Could President Bush be under the influence?

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Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 11:55 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
I think cocaine might appear to be more destructive due to its cost-- addicts turn into criminals in order to fund the habit, and ruin themselves in the process. A hopeless bottle+/day drunk will likely physically destroy himself quicker than a coke addict, but with a full-time job he can probably support his habit.


No, cocaine appears more destructive to me because I have closely watched cocaine addicts. I'll accept that the drugs are "apples and oranges", but cocaine... the people I watched had money, there was no criminal activity to support the habit. Teeth falling out, outrageous paranoia.... If the evidence does suggest that regular alcohol use is worse than regular cocaine use, I wish I could agree with those findings. But to me, they are apples and oranges - alcohol being the orange, cocaine being the apple that gets us kicked out of the garden.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 12:07 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;35435 wrote:
Most studies I have read go by drinks per week, and I tend to think that problems from 30/week would signify a person binge drinking 2-3 days a week, and not a person who just has 4 per night every night.
Most people I've met with alcoholic cirrhosis in whom I've talked about the subject were not binge drinkers -- they were steadily heavy drinkers. But I'd have to do a lit search to see which is worse.

Quote:
Just wondering, if from your knowledge, there is a distinction here? If 2 drinks per day is supposed to be "good" for us, then it seems 2 more a day is a short jump to make to end-stage cirrhosis, unless that 30/week is more like 15 every fri & sat night (which I assume would be worse).
I wouldn't say "good for us". Studies look at specific, predefined outcomes. Over the timecourse of the studies done, up to 2 drinks/day for men or 1/day for women significantly lowers the risk of coronary artery disease. But these studies are neither powered to detect risk of cirrhosis, nor do they follow patients for long enough. This is why major medical bodies do NOT specifically recommend alcohol as a primary means to prevent heart disease -- this recommendation has to be individualized.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 12:21 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;35438 wrote:
No, cocaine appears more destructive to me because I have closely watched cocaine addicts. I'll accept that the drugs are "apples and oranges", but cocaine... the people I watched had money, there was no criminal activity to support the habit. Teeth falling out, outrageous paranoia.... If the evidence does suggest that regular alcohol use is worse than regular cocaine use, I wish I could agree with those findings. But to me, they are apples and oranges - alcohol being the orange, cocaine being the apple that gets us kicked out of the garden.


Both substances have their problems...but, I have personally known people who have OD'd and died from alcohol. Yea, this can happen with cocaine, but it is quite rare. Drunk driving and its associated problems are bad enough; your average college binge drinker probably will appear to be fine, but some are the true alcoholics I am talking of...kids in their mid-20s who develop type-2 diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver because they are drinking 1-2 bottles a day.

Cocaine is bad news of course, but so is alcohol if taken to excess. I do think though that, because of the cost and the nature of the drug, alcohol is more easily controlled by most people than cocaine. And cocaine definitely will cause mental issues over time...but from personal experience with addicts and from the studies I have read, alcohol still seems to be more effective at physically destroying the human body. (mental function is another issue)

Another problem with the studies is that alcohol is legal while cocaine is a schedule-2 substance. It is much more difficult to perform studies with illegal drugs than it is with legal ones, and this might be why we don't have more information about the problems of cocaine use. I also suspect that some of these studies indicating severe problems in 4 drink/day drinkers are inaccurate; you can't have good control over recreational drug users, or expect that they will be honest about how much they drink. Other studies (like the old Tucson garbage project) have shown that people grossly "underestimate" (lie) about their substance use. So, someone may have cirrhosis from "4 drinks a day", and that is how it is recorded, but in reality, maybe he was drinking more than that.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 12:28 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Both substances have their problems...but, I have personally known people who have OD'd and died from alcohol. Yea, this can happen with cocaine, but it is quite rare. Drunk driving and its associated problems are bad enough; your average college binge drinker probably will appear to be fine, but some are the true alcoholics I am talking of...kids in their mid-20s who develop type-2 diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver because they are drinking 1-2 bottles a day.

Cocaine is bad news of course, but so is alcohol if taken to excess. I do think though that, because of the cost and the nature of the drug, alcohol is more easily controlled by most people than cocaine. And cocaine definitely will cause mental issues over time...but from personal experience with addicts and from the studies I have read, alcohol still seems to be more effective at physically destroying the human body.


And I've personally known people who have died from heart attacks as a result of cocaine use, not to mention people who have overdosed on alcohol (though no one who has died as a result of alcohol overdose, only a couple who died due to prolonged alcohol abuse). I even know one tough soul who has survived alcohol overdose and a heart attack induced by cocaine use. Crazy world out there.

Excessive use of anything is bad for you. Excessive use of cocaine and/or alcohol is terrible for you.

