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Foeni
14-02-2008, 05:29 PM
Then sue the bookie when you lose.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wear/7244115.stm

I sure hope he loses, it's his own damn responsibility, not the bookies. I wonder what he would have done if he won...

TBird
14-02-2008, 06:57 PM
Well, I am sorry to contradict you but I feel it is not a clear cut case.

While I agree with you that it can not be the bookmakers responsibility to refund his losses please keep in mind that pathological gambling is a serious illness.

Quick copy and paste from Wikipedia:

According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery (http://www.addictionrecov.org/) Recent evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction. It has been seen that some pathological gamblers have lower levels of norepinephrine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norepinephrine) than normal gamblers.
According to a study conducted by Alec Roy, M.D. formerly at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_on_Alcohol_Abuse_and_Alcoholism ), norepinephrine is secreted under stress, arousal, or thrill, so pathological gamblers gamble to make up for their underdosage.
Further to this, according to a report from the Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions (http://www.divisiononaddictions.org/) there was an experiment constructed where test subjects were presented with situations where they could win, lose or break even in a casino (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casino)-like environment. Subjects' reactions were measured using a fMRI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMRI), a neuro-imaging device very similar to a MRI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRI). And according to Hans Breiter, MD, co-director of the motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Centre (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Emotion_Neuroscience_Centre&action=edit) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_General_Hospital), "Monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocaine) addict receiving an infusion of cocaine."
Deficiencies in serotonin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin) might also contribute to complusive behavior, including a gambling addiction.

So to answer your question
I wonder what he would have done if he won...
He would have played on until everything was gone.

That doesn't mean he should be refunded all his losses, but it's usually a sad story when these pathological gamblers ruin their (and often their familiy's) lifes.

hasselbrad
14-02-2008, 07:43 PM
I am sick of "addicts".
I don't care what they're addicted to, it usually just boils down to a lack of responsibility for their own actions. Babies born addicted to crack have all of my sympathies, but beyond that I couldn't really care less.
Both of my grandfathers were what we would now call alcoholics.
My father's father drank and smoked since he was in his teens. When my father was in grammar school, a doctor told him that he wouldn't live to see my father graduate from high school. He never smoked another cigarette or touched another drop of alcohol until he died. That was the summer after I graduated from high school.
My mother's father was unable to hold a job for very long, mainly because he drank too much. I never met him because he committed suicide when my mother was in junior high school.
As far as I'm concerned, addiction is simply weakness, masquerading as a disease so people can profit from it.

Ranman
14-02-2008, 08:04 PM
Its a lack of will power. These cretins deserve what they get. Drugs, Alcohol, they have physical addictivness but gambling? I know a guy who bought a whoe role of scratch off tickets and actually won a few thousand dollars, what did he do? bought more tickets and ended up with nothing. Shoot them all in the head is what I say. Or let the bookmakers do it, Survival of the fittest is natures law, Remove them from the gene pool, Maybe the worlds IQ will go up a few points.

Foeni
14-02-2008, 08:50 PM
Who cares if it's an addiction similar to a chemical addiction. It's still not the bookmakers responsibility. Society could in some ways have a minor responsibility, but mainly I agree with brad. He didn't go from playing every now then to losing £2m in a few months. I bet he's had dozen of chances to quit before he got really addicted.

TBird
15-02-2008, 07:54 AM
As far as I'm concerned, addiction is simply weakness, masquerading as a disease so people can profit from it.
Ah, it's that easy ? So addicts are the weak losers (and they profit so much from their addiction o.O, ever met someone who tried to kill himself with an overdose in a train station restroom ? I can't really see the profit there). And on the other hand there are the cool people with enough willpower who can quit - in the best case without any help and immediately. (which, btw, can be highly dangerous, because alcohol is the drug where sudden withdrawal can be directly fatal).

Sorry, but the world is not black or white. It really isn't. And there are all kinds of shades of grey, and I would be very careful to judge people in general without looking at them individually. They all have a history of their own and some of them may have experienced things you cannot even think of.
Did you know that some scientists estimate the amount of genetic predisposition responsible for alcoholism as high as 50 % ? Yeah, it's easy to frown upon the weaklings when you are lucky enough not to have disadvantageous genes. Maybe you even could beat it in that unfortunate case and I salute everyone who does so, but I would never condemn those who can't do it.

Drugs, Alcohol, they have physical addictivness but gambling?
Well, that's why I posted the above excerpt from Wikipedia. So even if it's hard to believe according to scientific evidence right now it may very well be the case.

Shoot them all in the head is what I say. Or let the bookmakers do it, Survival of the fittest is natures law
o.O What a wonderful world this would be... :eek:

I bet he's had dozen of chances to quit before he got really addicted.
Sorry, but this usually doesn't work like starting to smoke, where you smoke for three months and then you are addicted. If you check some stories of people who suffer from pathological gambling you will find out that they're often basically addicted after their first night of going gambling.

Leonie
15-02-2008, 12:21 PM
Ah, it's that easy ? So addicts are the weak losers (and they profit so much from their addiction o.O, ever met someone who tried to kill himself with an overdose in a train station restroom ? I can't really see the profit there).

Yes you can. The profit is not having to admit that you made a really, glaringly obvious, stupid mistake, and that this is your responsibility, and yours only. Instead, by calling it a disease, you get to feel sorry for yourself, because you are addicted, and it isn't really your fault.

Guess what - your life and your decisions are your responsibility. No one ever said it was easy, but getting your act back together is an option, and it's your own choice, like it or not.

We know drugs are addictive. If you start using them, you really don't deserve any pity. You weren't addicted before you started - you made the decision to give it a go. Don't tell me it's a disease. It's a choice.

hasselbrad
15-02-2008, 12:36 PM
The profit I was talking about were the people in the business of curing addiction. It's become a billion dollar industry here in the States.

For me, it pretty much is black and white. The only grey areas involve children who either are born addicted, or are too young to know better. Beyond that, we should all be adults. It boils down to people being all too willing to let their lives be taken over by some outside influence, whether it be drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, sex, work...whatever.

Sorry, but this usually doesn't work like starting to smoke, where you smoke for three months and then you are addicted. If you check some stories of people who suffer from pathological gambling you will find out that they're often basically addicted after their first night of going gambling.
No, they just like it too much to stop and their "addiction" makes the fact that their family is out on the street seem more palatable.

TBird
15-02-2008, 03:27 PM
Don't tell me it's a disease. It's a choice.

Actually, that's rather questionable. The American Medical Assosiation states
"The AMA endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice."
However, I don't want to omit that there are different opinions about that issue even between scientists, though the above supposedly is the position of the majority. ("The American Hospital Association (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/American_Hospital_Association), the American Public Health Association (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/American_Public_Health_Association), the National Association of Social Workers (http://www.keiraknightley.com/w/index.php?title=National_Association_of_Social_Wor kers&action=edit), and the American College of Physicians (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/American_College_of_Physicians) classify "alcoholism" as a disease (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/Disease).).

