Drug Policy Debate with James C. Bettencourt

Why children & adults use illegal drugs & alcohol. America’s best kept secret www.drugpreventioned.com Sadly in America today over 2 million children are addicted to illicit drugs and possibly await the same fate as my son or worse. Regarding the adolescent using addicts, as sad as it is to say for many of their family member's prison or death becomes a last acceptable choice. If his overdose had not occurred a much worse fate most certainly awaited. It could have been anyone living the life of the many using addicts, stealing, lies, rape, murder, child abuse, domestic violence, prison or dead. I have learned the secret why our children and adults choose to use illegal drugs, alcohol and why this information sadly is still not provided to America and America's children. For seven years I have been providing the truth about why our society uses illegal drugs and alcohol and have provided this potentially life saving information to thousands of children and adults. Many may choose to accept what I share; many may choose to ignore what I share and that is your choice. But at the very least shouldn't we provide our children a choice, an educated choice? Tragically today our children and societies choices regarding illegal drugs and alcohol are distorted by persuasive, prevalent, profitable twisted lies. What is so wrong with telling our children the truth, the consequences about illegal drugs and alcohol? The reality if ignored becomes accepted. As a parent, prevention educator and concerned citizen I will not accept keeping the truth from our children and in by doing so not promote the lies. I understand all too well the consequences. Sincerely, James C. Bettencourt Cliff Schaffer wrote: This guy is just spamming ads for an ignorant book. He claims special expertise on the subject because his son got screwed up with drugs. As if getting in an auto accident made you an expert on traffic safety, or something. Others have called this Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. There are two possible approaches when your kid gets screwed up on drugs. One is to do some actual research and find out what might prevent the problem for other kids. That is, educate themselves and do some good in the world. The other is to wail a tragic tale that makes them the center of attention. Granted this is an emotional thing but they milk it for all it is worth. By normal social conventions everyone is immediately required to regard them with great sympathy and regard them as some huge authority on the subject. This becomes about them, more than it is about their kids. As we left the class, a friend turned to me and said, "Wow! If drugs are that bad and people still take them, they must REALLY feel great!" It struck me that his logic was perfect, but exactly the opposite of what the teachers had intended. He promptly went looking for drugs, and found them. Historically speaking, the biggest single cause of drug epidemics among US children is hysterical, misguided campaigns like this one. Anyone who wants more information can start by reading theConsumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs at www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/cu/cumenu.htm This book is the best overall review of the drug problem ever written. It has been used as a basic college textbook for decades. If you haven't read it, then you simply don't know the subject. If you do read it, you will see immediately that James Bettencourt has never laid eyes on it. "Wednesday, March 12, 2008 Good afternoon, Chairman Biden, members of the Subcommittee, and members of the Caucus. My name is Dr. Leonard Paulozzi, and I am a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Historical Trends in Mortality rates from unintentional drug overdose (not including alcohol) have risen steadily since the early 1970s, and over the past ten years they have reached historic highs. Rates are currently 4 to 5 times higher than the rates during the “black tar” heroin epidemic in the mid-1970s and more than twice what they were during the peak years of crack cocaine in the early 1990s. The rate shown for 2005 translates into 22,400 unintentional and intentional drug overdose deaths. To put this in context, just over 17,000 homicides occurred in 2005. The number of drug overdose deaths does not yet exceed the number of motor vehicle crash deaths overall, but for the first time more people in the 45-54 age group now die of drug overdoses than from traffic crashes." Above are the latest statistics from the CDC stating that drug overdose deaths no exceeds homicides in America by 5,400 deaths and is still climbing. Evidently in your mind you interpret this as hysteria, most experts agree it is an epidemic. I quote facts, you make false accusations. One other note my expertise in the field of Substance Abuse Prevention is widely recognized and respected. I have been the guest speaker at the National Methamphetamine Awareness day at the request of the State of California Substance Abuse Prevention agency. Yes, I have even written a book, wish you could read, you may have learned something. I have been guest on over a dozen television programs from the Bay Area to Chico. I could continue with my ten year resume as an expert regarding substance abuse prevention education but there is not enough room on this post. The reality is what grinds you is not what I write or say but rather that you are obviously irrelevant