Drugs, Substances, Society, and You
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Lies, myths and misconceptions about drugs

Lies, myths and misconceptions about drugs | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it

      1. There is a clear pharmacological definition for 'drugs'.

There isn't - what we classify as illegal 'drugs' is a 1950s & 60s social and cultural construct with no coherent pharmacological rationale.

      2. Users are misusers.
Untrue - the vast majority are recreational users who generally use drugs sensibly.

 

      3. Users are dirty, immoral and dangerous losers.
An unjustified and hostile stereotype - illicit drug users are a diverse group of people from every walk of life. The drug business is dirty, immoral and dangerous - because it's illegal, lucrative and subject to fierce law enforcement.

 

      4. People take drugs because they have problems.
Untrue - most people take drugs because they enjoy the effect, just like alcohol and caffeine.

 

      5. Use inevitably leads to addiction.
Untrue - only a small proportion of people who use illicit drugs develop addiction - just like alcohol and caffeine.

 

      6. Drug use inevitably damages people.
All substances (legal and illegal) can damage people, but it's largely prohibition that makes illicit drugs more dangerous and damaging. Indeed acquiring a criminal record for drugs is more harmful than the drug.

 

      7. Drug use fuels crime.
The presence of a drug and the commission of a crime does not equate to a casual connection. The relationship is 'associated' rather than 'causal'. However, there is evidence that prohibition and tough law enforcement of drugs causes crime.

 

      8. Legal drugs are safer and less damaging.
Alcohol and tobacco are more damaging than most illegal drugs - but due to prohibition it's more difficult to obtain any illegal drugs in a clean and unadulterated form.


     9. Law enforcement measures effect levels of drug use.
Neither tough nor liberal law enforcement have much impact upon levels of drug use.

 

     10. Addiction is an equal opportunity employer.

Drug use is an equal opportunity emmployer but addiction isn't. While anyone can be affected, problematic drug use tends to disproprtionately affect those with disadvantaged and damaged lives who had difficulties before PDU and lack resources, opportunities and support to change.

 

     11. Addiction is a brain disease.

Untrue, yes the brain will be affected but loss of control of drugs (similar to internet addiction, gambling, over eating) has much more to do with social, psychological and behavioural fact than neurological defects.

 

     12. To protect society the government can ban new drugs.

Banning drugs mascquerades as positive action to deal with the 'problem' -but actually banning drugs doesn't protect society it actually makes production, distribution and consumption more dangerous.

 

     13. Once listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act, drugs become 'controlled'.

Technically correct - but ironically once a drug is listed it actually goes underground and becomes an uncontrolled drug.

 

     14. Cannabis is a gateway drug that leads to addiction to 'hard' drugs.

Untrue, the majority of young adults have used cannabis have not progress further to use so called hard drugs, and have not become addicted

 

     15. People who use caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol are not drug users.

Untrue - they certainly are. These three substances are drugs, and ironically unlike some illegal drugs - in high dosages - caffeine, tobacco and alcohol kill.

 

     16. If we lock up dealers we can reduce the drug related violence.

Actually disrupting the supply distribution and removing dealers actually has the opposite impact and creates more violence by presenting new opportunities and creating 'business' conflict.

 

    17. Drug use is a health issue.

Taking a substance isn't a health issue anymore than a coffee or glass of wine is a 'health issue'. Even problematic drug use isn't best described as a health issue - PDU may be a social, psychological, health and/or legal issue.

 

    18. There are 'hard' and 'soft' drugs.

There is no clear definition to support this misleading distinction. While some drugs can generally pose greater problems than other drugs to some people - these generalisations are misleading because the impact of a drug varies from person to person depending upon the set (the person) and the setting (the environment)  - it's not just the substance.

 

    19. Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, and the proof they are dangerous is that they are illegal!

This circular DoubleSpeak is used to defend prohibition, but the substances we have called 'drugs' are not particularly more dangerous than other substances such as alcohol, sugar, tobacco, fat, caffeine, peanuts. However, prohibition increases the risk, danger  and uncertainty considerable.

 

    20. Drug testing will tell you if a person has been using drugs.

The result is unreliable due human error, machine error, deliberate and accidental false postives and false negatives. It's not drug use that should concern us it's when use gets out of control - and a test can't show the pattern, time, place, nature or context of drug use.

