Heroin Does Not Harm The User Nor Cause Hepatitis

I find reading sites about drug use an endless source of myth destruction. There have always been professionals in the field who knew the truth: the war on drugs has been and continues to be based on misinformation, religion and folly.

Religion enters in the 12 Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s called a “higher power.” I have heard from people who have attended meetings in several cities and find many super focused on Christianity.

Alcoholism, then, became a sin to be dealt with the way other sins are dealt with, by a god. This is not specifically AA policy but many members think it is.

When other drugs, such as heroin, were outlawed that drug began to be associated with gutter life, hopeless addiction and hepatitis. When the drug is legal, most heroin users continue with successful careers and domestic life. For whatever reason, they need the drug and can use it harmlessly for years.

The link tells the story of a 1980’s doctor in Northern England who was tasked with writing legal heroin prescriptions. Because he could see the benefits of doctor-prescribed heroin, he expanded the program from two dozen to 400 patients. Addiction fell. There was a 93% drop in robberies as users did not need to rob. Drug dealers disappeared.

The U. S. pressured England and the program was stopped. All the former problems came back to that community.

Many of or our problems from drugs comes from the laws and moral views around them, not from the drugs.

34 Responses

    1. Henry 9:11 Thanks–man, I did it again. When I started writing this blog I said to myself, “Don’t make that stupid mistake entech teased me about last time I wrote about it.” But, I did it twice and put it in the title. GRRRR!

  1. Juan Ruiz

    ” I have heard from people who have attended meetings in several cities and find many super focused on Christianity.”

    Actually, the religion invented by Bill Wilson (much of it stolen from the Oxford Group) is absolutely heretical to Christianity. You will not find Jesus mentioned once in his writings, as he believed there room in the world for only one messiah: him. Beyond that, the “any Higher Power you want” doctrine, which actually is just a come on, subject to bait and switch, is the heresy of syncretism, and a violation of the 2nd Commandment (or in some texts the 1st.)

    1. Praise God for your perfect love, goodness and mercy! We pray also for Christians, that they overcome their timidity and courageously speak in your name. We pray for our adversaries, melt their hearts of stone, so they see the good that Christianity brings to the world. We Christians understand the fallen nature of humanity. Because we are sinners, we come together as faith communities to worship to together, to comfort each other in time of need. And very importantly to do works of charity. To be there for those most in need, the poor, the sick, the homeless, homeless mothers, those suffering from addictions. We are grateful to God for Christianity organizations who do so much good in our community. There are too many to list them all, to name a few: Fargo Alcohols Anonymous, Salvation Army, Lutheran Charities, Catholic Charities, Samaritans Purse and Christian Family Life Service to name a few. Christian Faith communities donation untold millions dollars to help during nature disasters throughout the world, support missionary work with the poor in under developed countries. Many Christian Missionaries risk their lives in countries where terrorism is common. We humbly pray that anti-Christians and atheists would recognize the important good works for those suffering and most in need. We are reminded in the Bible: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for speaking in my name, yours will be the Kingdom of God. Praise God!

  2. The Julius Project

    Name me just one law on the books anywhere that isn’t there because of someone’s definition of morality? All laws are based on one group or another’s morality. Every rule, regulation, legislation, and court proceeding is designed to address a particular slant of someone’s definition of what is right or wrong.

    1. Julius 9:00 All laws are based on one group or another’s morality.

      Probably you are right. My reference to moral views meant to say the moral views which prohibited the sale of heroin were faulty. If I could paraphrase the moral thinking accurately it would be, “Taking heroin is wrong, it is a sin, we must have a law against that.” So, as I said in the blog, the laws against heroin and the moral views surrounding the laws cause problems which, in real world experience, have evaporated when the laws were overturned.

    2. entech

      When I ride my bicycle I am obliged to wear a safety helmet. This is a law that is said to be for my own protection. I suppose, at a push, you could argue that it is someones idea of morality to force to avoid harming myself. The reason given was that I could be a drain on the health system.

      1. The Julius Project

        That’s my point, Tech. There are can be some misguided and overreaching laws…based on misguided and overreaching morality. Some, including perhaps you and Jon, would argue that such laws can be from a Christian morality and basis. But you likewise in response often argue for a change to such laws…only to be replaced by something more palatable to your own preference, liking and morality.

        We all come to the table with a particular worldview. The Christian worldview holds that there are universal truths of right and wrong…good and bad…and that these are not relative or open to interpretation or mere preference. Christians are informed about this morality as given through the Word of God as written both in the Bible and on man’s heart. I.E., we all know that murder is wrong. I find it curious that much of our law is reflected in Christian morality. Well…less and less each day now, that’s true, unfortunately.

        But to those who do not have a Christian worldview I ask…from where…from whom do you come by your own morality? And who is to say that your sense of right and wrong…good or bad…is anything other than relative to your own personal preferences?

        If you don’t believe that The God of the universe determines what is moral…you are only left with what you individually prefer according to your own bent. Morality can then only be relative. If relative…then all things are to be legal. There is no right or wrong…good or bad. Just your individual preference. Including if you are to wear a helmet or not while bicycling.