No, they just like it too much to stop and their "addiction" makes the fact that their family is out on the street seem more palatable.

But on the other hand there is no debate about pathological gambling (which probably still won't convince you ;) ): " Pathological gambling was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM-III (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/DSM-III), but the criteria were significantly reworked based on large-scale studies and statistical methods for the DSM-IV (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/DSM-IV). As defined by American Psychiatric Association (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/American_Psychiatric_Association), pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/Impulse_control_disorder) that is a chronic and progressive mental illness (http://www.keiraknightley.com/wiki/Mental_illness)"

by calling it a disease, you get to feel sorry for yourself, because you are addicted, and it isn't really your fault.

Really ? Are you sure addicted people feel sorry for themselves ? I rather think they're ashamed or apathically. Allow me to quote "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupéry (which you probably know):

The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.
"What are you doing there?" he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.
"I am drinking," replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.
"Why are you drinking?" demanded the little prince.
"So that I may forget," replied the tippler.
"Forget what?" inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.
"Forget that I am ashamed," the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
"Ashamed of what?" insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
"Ashamed of drinking!" The tipler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
"The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd," he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.


Guess what - your life and your decisions are your responsibility. No one ever said it was easy, but getting your act back together is an option, and it's your own choice, like it or not.

That's true, especially when deciding to battle an addiction. But some people fail and as I said, I am rather sorry for them.

We know drugs are addictive. If you start using them, you really don't deserve any pity. You weren't addicted before you started - you made the decision to give it a go.

That I don't quite understand. We're talking about alcohol and gambling, which may be perfectly unharmful to the majority of people. And they don't deserve any pity ? None ? Are you sure about that ?

Ranman
15-02-2008, 03:40 PM
That I don't quite understand. We're talking about alcohol and gambling, which may be perfectly unharmful to the majority of people. And they don't deserve any pity ? None ? Are you sure about that ?

Alcoholics and gamblers are weak minded people, Alcoholics tend to be people feeling sorry for them selves and gamblers are just plain losers. Drug users are a different story. The federal government is trying to get everyone hooked on heroin if you ask me. Doctors are prescribing Vicodin for everything these days. Good law abiding people are getting hooked on this synthetic form of heroin. After a few days of it they develop a addiction. They take more and more of it and start moving up the ladder to more powerful forms of it. So they get sympathy from me, but the rest should be shot.

hasselbrad
15-02-2008, 05:51 PM
Actually, that's rather questionable. The American Medical Assosiation states
"The AMA endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice."

Which fits pretty nicely with my contention about those who profit. As does what Randy says about docs prescribing Vicodin. By turning it into a medical condition, drug manufacturers are able to create all sorts of wonderdrugs to take care of the problem. I view addiction the same way I do ADD. It's a fabrication by the medical community in an effort to make more money. Since it's a "medical condition", insurance companies have to cover it, therefore it is profitable for physicians to prescribe the drug for it, and likewise, it's profitable for the drug companies to manufacture the drugs to cure it.

Smoking cessation products are an $800,000,000 a year business in the United States alone. That's a hell of a lot of money toward "addiction".

I'm sure it won't be long until drug manufacturers will find a "cure" for "addiction". Then, you'll have the same sad sacks who can't stay away from whatever they're "addicted" to suing the drug companies because it didn't work.

But on the other hand there is no debate about pathological gambling (which probably still won't convince you ): " Pathological gambling was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM-III, but the criteria were significantly reworked based on large-scale studies and statistical methods for the DSM-IV. As defined by American Psychiatric Association, pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder that is a chronic and progressive mental illness"

There is "no debate"? Once again, your proof comes from a bunch of psychiatrists whose research is probably being funded by drug manufacturers who stand to gain billions of dollars if one of their formulations is recognized as a potential cure for these disorders.
Now, I know there are people with severe mental issues that can fall easily into addiction, but my point is that by allowing everyone to explain away their objectionable behavior by claiming to be addicted to something, you lessen the need for personal responsibility.
Look at Lindsay Lohan...she wrecks a car while drunk...she kidnaps a carload of people and takes them on a high speed (very dangerous) chase...and gets caught with cocaine. What does she do? Makes a bee-line for rehab, which undoubtably cost thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars a day (uh-oh...there's that "profit" again) to try and avoid serious jail time. She's been in rehab three times in the last year. She's not an addict, she's a spoiled brat who's been brought up with a sense of entitlement and has too much money and time on her hands. But, when she gets in trouble for it, she can always plead for forgiveness because she has a "disease".

Leonie
15-02-2008, 06:08 PM
That I don't quite understand. We're talking about alcohol and gambling, which may be perfectly unharmful to the majority of people. And they don't deserve any pity ? None ? Are you sure about that ?

I was responding to your overdose example. I have no pity for drug users. None at all.

As for gambling and alcohol - sure, these things can be perfectly innocent. You know when you've slipped though. I can't for a second imagine that you don't, on some level, know damn well that you've slipped, and that what you are doing is no longer recreational. And then, again, responsibility comes in. Of course it is incredibly embarrassing and terrifying to come clean to whomever you choose to open up to. But if you stick your head in the sand and pretend it's a disease and you've got no responsibility or control over the matter, you really are kidding yourself. Diseases are cured or treated with medicine - addiction is overcome by will power and therapy.

Let me put it this way - if I could cure myself from asthma by will power, I would have done it ten years ago.

hasselbrad
15-02-2008, 06:16 PM
As for gambling and alcohol - sure, these things can be perfectly innocent. You know when you've slipped though. I can't for a second imagine that you don't, on some level, know damn well that you've slipped, and that what you are doing is no longer recreational. And then, again, responsibility comes in.

And, you can be like my paternal grandfather and put down the vices that have plagued you for thirty some-odd years.
Or, you could be like my maternal grandfather and shirk your responsibilities to your family and start the car but don't raise the garage door.

A little more backstory to this, my paternal grandfather was forced to support his five younger brothers and sisters through construction work as a teenager.
My maternal grandfather grew up in a comfortable household and never really had any responsibilities. He and his brothers spent most of their time sailing.

TBird
16-02-2008, 11:04 AM
By turning it into a medical condition, drug manufacturers are able to create all sorts of wonderdrugs to take care of the problem. I view addiction the same way I do ADD. It's a fabrication by the medical community in an effort to make more money. Since it's a "medical condition", insurance companies have to cover it, therefore it is profitable for physicians to prescribe the drug for it, and likewise, it's profitable for the drug companies to manufacture the drugs to cure it.