Pangloss wrote:
Another problem with the studies is that alcohol is legal while cocaine is a schedule-2 substance. It is much more difficult to perform studies with illegal drugs than it is with legal ones, and this might be why we don't have more information about the problems of cocaine use. I also suspect that some of these studies indicating severe problems in 4 drink/day drinkers are inaccurate; you can't have good control over recreational drug users, or expect that they will be honest about how much they drink. Other studies (like the old Tucson garbage project) have shown that people grossly "underestimate" (lie) about their substance use. So, someone may have cirrhosis from "4 drinks a day", and that is how it is recorded, but in reality, maybe he was drinking more than that.


Yes, this is a problem that extends well beyond cocaine. Ah, but the truth hurts, and power brokers hate the truth.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 12:32 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;35445 wrote:
Excessive use of cocaine and/or alcohol is terrible for you.


Yea, and when combined (as many people use these substances), they form the drug cocaethylene in the blood, which seems to be more cardiotoxic than cocaine itself.



Quote:
Yes, this is a problem that extends well beyond cocaine. Ah, but the truth hurts, and power brokers hate the truth.


If it only takes 4 drinks per day to give you a reasonable chance at ending up with liver cirrhosis, then I think we would have a worldwide epidemic on our hands...
 
CarolA
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 02:45 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:




If it only takes 4 drinks per day to give you a reasonable chance at ending up with liver cirrhosis, then I think we would have a worldwide epidemic on our hands...


Umm, I think we do. Binge drinking is a real problem in Europe, Australia and the USA. Other cultures don't seem to hit the booze so hard and many people in the world are too poor to overindulge.
Maybe it's like the fat epidemic - humans aren't designed to say "no" to food and drink!
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 07:30 am
@CarolA,
From a non american it appears every now and then you need a good ol boy as president to keep your cowboy image alive..I can remember that cowboy actor Reagan whose brain went on walk about many times...re....publican bar...effect....
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 08:23 am
@CarolA,
CarolA;35448 wrote:
Umm, I think we do. Binge drinking is a real problem in Europe, Australia and the USA. Other cultures don't seem to hit the booze so hard and many people in the world are too poor to overindulge.
Maybe it's like the fat epidemic - humans aren't designed to say "no" to food and drink!


That was my point...heavy drinking is quite common around the world (perhaps like an epidemic), but I meant that with all this heavy drinking, you would think that liver cirrhosis would be more common if it only takes 4 drinks per day to likely give you issues. The "epidemic" of liver problems that should go along with the epidemic of heavy drinking doesn't seem to exist on the same level. Of course, there could be many reasons for this.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 09:28 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
That was my point...heavy drinking is quite common around the world (perhaps like an epidemic), but I meant that with all this heavy drinking, you would think that liver cirrhosis would be more common if it only takes 4 drinks per day to likely give you issues. The "epidemic" of liver problems that should go along with the epidemic of heavy drinking doesn't seem to exist on the same level. Of course, there could be many reasons for this.
hell i have three units...
 
John W Kelly
 
Reply Fri 5 Dec, 2008 12:29 pm
@xris,
I call for immediate drug testing for ALL elected officials. One can only imagine what we would find out.
 
John W Kelly
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:29 pm
@John W Kelly,
Lets start with the governor of Illinois.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:11 pm
@John W Kelly,
John W. Kelly wrote:
I call for immediate drug testing for ALL elected officials. One can only imagine what we would find out.


Now that would only be fair. They allow citizens to be drug tested through law so why should they get a free pass and not have to face testing. Intuititon tells me though that politician would have problems with drugs that race out of the system like cocaine or alcohol rather than marijuana which lingers in the system for weeks.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 06:47 pm
@Theaetetus,
As I'm opposed to mandatory drug testing of the civilian population, I would also oppose mandatory drug testing of elected officials. The government has no right to invade my privacy in such a way, and no right to invade the privacy of our elected officials. By drug testing them, we will begin to criticize our politicians for their personal decision rather than the way in which they serve the electorate. Let's judge politicians based on how well they perform in representing us, and let's not judge them based on their personal lifestyle decisions, like the decision to have a few beers or burn a joint from time to time.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 06:53 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
As I'm opposed to mandatory drug testing of the civilian population, I would also oppose mandatory drug testing of elected officials. The government has no right to invade my privacy in such a way, and no right to invade the privacy of our elected officials. By drug testing them, we will begin to criticize our politicians for their personal decision rather than the way in which they serve the electorate. Let's judge politicians based on how well they perform in representing us, and let's not judge them based on their personal lifestyle decisions, like the decision to have a few beers or burn a joint from time to time.


