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InvisibleBridgeburner
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TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs
    #8004120 - 02/10/08 12:37 PM (13 years, 25 days ago)

link

‘‘If [a drug] stops you breathing, that’s a serious problem,” said one of the numerous talking heads on Horizon: Is Alcohol Worse Than Ecstasy? (BBC 2), which set out to compile an authoritative list of the 20 most perilous substances in circulation but ended up being little more than a moron’s guide to narcotics.

It could be argued that, given the simplistic nature of many people’s attitudes to drug consumption, an untaxing programme that laid out the absolute basics and no more was exactly what was required. However, Horizon’s true worth, and stance on its subject, could be gauged by the closing voiceover, which billed the programme as ‘‘a list which places cannabis, ecstasy and LSD below tobacco’’, delivered by a speaker who sounded irritatingly pleased with himself, like a student who has just smoked their first joint and simultaneously figured out how to solve the world’s problems.

Horizon is a programme with a long history of getting about three sentences’ worth of content out of 90 minutes of television, and this was no exception. The makers’ decision to bill cigarettes as more dangerous than several illegal drugs would have been more impressive if they had spent more than 30 seconds actually discussing cigarettes - but when your running time is a mere 50 minutes, you can’t hope to do more than scratch a fingernail across this subject.

Dope, the most widely used of all illegal substances, came in at number 11. The link between paranoia (‘The Fear’) and the THC compounds contained in marijuana was explored by filming Tim, a test subject who was sitting bolt upright in a hospital bed, having earlier been given a huge dose of cannabis.

He wore the half-resigned, half-shellshocked expression of a Derby County fan at a quarter to five, and tried bravely to form sentences that kept collapsing after their first clause. ‘‘My brain was on fire, and all these interesting things were occurring tome, but I couldn’t say them,” he admitted later, having presumably endured the mother and father of bad comedowns.

The most entertaining moment came when LSD was being discussed: bizarre footage of some British soldiers having a communal acid trip in the woods, stumbling around in full uniform, laughing their heads off, and climbing up trees to try to feed the birds (the full video of the drugged-up squaddies can be seen at www.tinyurl.com/33whe6).

True to the title’s word, E was surprisingly low on the list, in 18th place, probably due to its lack of addictive properties. ‘‘It’s not hazard-free but, having said that, millions of people in the UK use it and enjoy it every weekend, so I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a ‘dangerous drug’,” said Professor John Marsden of Liverpool University.

Like cigarettes, valium (seventh, despite causing more than 400 fatalities each year) was skated over with noticeable haste. Ketamine, ostensibly used to tranquillise horses but possessed of a cultish popularity among certain hardened sections of drug users, was fifth. Sadly, the producers missed the chance to wheel on various members of Primal Scream at this point.

Heroin was at the top of the hit parade. There was grim footage of one guy injecting smack into his foot, Phil Lynott-style, because he had exhausted all other half-decent veins in his body. Unlike certain other dubious substances on the list, the stance taken on heroin was unremittingly one of grave foreboding. One of the talking heads, Dr Clare Gerada of the Royal College of GPs in London, described heroin as a substance which ‘‘the majority of people will not be able to use safely’’.

All well and good, you might say. Coincidentally, Nick Davies, the Guardian’s chief investigative reporter, has a new book out entitled Flat Earth News, about British newspapers and the many reasons why it is increasingly difficult for readers to place much trust in the veracity of what they print.

One of the book’s early chapters takes a look at the media’s treatment of the war on drugs, a conflict self-evidently unwinnable yet with an unrivalled ability to bleed the public purse of cash (it has been estimated that the US government alone spends the equivalent of $600 per second, at home and abroad, in attempting to impose a prohibitionary system on narcotics).

Davies concludes that the entire treatment of heroin - its media depiction, government policy on it, the panicked public attitude to it - is ‘‘based on a falsehood’’.

Black market heroin, he writes, ‘‘becomes poisonous and dangerous because unscrupulous dealers cut it with all kinds of pollutants to increase their profits . . . Contrary to popular belief, pure heroin, properly handled, is a benign drug. Its most notable side effect on the physical, mental and moral conditions of its users is constipation . . . A false story which enveloped the world started simply, with expert sources who did not really know the truth.“ (My italics.)