 

    21. Like everything else on the market drugs must be proven safe before they can ever be legalised.

Not true. The safety for other products does not have to be established before approval (for example mobile phones or GM foods). Substances that are damaging or even lethal such as tobacco, alcohol, peanuts are legal and promoted, whereas a drug such as cannabis that has never killed anyone is considered dangerous and remains illegal.

 

    22. People who use drugs are not criminals they need help.

Taking a drug should not be a law enforcement concern, but neither should we problematise or pathologise drug use as a health issue. There is no reason why we should assume a person using drugs needs a help.

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Mariano Soluna's curator insight, June 3, 2013 9:26 AM

Genial texto de Julian Buchanan, quien tiene un canal de scoopit con contenido de autoridad sobre Drogas: políticas, ciencia y derechos humanos... Altamente recomendable!!!

Mariano Soluna's comment, June 4, 2013 7:12 PM
Is a simple but powerful list, Thank You Julian!!
Abigail Woods's curator insight, May 8, 2014 9:08 PM

This article helps with the stigmas people have about drug addiction, and explains the difference between what they think is true and what is actually true. I think this is an important thing for people to know because most people aren't educated on drug addiction and think that addicts are bad people. In actuality, we are not bad people trying to get good, we are sick people trying to get well. Addiction is a disease and a very hard thing to overcome.

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BusinessWorld | A graphic victory for advocates vs smoking

BusinessWorld | A graphic victory for advocates vs smoking | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
IN THE MIDDLE of the unprecedented crisis engulfing both houses of Congress arising from the pork barrel scam, a bill overshadowed by bigger issues was passed. This bill is about the graphic health warning on cigarettes. The Senate and the House of Representatives have ratified the bicameral conference committee bill (which reconciles the versions of both chambers) titled The Graphic Health Warning Law (GHWL). It now awaits the President’s signature for enactment.
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The Drugs Dilemma: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business

The Drugs Dilemma: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based non-profit organization best known for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China (Summer Davos) and the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai. It also releases research reports such as the Competitiveness Reports and Risk Reports and engages with its members in sector-specific initiatives.
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[DASH OF SAS] Is HIV going out of fashion?

[DASH OF SAS] Is HIV going out of fashion? | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
In the Philippines, the emergency state of HIV has just begun
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Here's Why Drug Policy Reform Is Gaining Momentum

Here's Why Drug Policy Reform Is Gaining Momentum | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
A recent study raises serious questions about the effectiveness of international law enforcement efforts to reduce drug supply.
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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, February 17, 2014 5:12 AM

"serious questions" ??  Bollocks. If legal regulation is the answer, the question is simple, if prohibition created availability what would reduce it?

 

There is nothing sophisticated about prohibition, we should stop lying to ourselves.

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Challenging Society's View on Drugs - Dr. Carl Hart

...Malcolm Fleschner (Executive Producer for The Point) interviews Dr. Carl Hart (Professor of Psychiatry and psychology at Columbia University) on his new book, "High Price." The book challenges what our perception of drugs, and whether it's actually appropriate to blame poverty and societal ills on addiction.

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Drugs use map of the world

Drugs use map of the world | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
230 million people around the world - 1 in 20 of us - took illicit drugs in the last year.
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Philippine Ombudsman suspends cops for ‘Davao Death Squad’ killings

Philippine Ombudsman suspends cops for ‘Davao Death Squad’ killings | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
The Ombudsman suspends cops for neglect of duty amid a rising number of unresolved vigilante killings in Davao City.
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How Getting Tipsy May Inspire Creativity

How Getting Tipsy May Inspire Creativity | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
A new study finds that men who got moderately drunk on vodka cranberries did better on tests of inspired thinking.
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Online Debate Breaks Global Drug Policy Reform Taboo

Online Debate Breaks Global Drug Policy Reform Taboo | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
Last year, the Global Commission on Drug Policy called for an open debate on the global war on drugs. On Tuesday night, they went a long way to achieving this objective.
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Philippines tightens watch on African arrivals - Yahoo! Philippines News

Philippines tightens watch on African arrivals - Yahoo! Philippines News | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
FRANCE 24Philippines tightens watch on African arrivalsYahoo!
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Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders

Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it

IJustice Department releases a report on the college student the DEA left in a jail cell for several days without food, water or a bathroom.

Ma Inez Feria Jorge's insight:

Inconceivable. 

