So if I was President what would I do? I'd nominate Janice Rogers Brown who was already confirmed as an Appelate Judge this year by the Senate and actually has a piece of paper from the Senate that says she is not controversial. Well, I look at Tom's blog to delve deeper and what do I find?

The nomination obviously will be vigorously supported by groups created for the purpose of pressing the President's nominees, and vigorously opposed by groups on the other side. But within the conservative wing of the Republican party, there is thus far (very early in the process) only great disappointment, not enthusiasm. They would prefer Miers to be rejected in the hope - misguided, I think - that the President would then nominate, for example, Janice Rogers Brown.
Darn, he beat me to it. However, it is my opinion that the hope is not misguided. Bush gives the Democrats a moderate who can't pass muster and then puts up a libertarian Black Republican female who has already got a Senate endorsement on paper.

Makes sense to me.

We shall see.

First step. Defeat Miers.