Sunday, 27 September 2015

Why Dr Carl Hart is clinically correct about diacetylmorphine use, yet caution should be taken in spreading this information to the general public.

Recently the spectacularly excellent youtube channel run by Kyle Kulinski called Secular Talk, did a youtube video addressing comments about diacetylmorphine (heroin, to the layman) made by Dr Carl Hart on the Joe Rogan experience.

I very rarely, if ever, disagree with Kyle’s commentary. In fact, I don't essentially disagree with his comments in this particular clip either, but I would like to point out a couple of things that slightly concern me about the trajectory his commentary took. To preemptively summarize my points below, it has to do with the intelligence or background knowledge of youtube users, even though from my experience Secular Talk’s subscribers show a much higher level than those of the average youtube channel.

Briefly, this was the comment about the clip in question I posted to my facebook community already, and is a rough summary of my main point.

"Hmm ... it's very hard to argue with someone as qualified as Dr Carl Hart, but lets just say say I think Kyle (the host) is taking what he is saying too literally here. Heroin (opiates) can be lethal with just 3x the normal dosage; awful LD50 and ARE addictive to a small sub-section (10-15% or so) of the population. The LD50 (median lethal dose) of mushrooms is roughly 20,000g (20 kg), about 1000x the effective dosage, as the effective dose is 3-5g, and they are not addictive. The LD50 of LSD, and some other psychedelics, is so high it's never been properly ascertained. Either-way, this [Kyles clip] is an interesting clip to think about"

 I agree with Dr Hart that if taken clinically, responsibly, in a controlled setting, opiates like Oxycontin, Morphine, or whatever opiate, are not only quite safe but also over-all totally non physiologically damaging. However, they are, for a small subset of the population, both so enjoyable and effective a treatment (not cure) for any mental health conditions or physical ailments from which they may suffer that this sub-set of the population will find it extremely hard to stop once they start. This is so even if 85% or so of people who try these opiates can control it. As Kyle pointed out in the video, it will not instantly ruin their lives, or turn them into 'junkies' overnight.

However people do not generally take/find/use opiates like diacetylmorphine in the controlled or clinical settings Dr Hart referenced in the clip. Most people have to find them on the street (due to the ridiculous situation prohibition has put us in) from people with no controls on their purity or dosage and without a safe way to use them; as they would have in a clinic.

Taking this into consideration, and from my personal experience, it's somewhat amazing (yet understandable) how opiates like heroin have gotten such a bad reputation from the average layman. I am not at all exaggerating when I say that a dosage just three times the recreational one (especially if other respiratory depressants [like xanax/valium] are already in their system) can stop people breathing when they fall asleep on them. This is one of the number one combinations of recreationally abused drugs that does end peoples lives; and should only ever be combined in a clinical setting with doctors present.

Obviously, properly informed intelligent people would never use an opiate with a benzodiazepine like valium or xanax in their system; but youtube users (well, the general population of internet users) are generally not educated enough to generally know or understand this fact. So it does slightly concern me that some people may have gotten the impression from the video that it's ok to try these things, when in fact being safe takes a bit more research and is a bit more complex than Kyle, or Dr Hart, laid out.

I have much more to say on this matter [and will soon edit/finish this blog accordingly], as I've not really referenced this article yet, nor mentioned the psychedelics vs the above drugs or other claims yet to back up what I have said; but it is in no way an exaggeration to say that with (many) psychedelic drugs like mushrooms and LSD that even if you miss a decimal point out and take 10x the effective dose it's virtually impossible, physiologically, that you will die. It might be terrifying, but physiologically; you are in no danger at all. Sometimes even at 100x the effective dosage.

Miss a decimal point out and take ten times the recreational dosage of amphetamine, you are likely to have a heart attack or at least suffer severe cardiovascular issues; miss a decimal point out with opiates and take ten times the amount you are almost certain to die of respiratory depression. That is the plain truth.

So Kyle [if you read this] I'd really like you to keep these things in mind in the future for your other uploads. And keep up the great uploads!

[to be finished]