D.A.R.E. to Believe the Shit We Shovel

August 4, 2007

The fact that heroin use is so rare — involving, according to the government’s data, something like 0.2 percent of the U.S. population in 2001 — suggests that its appeal is much more limited than we’ve been lead to believe. If heroin really is “so good,” why does it have such a tiny share of the illegal drug trade? Marijuana is more than forty-five times as popular. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicates that about 3 million Americans have used heroin, 15 percent of them in the last year and 4 percent in the last month. These numbers suggest the vast majority of heroin users either never become addicted or, if they do, manage to give the drug up. A survey of high school seniors found that 1 percent had used heroin in the previous year, while 0.1 percent had used it on twenty or more days in the previous month. Assuming that daily use is a reasonable proxy for opiate addiction, one in ten of the students who had taken heroin in the last year might have qualified as addicts. These are not the sort of numbers you’d expect from a drug that’s irresistible.

– From Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use by Jacob Sullum

Say what you want, but it sounds like we’re being lied to. The Man lying to the masses? Why, that hasn’t been going on since… forever.

It may sound hard to believe. But that’s probably because you’ve been told the opposite of the truth for so long, you just have to believe it. They’ve say the same things about heroin that they’ve been saying about coffee, cigarettes, marijuana and, yes, even alcohol for the past two centuries. And they’ll continue to lie as we eat it right up. “D.A.R.E. to believe our shit!”

It gets old, folks.

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