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Ed Driscoll

Overdose of Bleach

February 23rd, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Theodore Dalrymple on the needle and the damage (to logic) done:

Alysa’s addiction, like Frankenstein’s monster, broke free of its creator and wreaked its revenge: “Her addiction . . . killed her.” Alas, unlike the monster, heroin felt no remorse afterward and did not drift away, never to be heard from again, but rather continued to “worm” its way into other unsuspecting communities. The heroin killed by means of an overdose. This reminded me of when a woman who had drunk bleach was admitted to my hospital and the admitting doctor wrote “Overdose of bleach” in the admission notes. “What is the correct dose of bleach?” I asked him.

Two and a half millennia ago, Tsze-lu asked Confucius what would be the first thing he would do if put in charge of government. He replied that it would be to rectify names. Why, asked Tsze-lu? Because, said Confucius:

If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.

If only Confucius were the editor of the New York Times.

Which also makes for a nice postscript to our previous item on the Times and language. Read the rest of the Good Dr. Dalrymple’s post at City Journal.

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It will be interesting to see how those in favor of far less restrictive drug laws, or even full drug legalization, handle the latest go-round of heroin chic.

Not all addictive substances are created equal, sop while the current drug laws may paint some substances with too broad a brush (marijuana), it seems as though nowadays, the push-back includes those who think the old timers put things like heroin and cocaine on the banned list simply because they didn't want people having any fun. But unless you want to go full libertarian, and say people are completely responsible for their own actions with fully legal drugs, including their own unplanned deaths, any drug law modifications have to take into account how addictive a substance is and to how many people within society, and how much does that addiction prevent X number of people from functioning normally within society and how dangerous the side effects are (i.e. -- cigarettes and heroin are both addictive to a lot of people, but my guess those hooked on the former are far more likely to show up for work Monday morning, even if the addiction also raises the risk of premature death).
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