The published post was sent too many different news-sources such as large newspapers, political organizations, national health care organization etc. Nevertheless, nobody dared or wanted to print the article, his or her excuses was many and hardly got any feedback. Nevertheless, some journalists used the contents in various ways without mentioning the source of information. Therefore, I decided to translate (from Norwegian) and publish the full story at the blog. Please feel free to use the story, reprint, publish, or use parts of the content in your own blog or writings. I would appreciate if the source of info included a link to the original work. This post discuss a problematic situation for many people and their relatives, drug addiction is an environmental, social, human and economic issue. Thanks Kenneth
Drugs on prescription
It is time for a new and more humane drug policy worldwide; illegal drugs legalized and prescribed from doctors like all other legal medications. There are many arguments that supports the view. The last 20-30 years of international and in this case Norwegian drug policy has been unsuccessful, stained by old attitudes, powerless without willingness to do things differently. A more open dialogue where today’s punishment and life-threatening methods exchanged with a better understanding of addicts who today live unworthily. New research supports the view (see sources of information below post). Nevertheless, increasingly more resources allocated into the war against drugs a battle doomed to failure. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Is definition of insanity said Albert Einstein.
However, why are experts so afraid to do things differently? Especially now as scientists have discovered medically what causes drug addiction; through studies on environmental factors, evolution theory, DNA, phenotypes, neuroscience, system biology, toxicology etc. how it affects the human biology (epigenetic). The result was unexpected, very different from previously assumed, studies of Genetics and heredity of diseases did not match the previous hypothesis (1. Excerpted from The Epigenetics Revolution How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance, by Nessa Carey (Columbia University Press, 2012). Copyright 2012 Nessa Carey. Natural History website )
Very few professionals working in health care, doctors, psychologists and rehab-institutions has updated knowledge of epigenetics, environmental factors, toxicology, social and modern human biology. Therefore, treatment of substance abuse are still based mostly on non-scientifical facts, ignorance and old methodology, results randomly. The high overdose statistics and the fact that few people achieve permanent drug recovery is an important factor (10. Source In 2012, a study released by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) indicated that 10 per cent of adults who answered the survey consider themselves to be in recovery from drug addiction source rehabs.com)
The myth of narcotic drugs
The myth of narcotics as addictive is wrong, at all, no substances in nature create addiction (2. Source Zeitgeist The way forward Dr Robert Sapolsky Professor of neurological sciences Stanford University and Dr Gabor Mate Physician, Author Portland Society) on the other hand, these substances provide a relatively short relief of a discomfort that the user was not aware of before the first intoxication. A discomfort that in most cases caused by environmental factors (stress) already the foetus (0-3 months) in the pregnancy, the environment in the child’s first three years of life determines later adult behaviour.
The first intoxication experience of some young people, therefore, gives an inner calm, restlessness diminishes and rests on feelings and thoughts that they never understood before. The high relieves the difficult thoughts for a while, but the brain is seeking back to the good experience (7. Source Brain, Behavior and Epigenetics Arturas Petronis l Jonathan Mill Editors. Published 2011 by Springer-Verlag) This continues with self-medication by the users. Therefore, addiction perceived chronic, progressive and deadly. The same recognized patterns discovered in nature’s biology and it is a fundamental Darwinist approach to the survival of animals and humans. Nature’s ingenuity always seeks the most optimal solution and lowest energy demanding process for balance by feedback and loops. It is therefore impossible for other people to understand a user’s persistent deep pain, either physically or mentally, if it is not self-perceived. It is like explaining a congenital blind the colour blue. The ability to abstract thinking is lacking. If professionals had experienced how devastating a persistent anxiety and mental disorder actually feel over time than health personnel would give prescription drugs promptly.
The global market for illegal substances accounts for almost 1% of world trade sales
No people have the desire to be perceived as “miserable, poor or beg”, life in misery is not due to narcotics but a stressful environment. It is easy to blame the unknown. The truth is that the evil forces in society kill and harm people is the sole consideration of profit. Some (drug cartels) earn a lot of money on illegal drugs; the same people respected citizens who with their influence demand stricter penalties. The global market for illegal substances estimated at US billion in 2005, accounting for almost 1% of world trade sales (US billion) according to UN statistics (9. Source Wikipedia The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2005 ). Corruption is also common in Norway and elsewhere it happens across any social systems, includes customs, police, politicians, law systems, doctors, and healthcare system. Drugs are big business legally and illegally, the difference is hard to understand. The sad fact is that the drug users pay the price at the bottom of the pyramid. What option is best? Support international drug law and accept corruption by continuing as today, or giving those who really are in pain a better life?
