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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:In another thread about drug free spinning a few people said that taking drugs or not was a matter of personal choice.

I feel a little uneasy about applying that phrase to drugs as they tend to be addictive or habit forming substances.

i.e. they effectivly diminish or remove the ability to make choices. for example, someone who has never smoked can choose whether or not to light and smoke a cigarette, but someone who has a thirty a day habit and is severely addicted to nicotine no longer has that choice.

There are millions of smokers in the world who find it impossible to kick their habit, effectivley they have lost their ability to choose.

Whilst some drugs are considered non addictive, due to peer pressure and the pro drug marketing that is rife in our culture, choice is effectivly reduced.

I know that people shouldn't be influenced by such things, but humans are extremely suseptible to this- there wouldn't, for example, be so many drinks promotions if promotions didn't work.

The sad thing is that the young are most suseptible to this pro drug propaganda.

I was wondering what those of you who believe that taking drugs is a matter of personal choice, thought about this?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Ali-bird
Ali-bird

member
Location: London
Member Since: 19th Jul 2002
Total posts: 102
Posted:Apologies Onewheeldave, as I said I didn't have time to read the topic in full, I shall endeavour to stay on topic in future. Again, apologies if I repeat anything!

On the issue of choice - human beings make choices based on the information available to them, and based on the experiences of their peers - that is an unavoidable fact. Problems only arise when the information they are given is controlled, or mistaken.

Let's take a more innocuous choice, like what brand of cola to buy. We are bombarded constantly with messages (advertising) telling us one brand is superior to another, and broadly speaking if your peers opt for one brand, so will you. You make a choice based on the info available.

My personal belief is that the main problem people face right now is that the information we are being given about various substances (I won't call them drugs as that is in itself a prejudicial word and projects a negative image straight away) is at best flawed and at worst wildly inaccurate.

In my youth, I knew people who ended up sniffing solvents and on seeing what happened to them, avoided those people and their habits like the plague. I was happy to believe the line taken at school that "drugs are bad" and I should stay away from them.

Much later in life, I met people who took ecstasy and hallucinogenics through mutual friends. They "used drugs" in a wholly more positive way, gaining new perspectives and experiences and suffering (from what one can observe easily in the company of others) no ill effects.

This did not sit correctly with information I had been previously given, so I started researching for myself in science journals, on the internet and so on, in order that I could make an informed choice. Much of the information I found was conflicting with what I saw and what I read on more, erm, open-minded sites.

So, I decided the only correct course of action - the only logical "choice" - was to find out for myself.

This relates back to the book I mentioned inasmuch as human beings are naturally curious, and just because one party advises another not to do something (whether that's climb a mountain or eat a magic mushroom), doesn't mean another will not find a reason to try.

While flawed research (particularly into Ecstasy use), which is later disproved by other scientists, is published and continues to be the basis for lawmaking, young people in particular will continue to reject what the establishment claims is true and instead rely on the more tangible evidence of their friends and peers, making their own choice.

I fully believe that people should be given as much information as possible and then be allowed to make their own, informed, choice.

There's a bunch of other stuff attached to this to do with individual rights and expression but I won't bore you with it or go off the subject too far.

Hope at least some of that makes sense! Gotta get back to work right now but I shall pop back later, hope this is kinda food for thought.


Why is it that everthing which is fun is illegal, immoral, or fattening?

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I'm glad you brought up informed choice and the cola example.

What you're talking about is pretty much the concern raised in my initial post i.e. that peoples choice is influenced by marketing and peer pressure.

I guess I was focusing on the more insiduous aspects of marketing such as the fact that much of it isn't there to tell us ways in which a product is superior to it's rivals, but instead to associate it with irrelevant factors e.g. associating cola with sporting heroes.

The insiduous types of advertising/marketing do work, an example is the , now banned, subliminal type.

So, even though some people can see through marketing and be uninfluenced, the majority can't and end up buying a particular brand believing that they have chosen it, whereas, in reality, they have been influenced.

So, what do people reckon is the situation there? Are those people still making a choice. Or is this where we would say they're choosing, but it's not an informed choice? (maybe we could call it an 'influenced choice')

Before taking this further I just want to check if this sounds reasonable to everyone, as there is no point trying to relate this line of reasoning to drugs if everyone reckons that it's incorrect.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:Or is this where we would say they're choosing, but it's not an informed choice? (maybe we could call it an 'influenced choice')Definately an influenced choice - advertising works to skew your judgement - though some is 'good' and just to tell you a new product is there, most of it's pretty manipulative

I'm wondering how this'll relate to the drugs situation for you - for me it relates totally to alcohol and tobacco which generations are ensured is just Good Clean Fun, and it's not - whereas stuff like cannabis is 'marketted' as evil and awful, when it's (i'd think unarguably) less addictive and harmful than alcohol can be

both, of course, are bad in excess.

this breeds mistrust in the system, and leads people to go on and experiment with things they possibly shouldn't.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Itsgottab, I do believe that alcoholism and other addictions could, in-part, be due to dysfunctions of the mind. Or instead of dysfunctios of the mind, say chemical imbalances. Like they use psychostimulant medications (amphetamines) to treat add/adhd by improving the function of chemicals in the brain that help regulate attention and activity (dopamine and norepinephrine).


British boffins have now invented a vaccine to prevent smoking, does this mean smoking is a disease??? And should ALL childern be vaccinated???


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:British boffins have now invented a vaccine to prevent smoking, does this mean smoking is a disease??? And should ALL childern be vaccinated???That's not quite what it is...

It uses the body's white cells, which manufacture antibodies against disease, to manufacture antibodies that will bond to nicotene molecules - destroying the addictive part of the cigarette

How smart is that - ****s the cigarette companies who try and make them more addictive - a great thing for me. I LIKE smoking, just would be nice if ya didn't get the heebiejeebies when you try and stop

It would, to stay on topic, make that choice easier


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Ali-bird
Ali-bird

member
Location: London
Member Since: 19th Jul 2002
Total posts: 102
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Stone:
Itsgottab, I do believe that alcoholism and other addictions could, in-part, be due to dysfunctions of the mind. Or instead of dysfunctios of the mind, say chemical imbalances. Like they use psychostimulant medications (amphetamines) to treat add/adhd by improving the function of chemicals in the brain that help regulate attention and activity (dopamine and norepinephrine).


British boffins have now invented a vaccine to prevent smoking, does this mean smoking is a disease??? And should ALL childern be vaccinated??? First of all I don't believe for a second that all children should be "vaccinated" against smoking! My strongest beliefs politically and socially are in a) Personal Responsibility and b) Personal choice. The above would both remove the choice and the responsibility from the individual, which is never a good thing, even with something as insidious as nicotine.

And at the risk of ranting like the Allen Carr disciple I am, giving up smoking is EASY. You just have to get into the right mindset. But I digress, this is about drugs and choice, innit. Sorry.

Going back to your first point above again, we are making the mistake of assuming that all drugs are addictive. They are not.

I make this statement based on the fact that there are many millions of people "using" alcohol every day who are not addicted to it, as well as many who are. It is the *person* who is addictive in nature, not the drug.

So I spose what I'm saying is that we can't use this as a catch-all discussion about "drugs" and choice because certain drugs are different in nature from others and affect individuals in different ways.

Surely this makes it very difficult to legislate for everyone? Why should I be prevented from making a choice to use a particular substance because someone else is incapable of using it in moderation??


Why is it that everthing which is fun is illegal, immoral, or fattening?

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