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Drug Use for Grown-ups

Drug Use for Grown-ups” is the title of a book by Dr Carl Hart.  The sub-title for the book is “Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear”.  He is a Professor at Columbia University and one of the world’s best known experts on the effects of recreational drugs on our minds and bodies.  Despite that, and perhaps because of that, he openly admits that he takes heroin and while he was initially against drugs, his research found less harm in their use.  That does not mean he supports drug use, but what he does say though is that we turn a blind eye to some drugs like alcohol and imprison people for the use of other drugs that in some cases do less damage. 

He also points out, and this is true in South Africa and in America, that the vast majority of people that are arrested for drug use or drug dealing are almost always black people, even though the research shows that white people deal drugs and use drugs in pretty much the same numbers as non-white people.  He says many of the arguments against drugs and in favour of bans and tough prison sentences, are bankrupt arguments.  People die because they have to get hold of drugs illegally and those drugs are often contaminated with poisons and impurities.  He says, in a land like America where people have individual liberties, the decision as to whether he takes drugs or not should be each person’s decision and not the Government’s decision.  He writes, “Further, my responsible drug use should not be subjected to punishment by authorities.  These ideas are central to our notions of liberty and personal freedom.  The current punitive approach to dealing with recreational drug users is wholly un-American.” 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Comments

BRONWYN  said:
on Wednesday 14-Jul-21 08:11 AM
Addiction is a huge problem that we are facing right across the world everyone has some sort of addiction, but learning to fight the addiction is the most difficult.

thembi  said:
on Tuesday 13-Jul-21 03:18 PM
while taking drugs, Unfortunately it's the choice you make in life you rune your life

Sune  said:
on Wednesday 07-Jul-21 04:56 PM
At the end of the day, it should always be the individual's choice.

sandra  said:
on Wednesday 07-Jul-21 04:51 PM
I believe that everyone is responsible for their own decisions and they are free to do as they please. As long as they don't harm others emotionally etc, then it is up to that individual to make their own choices.

Franzelle Ekron  said:
on Wednesday 07-Jul-21 10:32 AM
I have to agree with Dune. No judgement. I believe that everyone has a choice and that right should be respected. Your life

Dasanya  said:
on Tuesday 06-Jul-21 09:03 AM
Everyone will always have their own view on the use of drugs and at the end of the day I am of the opinion that it is the individual's choice.

Lauren   said:
on Monday 05-Jul-21 09:12 AM
This book seems to have a very intriguing stance. The opinion obviously goes against the norms we are taught to believe however, I have to agree that it does interfere with the right to personal freedom however rights are not and cannot be unlimited.

Daniella  said:
on Monday 05-Jul-21 09:00 AM
We have definitely normalized a lot of addiction. Addiction is the actual problem no matter what you are addicted to.

Bianca Taljaard  said:
on Sunday 04-Jul-21 09:24 AM
I have to agree with Dune. No judgement.

Melissa van Tellingen   said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 04:58 PM
I have never now will I use drugs. There is of course certain drugs for medical use which I have seen work for people with for example cancer. That I am all for. i just don't understand the abuse behind drugs and being a different person after using. Not for me al all.

Henrietta  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 04:19 PM
Drugs not for me, yes it should be everyone's choice what they do with their body and lives but when affecting others I personally feel they selfish. Either get to the straight road or cut the people off when you can't stop because you destroying not only your life but people who loves you. But ultimately its each individual's choice.

Tersia  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 03:13 PM
I for one cannot understand the point of taking drugs and being so out of it that you don't even know who you are. If it's legal or illegal people will find their ways to get hold of it and still abuse. People always want what they can't have - so legalize drugs and something else will pop up perhaps even more deadly and dangerous!

Luchell  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 12:58 PM
Using and abusing drugs is a decision that you make, and no one will ever force you to make the decision to start using it, no matter how bad you situation is, drugs will not make it better.

Ruby  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 12:45 PM
I have read many reviews on this book and a lot of readers highlight the fact that they had no idea how much scientific society played a role in misleading the public continuing false assumptions around drug use.

