Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Heated Debate

For over ten years I was prescribed one of the infamous benzodiazepines (Ativan) as treatment for serious anxiety and panic attacks. It always seemed to me that I had freely agreed to the treatment, and that I chose to continue with it. I myself ordered the repeat prescriptions. Although I was warned that I might become dangerously addicted, I never exceeded the specified dose, and, before coming off them, I had voluntarily reduced my intake by gradual withdrawal. When the time came to stop the medication I was again warned that my symptoms would probably be as severe as those associated with withdrawal from heroin. I ceased treatment with no obvious adverse side-effects whatsoever.

Although I am naturally more sympathetic to registered addicts than Policeman's Blog seems to be, I do think he has a point.

I’ve long suspected that heroin addiction may not be as bad as all that. Probably because all the heroin addicts I meet are pathetic losers who would be just as pathetic if they weren’t addicted to drugs. It all strikes me as something of a winge, “Oh, the thing is officer, I just want the help.” “I started taking heroin when a close family friend died.” “I’m not on heroin any more, I’m on a ‘scrip, so I don’t know why I stole the DVD.”

When you compare the worries a heroin addict has (getting a fix, are there any more hot chocolate maxpacks in custody) to the concerns of non-addicted taxpayers (can I pay the mortgage this month, where are my kids, has the wife crashed the car, will I get the sack from work) there doesn’t seem to be any comparison.

The crime argument is even less compelling, “Heroin is so addictive, I have to mug old ladies.” Nonsense. As I look at the addicts coming into custody from the local shopping centre, I cannot believe that the absence of heroin would magically turn them into productive (or failing that, honest) people.

I’ve always had a nagging doubt that everything we get told about addiction is a lie and that heroin addicts get a free ride from honest people who’ve been conned into being sympathetic by the legal and medical establishment.

1 comment:

Merseymike said...

Problem is that medicines have different effects on different people.

Particularly anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.