        So who then says that your inclinations or preferences are any more legitimate than mine or anyone else’s? If you don’t believe in a God who created ALL…including the rules…then any morality that you hold to is no more right than mine or anybody else’s. This is where the logic of an atheistic worldview must take you.

        So stop complaining about the religious worldviews of others. Stop making judgments of perspectives that you don’t agree with. It’s all relative. Everything should be allowed. There really is no right or wrong…good or evil. The can be no atheist morality. Just your preference. And my preference. And might makes right. Right? Until a new might takes away what you value as a right.

        1. Julius 1:20 But to those who do not have a Christian worldview I ask…from where…from whom do you come by your own morality? And who is to say that your sense of right and wrong…good or bad…is anything other than relative to your own personal…

          This myth continues among Christians, that only they have moral grounding and this comes from the Bible and the Bible comes from God. Balderdash!! (Sometimes I suspect you do parody of Christians here.)

          1.) Actually, we don’t know the Bible came from God. That is one’s personal opinion. The only other source of that is the Bible and there is no reason to believe it except one’s personal opinion.

          2.) We know from carbon dating and other evidence humans existed about 200,000 years before Christianity. Before Christianity there was no Christian God or Bible to provide morality. Were humans “immoral” for 200,000 years? The point is, Christianity got it “morals” from the previous 200,000 years of humanity’s experience. Whatever morals there are in the Bible, God drowning babies in Noah’s flood, (there are good moral and bad ones) came from human history.

          3.) The majority of humans on earth today are not Christian. As a group, humans across the globe have moral values equal in quality to Christians.

      2. Juan Ruiz

        “When I ride my bicycle I am obliged to wear a safety helmet. This is a law that is said to be for my own protection.”

        This has come to be known as the Nanny State: elected officials determining that you are not enough of an adult to decide for yourself. It’s also part and parcel of seat belt laws. Problem is, it goes beyond that to the prohibition of fireworks, the size of a soft drink you can buy, smoking in private restaurants and bars.

    1. Matt 10:58 Heroin harms the user and the dealer. Jail. It also harms his health.

      You are forever demanding “proof”. I linked a doctor’s experience who gave many heroin users prescriptions to keep using it. You have posted your opinion without noting it is just your opinion.

      I would grant you your opinion is also conventional wisdom which comes from decades of misleading propaganda. It is not based on either research or experience.

      1. Matt Noah

        Your headline is strictly opinion, a bad opinion.

        From the last website I provided below comes the following sentence:

        Continued use of heroin can bring devastation to both physical and mental health, and is likely to culminate in a number of social and legal ramifications for the user.

        Google the subject matter and you might find something like the following:

        http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/heroin/long-term-effects.html

        http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/organs.html

        http://heroin.net/heroin-effects/heroin-effects-sub-page-1/heroin-effects-on-the-body/

        http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-heroin-use/

        And your flaccid response is …?

        1. Matt 11:24 The first two of those sites are either propaganda or advertising sites. You would save us all time by not posting such stuff. The second two sites are places for heroin treatment. It would be interesting to know just what their current approach to heroin use is. It is changing rapidly across the country.

          Most of what is reported about heroin is based on illegal use. In this arena, there are needle exchanges and heroin of unknown origin. This latter is the cause of overdoses, the tragedy of which is in newspapers from coast to coast.

          One treatment in to replace heroin with another drug, methodone. Another is to provide carefully measured prescriptions of the drug itself. There is no record of harm to this practice. It almost always ends in the user eventually not needing the drug.

          1. Matt Noah

            Heroin is an opiod. It is a strong opiod. It is addicting. We already have an opiod epidemic in the USA involving weaker opiods such as Percocet and Vicodin, to name two.

            Long term use of opiods is not healthy.

            I have taken opiods under prescription from physicians for the past year, on and off, for certain medical conditions. I am very careful about their use. Many people find ways to take massive amounts of opiods in order to get high or over-treat their pain.

            Just because a few people have had long, ongoing use of any opiod like heroin does not make it right or healthy. One should try to stay away from opiods unless they are medically necessary.

            Neither should a health care plan continue to pay for an unnecessary “prescription” for an opiod to satisfy an addict. We all pay for prescriptions and continued use of unnecessary medicines raises our collective health care insurance costs.

          2. Matt 1:41 One should try to stay away from opiods unless they are medically necessary. Neither should a health care plan continue to pay for an unnecessary “prescription” for an opiod to satisfy an addict.

            It would be helpful is your religious views did not flow so seamlessly into your political views.

            Look up “Methadone clinic” there in Fargo. I have not done it there but several will come up I’m sure. There are several in Minneapolis. These are clinics which treat heroin users with another opiod, methadone. That is what makes one of the links you posted earlier, “Drug Free America” such a joke.

            Methadone clinics are endorsed and supported with public dollars because they reduce, rather than increase, public expenditures. We still spend too much in the “war on drugs” racing around treating people dying from heroin overdoses. The reason there are so many over doses is because the drug is cheap, readily available and not legal. We are having exactly the same experience with heroin we had with the prohibition of alcohol. Alcohol was also cheap, readily available and people were willing to buy it illegally. Thousands must have died from it. We are better off with legalized alcohol, though we should have better enforcement of drinking and driving. We would be better off with legalized heroin but, while alcohol use is morally acceptable, heroin use is morally unacceptable. Makes no sense.