Ah sir, a typical catch-22 reasoning. As long as several medical associations support my claims they're all part of some corporate masterplan ?! Sorry, while I understand your concerns about new diseases such as ADD I strongly believe it is necessary to look at each new illness individually. That means sometimes you have to look carefully at the definition they use and the way clinical studies are conducted. Otherwise I could claim pretty much with any illness that it is only invented by some corporate crook to make money.
Or you end up at the point where the South African administration is: Even though the country has one of the highest rates of HIV-positive inhabitants they claim that there is no connection between HIV and AIDS and recommend eating lots of fruits (!) as a remedy. Couldn't be true that those antiviral drugs developed by evil western pharma companies actually help saving people's lifes.
Added to this, right now I am unaware of any drugs that would get rid of alcoholism, gambling or heroin, so there is not much money to be amde at the moment as far as I know.

Look at Lindsay Lohan...she wrecks a car while drunk...she kidnaps a carload of people and takes them on a high speed (very dangerous) chase...and gets caught with cocaine. What does she do? Makes a bee-line for rehab, which undoubtably cost thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars a day (uh-oh...there's that "profit" again) to try and avoid serious jail time. She's been in rehab three times in the last year. She's not an addict, she's a spoiled brat who's been brought up with a sense of entitlement and has too much money and time on her hands. But, when she gets in trouble for it, she can always plead for forgiveness because she has a "disease".
Well look at that a bit closer. I do not know why Lindsay Lohan takes drugs. But classifying addiction as a disease does not mean that you should be free of any consequences. Driving drunk ? Revoke her drivers license. Failing to meet several rehab requirements ? Put her into a closed rehab. Endangering other people ? Lock her up.

Just because you have a disease does not mean that society has to suffer because of your disease. When you are suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and start beating other people you will be locked in a psychiatric hospital to see if you can be cured. It is a known fact that people only start battling their addiction when they have to face serious consequences, e.g. you are in danger to lose your job, your spouse threatens to leave you, your doctor tells you you may die if you go on..., etc. And maybe that's what Ms Lohan needs - some bad consequences. But here comes into play what I said earlier: It's not black and white. Take a Vietnam veteran who comes back after several years in the war as an addict. Are you're telling me that this is the same case as Lindsay Lohan ?

But if you stick your head in the sand and pretend it's a disease and you've got no responsibility or control over the matter, you really are kidding yourself.
I think there is some misunderstanding here. Having a disease does not mean that you haven't a certain responsibility or control, but it is not a clear cut case. If you like having one night stands and don't care about protection you will end up with an STD. Even though it is a disease, it is completely your fault to have acquired that disease. If you play american football for 30+ years and your doctor then tells you that you have wrecked your shoulder because of playing too much - who's fault is that ? Then there are many diseases that require the complete cooperation of the patient, and the treatment may have very uncomfortable side effects. Doesn't that need responsibility and willpower as well ?

But still they all receive help - and it should be that way. That's why it is important that addiction is classified as a disease - because people won't receive any help if it's not. And I guess if somebody says "I've messed up, I need to change my life, but I need help" what are you going to say ? "Sorry pal, you just lack willpower do it yourself or die, I don't care ?" And yes, supportive therapy is a cornerstone of a successful detox (and not just because your local psychologist needs some extra income ;) ). Sometimes there is a reasons for being addicted or being in danger to become addicted and if you can find a solution for that reason your chances of staying clean are much higher. And that's what counts in the end, doesn't it ?

Diseases are cured or treated with medicine - addiction is overcome by will power and therapy.
Again it is not so clear. Introducing Dr Zobin from Russia: I read about him a year ago in a magazine which accompanied a young man from switzerland which had been on heroin for several years and failed to successfully complete several rehabs so basically it was his last chance or he would have been dead within short time. Dr. Zobin has a way to deactivate opiate receptors in the brain, thereby deactivating the physical craving for the drug. What's the disadvantage ? If you have a relapse, you die immediately, because normally the receptors protect your brain from opiates. I guess so it's only for really hopeless cases.
I can't really explain it very good in English, but you can download a short video about him from MSNBC report here:
http://www.zobin.ru/english/zobin_at_msnbc_eng.avi
Anyway, that young man from Switzerland was still clean some months after that and looking at his case you can see that willpower was not the main factor here.

I have no pity for drug users. None at all.
Harsh words :( but I see I won't convince you. If you get a chance try to obtain a copy of "Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo". Seems like the English book is out of print but maybe you can find it at ebay. There's also a movie with the same name which is still available and supposed to be very good, but I haven't seen it personally. I believe it might change your view.

A little more backstory to this, my paternal grandfather was forced to support his five younger brothers and sisters through construction work as a teenager
My maternal grandfather grew up in a comfortable household and never really had any responsibilities. He and his brothers spent most of their time sailing.
What do you want to tell me ? That addiction is not a question of having a hard live or not ? In that case I agree.

Leonie
16-02-2008, 03:31 PM
I can read the German, that's not the problem. My problem is that this guy started drugs in the first place. He did that. Not anyone else. Why should I feel sorry for him? Why should my tax money go to fixing him up? There is not a person in the Western world who doesn't know that drugs fuck you up. Had he not started heroin, he wouldn't have needed the medicine, because he wouldn't have had the physical craving.

I guess what it boils down to, as far as drug addiction goes, is that I understand that a disease comes with responsibilities too. At that stage, it's too late, though. They were responsible for giving themselves the disease.

Btw, with willpower, I mean that you've got to do it. You've got cure yourself, aided by doctors and therapists, you've got to put the effort in. If you don't want to fix yourself, if on some level, and realise that you broke this, and you can fix it; if you believe that it shouldn't be so hard or that it's just not fair, then you might as well not try. And it's going to take some real willpower to stay off the drugs. No one can do it for you, though.

Alcohol and gambling are different, because they are part of non-addiction life too. It's much easier to slip and slide with those when you have what they call an addictive personality. But drugs? It's a choice, it really is.

hasselbrad
16-02-2008, 10:38 PM
"Some children, of course, have problems so severe that drugs like Ritalin are a godsend. But that has little to do with the most obvious reason millions of American children are taking Ritalin: compliance. One day at a time, the drug continues to make children do what their parents and teachers either will not or cannot get them to do without it: Sit down, shut up, keep still, pay attention. In short, Ritalin is a cure for childhood." -- Mary Eberstadt (Reading, Writing, and Ritalin)

What you are missing about my point is that, as a society, we have allowed the definition of disease to be expanded too far. There are kids with severe mental problems. I lived right behind one kid whose doctor told his mother to chain him to a tree in the backyard so that she could take a bath. This kid was out of control. He didn't just have mild behavior problems, he was a major destructive force. They took everything out of his room except for the mattress. One time, his mother found him about to throw his baby sister out of the second story window. This was long before Ritalin was in widespread use, but if there was a clear cut case for some kind of medication, he would have been it.
Now, kids who just act up a bit in class and tend to be disruptive aren't disciplined. They're simply medicated.
. . . . ADHD was determined by a vote of APA psychiatrists to be a "mental" illness and added to the DSM-IIIR in 1987. By definition, children with ADHD exhibit behaviors such as not paying attention in school, not listening when spoken to directly, failing to follow directions, losing things, being easily distracted and forgetful, fidgeting with hands or feet, talking excessively, blurting out answers or having difficulty awaiting turn. The most common ADHD remedy among pediatricians and representatives of the mental-health community is, as noted, Ritalin.
So, according to psychiatrists, being a kid is considered "mental illness". That description applies to every single child I went school with. That's a far cry from having to be chained to a tree to keep from harming yourself or others. If you don't think drug companies don't exert a tremendous amount of pressure on groups like the APA, you are being naive. Drug companies fund most of this research, because drug companies profit greatly from "diseases" to "cure".

