We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When Dalrymple talks about criminality and addiction, you have to listen. He is an ex prison psychiatrist. He makes the case that opiate addiction is not a "disease," which therefore requires "treatment."
Is any great harm done by pretending that opiate addiction is a disease like any other? After all, a portion of mankind will always resort to mind- altering drugs to obscure the existential problems that confront us all. Certainly methadone when prescribed carelessly — as it is in Britain — is a dangerous drug, and can cause nearly as many deaths as heroin itself.
There is a more intangible harm, however, to the pretence: the existence of drug clinics sends a message to addicts that they are ill and in need of treatment rather than they have chosen a disastrous path in life. It conceals from people their responsibility for their own lives, a responsibility we all find irksome at times, but acceptance of which is the only basis of a meaningful life.
Although AA tends to term addiction a "disease," they approach it as a problem with the soul and the spirit, as does Dalrymple. Read the whole thing, which runs contrary to the usual pieties and victim mongering.
Comment from Dr. Bliss: I like Dalrymple very much. And I don't care whether you call addiction a disease or not - the concept has been so degraded that they call acne and PMS diseases these days. The implication that addicts are real, or latent, born criminals is not born out by my experience. Some are, some aren't. "Help" for them? Some require detox - that's a medical function. After that, AA is the best bet, unless they have other psychiatric problems. AA is the exact opposite of a government program.