          3. Matt Noah

            Propaganda and/or advertising? Whatever. Ignore the health pitfalls of heroin. As far as I am concerned, jail is a great place to dry out and get criminals off the street where they can hurt someone or themselves.

          4. Matt Noah

            I have not brought up religion in my arguments, Jon. You seem to think you can infer MY religious beliefs in an argument against heroin based solely on medical facts. That is one reason people don’t trust you.

          5. Matt 3:24 You seem to think you can infer MY religious beliefs in an argument against heroin based solely on medical facts.

            Apparently, you do not think taking heroin is a sin. I’m glad to hear that.

            Medical facts, I did not see medical facts in your posts. I did see a lot of conventional wisdom based on heroin use during its history as an illegal drug. As I explained, there is a lot of new and recent thinking about it. The goal is to save lives, lower medical costs, reduce law enforcement cost, increase safety of law enforcement personnel and reduce crime. The old model did not have these goals.

            The “war on drugs” and a “drug free America” were failures and were ideas of the past.

      2. Matt Noah

        How much do the dealers give you for writing a puff piece on the benefits of heroin?

        And do you care if some kid reads your blog and decides good old heroin is practically medicinal, becomes and addict and then dies? Have you read the Fargo Forum’s story on drug addiction? There are some very sad stories.

        1. Matt 12:03 How much do the dealers give you for writing a puff piece on the benefits of heroin?

          If there was a Ph.D in Conventional Wisdom, you would be a world class scholar.

        2. entech

          Do you have ant proof Jon is being paid, if not you are guilty twice:
          1. Slander or defamation – a crime.
          2. Bearing false witness – a sin, breaking the ninth commandment.

          Properly controlled use is not harmful.

          1. You have no idea what you are talking about. Better to re-read what was written and then strain to understand it and apply what you consider slander, defamation and sin.

  3. Jinx

    Lets not forget the harmful use of Alcohol consumption on the individual, the family, the community and the world. It s use and abuse is widespread and far reaching with far more victims than heroin users.

    1. Let’s not forget that alcohol in moderation is not harmful. In fact, it has health benefits. We tried prohibition once. It didn’t work. Alcohol is uniquely different than MJ or harder drugs. People who abuse alcohol should pay higher health insurance premiums. If caught driving drunk they should be severely punished by the law. If found doing anything illegal while drunk it should increase the severity of their punishment, if convicted.

      I like white wine. Some like beer. Still others like whiskey. So what.

      1. Are you the same Mark Novak who courageously wrote the letter of rebuttal to the Grand Forks doctor who supports the pro-abortion Planned Parenthood? Kudos to you for stepping up to the plate and representing
        those of us who are pro-life. I suppose the Good Lord would want we pray for those who support the heinous practice of killing innocent babies in the womb. My wife and I pray that those who support a culture of death have a change of heart and come to respect God’s creations and the right-to-life. Praise the Lord!

  4. Michael Walsh

    I think this is one of the most preposterous blogs I’ve ever read. I honestly thought you were joking, Jon,

    1. Michael 9:38 Thanks for coming on to comment.
      I think this is one of the most preposterous blogs I’ve ever read. I honestly thought you were joking, Jon,

      Please elaborate on why you thought this. Perhaps you did not read the link or recent research into how our country would be better with drug use which is legal and monitored. Our experience in the U. S. has for a long time been with illegal heroin use. It has caused many deaths and we have wasted massive amounts of money.

  5. Is this a joke to you? Do you not have any knowledge of the drug epidemic facing many families and communities? No possible way that you could or there is no way you could speak so leisurely and with such little regard to the many people dying each day. Our small 45 bed hospital can barely keep enough Narcan in stock to reverse the effects of the overdoses presenting to the ER. The absolute destroying of family, harm to our children and death. Grow up.

    1. Soul 10:43 Is this a joke to you? Do you not have any knowledge of the drug epidemic facing many families and communities? No possible way that you could or there is no way you could speak so leisurely and with such little regard to the many people dying each day. Our small 45 bed hospital…

      Thank you for commenting. What you posted is the story from coast to coast across the United States. Hospitals, clinics and police departments are racing about trying, often unsuccessfully, to prevent deaths from heroin overdoses.

      The reason there are so many deaths from heroin is that it is illegal. Were heroin legalized and available through known sources and administered under trained supervision, the drug could be used almost uniformly without harm. At least, that has been the experience where and when this was the practice. Pretending, running through the motions, to deal with the deaths in any other way is folly.

      Our current way of dealing with heroin is cultural, not medical. We have a history of dealing with all these substances in a religious cultural context. Using heroin is a sin. The only solution is to get the person clean and sin free. This was exactly the history of prohibition only now it is prohibition of heroin. Prohibition was a time of crime and deaths due to bad alcohol. Legalization led to a better situation. So will legalizing heroin.

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