I'm not saying there's no such thing as mental illness. I'm sure there are a lot of drug addicts and alcohol abusers that have some form of mental illness. My point is, just because you abuse these substances doesn't automatically mean you are mentally ill.


What's wrong with Ritalin?
MIGHT AS WELL ASK "WHAT'S WRONG WITH COCAINE?" Contemporary U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports (Nov 1999) state that more than 10 percent of school-age children have been diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD. In some schools, as many as 20 percent of students are medicated each day. Prescriptions for methylphenidate (Ritalin) have increased more than 600 percent in just ten years. At the current rate, more eight million school children in this country will be on the drug by the year 2000 (keep in mind that's less than two months away). Prescription sales are more than $1 billion a year. AMERICANS use five times more Ritalin than all other countries combined.

Keep in mind, these figures are from nearly a decade ago. And yeah, that's over a billion dollars. Do you want to keep arguing that drug companies wouldn't possibly influence the findings? Further...

. . . . Opponents are quick to capitalize on this admission. "There is no such thing as ADHD," declares Wiseman. "It's not a deficiency of 'speed' that makes a kid act out. If you look at the criteria listed in the DSM-IV for ADHD, you'll see that they are taking normal childhood behavior and literally voting it a mental illness. This is a pseudoscience, entirely subjective. Unlike medical conditions that are proved scientifically, with these mental illnesses the only way you know you're better is if the psychiatrist says you're better. That's not science."

. . . . Pediatric neurologist Fred Baughman not only agrees that there is no such illness as ADHD, but says: "This is a contrived epidemic, where all 5 million to 6 million children on these drugs are normal. The country's been led to believe that all painful emotions are a mental illness and the leadership of the APA knows very well that they are representing it as a disease when there is no scientific data to confirm any mental illness."

. . . . Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist and director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and author of Talking Back to Prozac, Toxic Psychiatry and Talking Back to Ritalin, for years has waged a war with the APA about what he regards as its cavalier diagnoses of mental illnesses. "Psychiatry has never been driven by science. They have no biological or genetic basis for these illnesses and the National Institutes of Mental Health are totally committed to the pharmacological line." He is concerned that "there is a great deal of scientific evidence that stimulants cause brain damage with long-term use, yet there is no evidence that these mental illnesses, such as ADHD, exist."

. . . . Breggin points out that the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, admitted as much at their 1998 Consensus Development Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Thirty-one individuals were selected by NIH to make scientific presentations to the panel on ADHD and its treatment. The panel made the following observations and conclusions: "We don't have an independent, valid test for ADHD; there are no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction; existing studies come to conflicting conclusions as to whether use of psychostimulants increases or de-creases the risk of abuse, and finally after years of clinical research and experience with ADHD, our knowledge about the cause or causes of ADHD remains speculative."

. . . . If so, there is little evidence to support a scientific basis for classifying ADHD as a mental illness. On the other hand, there is an abundance of evidence that stimulants such as Ritalin can produce symptoms such as mania, insomnia, hallucinations, hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. And the DEA's list of potential adverse effects of Ritalin includes psychosis, depression, dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, irritability and attacks of Tourette's or other tic syndromes.

You know what's really interesting about all of this drugging of children? Virtually all of the kids who have gone on shooting rampages in the United States have been on some sort of psychotropic medication.

. . . . Twenty-eight years ago the World Health Organization, or WHO, concluded that Ritalin was pharmacologically similar to cocaine in its pattern of abuse and cited Ritalin as a Schedule II drug -- the most addictive in medical usage. The Department of Justice followed the WHO by citing Ritalin in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act as having a very high potential for abuse. As a Schedule II drug, Ritalin joins morphine, opium, cocaine and the heroin substitute methadone.

. . . . According to a report in the 1995 Archives of General Psychiatry, "Cocaine is one of the most reinforcing and addicting of the abused drugs and has pharmacological actions that are very similar to those of Ritalin." In the same year the DEA also made the Ritalin/cocaine connection, saying, "It is clear that Ritalin substitutes for cocaine and d-amphetamine in a number of behavioral paradigms," expressing concern that "one in every 30 Americans between 5 and 19 years old has a prescription for the drug."

. . . . Despite decades of warnings about the potential for abuse of Ritalin, experts continue to argue that the benefits far outweigh the consequences. Yet the INCB has reported that "Methylphenidate's [Ritalin] pharmacological effects are essentially the same as those of amphetamine and methamphetamine. The abuse of methylphenidate [Ritalin] can lead to tolerance and severe psychological dependence. Psychotic episodes [and] violent and bizarre behavior have been reported."

So through pseudo-science, funded by pharmaceutical companies, kids are being prescribed what amounts to meth.

ADHD isn't the only such "disease". Now there are "diseases" such as Social Anxiety Disorder...yes, SAD. And guess what? There's a prescription medication for it, whose side effects are sweating, upset stomach and dry mouth...which sounds to me like nervousness in social situations. Seriously. The side effects of the drug mirror a body's reaction to stress in social situations. But hey, the APA says "shyness" is a "mental illness", so here's your prescription.

By classifying every single behavior as a mental illness, the APA opens up the full spectrum of human emotions to the possibility of needing to be medicated, so let's not be too hasty to use their definitions.

And now, the kicker...
Positron-emission tomography (PET) studies have revealed that individuals with ADD and ADHD have difficulty with glucose metabolism. (In simpler terms, they have blood sugar problems). Children are affected most by blood sugar problems due to the fact that half of their daily caloric intake is used to fuel brain activity.

Studies have revealed that ADHD children release only about half the amount of catecholamines as normal children. Using PET scans, researchers found an uncontrolled drop in blood sugar which significantly decreased brain activity in ADD/ADHD children.

So, ADHD/ADD is really a physiological problem that causes psychological problems.

Leonie
17-02-2008, 08:35 AM
Just a quick note to say that a bit of shyness shouldn't be diagnosed as Social Anxiety Disorder by a good psychologist/psychiatrist. It takes more than just a little anxiety at the prospect of social interaction.

