Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

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Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Creative » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:48 am

I think this idea could work. It is very hard to come of methadone but it is much easier to come of heroin.
I'm ot very good at debates but this is a starting point for one.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Steph » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:38 am

I learned quite a bit about this in the second and third years of my degree. Just out of interest, where did you find out that methadone is harder to withdraw from than heroin? I can't remember coming across that before. I'm not implying you made it up-I'm just interested as to what your sources are. Having said that, it is true that many former heroin addicts continue taking small doses of methadone even a couple of years after they withdrew from their heroin use. I think the main reason why they give heroin addicts methadone rather than heroin is because methadone is cleaner and purer so there's less chance of dying from health problems related to impure heroin. It's also easier to reduce the doses of methadone as the programme continues whereas, with heroin, reducing dosage is extremely difficult due to the side effects this can cause. The physical effects of withdrawal from heroin last only five days on average but the reason why many heroin addicts don't make it past this initial period of rehabilitation is because the effects of coming off heroin or even reducing the dose are almost unbearable. As a drug, heroin inhibits the nerves in the part of the brain that make somebody able to vomit and also gives users a permanent feeling of physical warmth due to its chemical effect on the brain. Therefore, when someone withdraws from heroin, during the first 5 days free from use, they vomit copiously and shiver uncontrollably because these areas of the brain have been woken up with force. Very few people can cope with this at the first time of trying hence why many former heroin addicts say that they had to go through rehab more than once before finally coming off the drug. You have come up with an interesting solution but I'm not sure switching all the methadone programmes to heroin ones would be feasible particularly as, in general, the methadone programmes are sucessful. I also think that crime among heroin addicts is more complex than simply related to heroin. Yes, heroin is the chief force behind crimes committed for monetary gain but the social backgrounds of people who are addicted to heroin are often, though not always, highly complex, fractured and deprived which can also lead to crime (when heroin use first became widespread in the UK in the early 1980s, it was primarily centred around young, white, working class men in council estates around London and the North East). For people who initially use heroin as a coping mechanism, we have to be careful that, once weaned off heroin, they do not substitute it for another unhealthy addiction such as alcohol. This is an interesting debate though-well done for starting it. Also sorry for writing so much :oops:
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Creative » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:45 pm

It said on the radio that methadone was harder to come of than herion is. Also my Dad used to be a probation officer and he said he thought that it was true. I haven't reasearched into the theory.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Dan » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:22 pm

Methadone is more addictive than Heroin I believe. I thought the reason Methadone was used instead of Heroin was that it didn't give a high. Also, I don't think vomiting is a very big process of withdrawal. My mums old boyfriend was a heroine addict, he shivered and was ill and tried to give up 3 times, but he was not physically sick. I think giving Heroin instead of Methadone is probably a good idea. It is less addictive. Also, Steph. You'd never be prescribed an impure drug. Methadone can kill just like Heroin if it's not cut right.

To your next point Steph, about it being easier to come off Methadone, I don't totally understand. If a Heroin addict switches to Methadone, the parts of the brain you discuss must still be affected, no? Otherwise the user would withdraw there and then. They're both opiates and both stimulate those areas of the brain. Coming off Methadone is probably the same to coming off Heroin. The difference being that Methadone doesn't give the user the nice feeling that the Heroin does, but it is also more addictive.
Last edited by Dan on Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Steph » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:45 pm

I did type a whole long message but I accidentally pressed some key on my boyfriend's laptop and deleted it. Now I'm really tired and I'm working at 7 in the morning so I'll reply to your post, Dan, tomorrow.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Steph » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:55 pm

OK let's hope I don't delete this second post!

Dan,
I am under no illusions that any impure drug can kill a person-my point was that this impurity is more likely to happen with heroin as methadone is a medical substance which is highly regulated whereas street heroin, due to its illegality, is not and thus can often be mixed with all sorts of dangerous substances. As for the vomiting thing, obviously every person is different but from the various accounts I've read, it seems as though vomiting is a fairly major side effect of withdrawal. Also with the addiction thing with heroin vs methadone, I concede that I may well be wrong as I am not so arrogant to assume that I must be right but I understood that, because it does not give that nice feeling that heroin does, there is more incentive to withdraw from methadone. However, I could well be wrong. From documentaries I have watched, I have understood that methadone is easier to withdraw from than heroin and that methadone is a weaker version and therefore doesn't have the same physical effects as heroin. Of course, if heroin were to be given to recovering addicts in this way, it would have to be legalised and thus many of its disadvantages compared with methadone such as quality would no longer exist and then it may well be better to give them heroin than methadone but I don't think this Government will ever legalise such a substance.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Danni » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:10 pm

The heroin they're planning on giving heroin addicts is diamorphine- the painkiller they give cancer patients. It's already legal, though a controlled substance. It won't be bought off the streets. In fact, the aim is to reduce the amount of heroin bought on the streets. The studies I've read on it have been promising.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Steph » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:23 pm

Oh OK. I thought they were planning to give street heroin, just in a controlled way. If it's diamorphine, then that's a lot better.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:46 am

Yeah, I disagree with giving out street heroin, that stuff kills. They have needlebanks for addicts as well.