I definitely agree with you, but unfortunately many citizens are subjected to mandatory drug testing. As long as elected officials allow drug testing to remain legal, they should be subjected to the same testing. Insurance companies force many companies to do testing, thus they are not judged based on their abilities to do their job. They are first judged on personal lifestyle choices.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:12 pm
@Theaetetus,
Ah, but two wrongs do not make a right. Instead of making matters worse, let's try and improve the circumstances by eliminating the drug testing of the people. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Drug tests all around just mean more people will fail them and as a result be punished for their lifestyle choices.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:19 pm
@Justin,
Maybe politicians failing drug tests may motivate them to change the law. Insurance company lobbyists I am sure are not motivating them to do so.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:32 pm
@Theaetetus,
Maybe, but I fear that drug tests would just force out certain politicians leaving our government even more firmly in the hands of prohibitionists and cultural authoritarians.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:57 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;37436 wrote:
Drug tests all around just mean more people will fail them and as a result be punished for their lifestyle choices.


Well, if one of your "lifestyle choices" happens to be committing crimes (using illegal substances), then isn't that something that is a real conflict with being a legal representative (or working for a company that doesn't want to be held liable for the criminal actions of its employees)? :perplexed: We elect people who work within the law...not those who are above it. Lifestyle decisions can have a real impact on your work if they are bad decisions...

I really don't see a big problem with drug testing. Whenever you take a job you are knowingly sacrificing some privacy by becoming part of the "team" at your workplace. A drug test is just part of the contract between the company and the employee. If you don't like that condition of employment, you can seek work with those companies that do not drug test.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 08:03 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Well, if one of your "lifestyle choices" happens to be committing crimes (using illegal substances), then isn't that something that is a real conflict with being a legal representative (or working for a company that doesn't want to be liable for the actions of its employees)? :perplexed: We elect people who work within the law...not those who are above it. Lifestyle decisions can have a real impact on your work if they are bad decisions...


That's all fine until the law in question is an unjust law. In which case, at least in my opinion, civil disobedience takes precedent over obeying the law just because it's the law.

Pangloss wrote:
I really don't see a big problem with drug testing. Whenever you take a job you are knowingly sacrificing some privacy by becoming part of the "team" at your workplace. A drug test is just part of the contract between the company and the employee. If you don't like that condition of employment, you can seek work with those companies that do not drug test.


There's a problem, though. It's called privacy.

You say that taking a job requires we give up some privacy - and I agree. We give up certain privacy while we are at the workplace or while we are working on behalf of the employer. But our privacy at home should in no way be compromised by employment.

Drug testing is a way for the government to use companies to stamp out the use of certain drugs. Bottom line. Drug testing is more often than not the result of government regulation that makes drug tests compulsory. Companies, by and large, do not care so long as you come to work sober and do your job well. If you come to work intoxicated or are unable to do your job properly, then the company fires you. Drug tests are simply not needed by companies.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 08:17 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;37445 wrote:
That's all fine until the law in question is an unjust law. In which case, at least in my opinion, civil disobedience takes precedent over obeying the law just because it's the law.


Ok, well now this statement goes off in another direction. On the issue of drug prohibition, my mind is not so made up; I can see many good reasons for legalizing and controlling all recreational drugs. However, this is a different argument.

Currently, these drugs are illegal, and the drug tests will assess the character of the employee by determining whether or not they are willing to break the law; if your employee tests positive for cocaine , which carries quite a prison sentence for possessing or selling, then you are going to wonder if he will then not hesitate to break other laws...stealing company information or goods, for instance. Testing positive for some highly addictive and expensive drug like cocaine or heroin could also be an indication that you will be a liability down the road for other obvious reasons.



Quote:
There's a problem, though. It's called privacy.

You say that taking a job requires we give up some privacy - and I agree. We give up certain privacy while we are at the workplace or while we are working on behalf of the employer. But our privacy at home should in no way be compromised by employment.

Drug testing is a way for the government to use companies to stamp out the use of certain drugs. Bottom line. Drug testing is more often than not the result of government regulation that makes drug tests compulsory. Companies, by and large, do not care so long as you come to work sober and do your job well. If you come to work intoxicated or are unable to do your job properly, then the company fires you. Drug tests are simply not needed by companies.


We have a clear legal right to privacy in respect to the government, that's certain. But when it comes to willingly taking a job at a company, where part of your job involves submitting to a possible random drug test, then that is privacy you are willingly giving up when you take the job. When employees engage in illegal or risky behavior out of the workplace, it can reflect poorly on the company itself, and can be a cause for liability concerns. Whether or not drugs should be legal is another issue.

I am not aware of the government directly using companies to stamp out drug use. The government has made the drugs illegal, but companies drug test by their own choice. There have been studies done which support drug testing, in that the cost of testing is offset by the gain in productivity by hiring sober workers. This is a cost-benefits analysis where obviously many companies have determined that they do need drug-testing to be efficient.
 
 

 
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