What I'm worried about is the amount of people I know that are on antidepressants. I'm sure that they are needed for some of them, and I don't mean to say that depression isn't a disease or that it shouldn't be medicated -- it is and it should be. It just seems as though sometimes we medicate teen angst, not depression, which is saddening.

We've come to believe that everyone should be happy at all times, and if you aren't happy, there is something wrong with you and we have a cure. That's not really how it works, though, is it?

TBird
17-02-2008, 12:56 PM
What you are missing about my point is that, as a society, we have allowed the definition of disease to be expanded too far.
I am in no way denying that this is a problem, I just think it is not good to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

. . . . ADHD was determined by a vote of APA psychiatrists to be a "mental" illness and added to the DSM-IIIR in 1987. By definition, children with ADHD exhibit behaviors such as not paying attention in school, not listening when spoken to directly, failing to follow directions, losing things, being easily distracted and forgetful, fidgeting with hands or feet, talking excessively, blurting out answers or having difficulty awaiting turn. The most common ADHD remedy among pediatricians and representatives of the mental-health community is, as noted, Ritalin.

So, according to psychiatrists, being a kid is considered "mental illness". That description applies to every single child I went school with.
That's why I wrote above it is important to look at the definition. I think the deciding factor here is the age of your child and the occurence of "symptoms". Would some of these things perfectly normal for a 5 year old child ? Sure ! But at the same time I would be worried, if a 12 year old child starts running around during math class and loses the housekey three times a months.
If you don't think drug companies don't exert a tremendous amount of pressure on groups like the APA, you are being naive. Drug companies fund most of this research, because drug companies profit greatly from "diseases" to "cure".
I am aware of this. All I am saying is that a) this does not mean that there is absolutely no case of "ADHD" in the world (even your own sources mentions "Some children, of course, have problems so severe that drugs like Ritalin are a godsend" and b) that not everything a pharma company discovers is automatically an invented disease.
The panel made the following observations and conclusions: "We don't have an independent, valid test for ADHD; there are no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction; existing studies come to conflicting conclusions as to whether use of psychostimulants increases or de-creases the risk of abuse, and finally after years of clinical research and experience with ADHD, our knowledge about the cause or causes of ADHD remains speculative."
What do you mean ?! Didn't you watch the South Park episode "Timmy 2000" ? They have an absolutely fail-safe test !
If you don't know it already, it's a must see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yivLTcYaxy8
I rest my case...:icon_lol:


I can read the German, that's not the problem.

Oh, cool. Then go ahead and read the German version :D
There is not a person in the Western world who doesn't know that drugs fuck you up.
Hehe, I think you overestimate people in the Western world. Some people think they can easily control the drug, but in the end the drug controls them. And while it is known that drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy carry danger with them, they have almost become popular in connection with big parties and are frequently consumed there.


Why should my tax money go to fixing him up?

I have two answers here:

Firstly, if you are concerned about your tax money think it through. If you decide not to spend any money on fixing him up, he will probably start a criminal career at some point, because at a certain point you can't work in aregular job and need to finance your addiction. That means you have to spend even more money on law enforcement and are in danger of being robbed in city parts with a drug scene. In the end you maybe catch the addict and put him into prison, but hey: It costs even more tax money to have someone in prison ! So sorry, there is no cheap way out.
Actually in Germany we are as far as officially giving heroin to severely dependent drug addicted patients.

"In the German model project, severely dependent drug addicted patients
receive injectable heroin as medication on a trial basis within the framework of a
scientific study. A parallel control group receives the substitution drug
methadone. Both groups receive regular medical care and concomitant
psychosocial treatment. Target group are those drug dependent patients, who
were not successfully treated by any other therapy and/or whose course of
methadone treatment has not been satisfactory so far."
(http://www.heroinstudie.de/english.html)

Secondly, from an ethical/religious/spritual viewpoint I find your attitude quite disputible (which maybe does not concern you, if the religious/spirtual viewpoint is unimportant to you). Major religions stress the need to be able to forgive other people their mistakes as soon as they have acknowledged their wrongdoings and are seriously trying to change. At the same time you are supposed to help other people (and no, not just your friends) regardless of who's fault it was in the first place.

But you are basically saying " It was his mistake, I don't feel any sympathy and I am against helping him through therapy because it costs my precious tax money." 8:

Let me quote this short zen-story:

"When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.
Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.
When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. "You are wise brothers," he told them. "You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave."
A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished."

From my experience all things you do in life tend to come back at some point. Not from the same person and it may take years but they will come back to you eventually. So when in doubt I'd rather be generous - maybe someday in the future you make a mistake and somebody is generous to you.


We've come to believe that everyone should be happy at all times, and if you aren't happy, there is something wrong with you and we have a cure. That's not really how it works, though, is it?

Very interesting remark, I'll try to answer it some time later. Maybe even worth an own thread ?

Leonie
17-02-2008, 02:46 PM
I'm not against helping people out who've made a mistake. Not at all. I'll gladly give money to people out on the street busking to make some money. They're trying to make money, by doing something for it.

I gave money to the guy on a corner of George Street in Sydney, whose note said he was trying really hard to go to job interviews, but he didn't have money after a particularly nasty divorce. He looked clean, yet miserable. He had just the one bag with him, but it was impeccably packed. I'm happy to help him out a bit. He's trying.

Drugs aren't a mistake. You don't accidentally one day do drugs (unless you have particularly nasty friends :P). You know. Perhaps some people really do think they can rule the drug, instead of the other way around. You know what that makes them? Delusional. They may not want to admit it to themselves, they might want to think themselves Superman, but they know damn well that drugs aren't particularly healthy.

I'm from the Netherlands, probably the most liberal country as far as drugs are concerned. I don't care how much you snort, smoke, or otherwise take in. Just don't bother me with it. It's a choice, and when you make it, you do so accepting the risks that come with it. It's not my job as a tax payer to fix you up. Hopefully, you've got friends and family who will. I would help my friends and family. I try to help poor buggers out on the street who seem to be trying to make an effort to get their life back on the rails, one step at a time.

But blaming everyone but yourself - like Mr Gambling from the original story, and like many an addict convinced the world has conspired against him? Grow up already. No one's life is perfect. You're the one at the controls. Quit your bitching, put the work in, and make it better.

We can only save so many people, there's only so much charity money to go around. I'm much more inclined to donate to those who are truly sick, instead of those who have a self-inflicted disease.

hasselbrad
18-02-2008, 01:23 PM
Just a quick note to say that a bit of shyness shouldn't be diagnosed as Social Anxiety Disorder by a good psychologist/psychiatrist. It takes more than just a little anxiety at the prospect of social interaction.

But sadly, that's how "social anxiety disorder" is portrayed in the ads for the medication in the States. And, I'm sure a lot of doctors simply write scripts for it as if it were candy.