Steph, here's something from wikipedia about methadone.

Withdrawal symptoms are generally slightly less severe than those of morphine or heroin at equivalent doses but are significantly more prolonged; methadone withdrawal symptoms can last for several weeks or more. At high maintenance doses, sudden cessation of therapy can result in withdrawal symptoms described as "the worst withdrawal imaginable," lasting from weeks to months.[28]

"... every patient of methadone will always tell you ... [one] can kick heroin anytime, but methadone ... is something else. Once ... [after] 72 hours ... I was literally on the floor screaming my guts out. I [was] taken to the hospital ... The doctor, realizing my condition and that it was severe, gave me a shot of methadone. The relief was immediate. ... 2 days later I was in the same condition! Never did I go through such hell in all my days. The intensity of methadone withdrawal is just too much! ... about 5 years ago [a prison] inmate went into convulsions and upon falling, he hit the metal bars and died!"[28]

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methadone

I assure you, heroin is easier to come off than THAT.

As I said, my mums boyfriend came off heroin 2 times (she watched), he was also jailed for a period of time and he was off it then. The third time he tried to give up he had withdrawal for 5 days and apparently the bed was completely soaked in his sweat, very scary stuff. However, surprisingly, heroin withdrawal cannot kill like alcohol withdrawal.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Cynamon » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:43 am

Dan wrote:Methadone is more addictive than Heroin I believe. I thought the reason methadone was used instead of Heroine was that it didn't give a high. Also, I don't think vomiting is a very big process of withdrawal. My mums old boyfriend was a heroine addict, he shivered and was ill and tried to give up 3 times, but he was not physically sick. I think giving heroin instead of methadone is probably a good idea. It is less addictive. Also, Steph. You'd never be prescribed an impure drug. Methadone can kill just like Heroine if it's not cut right.

To your next point Steph, about it being easier to come off Methadone, I don't totally understand. If a heroine addict switches to methadone, the parts of the brain you discuss must still be affected, no? Otherwise the user would withdraw there and then. They're both opiates and both stimulate those areas of the brain. Coming off methadone is probably the same to coming off heroin. The difference being that methadone doesn't give the user the nice feeling that heroin does, but it is also more addictive.


Vomiting can be a big part of the withdrawl. Two of my best friends have been heroin addicts and have both described vomiting as part of their withdrawl.

As far as I know, neither of them used methadone so I don't know about that.

I don't know much about the debate, but I do think addicts should be given *something* to help the withdrawl and then properly weaned off it, but it should be with proper rehab therapy too. Not just given to them then that's it.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Steph » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:25 pm

Yeah I heard that alcohol is the only drug where withdrawal can kill you from a woman who used to work in a prison. Having read that, I have changed my opinion about methadone-that sounds horrendous!
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Dan » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:38 am

Benzos can also kill you from withdrawal, though they're less often abused.

Heroin has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol to your body in the long term however it is dangerous because of its illegality. I do not condone legalizing it though, it's far too dangerous socially to become commonplace in society. I also disgaree with methadone and think Coldturkey is the only way to come off any drug.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Alice » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:25 pm

Dan wrote:Heroin has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol to your body in the long term however it is dangerous because of its illegality.

Where did you hear that?
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby Dan » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:36 pm

Alice wrote:
Dan wrote:Heroin has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol to your body in the long term however it is dangerous because of its illegality.

Where did you hear that?


It is true. I am currently too tired to find a source. Alcohol is surprisingly bad for you, even in small amounts. A lot of class A drugs are less physically harmful long term than alcohol, but their psychological impact is far greater. MDMA is safer than caffeine by deaths a year, yet caffeine is accepted and MDMA is not because of the psychological issues that MDMA can have.
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Re: Is it right to give drug addics herion to reduce crime rate?

Postby KILBAHA » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:32 am

Now way! that stufs ilegal. You could get ino loads of trouble with the police for that.
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