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GUEST,Falco BS: A war with drugs (13) RE: BS: A war with drugs 22 Dec 09

Drug-addiction services have grown massively in the UK. In our society, every problem calls forth its equal and supposedly opposite bureaucracy, the ostensible purpose of which is to solve the problem.

Bureaucracy of drug addiction needs drug addicts far more than drug addicts need the bureaucracy of drug addiction.

The propaganda, assiduously spread for many years now, is that heroin addiction is an "illness". This view serves the interests both of the addicts who wish to continue their habit while placing the blame for their behaviour elsewhere, and the bureaucracy that wishes to continue in employment, preferably for ever and at higher rates of pay.

Viewing addiction as an illness automatically implies there is a medical solution to it. So, when all the proposed "cures" fail to work, addicts blame not themselves but those who have offered them ineffectual solutions.

And for bureaucracies, nothing succeeds like failure. The Government spends more than a quarter of a billion pounds a year on drug treatment in the UK, despite there being little evidence of any reduction in the number of addicts.

Since the bureaucratic solution to waste is to waste even more, you don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that funding in Britain will continue to rise.

To conceive of heroin addiction as such seems to me to miss the fundamental point: it is a moral or spiritual condition that will never yield to medical treatment.It is easier, after all, to give people a dose of medicine than a reason for living. That is something the patient must minister to himself.

The orthodox view of addiction is that a person is somehow exposed to heroin more or less by chance. It has a pleasurable effect, and he or she keeps taking it.Before long, the person is addicted and, to avoid the terrible suffering of withdrawal, must take more.
Of course, to pay for this, addicts usually resort to crime, for their addiction precludes normal paid work but requires a large income.

The truth is people who are genuinely exposed to strong opiates by chance, such as after an operation, rarely become addicted to them.
Children may no longer know the date of the Battle of Hastings, but they know heroin is addictive. Many addicts say they did not know what they were getting themselves into when first they took heroin, but this is not credible; they could not have failed to know.

Actually, you have to work quite hard to become a heroin addict. It is not something that creeps up on you unnoticed. In fact, addicts are people intent on rebelling against received norms.They enjoy the feeling of swimmy calm that heroin produces and make a free choice to become an addict. People take heroin out of choice, ultimately, and so can stop out of choice. Addicts are not blameless victims of some terrible illness.

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