What I'm worried about is the amount of people I know that are on antidepressants. I'm sure that they are needed for some of them, and I don't mean to say that depression isn't a disease or that it shouldn't be medicated -- it is and it should be. It just seems as though sometimes we medicate teen angst, not depression, which is saddening.

The number of people on anti-depressants worry me as well. The guy who shot up NIU last week...off his meds for a week or so because they made him "feel like a zombie". As I said before, virtually every single school shooter has been on some sort of psychotropic medication. Doctors have become all too happy to listen to a patient complain about what's bugging them for a minute or two before getting out the pad and writing a script for some sort of pill. Sadly, it's usually the pill whose manufacturer just footed the bill for an all expense paid trip to Barbados or Belize.
Too often, doctors overlook what may be causing the problem in their willingness to simply give us a pill. Likewise, as a society, we've become all too eager to take whatever pill they give us if it means we get to go right on doing whatever it is that's causing the problem. How many diet pills out there advertise that "you can eat what you want and still lose weight"? Which brings me to another point...what about nutrition? The article that Leonie posted made some great points about how processed foods are harming us in ways which we don't understand, and as I pointed out, there is evidence that ADD/ADHD may be the result of the body not being able to process sugar well enough. Perhaps, as we've shifted to a diet made up of mainly processed, convenience foods (as we have over the last 40-50 years) we've caused a generational chemical imbalance which has led to a dramatic increase in people being on some sort of medication (as we've seen over the last 40-50 years).


I am aware of this. All I am saying is that a) this does not mean that there is absolutely no case of "ADHD" in the world (even your own sources mentions "Some children, of course, have problems so severe that drugs like Ritalin are a godsend" and b) that not everything a pharma company discovers is automatically an invented disease.

I'm not saying it's "made up". I'm saying that the psychiatric community has allowed itself to be influenced into creating far too broad of a spectrum of behaviors to be classified as a "disease". Influenced by drug companies looking to make billions of dollars. Influenced by teachers and guidance counselors who just want kids to sit down and shut up. Influenced by parents who are looking for a "magic bullet" that they can give their kids with their Pop Tarts (part of that "nutritious" breakfast ;) ) so that they do what they're told.
I just think that the far-reaching influence of pharmaceutical companies has caused our society to stop looking toward the root causes of what makes our minds (and bodies) stop functioning properly in order to make money. After all, Novartis doesn't make money if children who exhibit behavioral problems are taken off of Pop Tarts and Coca-Cola.

Ranman
18-02-2008, 01:35 PM
This off topic but WTF, this has to be the longest first page of any thread and I don't believe anything was solved.

Leonie
18-02-2008, 02:50 PM
This, too, slightly off topic, but whatever, I kind of like the tangent we're on.

My mum has suspected I'm a bit on the hyper side since I was a kid. I can't sit still. I have to move something, most of the time, or I just can't get comfortable. Is it annoying for other people? Shit yes. (One night, I'd gone to bed and Liam was still up, and I was lying in bed moving my legs like I sometimes do, and Liam looks up and gives it a confused "what the fuck are you doing?" -- heh. I don't even realise I'm doing it.) Does it mean I need Ritalin? Nope. I also talk fast, move around a lot -- I've got plenty of the ADHD symptoms, but I'm so lucky and happy that my mum didn't put me on drugs. I'm fine. Who cares if I get a little hyper occasionally -- no need to stick drugs down my throat.

However, had I shown an inclination to setting things on fire and throwing my siblings out of the window, I would have needed medication -- it would have interfered with my day to day life, and would have endangered the safety of those around me. As it is, I was just told to fucking sit still already every now and then, or to shut up for five minutes, and that worked fine. I'm sure there are plenty of people like me, and a lot of them are being medicated, completely unnecessarily, because it's easier.

So in that sense, I think disease is forced upon us a bit. Kid not behaving? Must be ADHD. Gaining weight? You must have a thyroid gland condition. Bit blue? Clinical depression. Drinking a touch too much? Addicted. Spending more than you can afford to? Lured in by credit card ads and the omnipresent consumer culture. It bothers me more than I can express in polite language.

Kid not behaving? Try raising it. Gaining weight? Try stuffing less crap down your throat. Bit blue? Have a think about what is making you unhappy and take steps to change it. Drinking a bit much? Stop buying (so much) booze - if it's not there you can't drink it. Overspending? Destroy your credit cards, keep yourself away from the shops.

All of the above can be genuine problems, diseases even, but so often, people find it easier to align themselves with a recognised disease, instead of taking a good look at themselves and trying to break a bad habit.

hasselbrad
18-02-2008, 03:00 PM
I was lying in bed moving my legs like I sometimes do
There's a pill for it. RLS...Restless Legs Syndrome, which is probably a result of people sitting in cubicles all day, is the new "disease" you need to ask your doctor about.

Leonie
18-02-2008, 03:58 PM
I know, I've read about it. It's bull crap. I'm not taking pills because I inadvertently end up moving my legs around when I'm getting comfortable. I can stop it if I want to, I just don't realise I'm doing it until someone calls my attention to it.

I've done it all my life (my sister used to bitch about it if we shared a double bed on holidays), and I've always been a hyperactive kid, running all over the shop, doing three different sports several times a week. I don't know why I do it, but it doesn't bother me.

hasselbrad
18-02-2008, 04:07 PM
I know, I've read about it. It's bull crap. I'm not taking pills because I inadvertently end up moving my legs around when I'm getting comfortable. I can stop it if I want to, I just don't realise I'm doing it until someone calls my attention to it.

I've done it all my life (my sister used to bitch about it if we shared a double bed on holidays), and I've always been a hyperactive kid, running all over the shop, doing three different sports several times a week. I don't know why I do it, but it doesn't bother me.

I was exactly the opposite. I could be quiet for hours. When I was little, I never got up to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Even at Christmas, most of the other kids had been up for hours and broken half of what they'd gotten by the time I got out of bed.
:D

TBird
18-02-2008, 04:19 PM
Man, you guys write too fast. I can't keep up :)

I'm from the Netherlands, probably the most liberal country as far as drugs are concerned.:icon_surp Frankly, I'd have never thought I would have such a discussion with somebody from the Netherlands one day... ;)


Drugs aren't a mistake. You don't accidentally one day do drugs Hmm, maybe some language misunderstanding ? I didn't mean "mistake" as "accidentally" but rather than "a wrong choice". And I believe everybody deserves a second chance, when he understands he did something wrong.



We can only save so many people, there's only so much charity money to go around. Of course can donate towards whatever cause you want and is important to you. But there is a big difference between not wanting to donate towards something and demanding the stop of the use of tax money.