Drug users actually have no alternative but to buy themselves free of their pain, so the money goes to criminals instead of a better lifestyle, no people want to feel this way. Addicts want to look clean and pleasant home like everybody else. They are in fact a dedicated sales force of the illegal drug business because they need money to support their habits. Prescription drugs had contributed to stopping the illegal drug trade. The stress of criminalization abandoned, seeing drug addicts hanging around the streets vanished. Police and customs officials could get other and more positive tasks (it cannot be rewarding to chase drug users around from street to street and arrest sick people), the cash stream and profits for drug organized crime would cease. However, no, instead, a policy of rigid laws and attitudes of the Middle Ages continues. In twenty years, Norwegian and international drug policy will stand as a black chapter in human history.
Overdose is far from random
Excessive numbers are high also in Norway, Health Directorate statistics indicate 260 deaths (2015 mortal overdose 289). Why do we let this happen? Hidden behind a terrible epidemic of opiate overdoses, it is a sad fact that the majority of these deaths are far from random. The deaths come from repeated stressors showing scientific facts from the United States (3. Sources Are Fatal Overdoses a Form of Suicide? The experts who found the lifespan of older white males was shrinking say ‘deaths of despair’ are not All accidental by Daniel McGraw website: www.thedailybeast.com). “Its suicide,” said Oquendo, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association and Head of Psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (The United States had 60,000 overdose deaths last year). Probably approx. 80% conscious suicide, prescription drugs would lead to a decrease in the number of overdoses in Norway: 20-30 deaths yearly rather than 300 as today.
Doctors would save more lives by a drug prescription policy
Health authorities must realize the facts about drugs and the situation, and politicians change the laws. I claim that very few doctors have a human and knowledgeable approach to the substance of the problem, addiction, and mental disorders; they show an arrogant and old-fashioned attitude. It is contrary to their ethics to save lives. Drug treatment logistics and today’s statics uncertainty (how many drug users) would improve, the planning of treatment sites safer, and fewer injuries due to incorrect injections etc. by drug users. Today’s drug policy affects not only the users but also dependents, especially the parents who lose their children. A terribly sad story that cannot be described with words. Ring effects of overdose deaths affect more than 20,000 people per decade in Norway (population approx. 5 million).
A real recovery from drug addiction I would say is almost impossible if the users do not feel well emotionally and mentally, this requires a thoroughness that is lacking in today’s drug treatment; it is always an underlying cause of mental history and environmental factors behind self-medication. Most drug addicts expose oneself to one-time stress by repeated attempts of traditional treatment, usually failing, feeling hopeless, and the shame generating isolation and fear.
Nearly all those with a long history of drug use suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because of a never-ending stressful life not being accepted and criminalized outsiders in the society. They are rarely understood or heard and must tell the same story over and over again to healthcare, social office workers and new employees, professional’s hardly believed their stories or read their previous medical records. The hopelessness of not taken seriously feels unfair, still today the stigma of drug addicts is still high as twenty years ago.
Unfortunately, it is just as bad to be an addict in a big city like gay in the village
LAR (state drug-assisted rehabilitation) practices are not human treatment; the drugs they prescribe do absolutely nothing with the user’s mental situation, only a substitute that cannot be compared. LAR gives authorities an opportunity to control a group of people they perceive as “criminal elements” as they know where they are to pick up their medication daily. LAR users must collect medication daily at the local pharmacy if he or she has a hereditary use; this is a slow torture and very painful method to pacify individuals, who have no opportunity for personal development. LARs is in practice a governmental process to improve crime statistics.
Patients receive medications, the most common are Subutex and Methadone, these drugs give a more dangerous withdrawal and are more difficult to stop using that for example heroin, which forces users to collect medicine daily at their pharmacy. Calling the treatment drug assisted rehabilitation (LAR) is a mockery of the users and not least common health practice, the rehabilitation consists in the fact of a phone call a year with the users in Norway, other practices around the world.
LAR slowly takes away the dreams and thoughts of a good and full life. For example, Subutex seems to remove the lust of heroin but does not alleviate the surrounding anxiety, depression, poor self-image, restlessness, inner turmoil, etc. Therefore, side abuse is a necessity for most people to cope with everyday life, which makes it impossible for work and education. LAR’s contracts with the users are legally questionable, which means that patients must take medication at the pharmacy 6 days a week under supervision if users do not deliver clean urine samples for a 6-month period. Most LAR patients fail to meet the requirement due to pain, anxiety and agitation that do not Subutex or methadone relieve.
Six months of negative testing gives reward clean urine samples entitled to retrieve medicines weekly. If users do not pick-up three days from retrieving medication, they lose rights to medication, a practice that is directly life-threatening and forcing users to street purchases again. The risk of overdose thus increases considerably, but without substitute medication, patients risk uncomfortable and sometimes lethal withdrawals. Most LAR patients do not sign the agreement voluntarily, but simply to save their life. Therefore, they accept any agreement dictated by the opposite party and surely violates laws of contracts.
Is alcoholism and drug addiction a disease?