Patrick Sedutla  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 12:38 PM
The legendary Bob Marley would have said legalize it and i will advertise it. If anybody use them and they are not affecting other people, why should government be worried.

Kathryn  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 12:00 PM
I have never, and will never condone the use of substances. All fine and well to exercise ones autonomy, however these decisions almost always negatively affect the lives of those who love and care for those who use substances. Addiction is not a choice, the use of that substance in the first place is a choice.

Lucretia  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 11:30 AM
Funny this was mentioned, we were recently made to sign a form where the use of drugs and alcohol is prohibited during work. While I do agree 100% that the use of same at work is a no-go, what a person does at home after work hours should not be applicable and if it does not affect your standard of work, if it is found in your system a day later, you should not be penalized for it. If you partake in same over a weekend and stop during the week, the fact that something may be found in your urine, should not mean you are abusing drugs or alcohol during office hours.

Prishani  said:
on Friday 02-Jul-21 08:56 AM
I firmly believe that everyone has a choice and that right should be respected, but as much as people have a choice they should always consider the impact of their choices on the lives of their families, those around them and their country as a whole.

Sinead  said:
on Thursday 01-Jul-21 09:31 AM
This is such a tough topic.
As much as I am against drugs, on one hand, it should be up to the individual as to whether or not they want to use drugs - but at the same time, if there are laws against it, it makes people want to use them more.
This would be an interesting read...

Zandelee  said:
on Tuesday 29-Jun-21 02:34 PM
I think alot of factors contribute to the rise in substance abuse nowadays. Drug problems are not just related to the youth and poverty anymore. People of different income levels and ages are using drugs. Drug use definitely has an affect on its users, their loved ones and the society as a whole. Drugs can really cost a country alot if one thinks of the job losses, health care and drug related crimes so for that reason I do believe that it should be subjected to punishment,

Ashleigh De Villiers  said:
on Friday 25-Jun-21 04:57 PM
I don't agree. Unfortunately when utilizing hard core drugs, the drug users change dramatically, they become something else that is not of this world and this leads to a lot of destruction around them. Unfortunately a person on drugs does not control themselves and then they land up making their problems everyone elses.

Melissa  said:
on Friday 18-Jun-21 09:15 AM
Unfortunately it's the choice you make in life, no one can make those choices for you. Drugs destroys lives and families

Melissa  said:
on Friday 18-Jun-21 09:15 AM
Unfortunately it's the choice you make in life, no one can make those choices for you. Drugs destroys lives and families

Megan  said:
on Thursday 17-Jun-21 04:31 PM
It should be a persons choice, in the grander scheme of things. I'm not defending addicts, specifically drug addicts as per the read, but we all have our crosses and no ones perfect. Just be responsible and think before you act.

Danielle  said:
on Monday 14-Jun-21 09:38 AM
I do not support Drugs as may people just abuse it and do not have a limit and cannot control themselves. Its very sad how may lives it takes and family's it destroys.

Sarah   said:
on Friday 11-Jun-21 01:32 PM
This is not so simple to say , yes let the addict be able to get his drug of choice. There is some stuff to keep mind, like why are they using in the first to escape, to feel good , to feel better , when they are that stuff , they have no control over what they are doing or their self’s and they hurt the people around them and their loves ones the most .

Chante  said:
on Friday 11-Jun-21 09:48 AM
As stated people die because of drug use daily, I don't even want to know how many people die due to this on a daily basis. Drugs definitely are a danger to your health and so many people do not only die from poisonous drugs but also due to overdosing. I do not support drug use at all, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions and life choices.

Jessica  said:
on Friday 11-Jun-21 09:34 AM
I have to agree with him, a druggie should be allowed to drug, same like a smoker is allowed to smoke and a alcoholic is allowed to drink. However I personally wish NONE of my kids choose any of these bad habits, especially drugs and alcohol. Because I have seen many people's lives destroyed, because some people just don't know how to stop.