It's not my job as a tax payer to fix you up. Hopefully, you've got friends and family who will. I would help my friends and family.While it may not be your personal job to fix him up, there is some general agreement of solidarity in western society. I feel that by disapproving of a therapy for addicts this solidarity is challenged. And sorry if I am being rude but the argument the argument with " get help from your family" is a bit lame. It's that sort of argument "well, don't bother me with it, I don't care. If they help him, fine, if not tough luck."
Of course you can decide not to care about self-inflicted downfall. But by doing this you create ousiders in society and in the end you have a divided country where wealthy people have to hide themselves in their houses behind walls and can only leave with armored cars, because they are in danger of being shot by someone from a nearby ghetto which is controlled by drug dealers (as it basically is e.g. in Rio de Janeiro at the moment).
:icon_poli

Now, I don't think what you said about how people should be is wrong, actually I really respect you for having these high expectations of yourself. But you must understand one thing: People out there are not like you. Of course I don't know you, but since you can speak several languages and have a college education that makes you already part of an educational elite.

I used to work in a psychiatric hospital and I can assure you there are people out there who are not even close to your intellectual or emotional capabilities. Since we were responsible for certain parts of our city the police would often drop of people where they were unsure if the problem was a mental illness or some drug abuse or both (sometimes it was a case of both areas such as drug addict after suicide attempt).
You need to understand that such people often need to learn the basics of everyday life. And you need to go back and help them along the way step by step.

And frankly when you really get to know these people you can understand why some of them are the way the are. I just recently read an article about kids in Berlin where the school teacher stated that his students were often the only ones in their family who had to leave the house in the morning, since the rest of the family was out of work. Now add a father who's only activity consists of beating you and your mother when he's not too drunk to do so. The only "positive" example they have is the local drug dealer, because he's the only one around who makes some decent money. Now add some schizophrenic episodes and some drug abuse on top of it and trust me: It's no fun. I admit that this may be an extreme example which is not true for everybody. But I know one thing: If you take time to get to know them you understand why some of them are addicts.

And you are saying that you think it's terrible that tax money is spent on those people :( . Yes, there are some are for one reason or another are strong or lucky enough to make their way out of this mess on their own. But I won't blame those who can't do it on their own (and honestly some never make it).

It's not wrong what you're saying: In the end these people need to learn to accept responsibility for their actions. Some need to learn that you can solve conflicts differently than by threatening to beat somebody. Some need to learn that using drugs does not solve their problems just hides them for the moment. Some need to learn that you can earn respect for yourself by keeping a small job even if it starts in some job-creation measure. Some need to learn that it makes sense to follow certain rules in everyday life.

That's why I don't like your "everybody knows that it's wrong" idea. Because in the end all you can offer these people is rejection. To solve such problems you need to look at the causes, it's the only way to have a chance to change them. Of course that doesn't mean you have to treat everybody with kid gloves. They need strict rules, discipline and consequences. But they also need a certain time, a fair chance and help.

Leonie
18-02-2008, 04:43 PM
The charity money I was talking about isn't mine - I was referring to the tax money available for social/charitable projects.

My problem with spending tax money on these cases is that people are dying of cancer every day, non-self inflicted cancer. And we don't have enough money to do the research needed to cure it. If I have to choose, and effectively, due to monetary constraints, we do, I'd much rather save them from dying the horrible deaths that await so many cancer patients than someone who thought taking drugs was a great idea.

Hmm, maybe some language misunderstanding ? I didn't mean "mistake" as "accidentally" but rather than "a wrong choice". And I believe everybody deserves a second chance, when he understands he did something wrong.

Making a mistake is doing something wrong by accident. If you do it wrong on purpose, knowing full well it isn't good, it's called stupidity. Getting addicted to drugs by accident may have been a plausible story decades ago, but by now we know better. 13-year-olds are being educated in school about the dangers. People make wrong decisions all the time, agreed, and they deserve a second chance, but starting heavy drugs is more than that. It's not just a bad decision. Drug users don't afterwards realise that what they did was wrong - they start off knowing it. That's what bothers me so much about it. They know! If it all goes horribly awry then, why should I care?

Also, being the daughter of a detective, I've heard your stories before, from the other side. I also know that in most all cases, they will re-offend time in time again. I'd rather spend the money trying to patch them up on cancer research, personally, and some part of it on putting drugs dealers behind bars charged as the murderers they are. It'll be more effective than carying water to the sea. Also more effective would be targetting the unfortunate families you describe, getting at the root of the problem, and making a change there. All that's money spent more usefully and effectively. It's like Unicef, only slightly harsher - help the children, so that the next generation of adults won't need help any longer.

I've recently moved to what is the absolute worst neighbourhood of Nottingham. In my first week a 16-year-old from a rivalling gang was shot in front of the local supermarket, in broad daylight. I'm living the Rio de Janeiro you're talking about. But you know what? There are plenty of kids here having a decent go at life. There are a lot of desperate people who would rather work their arse off than go down the immoral path, and again, I would much rather see tax money spent on them.

Of course you can decide not to care about self-inflicted downfall. But by doing this you create ousiders in society and in the end you have a divided country where wealthy people have to hide themselves in their houses behind walls and can only leave with armored cars, because they are in danger of being shot by someone from a nearby ghetto which is controlled by drug dealers (as it basically is e.g. in Rio de Janeiro at the moment).

See, that's where I take issue with your arguing. I didn't create anything. I was just going about my life, being a half-responsible citizen. And a lot of half-responsible citizens get sick, homeless, or lose their job. I'd much rather help them.

:icon_surp Frankly, I'd have never thought I would have such a discussion with somebody from the Netherlands one day... ;)

Actually, the way most Dutch people work is thus: do whatever the hell you want, just don't bother me with it. If you want to fly rocket-ponies while you are high on something, I hope you enjoy the ride. If the rocket-pony crashes down, I'm afraid you'll have to be the one to pick yourself up.

TBird
18-02-2008, 07:04 PM
My problem with spending tax money on these cases is that people are dying of cancer every day, non-self inflicted cancer. And we don't have enough money to do the research needed to cure it.
Well, cancer research has been going on for decades and is funded with huge sums of money. I doubt that transferring money from drug therapy to cancer research would lead to a breakthorug. I also want to mention another thing: If you open your daily newspaper you could probably easily find 5 articles where money has been spent on a useless cause. Just one example: Why on earth do we Germans have to buy new Eurofighters that were designed for a cold war scenario ? Not even the military is happy with them, but some idiot signed a contract and now we have spend billions of euros on something we don't need.
13-year-olds are being educated in school about the dangers.
Yes, for example in the case of the US-High school I attended from teachers, who tell you that the worst thing after drugs is having sex before you are married. Oh, or having a beer before you are 21 years old...
I am just saying: A teacher is not necessarily a moral authority to a 13-year old.
Drug users don't afterwards realise that what they did was wrong - they start off knowing it. That's what bothers me so much about it. They know!

*sigh* ;) I guess we have to agree to disagree at this point. I don't want to go into some psychological development kind of debate...But keep in mind that in my country the age of criminal responsibility is 14 and up to 21 years you can receive lower sentences because of immaturity.

