Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The War On Drugs Is Very Cheesy.

CNN recycles a story that has been going around for months in Dallas, Texas. A new "designer drug" named Cheese is killing people off left and right. The story is over-hyped, condescending, and poor journalism. Nothing shocking there.

A cheap, highly addictive drug known as "cheese heroin" has killed 21 teenagers in the Dallas area over the past two years, and authorities say they are hoping they can stop the fad before it spreads across the nation.

"Cheese heroin" is a blend of so-called black tar Mexican heroin and crushed over-the-counter medications that contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine, found in products such as Tylenol PM, police say. The sedative effects of the heroin and the nighttime sleep aids make for a deadly brew.

Since the start of 2005, there have been 893 days. That means that in Dallas, somebody has died from a cheese overdose approximately every 42.5 days, or just over 1 every six weeks. CNN doesn't do this math for you. Instead they "report" the following.

Cheese" is not only dangerous. It's cheap. About $2 for a single hit and as little as $10 per gram. The drug can be snorted with a straw or through a ballpoint pen, authorities say. It causes drowsiness and lethargy, as well as euphoria, excessive thirst and disorientation. That is, if the user survives.

Look, I am not a big heroin fan. I have never taken it, and never will, especially mixed up with a drug cocktail. But, if there is an epidemic of death here, it's the death of telling kids the truth. When you lie to kids about drugs, you make them believe nothing else you say on the subject. This drug is not safe. It has led to side effects including an occasional death. How many doses were taken every 42.5 days between fatalities? If say ten thousand kids did one dose a day on average, it starts to give you a ball park figure.

Americans are pushed pharmaceuticals on tv, by schools, and by society at large for every sort of problem. I am saying nothing new under the sun here. Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit" was about this very phenomena. I don't blame the kids from what transpired at a Dallas area middle school.

These are street dealers, dope dealers," Moncibais recently warned students at Sam Tasby Middle School. "They give you a lethal dose. What do they care?"

Moncibais then asked how many students knew a "cheese" user. Just about everyone in the auditorium raised a hand. At one point, when he mentioned that the United States has the highest rate of drug users in the world, the middle schoolers cheered.

Holland tells their kids the truth, are not running a massive war on drugs, yet their addiction levels are smaller than hours. Our system of urinating on the bill of rights and telling big whoppers to our kids leads them to not take any message seriously.

This is your drug policy on stupidity. Any questions?

Update: Dallas Metro area has a total population of about six million people. Less than 10 people have died per year from Cheese in the metro area. Anybody want to wager that more people have died per year from Cheese, or falling in the bathroom in the Dallas area these last few years?
This is not to say that this drug is "good" or people should freely take it without knowing the dangers. Sensationalist blather is not the way to educate.