and contribute very little to help anyone. Carl: Mr. Bettencourt, I've not read your book, I'm not sure what to say or what I will say here. You seem to imply that you possess the knowledge of why society uses drugs. Drug using is a complex and highly varied phenomenon that dates back to prehistoric times. It is likely that it existed even within the societies of our prehuman ancestors, the australopithecenes if not earlier. The cultures of drug using are diverse and highly variable at both a "societal" level and an individual level. But we use drugs because we enjoy their effects. Psocial Pscientists in some ways put too much emphasis on the pharmacological properties of each individual substance or chemical when these drugs are only inert substances. Hence the wide spectrum of individual experience with various drugs. One's meat is another's poison. Societies such as the Mormons who abstain from drug using are the exception, not the rule. And it is worth noting that Utah has the highest rate of anti depressent prescriptions written in the U.S. You also refer to "illegal" drugs. Anti drug social critics in general do not seem to separate the devastating effects of the drug laws upon drug users from the inherently negative effects of the drugs themselves. Drug prohibition succeeds in giving basically mundane drugs a "forbidden fruit" status. And the masses of anti drug zealots (including some who are alcoholic) perpetuate a climate of hysteria in regards to drug policy, while drug users, to a large extent, perpetuate a culture of (dangerous)ignorance. “But we use drugs because we enjoy their effects.” Which effect from drugs do we enjoy, prostitution, prostituting your own child, rape, overdose, overdose death, beating your spouse, lying, stealing, killing, illiteracy, addicts, addiction, vehicular homicide, being institutionalized, HIV, gang violence, or one of the hundreds of other vial social ills promoted through drug use? “One's meat is another's poison.” Illicit drug use and prescription drug abuse constitutes ingesting uncontrollable and varying amounts of poison, last year causing over 26,000 deaths. Taking into consideration the overdose deaths and all the other social ills from drug use, where’s the meat? “You seem to imply that you possess the knowledge of why society uses drugs.” I know that there is an addiction gene that may or may not be passed from generation to generation. I also know that if a child without this addiction gene is raised in a family that everyday of that child’s life uses illicit drugs chances are that child will become an addict. I know that in America 24 hours a day seven days a week society is bombarded by the alcohol industry, Big Pharma, AMA, Hollywood, FDA, television, radio, and internet, telling everyone to take one substance or another to feel better, have fun, relax, get high, go to sleep, stay awake, lower this or raise that, have longer lasting sex, you name it there is a pill for it. Booze & Pills, Pills & Booze. We love instant gratification and addiction and death are mere side effects and we are mere collateral damage. “And the masses of anti drug zealots (including some who are alcoholic) perpetuate a climate of hysteria in regards to drug policy, while drug users, to a large extent, perpetuate a culture of (dangerous) ignorance.” Masses of anti drug zealots perpetuating hysteria, really? Where is the hysteria? Who are these masses? Is the mentioning of 26,000 deaths due to illicit drug use being hysterical? Is mentioning hundreds of those who died were children, young adults, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles or grandparents creating hysteria. I like to perpetuate a climate of information that directly reduces the culture of dangerous ignorance. If an innocent child puts a gun in their mouth isn’t the very least someone should do is tell him it is dangerous? “But we use drugs because we enjoy their effects.” Which effect from drugs do we enjoy, prostitution, prostituting your own child, rape, overdose, overdose death, beating your spouse, lying, stealing, killing, illiteracy, addicts, addiction, vehicular homicide, being institutionalized, HIV, gang violence, or one of the hundreds of other vial social ills promoted through drug use? Carl: Wow. This paragraph is over the top! Most of these "effects" that you cite are not even the effects of drugs, but rather the effects of drug prohibition. The effects that I enjoy are those of sensual pleasure, increased energy and a general feeling of well being. I am addicted to opiates. I have used since 1971. I am literate, I am honest. I am lucid. I am functional. Do you hold me accountable for the actions of drunk drivers, wife beaters, rapists, etc? Drug prohibition is the cause of drugs being priced at astronomical black market rates, tens or hundreds of times what they are really worth. This leads to crime and degradation among addicts and fuels drug dealers, street gangs, drug cartels, terrorists, etc. ad nauseum with the huge easy money profits available from the black market. Diseases like HIV were spread by the laws preventing the procurement of sterile hypodermic syringes. Inflated black market prices of heroin forced many to use the needle in the first place, as other routes of administration were economically unfeasible. And finally, drug prohibition ensures that users do not have the choice to opt for relatively innocuous plant poisons like opium or coca leaf. Thanks to the war on drugs, opium