If it all goes horribly awry then, why should I care?
You should always care, at least care even if you decide to do nothing.

Also, being the daughter of a detective, I've heard your stories before, from the other side. I also know that in most all cases, they will re-offend time in time again.
That is true. Bear in mind, however, that you will not receive indefinite therapies here. If you have failed therapies before, your motivation will be judged as insufficient and you will be denied.

and some part of it on putting drugs dealers behind bars charged as the murderers they are.
Ah, the old tough law "solution". The results can be read below:

WASHINGTON - Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, according to criminal justice experts.
A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of last year. Of the total, 2.2 million were in prison or jail.
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College in London, more people are behind bars in the United States than in any other country. China ranks second with 1.5 million prisoners, followed by Russia with 870,000.
The U.S. incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 people in the highest, followed by 611 in Russia and 547 for St. Kitts and Nevis. In contrast, the incarceration rates in many Western industrial nations range around 100 per 100,000 people.
Groups advocating reform of U.S. sentencing laws seized on the latest U.S. prison population figures showing admissions of inmates have been rising even faster than the numbers of prisoners who have been released.
"The United States has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population. We rank first in the world in locking up our fellow citizens," said Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports alternatives in the war on drugs.
"We now imprison more people for drug law violations than all of western Europe, with a much larger population, incarcerates for all offences."
Ryan King, a policy analyst at The Sentencing Project, a group advocating sentencing reform, said the United States has a more punitive criminal justice system than other countries.
MORE PEOPLE TO PRISON
"We send more people to prison, for more different offences, for longer periods of time than anybody else," he said.
Drug offenders account for about 2 million of the 7 million in prison, on probation or parole, King said, adding that other countries often stress treatment instead of incarceration.
Commenting on what the prison figures show about U.S. society, King said various social programs, including those dealing with education, poverty, urban development, health care and child care, have failed.
"There are a number of social programs we have failed to deliver. There are systemic failures going on," he said. "A lot of these people then end up in the criminal justice system."
Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in California, said the high prison numbers represented a proper response to the crime problem in the United States. Locking up more criminals has contributed to lower crime rates, he said.
"The hand-wringing over the incarceration rate is missing the mark," he said.
Scheidegger said the high prison population reflected cultural differences, with the United States having far higher crimes rates than European nations or Japan. "We have more crime. More crime gets you more prisoners."
Julie Stewart, president of the group Families Against Mandatory Minimums, cited the Justice Department report and said drug offenders are clogging the U.S. justice system.
"Why are so many people in prison? Blame mandatory sentencing laws and the record number of nonviolent drug offenders subject to them," she said.



I didn't create anything. I was just going about my life, being a half-responsible citizen. Exactly. That's my point. You didn't do anything.
That's the problem: You are part of the society you live in. And as a part of society you have some responsibility for the state it is in. You can choose to do something or can choose to ignore it and mind your own business. But as you said yourself, you cannot get away from it. The problem will eventually catch up.

hasselbrad
18-02-2008, 07:24 PM
WASHINGTON - Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, according to criminal justice experts.


Leonie was talking about drug dealers. The article you are referring to is talking about drug users. This is from the tired old "legalize it" debate that's been going on for decades.
The vast majority of American "drug offenders" are people who purchased drugs for their own use. Mandatory minimums that were dreamt up during the Reagan administration hamstrung judges. If someone was found guilty of possession, they got hit with a manadatory sentence, thus taking away a judges use of, for lack of a better term, judgment. Grateful Dead shows used to be a happy hunting ground for cops looking to make drug arrests.

Lots of drugs around
Not many (if any) weapons
Compliant, non-violent "offenders" to arrest

Many people who were indeed "dealing" got thrown in prison for thirty years because they had a certain amount of pot/mushrooms/acid on them, even though they were selling the drugs to other, like minded individuals. Further, they weren't going out and dealing to children and they certainly weren't shooting each other over "turf". Many district attorneys across the United States got re-elected due to their "tough" stand against drugs, even though their convictions were doing little to actually stem the tide of drugs flowing into schools or drug related violence.

That's the problem: You are part of the society you live in. And as a part of society you have some responsibility for the state it is in. You can choose to do something or can choose to ignore it and mind your own business. But as you said yourself, you cannot get away from it. The problem will eventually catch up.

You mean just like the person who finds themselves just trying a little more cocaine because they "like" it should take responsibility for themselves and stop the destructive behavior?
Or, like the man who spends more and more time in a bar should look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself before he loses everything?

The problem with "society" being responsible for individuals is that, before long, the individual stops taking responsibility for him or herself. Likewise, when a lack of personal responsibility morphs into a "disease", the individual is absolved of any and all responsibility for his or her own actions.

TBird
18-02-2008, 07:52 PM
Leonie was talking about drug dealers. The article you are referring to is talking about drug users.

You're right. Sorry, my mistake.:$


You mean just like the person who finds themselves just trying a little more cocaine because they "like" it should take responsibility for themselves and stop the destructive behavior?
Or, like the man who spends more and more time in a bar should look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself before he loses everything?


Absolutely. :)


The problem with "society" being responsible for individuals is that, before long, the individual stops taking responsibility for him or herself. Likewise, when a lack of personal responsibility morphs into a "disease", the individual is absolved of any and all responsibility for his or her own actions.


That's why I wrote "some responsibility" (hope I didn't express it wrong). Society is never a 100 % responsible for the individual but at the same time it can not claim to have nothing to do with it.

Of course that means that I expect someone with an addiction to muster all the strength he has left to fight it. And if he should succeed, I'd expect him to help others to avoid it or to get rid of it (e.g. usually a former addict telling kids that is not cool to take drugs from his experience is more impressive than any other person).

TBird
19-02-2008, 06:49 AM
Just to add an example (I ran out of time yesterday ;) ):

If someone has a decent living/job and decides to cheat people because it would be cool to drive a bigger car and travel to exotic places, it sure isn't anyone's fault but his own.

But if 16-year olds are shot in gang wars my neighbourhood (and many of these gang members are even younger I've heard) then something is really wrong, and I can't say "uh, leave me alone, there are still decent people around." Then I have some responsibility to at least try to change something.

That doesn't mean I have to walk to the next gang leader to tell him that it is bad what he does. But there's always something you can do, ie. work once a week voluntary in some project for kids, donate money, contact your representative to demand additional funds for social workers, write letters to newspapers about the problem, vote for a party that puts emphasis on programs for that area, demand stricter gun control, etc...
Usually to change something there needs to be a cooperation between the people, police, social workers, schools and city officials.

But the problem is that some people just don't care. I read a report about the (probably well known) shooting of an 11-year old boy in Liverpool. When they talked to the mayor, he seemed more concerned with the bad press Liverpool received than with a way to solve the problem.

Ranman
19-02-2008, 07:45 AM
I need a joint after reading all this