Davies could always be dismissed as a disingenuous hack with a pro-legalisation agenda, but this would be to ignore his credentials as one of the most highly regarded investigative journalists in Britain, a seasoned veteran of the press who has spent entire years of his career reporting on drug-related crime and its numerous social offshoots and consequences. He and Dr Gerada can’t both be correct.


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Offlineshroom_ninja
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #8004176 - 02/10/08 12:58 PM (13 years, 25 days ago)

Interesting article, thanks.

I find it interesting and comforting that alcohol and cigarettes (as a non-smoker and light drinker) are more harmful than most recreational drugs, however I don't promote the argument that this should constitute their legality.

What should constitute their legality is the fact that they are "safe", not "safer". The reality is, many schedule 1 drugs are "safe" enough for regular consumption, regardless of the dangers of alcohol and tobacco.


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OfflineVisionary Tools
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: shroom_ninja]
    #8005010 - 02/10/08 05:06 PM (13 years, 25 days ago)

I'd say the danger of alcohol is the recklessness it causes.

And that withdrawal is hard.

And that some people get addicted to it. Didn't do much for me.

Then again, I smoked tobacco for six years non stop, puked one day, then gave it up.


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Wiccan_Seeker said:
slide down a pole than with your legs spread and using your pussy as a brake. Ask the fire department :imslow:


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OfflineLion
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #8005992 - 02/10/08 08:58 PM (13 years, 25 days ago)

Quote:

‘a list which places cannabis, ecstasy and LSD below tobacco’’


Someone had a problem with this? :sad:


--------------------
“Strengthened by contemplation and study,
I will not fear my passions like a coward.
My body I will give to pleasures,
to diversions that I’ve dreamed of,
to the most daring erotic desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear at all, for whenever I will—
and I will have the will, strengthened
as I’ll be with contemplation and study—
at the crucial moments I’ll recover
my spirit as was before: ascetic.”


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Lion]
    #8006042 - 02/10/08 09:10 PM (13 years, 25 days ago)

Quote:


Dope, the most widely used of all illegal substances, came in at number 11. The link between paranoia (‘The Fear’)





:rofl:


1.  dope?  like that is a single drug?

2.  I can't believe they said 'the fear' hunter thompson style.


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InvisibleKrishnaDreamer
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: johnm214]
    #8008154 - 02/11/08 12:23 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

yeah, that was funny.

also i'm pretty sure that heroin withdrawls aren't deadly, whereas alcohol withdrawls are.


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Everybody's a ninja...


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Offlinechristofchristof
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: KrishnaDreamer]
    #8008294 - 02/11/08 01:10 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b008x3hq.shtml

avaliable for one last day if anyone wants to watch it.


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OfflineHashishin
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #8008472 - 02/11/08 01:46 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

Yeah, alcohol withdrawals are more physical than with junk, more serious alcoholics frequently require a tapered-off supply of intravenous alcohol or their systems can go into complete shock.

I think we need to standardize 'dope' to mean one single drug. It's either describing weed or heroin, or drugs in general (used often by the 5-0). I get so confused.


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Hashishin]
    #8010426 - 02/11/08 09:38 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

The problem with alcohol is it makes your brain shut down, you act retarded, get sick and throw up alot. What a great drug.


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: TV review: Don’t believe the hype on drugs [Re: Hashishin]
    #8010542 - 02/11/08 09:55 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

Hashishin said:
Yeah, alcohol withdrawals are more physical than with junk, more serious alcoholics frequently require a tapered-off supply of intravenous alcohol or their systems can go into complete shock.

I think we need to standardize 'dope' to mean one single drug. It's either describing weed or heroin, or drugs in general (used often by the 5-0). I get so confused.




well I'm sure they could do this, around here they just give a set amount of valium and then xanax as needed to titrate to not so fucking crazy and cracked out.


etoh detox is far and away the worse among heroin and EtOH, especially for those who have to deal with the crazy fuckers. They seriously see shit like gnomes and elephants .. and roads (where there is a wall... whcih they then walk into... and bitch about the road disapeering...


and yeah... you can die from EtOH detox much easier, however; I kinda think they should prescribe opioids to addicts as medical necesity, as opiate withdrawal leads to increased cardiovascular troubles, some deadly, despite people saying you don't die from it


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