smoking has been replaced with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine on a global scale. “One's meat is another's poison.” Illicit drug use and prescription drug abuse constitutes ingesting uncontrollable and varying amounts of poison, last year causing over 26,000 deaths. Taking into consideration the overdose deaths and all the other social ills from drug use, where’s the meat? Carl: The meat is in the enjoyment that people derive from using drugs. People who practice some measure of temperance and self-restraint. Not everyone goes off the deep end. I'll use alcohol as an example: many drink responsibly and in moderation. Should these people be punished for the actions of drunk drivers, wife beaters, rapists, etc? Not all can drink in moderation. Some, if given the choice are terminal alcoholics. Drugs are inert substances and the results of their use are highly variable among individual people. Alcohol prohibition produced the same results as prohibition of other drugs. And with the exception of tobacco, alcohol kills more people from disease and accidents than all other drugs combined. Opium is my meat. I do love it. I also respect it. I advise those who have not used it not to try it. I do not promote the using of drugs but I do want legal tolerance. I would like to be judged for my behavior rather than my conformity. “You seem to imply that you possess the knowledge of why society uses drugs.” I know that there is an addiction gene that may or may not be passed from generation to generation. I also know that if a child without this addiction gene is raised in a family that everyday of that child’s life uses illicit drugs chances are that child will become an addict. I know that in America 24 hours a day seven days a week society is bombarded by the alcohol industry, Big Pharma, AMA, Hollywood, FDA, television, radio, and internet, telling everyone to take one substance or another to feel better, have fun, relax, get high, go to sleep, stay awake, lower this or raise that, have longer lasting sex, you name it there is a pill for it. Booze & Pills, Pills & Booze. We love instant gratification and addiction and death are mere side effects and we are mere collateral damage. Carl: On this paragraph I agree with much of what you say. I am skeptical of the gene theory and suspect that it may fall into the realm of pseudoscience. Drug warriors engage in much social pseudoscience in the promotion of legal persecution and social engineering. The causes of addiction are complex and variable among individual people. And no doubt both culture and individual psychology come into play. When I was young the commercial advertising of prescription drugs was considered to be unethical if not outright illegal. The pharmaceutical industry is gigantic and second only to the petroleum industry in size on a worldwide scale. And it appears that many of the drugs advertised are toxic and dangerous. The pharmaceutical industry benefits economically from drug prohibition. Cannabis, opium, and coca leaf cannot be patented by corporations. “And the masses of anti drug zealots (including some who are alcoholic) perpetuate a climate of hysteria in regards to drug policy, while drug users, to a large extent, perpetuate a culture of (dangerous) ignorance.” "Masses of anti drug zealots perpetuating hysteria, really? Where is the hysteria? Who are these masses? Is the mentioning of 26,000 deaths due to illicit drug use being hysterical? Is mentioning hundreds of those who died were children, young adults, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles or grandparents creating hysteria". Carl: Yes, you are hysterical. 26,000 people died from overdoses. Millions of people use illicit drugs. Because these drugs are illegal they are produced without quality control, mixed with other (sometimes dangerous) substances and sold in unmeasured doses. Mexican tar heroin is sometimes contaminated with hepatitis C and/or flesh eating bacteria. If drugs were legal drugs like these would not exist. The existence of these drug laws are proof of hysteria and in reality kill and destroy the lives of many who are not at all self destructive. They corrupt society to its core. From our largest institutions to the individual relationships between people. The benefactors of this policy are many, and on both sides of the law. From drug cartels to stockholders of for-profit prisons. Those who use drugs, their loved ones and victims of the crime that result from drug prohibition are the losers. "I like to perpetuate a climate of information that directly reduces the culture of dangerous ignorance". I am in complete agreement. "If an innocent child puts a gun in their mouth isn’t the very least someone should do is tell him it is dangerous?" This last line is so blatantly rhetorical and belligerent that I will not respond to it.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Sorry to have to report this

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I'd really like to read that, please correct the link.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

corrected link

Thank you.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Carl who?

You title your rhetoric as a debate, when in fact I have no idea who you are and we have never spoken.  I am sure that in reality land what you have typed is actually just your opinion and nothing more.

 

Sincerely,

James C. Bettencourt

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