Norway ratified years ago the UN agreement when the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with its comprehensive studies, the conclusion was that alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease. Thus, addicts received new status as patients and no longer clients in the healthcare sector, with corresponding patient rights. The reality tells another story. For example, other patient groups with chronic, progressive and lethal diseases can retrieve prescription drugs easily, but drug addicts must take their medicines six days a week under supervision and require weekly urine tests if they are to be collected once a week. The scheme is such because LAR claims that the users will sell the drug on the street. LAR will not take responsibility for the risk of overdose with the buyers. They claim that patients apparently sell their medication, and are responsible for the abuse of others. It is amazing to witness that LAR beforehand criminalize patients not been convicted of the previous crime. It is a certain violation of legal rights when individuals deprived their freedom it violates fundamental human rights.
I have talked to hundreds of addicts over the last ten years, many been brainwashed in the face of health authorities, doctors, relatives, treatment institutions etc., who say that the disease is self-inflicted. Therefore, unfortunately, I hear many addicts say they are to blame and perceive themselves as losers. Of course, patients who have been in institutions many times without successful results will feel shameful and miserable. Unfortunately, most users manipulated by the environment to carry out treatments that in more than 90% of the cases will not lead to a behavioural change of the individual.
Epigenetic research shows that drug addiction or alcoholism are not self-inflicted
Now researchers in biology and human DNA have found the connections in substance and illness, due to epigenetic (environmental) conditions, interpretation of DNA codes reads differently, stress, abuse, etc. especially early in pregnancy and during the first three years of childhood is crucial shows comprehensive studies. The epigenetic factors correspond to important human and ethical principles in many religions and philosophy, not least Darwin’s theories of man, evolutions by random mutations and nature’s way of survival.
Epigenetic biology understood by science; how environmental factors leads to chronic diseases, such as cancer and mental disorders. Previously, geneticists believed that nature was predominant and could impossible change in such a short-term, and injuries were irreparable; hereditary genes could predict the course of various diseases, but it does not matter. Epigenetic studies (5. Source Epigenetic Aspects of Chronic Diseases Helmtrud I. Roach Felix Bronner Richard O.C. Oreffo (Editors) published 2011 by Springer-Verlag) shows a fundamentally different way of reading the DNA codes in fetuses exposed to stress factors; hunger, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, social behaviour, environmental issues, alcohol drinking during early pregnancy, diets, abuse, violence etc. is a basic survival mechanism that is not de-learned later in life.
Nevertheless, it is not a permanent injury, it would be boring if biological factors predetermined, and life is infinitely more complicated than previously perceived, changes are taking place quickly. We understand how the major injuries our stressful way of living inflicting society, progressive diseases and increasing healthcare expenses. Human well-being measured in monetary value, stressors, enormous inequalities between rich and poor is a result of global capitalism, corporations ruthless ways of polluting land, air, water resources and labour exploitation; cases increasingly number of chronic illnesses, diabetes, obesity, mental disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, cancer, etc.(4. Sources Epigenetics and Human Health Edited by Alexander G. Haslberger Co-edited by Sabine Gressler. Published 2010 by WILEY-VCH). Now people begin to understand the direct impacts of the economic system has on an individual’s health, coming generations and fast-growing social problems. Providing epigenetic relationships is fundamental and will eventually slowly change old attitudes, improve medical treatments, and provide new medications. Compassion is essential for human well-being and happiness, it is time for a fundamental change in today’s drug policy. It gives hope for future recovery and humanity.
Author Kenneth Lyngaas Future Studies Research
Sources of information
- Excerpted from The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance, by Nessa Carey (Columbia University Press, 2012). Copyright 2012 Nessa Carey. Natural History website
- Zeitgeist The way forward Dr Robert Sapolsky Professor of neurological sciences Stanford University and Dr Gabor Mate Physician, Author Portland Society
- Are Fatal Overdoses a Form of Suicide? The experts who found the lifespan of older white males was shrinking say ‘deaths of despair’ are not All accidental by Daniel McGraw website: www.thedailybeast.com
- Epigenetics and Human Health Edited by Alexander G. Haslberger Co-edited by Sabine Gressler. Published 2010 by WILEY-VCH
- Epigenetic Aspects of Chronic Diseases Helmtrud I. Roach Felix Bronner Richard O.C. Oreffo (Editors). Published 2011 by Springer-Verlag
- Epigenetics and diseases Susan M. Gasser and l En Li Editors. Published 2011 by Springer
- Brain, Behavior and Epigenetics Arturas Petronis l Jonathan Mill Editors. Published 2011 by Springer-Verlag
- Handbook of Epigenetics the New Molecular and Medical Genetics Edited by Trygve Tollefsbol. Published 2011 by Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier
- Turnover illegal drug trade. Source Wikipedia The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2005 estimates the size of the global illicit drug market at US billion in 2003 alone.
- What Are the Most Recent Drug Addiction Recovery Statistics? Rehabs.com
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