(Psychotropic) drugs are drugs are drugs. Legal, illicit not so significant

I saw an article in Scientific American today and couldn’t help but make a few brief comments. It takes a look at hyped up horror information about the use of methamphetamine.

The fact is recreational drugs are rarely as bad as they’re made out to be and psychiatric drugs are generally much more dangerous than anyone who is given them are ever told…psycho active drugs are psycho active drugs…and we live in a drug culture…so that both classes, recreational and prescribed are used far more often than is safe or sound.

Meth Hype Could Undermine Good Medicine

The 1936 film Reefer Madness developed a cult following because of its over-the-top depiction of the evils of marijuana. Getting stoned and going to a midnight showing became a ritual for many college students.

The recognition that pot is not a direct route to an asylum for the criminally insane, as it was for one character in the film, fueled the hilarity for late-night moviegoers. The divergence between perception and reality has become an issue in recent years for other recreational drugs.

Last month four scientists from Columbia University published an analysis of previous studies on methamphetamine use that called into question some of the purported damaging effects of the drug on brain functioning. The review in Neuropsychopharmacology found that short-term effects of the drug actually improve attention, as well as visual and spatial perception, among other things. (read the rest)

Hmmm…kind of like Adderal and Ritalin? Two other amphetamines widely used to treat attention problems that get labeled ADHD.

I don’t personally know enough about methamphetamine to make any intelligent comments about how harmful it is for the masses that use it, though I have seen people deeply and totally wrecked by it when I worked with drug users. They often inject and use homemade drug. It’s no pretty picture. It’s not that people aren’t harmed, but perhaps that many are not. (kind of like psychiatric meds! I got deeply and totally wrecked on psych meds) I do know that neuroleptics and benzodiazepines are far more dangerous than heroin in terms of possible long-term damage.

The bottom line is that drugs are dangerous and the fact that some can be obtained legally and others not, doesn’t make the legal ones safe.

Okay…that’s all.

See also: We are all addicts

And all the posts that feature Gabor Mate:  Ask, not why the addiction, but why the pain?

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters