And, I have have mixed feelings on legalization of recreational drugs. Marijuana is pretty harmless stuff, and it’s a waste of time and money to be trying to restrict the supply of that. I would think you might agree, though, that heroin, for example, is a different animal. Something that can easily and quickly destroy one’s ability to make rational choices seems worth spending some time and energy to reduce the availability of and to stigmatize, though of course no such sanctions can ever completely eliminate the supply or the use. Of course, alcohol is much the same, and banning that didn’t work.
I agree there are drugs (meth was mine) that are very bad juju. But I’m am not at all convinced of the efficacy of prohibition. Statistically use has increased not decreased in proportion to prohibitive measures…I am certainly in favor of science based education/propaganda/stigmatization and may be in favor of government funded recovery, but it would have to be empirically based. I am the product of court ordered 12 steps, and I resent it.
I agree on physician assisted suicide, though that may not be what you meant exactly. Making other forms of suicide illegal is purely symbolic, since you can’t prosecute those who violate the law, and you shouldn’t prosecute those who try, but rather get them mental health services. I wouldn’t necessarily encourage it, though.
Agree. Except why make it illegal at all?
And, though I’m not sure if you would include guns, I would most certainly not. That is a case where I think the empirical evidence is overwhelming that strict controls reduces supply and the consequent damage done. People will always kill other people, but the more effective the tools available the more damage can be done. Sure, the Yakuza can gun down a politician in Japan even with strict gun laws, but not so many teenagers manage to act out their psychotic fantasies on their classmates there as here.
I’ll leave the guns topic to another thread. It is certainly complicated and will clearly hijack Jimmy’s poll if we continue. Sorry I know I brought up some other issues as an aside, but they were just that, not an attempt at diversion.
BTW, medical science is working on a vaccine or something or another for the common cold. It will be interesting to see what they come up with when there are so many strands of the cold virus. Doctors now have REAL medicine that shortens the duration of the common cold too, which I was told by my dr when I went in for a sinus infection. She told me, even if my assumption that it was the common cold to begin with was correct, she could have given me medicine to shorten its duration. :shock: Live and learn. At best, if my sinus infection had started out as a cold, the medicine could have prevented the forever lasting sinus headache that comes with a sinus infection. Something to think about. :?
While there is always someone working on new vaccines I have heard nothing of a “cold"vaccine and given the number of different viruses involved in causing the common cold and the limited nature of the illness I wouldn’t be too optomistic about an announcement on this any time soon.
Also to clarify, there is NO medicine you can be given that will shorten the duration of a cold. There are several that can shorten the duration of the flu, but not the cold. There must have been some miscommunication there.
First, Brennen, I agree that we need the FDA; my rant was about it’s misuse by the politicians (mainly Republicans, but Democrats are not immune from pharma lobbyist bribes) and the common tendency of organizations to increase their breadth of control.
Second, Mriana, there may have been some confusion about colds. Macgyver is correct that the body has a schedule to develop immunity to the invading virus, and there’s nothing that can speed it up (at present). However, the annoying symptoms - cough, sneezing, swollen mucus membranes, mucus flow, etc. can be lessened to some extent by palliative remedies. Even if you still have the cold for the same amount of time, you don’t notice it as much. As I understand it some of the recent medications are more effective that the standard antihistamines and cough suppressants so that may have been what the doctor was referring to.
Interesting article. It fits in with the Hygiene Theory , that allergies and immune-mediated diseases may be cause by environments that are too clean, especially during development. Our immune systems develop tolerance to things they are exposed to regularly in childhood, and the idea is that they overreact to normal stimuli when they have not had adequate exposure to develop this tolerance. I can’t speak to how valid this idea is considered to be by the experts, but it seems sensible to me. Certainly the principle of immunotherapy (“allergy shots”) is based on chronic low-level exposure to the antigenic stimuli inducing tolerance, and it is fairly effective on a population level. I have also heard it argued that the rise in the incidence of allergies and immune-mediated diseases may be a consequence of our exceptionally powerful immune systems, which developed in response to the enormous and previously unheard of levels of exposure to parasites and infectious organisms when we began to live in cities. Interstingly, such diseases seem to be more common in companion animals these days, though I could also argue that’s just because in the affluent developed world they die less often of trauma and infectious diseases/ Certainly that’s why so many more of them die of cancer than did 40 years ago. It’s what we all get to look forward to if we live long enough and avoid dying of something else first. Isn’t that a cheery thought? :D
[quote author=“cgallaga”][quote author=“Mriana”]I’m not sure making everything legal is a good idea.
Humm… Legalize everything. Doesn’t sound so good to me.
Mriana, clearly I was speaking to the topic: Drugs and the purview of the FDA. I do have opinions on the off topic matters raised in your post, some I have addressed in other topics and all I will be glad to discuss if those topics arise in future.
Sorry, missed this. That could go one of two ways, but you do have a bit of a point if we look at the Prohibition era. More people were breaking the law during that time, making bathtub Gin and alike, but after it was removed some of the same issues still existed- alcoholism, distruction of families due to alcoholism, etc. So, it’s another one of those catch-22, BUT those who have a problem with drugs might not be so ashamed to get help because the illegal factor and hopefully stigmatism is removed. If financial problems arise from it they might not be so inclined to commit (another) crime, but get help instead.
So, there’s this ad where a lady is dancing through a field of daisies while somebody plays this cheesy sort of music in the background, none of which has anything to do with the product, and it says I should ‘ask my doctor if (name witheld) is right for you [me]’. Then some guy in a very deep voice starts rattling off at top speed the billion and one ways it can kill me and all the unpleasant shit that will happen while it’s doing it. Then the lady faces the camera and smiles this toothy vapid grin while hugging a small child or a poodle while a flashy logo appears on the screen.
Why is it that when a guy on the street corner sells drugs without a splashy ad it’s illegal, but some corporation can get on television and try to get me to beg my doctor for Vioxx and it’s not?
SOrry, but I don’t agree. I do think the ads are a mistake and should be banned, but if you’re comparing Vioxx (the hullaballoo over which is way out of proportion to the real problems, IMHO) with heroin or cocaine, there’s clearly no comparison. As much as Big Pharma behaves as badly as any other for-profit operation, linking medicien with illegal drugs creates an overinflated sense of the risks associated with such medicine and drives people into the arms of alternative medicine quackery, which can claim no risks since no one has tested the crap to see what, if anything, it does. I’m all for vigorous criticism of the pharmaceutical industry and it’s greed, but let’s not toos out baby with bathwater.
Oh, my bad. Those were sold over the counter. You didn’t need a prescription for them.
Check out the heroin poster. It has dosages for children aged 3-5 years old. Bayer wasn’t just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, they were getting him addicted to hard smack before he could talk coherently in hopes of making a lifelong customer out of him first, and waiting to throw him out after he overdosed.
A-D, those advertisements are over a hundred years old. Morphine and codeine were over-the-counter medications with no prescription needed. Coca Cola REALLY gave you a jolt because it contained cocaine. It was a different time then, biological science and medicine were much younger so I think those advertisements are no longer germane.
I’m not letting the pharmaceutical companies off the hook, but I don’t think we can blame them for what companies were doing a century ago.