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 Post subject: From ''Prescription Pain Killers: The Real Gateway Drug''
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:14 pm 
Seedy Academician
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:00 pm
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Location: The Brutus Memorial Rectory at Cassius University
So, here's the scenario. A doctor is treating you after a life-threatening injury. He prescribes an opioid painkiller to help you deal with the immense and debilitating amount of pain you suffer from. Just so you can get by. You are a decent, law-abiding person, who has never touched alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs of any kind. You are, in short, the very definition of soberness and personal responsibility. Yet some ____ like subgenius will come down on you like a ton of bricks for having succumbed to the largest prescription drug epidemic in history. I really hate you, subgenius. You are a slithering turd.


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 Post subject: Re: Prescription Pain Killers: The Real Gateway Drug
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm 
God

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:39 am
Posts: 13676
Kishkumen wrote:
So, here's the scenario. A doctor is treating you after a life-threatening injury. He prescribes an opioid painkiller to help you deal with the immense and debilitating amount of pain you suffer from. Just so you can get by. You are a decent, law-abiding person, who has never touched alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs of any kind. You are, in short, the very definition of soberness and personal responsibility. Yet some ____ like subgenius will come down on you like a ton of bricks for having succumbed to the largest prescription drug epidemic in history.


What people really have a hard time understanding is that whether or not someone becomes addicted (i.e. develops a harmful compulsion to keep using) can be something as simple as slight differences in binding affinity of neuroreceptors. Since there's no test for potential for addiction, it's a gamble when someone goes on opiate painkillers for a sustained period of treatment.

A lot of people assume that the difference is whether person uses a substance responsibly, has good willpower, etc. They try to moralize the difference, but that's not exactly correct.

I mentioned I worked in a neuroscience lab many years ago in another thread. Specifically, what I worked on was the reward/motivation circuitry of the mammalian brain using MFB reward efficacy experiments. One of the frontline applications of this type of research is better understanding how addiction works. What it left me with is a fairly deep understanding of how quirks of chemistry can have profound determinant effects on motivated behavior. It's a pet peeve of mine when people assume the reason person A became an addict, but person B did not is the moral superiority of B.


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