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How Cannabis Can Save Cancer-Stricken Kids: An Introduction to Documentary 'Weed the People,' by Ricki Lake

How Cannabis Can Save Cancer-Stricken Kids: An Introduction to Documentary 'Weed the People,' by Ricki Lake | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
Filmmaker Ricki Lake introduces her new documentary project, "Weed the People," which examines the medical usage of cannabis, particularly among families and children. Above, you can watch the exclusive trailer for the film, and below, read a Yahoo Movies guest column from Lake that breaks down the project.

Via Julian Buchanan
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Police played ‘wheel of torture’ game to punish Philippines criminal suspects: ‘It’s horrible … they do it for fun’ | Toronto Star

Police played ‘wheel of torture’ game to punish Philippines criminal suspects: ‘It’s horrible … they do it for fun’ | Toronto Star | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
A picture of the multi-coloured wheel provided by the Commission on Human Rights showed several tortures.
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Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs

Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
Latin American nations call for a treatment strategy, not prison terms
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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, December 15, 2013 5:40 AM

People who like cannabis are not sick and dont need treatment, though the same cannot be said of prohibitionists. The Drug War is a Health Issue, Prohibition is an Infectious Disease, its vector is 'money' and primary symptom 'stupidity'.

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Philippines: Couple advocating for legalization of medical marijuana in the country after death of child

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Dr Carl Hart reflections on Race & the US Drug War

Dr Carl Hart reflections on Race & the US Drug War | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it

  

In 1971, three years before he would be forced from presidential office, Richard Milhous Nixon said to hell with former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty—an effort that was showing some promise as the numbers of Black people struggling in the economic margins had begun a slow spiral downward. Still, “Tricky Dicky” Nixon said poverty wasn’t the problem. Drugs were.

And so began the war against drugs, America’s other long, national nightmare (this one even more unwinnable than the one in Vietnam). Four decades, two million prisoners, and literally countless avoidable deaths from preventable overdoses and infected needles later, voices once considered too radical for primetime or non-profit funding have moved center stage. Perhaps nowhere has a voice been more resonant in a single place than in Dr. Carl Hart’s profoundly impacting new memoir, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery that Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.


Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/rethinking-crack-333#ixzz2W2PzaXGT
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, June 12, 2013 5:08 PM

The war on drugs is not about drugs. Prohibition is about....

 

....the fear of the other, about maintaining cultural hegemony, it's about maintaining profit and business interest, it's about deflecting attention from the real underlying issues of poverty and inequality and as Dr Carl Hart reminds us ...it's sadly about racism.

 

Author Glenn Thomas Langohr's comment, July 19, 2013 12:13 PM
After serving 10 years in California prisons and 4 years in solitary confinement, I just spoke about that on PBS~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6csHeGqpe20 Tap this link for my Prison Books~ http://amzn.to/1bhqCUh I shined a light on Prison Overcrowding, the Hunger Strike, the lack of Rehabilitation and then pointed to a better way. To check out "My Hardest Step" in Print, being adapted for TV go here~ http://amzn.to/1930Lif
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What You Really Don't Know About Recovery | The Fix

What You Really Don't Know About Recovery | The Fix | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it

Myths and truths about recovery.

 

Daily website for alcohol and drug addiction recovery news and information. Your source for addiction recovery news, rehab reviews and sober living tips.

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Designer Hosting's comment, June 7, 2013 4:01 PM
I love the picture with this article! It really says it all doesn't it?
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The 2012 CND – Change or inertia? | TalkingDrugs is a space to share stories and talk about drugs

The 2012 CND – Change or inertia? | TalkingDrugs is a space to share stories and talk about drugs | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it

"Most of use predicted a dull Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) this year, but it turned out to be surprisingly eventful ..."  

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The Legacy of the CIA’s Secret LSD Experiments on America | Healthland | TIME.com

The Legacy of the CIA’s Secret LSD Experiments on America | Healthland | TIME.com | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
Before LSD escaped the lab and was evangelized by hippies, the U.S. government was secretly testing the effects of the drug on hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel.
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Policy challenges of new drugs and new technologies

How does the internet challenge drug policy? I look at this question using two examples: the case of synthetic cannabinoids, and the online anonymous drug marketplace, Silk Road.
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Alleged drug mules due in court - Crime & Courts | IOL News | IOL.co.za

Alleged drug mules due in court - Crime & Courts | IOL News | IOL.co.za | Drugs, Substances, Society, and You | Scoop.it
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