Claudia B  said:
on Thursday 10-Jun-21 10:17 AM
The book sounds very interesting, will definitely go look for it and read it. Addiction is a very bad thing, nothing good comes from it and they also don't realize the damage they do to people around them.

Nikita  said:
on Thursday 10-Jun-21 09:06 AM
I think that most people do not have the self-control to resist becoming wholly consumed by the addiction and dependence of the drugs. The concern is not the drug-addict in my opinion it is the lives around them that they destroy.

Kayla  said:
on Thursday 10-Jun-21 08:46 AM
Addiction is a very dangerous area when it comes to anything. The point of it would be is it a healthy or unhealthy addiction. Drugs unfortunately have destroyed many lives due to an individual not maintaining control. And its quite easy to lose control when it comes to temptation, so I would rather not feed that temptation. At the end of the day it does still remain the individuals choice. This is one in my own opinion I would not make.

Ziyanda  said:
on Wednesday 09-Jun-21 04:40 PM
This is very interesting and I agree with Michelle B that one needs to do everything moderation because once you become dependent on things like drugs, alcohol and gambling, etc then you are no longer in control of you life and can end up dead or in debt.

fikile  said:
on Wednesday 09-Jun-21 01:45 PM
It is always difficult to help people let go of drugs and yet we keep trying to help them. People make their own choices when it comes to their health and most tell you that they can't survive without their medication while they know very well that it's helping the current situation and not other situations. Drugs are a serious problem but people love to pretend like they don't know that, but then it is a personal choice.

Victoria  said:
on Wednesday 09-Jun-21 09:35 AM
I agree a hundred percent with Dune's comment. They don't realize the damage they do to people around them. People can be addicted to a lot of things and not only drugs.

Helen  said:
on Wednesday 09-Jun-21 09:17 AM
Very interesting blog to read and all the comments as well.
I was never one for any drugs, even very careful when I take prescribed pills - when it is very necessary then I would consider.
I would agree, that the drug is not a problem, to be addicted to it - is becoming a problem, problem for all around the one who addicted!

Zindy Kruger  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 03:46 PM
Addictions certainly come in different forms ranging from drugs to cellphones to Gambling. All of which can be life threating in ways if you abuse it if you think about it, Cellphone use whilst driving. Gambling borrowing money from loan sharks and ending in worse situations when they can not pay the money back. Any addiction can break families apart. The worst kind is the psychedelic part when people really abuse and don't realize what damage they do under the influence of that drug. When prescribed for medicinal purposes it limits the person to a certain amount and not abuse or over use like a normal addict.

Roxanne  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 03:16 PM
Wow what an interesting read. Anything could be turned into addictions, such as smoking, alcohol and as funny as it sounds even energy drinks ( which am i a victim of).

Dune  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 02:15 PM
Addicts are not addicted to the drug, they are addicted to the power of escaping. They never realize how much they hurt those around them, whilst "escaping" Remember your dreams are as hungry as your demons. Make sure you feed the right one!

Clare  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 09:08 AM
I am not one for Drugs. There are money drugs out there and anything can set an addition. People turn smoking, alcohol, pill popping ect. I hope people can get through addition but its not always the case.

Michelle B  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 08:40 AM
In life, you need balance. Everything in moderation. But at the end of the day, it should always be the choice of the individual.

Bianca Niemann   said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 08:28 AM
I agree with the fact that we tend to turn a blind eye to other addictive substances, such as alcohol that can also do a lot of damage.

Alexis  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 07:44 AM
I have never been one to use drugs for recreationally purposes. Though, i do agree that it is a persons free will that is taken away when they are the ones that decide to do it. In any event, what is the difference between taking medicinal and recreational - they both have affects on a person, just that the one is prescribed and not necessarily as good for you mentally

david  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jun-21 07:06 AM
while taking drugs, it is important to remember: standard rules apply. besides, anyone can glide down from a high building. it's taking off from the ground that requires real skill!

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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